In a series of articles in our new ‘Nature’ section, award-winning nature photographers and authors will be sharing their knowledge and expertise with us on a monthly basis. We start this new adventure with Peter Cairns
Style is one of three words I have been pondering a lot recently. Anyone who knows me would contest that I am barely qualified even to discuss the subject. So, what is style? Who invented it and how do we create it?
Since the evolution of the digital camera and increasingly its extraordinary capabilities, the bar in the field of wildlife photography has been raised exponentially. As each day passes, that process marches on inexorably. Front-lit birds-on-a-stick, nice as they are, now is a bit passé with an increasingly sophisticated and discerning audience. The savvy wildlife snapper now has to look for something extra.
We all want to get our images seen, and more importantly, noticed by others, be it publishers, camera club judges or simply family and friends. The trouble is we are all image drunk. What knocked our socks off just a decade ago is all a bit matter-of-fact today. We need to develop our style and, to do that, thinking has to be fresh, boundaries have to be pushed and rules challenged. So what is style? To be honest, I have not got a clue and I am groping around in the photographic quagmire of uncertainty just as much as the next man. What I do know about style, however, is that you know it when you see it.
The second word I have been mulling around in the small hours is…