I was working in conservation and at times had to do slide shows to show the public the work that we were doing and from this started to take pictures. After a few years started to sell pictures and then decided to try and make a living this way.
Conservation and wildlife has been a passion right from when I was a child. I never wanted to be anything other than a game ranger and wildlife photography combines 2 interests of animals and photography.
I think if I were too specific it would become boring. Plus you are more marketable if you are a versatile photographer. So over the years I learnt how to photograph people, light with studio lamps, and aerial photography.
No these books are not in print. The only book I still have in print is called “Gorillas, the gentle giants”.
I think that wildlife photographers all over are finding it increasingly difficult to make a living out of selling wildlife pictures so many people are diversifying – for myself – I have diversified into shooting video.
About 8 years ago I spent a lot of time working in Etosha – I can’t remember the names of the waterholes off hand, but as a general principle I would be there at the height of the dry season, September / October and then spent a lot of time waiting – I read a lot of novels while sitting in Etosha!
No not really but, the light is a bit problematic throughout Namibia and Botswana in the late dry season as all of the dust and smoke in the air tends to make the light soft in the mornings and evenings to such an extent that sometimes pictures taken of animals in the distance are really quite unappealing.
This was one of those lucky times, we saw this lioness hunting at a waterhole. She was obviously very hungry and had quite a few missed attempts, sometimes chasing away from the camera etc.
It was in the days of motorized film cameras and I was sure something interesting was going to happen, so I had a new film in the camera and just waited and waited. It was pure luck that on the one occasion she came directly towards me chasing this kudu.
All of the small cats I had to photograph in captivity as it really would be impractical to try and find these animals in the wild. They are just too secretive.
The only small cat pictures that I have seen in the wild are Serval from Maasi Mara and African wild cat in the Kalahari.
These days I seldom if ever go to a game reserve and drive around without something specific in mind. I would prefer to go to Amboseli to photograph elephants or the Mara for the migration or Rwanda for the gorillas.
I go to a location with a very specific objective having said that, if something else is there, I will photograph it as well.
Probably my least favorite location is any form of rain forest as every insect in creation seems to want to eat you. I love deserts, with probably my favorite country in the world being Namibia.
I consider myself digitally challenged so tend to outsource my processing, HDR’s etc. however I do think it is important for any photographer to keep up with new technology and techniques.
So although I might not be able to do an HDR in Photoshop, I do know what I want and how the picture should look.
Well yes and no, I do think many photographers get too obsessed about whether Canon is better than Nikon or this lens is better than that. However new technology such as the improved noise control in the latest digital cameras opens up new opportunities.
So yes don’t get too obsessed with camera equipment – spend money on traveling and upgrade when you have a specific need.
Dogged persistence !
No, as mentioned I am moving into video and this is taking up all of my time at present.
South African based Martin Harvey is an internationally acclaimed photographer who has an extensive stock photography library consisting of Wildlife, Travel, Landscape, Aerial and Commercial Photography.
Stock photography coverage includes wildlife, travel, aerial, landscape, domestic animals, commercial and indigenous people from more than 20 different African countries. The photographic library also includes a smaller selection of images from Asia, Australia, Antarctica and South America.
Recent clients include WWF International, Sky TV and National Geographic TV, Incredible India Tourism Board, Emirates Centre for Wildlife Propagation UAE and Tourism Development and Investment Company UAE.
Martin uses the latest Canon digital cameras and lenses available to ensure optimum image quality. Images are shot in RAW format and can be supplied as RAW files or processed to the client's requirements.
Situated in South Africa and with extensive experience of having travelled and photographed at locations throughout Africa, Martin is ideally experienced to undertake photography commissions and assignments.
He has worked in countries as diverse as Morocco, Gabon, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Namibia, Botswana, the Middle East and South Africa. He has expertise in photographing wildlife, wildlife capture, aerial photography, environmental issues, landscapes and people, accommodation interiors and lodges, pets and domestic animals.
To see more of Martin's superb images please visit his website
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