People regularly ask me how I can spend so much time in the bush taking photographs and not get bored. Doesn’t one lion look like the next, they say. Haven’t you seen it all? Truthfully, the thought never even crosses my mind; I often feel like I have barely scratched the surface when it comes to wildlife. 14 years in the industry and I still have so much to learn, so much to see – and even more to document.
Believe it or not, I have never seen an aardvark, nor a pangolin. This fact alone keeps me going out again, and again, and again. One day, perhaps, I will see an aardvark whilst walking to my car in the early morning. The camera trap in my garden proves the existence of this mythical creature. As for the pangolin…well, I feel there are just some creatures that are meant to remain unicorns.
Wildlife photographers are a unique breed – we work obscene hours, travelling to remote locations, spending silly amounts of money on pieces of equipment, all to justify not knowing what we may find around the next corner.
Wildlife does not abide by rules. Mother Nature doesn’t listen to us. The continual search for what could be is so compelling. Even the faintest notion that ‘Today could be the day’ is enough to keep trying.
In recent years, my photographic journey has shifted somewhat. What started off as a mild obsession to beautifully capture every animal has now morphed into something deeper. A hope, and an intension, that the images I take go some way towards documenting a story, capturing attention, raising awareness, growing tourism, building conservation efforts, and most importantly educating those who are not able to experience first-hand what I am blessed to be able to.
At the very root of it all, we as humans are deeply connected with nature. Some are very aware of this, others may have forgotten – or perhaps never took the time to know. The very second you go out on drive into the Maasai Mara, the wind in your face, the sun on your skin, the grasslands rolling towards the horizon – you just know. You feel it. It is those feelings which I try to capture in my photography, and it is that quest which keeps me coming back for more.
Time flies. I can’t believe that three years ago I was fortunate enough to watch the Famous Five male cheetahs from the Mara successfully bring down a topi. Incredibly, these five continue to dominate vast tracts of land across the Mara, and continue to focus much of their hunting on such topis.
Filed under: This Week at Angama
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