When I did so I found I had a skill in photographing dogs. I soon progressed to wild animals first in South Africa, and on to Kenya and Rwanda, and then to brown bears in Alaska, orang-utans in Borneo, Polar Bears in the Canadian Arctic and the birds and sea life of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica.
During the early years of my renewed interest in photography and on the journey to my Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) I largely concentrated on candid portraits gaining recognition for this style of work. At this time I was influenced by the work of Chris Weston. The images below are some examples from my LRPS panel:
In moving on to my Associate of the RPS I widened the perspective of my images not least because I was advised that portraits of animals were not seen as appropriate for the ‘Nature’ panel. In working for my ARPS I began to look at taking animals within their natural environment and was influenced in this by the work of Andy Rouse and particularly his book “Concepts of Nature – A Wildlife Photographer’s Art”. As a consequence and because of the charitable photography work I did in South Africa my ARPS was gained in the ‘Professional and Applied’ category:
While talking about the images I had chosen to rework and discuss in the context of this week’s theme “The Global Image” I was asked whether I preferred to take the wider environmental shots or whether I did focus more closely on animals as well. This comment led me to think about the journey I had taken from the candid and compelling close ups to the wider viewpoint of today.
Furthermore, in thinking about my Research Project for the MA I have moved still further to thinking about a project largely based around landscape images and a documentary approach to my work.
My initial thoughts for my project will be extended in later blogs but I must now reflect on why I have taken this path in my photography and am I still drawn to the intimate portrait work where I started?
Rouse, A (2008), Concepts of Nature – Wildlife Photographer’s Art, Aurum Press Ltd, London
Its a pity that the criticism of photography, or of any art form, degenerates into the use of “appropriate” which merely reflects a current prejudice rather than a comment on any artistic merit.