Photography is ever-evolving. From the age of square slides to the age of 14-bit RAW files we have all seen how the images and frames have evolved. There was a time when photographers spent hours and hours getting one perfect frame in the streets or in the villages whereas now you can get the frame you want in seconds all with your money! Paid shoots, paid workshops they say. So what has changed? It has been a huge debate among artists of all genres. Let's dive in more but this time in the sphere of the wilderness!
Coming into the chapter on wildlife, 2020-2021 has produced a major change in the scenario as well as the approach of the photographers. What has changed?
1. Habitat Dominance - The days of close-up shots are gone now. Unless your subject is really gorgeous or an endemic creature or only the patterns are focused on, normal close-up shots are obsolete. Only for a birder, it makes sense. But for a photographer who wants to thrive, it's purely out of the league. Showcasing the habitat, and the environment around the subject is the most important approach now. Why? Is it the trend? No. While we shoot any animal/bird, as a wildlife photographer we love to see where it was, how dense its surroundings were, and so on.
Including the habitat gives the viewer an idea of how big or small the subject is when compared to the surroundings. Moreover, who does not love a minimal approach?
2. Fine arts - Probably the most important and most felt effect on the domain of wildlife photographs nowadays. It involves an immense thought process before pressing the shutter button and more imaginative power than you can guess! Fine art has made its place as its a MARKETABLE genre and photographers are into selling their prints more post covid era. There are numerous online platforms that offer to sell your photographs with a good amount of royalty. But clients don't want something very common, hanging on their walls! Would you? So Evolution of fine arts involves extensive Low Key and High Key images with dramatic effects on the subject.
Starting from showing the patterns, to most minimalistic approaches and weaving through totally uncommon perspectives of shooting, fine arts covers a large ocean.
3. Pattern & textures - It's all about what normal people miss out on in their regular sights. They see an animal or a bird. A photographer notices and watches for minutes over minutes concentrating on the beautiful skin patterns, the textures, the feather patterns, the vibrance of the fur, the sharpness of the feathers and so much more. So get closer to the subject, notice carefully and take the best patterns, study them, and voila! Pattern shots also create an amazing photo frame material if you want it in your home. Click here to see some photo frames for reference.
A FEW POINTS TO REMEMBER :
While approaching a subject, we should not forget the basic ethics of wildlife photography. The distance between us and the subject should be within its comfort zone. We should always let the natural flow of their lives unaltered.
Now, coming to the most important part - Post Processing.
Post Processing changes the game hugely. You might have taken a random shot and converted it into a whole new perspective while in post-processing. The most common mistake still remains an unreal background blur. Experienced photographers clearly understand artificial blurring and its intensity. Don't just take the slider to the extreme right! Gradually change and evaluate the outcome. The next thing to maintain is proper cropping. If you are into patterns your original image should be closer enough not to give pixelations while cropping. If you are into fine arts, the most approached and liked images are BnW, minimal and motion blurs. The challenge is to balance the exposure in the habitat shot. The subject remains in a very minimal area of the photograph and hence, proper balancing of the exposure, haze, contrast, and artificially added gradients while in post-processing is of top priority.
So there goes my short observation & opinion. Would love to hear out yours!!