Hunter or Gatherer?

[vision_content_box style="teal-grey" title="Hunter or Gatherer? • Article by David Hay"][vision_feature icon="fa-camera" icon_color="#82c982" icon_color_hover="#ffffff" bg_color_hover="#82c982" border_color="#82c982" border_width="2px" animate="in_from_top"]If we are hunters, then landscapes are our prey. David Hay dives into this comparison and elaborates on the strategies of photography[/vision_feature][/vision_content_box]

When we climbed down from the trees and set off across the plains of Africa on our hind legs, our tribal lifestyle was called hunter/gatherer. Most of our food, such as nuts, berries, fruit and roots, was gathered by industrious searching. However, hunters also went out to track and catch prey that added an occasional protein boost to the basic diet. Landscape photographers practice very similar strategies in their pursuit of the best photographs.

The hunters tend to be highly organised. They plan their photographic expeditions in considerable detail, well in advance. Maps are examined, weather forecasts checked, smartphone apps are consulted for the best sunrise/sunset positions and their gear is thoroughly analysed. Often the aim is to go and ’shoot’ a particular location, perhaps after seeing an image of that place online. The ‘aim’ is to produce a striking image of the ‘target’ and hope to ‘capture’ the essence of the place. These expeditions can require a long drive, often in the dark, to get within striking distance of the target before daybreak. Then there is a hike to the eventual location where the scene is captured with many different exposures, to allow for later blending or stitching to produce the highest quality final image.

When animal hunters capture their prey, they often mount the head on a plaque and hang it on the wall to let visitors see how successful they have been. Photographic hunters print their best captures and hang them on the wall in frames for the same reason.

Gatherers are less organised. They want to explore an area without pre-conceived notions of the pictures they will take...

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About Author

David Hay

I took up photography at the age of eleven and have been passionate about it ever since. As a retired biologist I still marvel at the beauty of the natural world and try and capture the colours and forms of natural things around me.

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