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  • Writer's pictureRowena Mynott

Wildlife Photography: Capturing The Beauty of Nature and Connecting with the Wild

By Rowena Mynott

There is something deeply enriching about surrounding ourselves in the wilderness and observing its inhabitants in their natural environment. In our fast-paced, technology-driven world, though, it is easy to lose touch with the beauty of the wild that is just outside our door. Wildlife photography is not only an art form but a powerful tool that enables us to forge a strong connection with nature and its inhabitants and therefore establish a more meaningful bond with the natural world.

Image: Rowena Mynott

Photographing nature is a passion that runs deep within me as it allows me to combine my love for photography and my fascination with the natural world. Ever since picking up my great Aunties Box Brownie camera at 7 years old and venturing out to shoot her backyard chickens I have been obsessed. Through the lens of my camera, I become immersed in the enchanting beauty of the animal kingdom. It serves as a window into the secret lives of animals and the moments I capture through my lens, reveal the essence of wildlife, their behaviours, and their habitats. It's a privilege to witness animals in their natural environment and for me to be accepted there.

This is part of the allure of wildlife photography. Wether we are trying to capture a vibrant, fluttering butterfly in our back garden, or a regal lion prowling the African savannah. The thrill of anticipating and capturing these fleeting moments fuels the passion of wildlife photographers, driving us to keep returning for the perfect shot. In fact wildlife photographer Alan McFadyen spent 6 years (more precisely, that’s 4,200 hours and over 720,000 shots) to get his famed, perfectly timed image of a kingfisher the split second before its beak broke the waters surface in a headlong dive.

Image: Alan McFadyen

There are many unexpected benefits too. Wildlife photography encourages me to be patient and present in the moment. Unlike other genres of photography, capturing wildlife requires waiting and observing quietly, becoming attuned to the rhythms of the natural world. In this process, I've learned the art of stillness and the importance of being in harmony with my surroundings. Such mindfulness heightens my appreciation for nature's intricate details: the rustling of leaves, the sound of a distant bird song, and the rippling of light on water. These experiences connect me to nature on a deeper level where I become not just an observer but part of it. I am compelled to look closely, to really see textures of fur, the specific angle of a sharks fin and the intricate colours of an insect. I have spent many hours whilst scuba diving patiently waiting for a tiny mantis shrimp to pop its head out of its rocky home, or for a vibrant Spanish dancer to begin its flamenco dance. Photographers may not make the best dive buddies!!

Image: Rowena Mynott

Moreover, and most importantly, wildlife photography allows me to become an advocate for conservation. By documenting the magnificent creatures that inhabit our planet, I am increasingly aware of the urgent need to protect their habitats and preserve biodiversity. The photographs I capture serve as powerful tools to inspire others, hopefully stirring emotions and prompting action to safeguard our natural heritage. By sharing these images, I hope to foster a sense of responsibility and awe for the wild, encouraging people to join the effort in protecting and restoring fragile ecosystems.

Finally, wildlife photography grants me an escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life. It's a therapeutic experience that rejuvenates my soul and reaffirms my place in the universe. The harmony and beauty I encounter in the wild reminds me of the interconnectedness of all living things, grounding me and reminding me of what truly matters in life.

Image: Rowena Mynott

At the end of the day, wildlife photography is more than just a hobby; it's a way of life for me. It enriches my existence by deepening my bond with nature, teaching me invaluable life lessons, and offering a platform to raise awareness about conservation. The pursuit of capturing wildlife through the lens of my camera has transformed my views of the world and my role in preserving its wonders for generations to come.


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