Photography has always played a significant role in conservation efforts. Photos and footage make wildlife accessible and relatable to people around the world, especially to those who may never see an elephant or a humpback whale in person in their lifetime.
In honor of World Wildlife Day on March 3rd, we spoke with some of the wildlife photographers whose work is available through the 500px collection on Adobe Stock about their experiences and tips for creating engaging and memorable images of animals.
“With certain species facing extinction, conservation and awareness are more important than ever, and some of our talented wildlife photographers are contributing to those efforts by documenting animals in their natural environments,” shares Paul Friesen, Director of Content at 500px.
Capturing these moments is no easy task. “We have immense admiration for nature and wildlife photographers,” adds Paul. “The sheer patience and perseverance it takes is remarkable and cannot to be forgotten when looking through a photographer’s collection.”
Equally important is the photographer’s ability to connect with nature and all its elements. Wildlife photographer Pieter Ras says, “Understanding animal behavior is critical in planning your shoot and getting the magic moment.”
Underwater photographer Andrey Narchuk agrees: “It is important to find common ground – an understanding – with the animals, and when you feel nature, it gives you the best shots.” As you can imagine, it is a difficult skill to master, and one that can only be acquired through time and experience.
Wildlife and landscape photographer Mariusz Potocki is particularly drawn to the Antarctic and sub Antarctic regions, where the flora and fauna remain largely untouched by humans. “The animals are, for the most part, not afraid of people,” says Mariusz. Oftentimes, they are inquisitive and approach the photographers, and for Mariusz, this mutual curiosity creates a sense of closeness and makes for unique wildlife portraits.
Though we may think of wildlife as exotic animals in faraway lands, Quebec based photographer Daniel Parent reminds us that the best place to shoot wildlife is wherever you happen to be. “There is wildlife everywhere,” he explains, even if you live in an urban environment. The closer you are to home, the more time and access you have, and that makes it easier to capture just the right moment.
Perhaps one of the greatest delights and challenges of wildlife photography comes from the unpredictability of nature. Even with the meticulous research, preparation and knowledge of animal behaviors, there’s no telling what you’ll catch on camera. “Keep an open mind,” advises Pieter. “Nature is unpredictable so always be ready and be prepared to do things that will give you the edge.”
See more spectacular wildlife photos from 500px on Adobe Stock.