A Level Photography essay

Topics: Photography, Shutter speed, Photograph Pages: 5 (1929 words) Published: January 8, 2014
For my Unit 3, I will be studying Wildlife photography. This topic greatly appeals to me and I find the concept very interesting. It links in well with my summer task and I would like to expand the focus by photographing other animals. The topic is very broad and I would like to produce an in depth study of it, however it could be quite hard to complete due to not having access to seeing many animals and so I must visit the zoo. Doing this could also have setbacks such as cages, high walls and whether the animals will actually be out and not hiding at the back or in huts. I would like to accomplish similar photographs to Nick Brandt who captures detail on South African animals very well. This topic would mostly mean using a shallow depth of field to try and concentrate on the subject matter (the animal) which helps make it stand out. To get interesting photographs I may have to have the animals doing something exciting which may be hard for me to capture if the animals are in the zoo. Therefore I seek to try and work around it by looking at events and feeding times at the zoo. I may also want to take photographs of different pets, which would require me to talk to friends or relatives to see if they have any pets which they wouldn’t mind me photographing. I have chosen this topic as it’s something that greatly interests me and I believe that if I am able to find everything I require, I could come out with some good results. Nick Brandt was born in 1966 and raised in London, England, and studied Painting, and then Film at St. Martins School of Art. He focuses on the wildlife in East Africa and only captures photographs in Black and White. He started his photographic project in 2000, where he embarked on creating a trilogy of books to memorize the vanishing natural grandeur of East Africa. These books consist of photographs of animals in dramatic landscapes. In 2010 he also set up the Big Life Foundation in response to the increase in poaching in Africa. I have selected Nick Brandt as his work is interesting, in the way that he is able to create these dramatic moods in the photographs.

Above Figure 1 – Ranger with Tusks of Elephant One of my favourite photographs by Nick Brandt is figure 1. While it does not contain any animals, it brings out his message to try and stop poachers. The lighting really appeals to me as he has used it in a very dramatic way. It starts out lighter at the back and gets darker around the top and slightly to the sides. This has formed a dramatic use of the clouds at the top. The simplicity of the photograph also appeals to me, as there is not much going on so it is easy to focus on the photograph and what it means. The way he shoots in black and white also affects how dramatic the photograph actually is. If this were in colour, I doubt the same effect would be shown.

Above Figure 2 – Elephant with exploding dust Figure 2 shows another remarkable photograph by Nick Brandt in which we can see an elephant throwing sand at itself. He has managed to capture the photograph just after the sand has hit the elephant. This would have required a fast shutter speed to make sure that he is able to freeze the motion and not get any blur in the photograph. Again, what really attracts me is the dramatic lighting. In this photograph it looks like the elephant has been put on a spotlight as the sky has been blackened either in development process or after scanning the image onto a computer and then editing it in Photoshop. I find Nick Brandt’s work to be very inspirational as instead of using a telephoto lens to capture his photographs; he puts his life on the line in some cases and is able to get up closer to the animal with fixed lenses. He uses fixed lenses because he believes that being close to the animals make a huge...
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