The Big Picture

Over the last year or so I’ve been making more of an effort to evolve my wildlife photography to show ‘the bigger picture’. I still like photographing portaits of wildlife and close-up abstracts but I find photographing a species in a more ‘contextual’ way to be a lot more interesting and rewarding.

Admittedly, when I first took up wildlife photography I would have been unsure when somebody talked about more ‘context’. Maybe we all have our own take on it, so here are a few examples of what it means to me:

  • Including a species’ habitat in the photograph;
  • Showing how species interact with each other, or relationships between different species;
  • The impact a species may have on its environment;
  • How environmental pressures can impact on different species.

These are very ‘ecological’ examples but I also think there can be an aesthetic element too:

  • Photographing a species against the backdrop of a landscape or an interesting sky;
  • Including colour, a sunrise or sunset or a backdrop of autumnal colours, for example.

Below are a few examples of photographs where I have chosen to make the species quite small in the frame so I could include the drama of the sky, sometimes to show our largest mammals are dwarfed by their surroundings. Or, to include as much as I can of the stunning colours of a sunset…

Giraffes, Masai Mara, Kenya.Giraffes, Masai Mara, Kenya.
Coke's Hartebeest, Masai Mara, Kenya.Coke’s Hartebeest, Masai Mara, Kenya
Lone female Elephant, Masai Mara, Kenya.Lone female Elephant, Masai Mara, Kenya.
Giraffe, Djuma Reserve, Sabi Sands, South AfricaGiraffe, Djuma Reserve, Sabi Sands, South Africa.


Topi Sunset, Masai Mara, Kenya.Topi Sunset, Masai Mara, Kenya.
Tawny Eagle, Talek, Masai Mara, Kenya.Tawny Eagle, Talek, Masai Mara, Kenya


Grey Herons, Djuma Reserve, Sabi Sands, South Africa.Grey Herons, Djuma Reserve, Sabi Sands, South Africa

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