January 27, 2014
In our Spotlight feature, we ask our members some questions to learn more about what inspires their photography, the processes they use to make images, and the stories behind their favorite pictures.
Q: What’s the story behind this photo?
A: It had been a dream of mine to go to South Georgia and Antarctica for the last 30 years, since I first graduated as a zoologist.
Late last year this dream came true when I spent nearly three weeks traveling with my partner, Heather (who was just completing a degree in conservation and wildlife biology), from the tip of South America to the Falklands to South Georgia, then to the Antarctic Peninsula and back to South America.
This photo was taken on the plains of Stromness, South Georgia, and interestingly it really didn’t work at all in full color; however, when I desaturated it, it seemed to come alive.
Q: What do you like to take pictures of and why?
A: Wildlife, because the natural world is so truly amazing, and photography encourages me to step away from the daily grind and go outdoors, slow down, and just absorb what is going on.
Additionally, whilst a great photo is a rare thing (well, for me anyway), I find it deeply satisfying just to try to capture something wonderful, and when I do, to share it with others.
Q: Are you a self-taught photographer? If not, how did you learn to shoot?
A: I am a self-taught photographer and have learnt to shoot by:
a) Reading a lot
b) Practicing a lot
c) Reviewing what I have taken as soon as possible, so I can see what I did well and what I didn’t and figure out why whatever happened did (good or bad), and so what I need to do next time
d) Making sure I have a few friends that I trust who will give me absolutely candid feedback on my shots
Q: What was the first photo you took? Or the first photo you took that was meaningful to you?
A: The first photo I took that was really meaningful to me was one of my mum when we went on a driving holiday around the South Island of New Zealand with my partner and her mum.
To me the photo captured not only the memory of a great time I had with her, but also the spirit of the lady. She was over 70 at the time, and the photo shows her standing on top of a boulder, in the rain, after having walked six kilometers to the bottom of a glacier in the pouring rain.
Q: Are you currently working on any long-term photography projects?
A: Two at the moment: a night photography collection and a portfolio of animal close-ups using a shallow depth of field. I’m hoping to have this finished in about four years, but in all honesty, I’ll probably never really finish adding photos to these projects.
See more of Douglas’s images in his Your Shot gallery.
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