As a wild life photographer, I search for the raw, real moments that happen in nature. That includes big cat sex, lions hunting for food, vultures and hyenas fighting over a kill, sharks hunting and gorilla’s carrying dead babies. Most people only want to see “pretty” pictures but I want to see everything.
From my perspective, we already live in a “manufactured” and “edited” world so our senses won’t be offended. Because I have an inner compass that wants to hunt for the glorious and knowing that we live on heaven on earth, I WANT to see nature’s pure, raw canvass.
Here’s a warning…if you want to look through my iris then I am going to tell the truth of the wild.
Animals are fascinating beings composed of divine engineering if you are willing to look more closely. Everything they do has purpose and meaning. They waste very little. They know exactly who and what they are; they don’t try to be anything else or second guess their incarnation. I find that unapologetically refreshing.
Animals do kill other animals…how do you think they eat? Big cats engage in aggressive mating behaviors but it is NOT rape. (Please see blog post for more about that). Bears will kill other bears if they believe their personal safety is at stake. Otters and seals bite their mates during the ritual of procreating. Male humpback whales engage in an underwater battle for the fin of the queen…it’s called a heat-run. Big fish eat smaller fish and on and on. Raptors fly with a fox in their talons…it is all part of how the circle of life works.
Some of it is not pretty to look at but it is real. I want real. I want truth. I want to know how it all goes down out there in the bush. I like that sometimes it’s pretty AND gritty out there. It keeps us humble. I wouldn’t have nature ever edit itself because I revel in the wild, sacred beauty of it all.
This photo of dueling Springbok’s won an honorable mention photography award in the Nature’s Best Africa 2017 contest. These two males were sparring to see who was the strongest and should lead the herd. As luck would have it, the stronger males’ horns got stuck around the other’s neck and broke it. When we came upon the scene, we watched for over 30 minutes as the living male tried to get unstuck and almost lost his life trying to survive. In the end he walked away but not after being very stunned and probably a neck ache the size of Texas.
I want to photograph all that nature offers and that includes the pretty AND the gritty.
To all that is wild, sacred and beautiful!