Why Nature Photographers Do What They Do
A Little About Nature Photographers...Why DO They Do What They Do?
Nature photographers are a rare breed. They sit out in all kinds of weather, temperatures from freezing to sweltering, lugging cumbersome photo equipment. They often spend days sitting in thorns and on rocks, crouching on their knees, and going without anything but a snack or two and some water or coffee. Why do they do it?
My experience is that most nature photographers love the nature that makes up his or her subjects. We can spend hours observing the most minute movements of animals, studying the fragile lines of a leaf or flower petal, and admiring the ever-changing skies.
There is also some satisfaction in capturing that perfect shot….the one where the animals eyes show a glint of catchlight, where we catch them leaping mid-air after silently stalking their prey, and reflecting that golden light of late afternoon that feels so ephemeral.
And finally, some do it to earn a living while simultaneously engaging in what they love to do, being out in nature. Or they apply the money they earn from sales to purchase that expensive camera or camera accessory. Or to pay for the journies to places some of us will only dream about, so that they can bring those places home to those who can't or won't go themselves but would love to see what is there.
There is real satisfaction in selling your work. Is is for everyone? No. Although cameras proliferate these days, there will never be a competition between a cell phone picture and a picture produced after watching a magnificent piece of nature for hours and then lovingly processing that image to reproduce the beauty and awe-inspiring details of that same subject.
If you appreciate the images that many photographers routinely share on the internet and other platforms, such as free public exhibits of their work, let them know you understand the time, labor and expense that went into the proficiency to take those photos. Don’t copy their work! Spend the same amount you routinely spend to eat one meal out in an average restaurant and buy a print from that artist. Because they ARE an artist.
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