Cute and Cuddly
For the most part people want to see photographs of animals that are pretty and show the animals at their best. The image of a koala comes to mind. We have all seen photographs of this adorable furry animal sitting calmly in the tree. Likewise, many of us have seen beautiful images of polar bears and other apex predators such as tigers and lions. If it has fur, big eyes and is cute and cuddly, then it's often loved and adored by the masses.
But, everything on planet Earth must eat, and unlike you and me (for the most part) who calmly purchase pre-packaged food and products from the supermarket or convenience store; most apex predators don't have this luxury. They must skillfully hunt and kill what they wish to eat - or die!
Often this spectacle of animal behaviour is not pretty. People watching from the sideline often barack for the small gazelle that is running blindly away from the pursuing lion, giving little thought that the lion must kill and feed on the gazelle if its life, and the lives of its cubs are to continue.
Image Left: 1st year polar bear cub checks out photographer.
Capturing the Images
Photographing such an event, whether it be a feeding frenzy underwater or a wolf killing and eating a elk, is always psychologically disturbing; the often cute and fuzzy image of an animal is transposed into an animal killing another to survive.
Image Left: 1st year baby cub makes its way through snow drift following mother.
It’s at this time that you must concentrate on acquiring the images with a steady hand and remove all emotion from the equation. Often photographers become so caught up in the moment emotionally that they cannot function as photographers; their images are blurry due to camera shake, poorly composed and often lack technical prowess. It takes considerable experience to turn off your emotions and capture the moment, but once you have mastered this skill, it becomes possible to photograph some amazing and spectacular events that are just as important as those cute and cuddly moments.
Why Am I Writing This?
So why I am writing this? Since posting the images in the thread below and syndicating the images worldwide, I have been sent several e-mails stating how unnecessary it is to photograph such animal behaviour. I am hoping this thread will explain the reasoning.
Click the appropiate file in the U-Tube player to see a short video.