What I really like about the wildlife photography of Gerry van der Walt is, that it is straight forward, and has something of documentary quality. And if you browse through Gerrys portfolio, especially what he calls “African moments”, you know what I am talking about. A so called documentary moment is really hard to capture with a photo camera, but Gerry does it: His Africa pictures do not only look like Africa, they smell and sound like it, too!
But have a look yourself, here is the interview and all links to Gerrys websites.
Wildnis Fotograf Gerry van der Walt macht grossartige Fotos der Fauna Afrikas, und was ich besonders mag, sind seine Landschaften mit Tieren darin. Das sieht nicht nur aus wie Afrika, das riecht auch fast so. Deshalb denke ich, dass seine Fotos eine gewisse dokumentarische Qualität aufweisen – eine Eigenschaft, die ich als extrem schwierig einzufangen finde.
aber lest im Interview, was Gerry über seine Fotografie zu sagen hat.
Q: What is your photo equipment, and what is the reason for Canon or Nikon?
A: I am originally a Nikon shooter and the only reason for that is that when I bought my first DSLR, the NikoN D70, it was the cheapest one in the store! From then you start adding lenses and other accessories which makes it very difficult to change your system later on. These days I shoot both Nikon and Canon as when I lead photo safaris I need to be able to assist clients regardless of what brand they use. I personally feel that the brand debate is old and tired and the make of camera you shoot with has nothing to do with the quality of images that you produce. The camera is simply a tool that you, as the photographer, uses to express your vision.
Q: What are your lenses?
A: For most photo safaris I will pack my bag with:
- Nikon 14-24mm or Canon 16-35mm
- Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8
- Nikon 200-400mm f/4
The destination we are heading to will however greatly determine the type of gear I take along. Southern African destinations do not require as long focal lengths as East Africa so this will be one of the deciding factors. Recently I have been shooting with the Canon 14mm quite a bit and it is a mind-blowing wide angle especially for star and night time photography.
Q. What is your favorite lense, and why?
A: If I had to choose only one I would have to go with a 70-200mm f/2.8. It is always the first lens I pack regardless of destination. The focal range can be use to create anything from tight portraits to landscape images. Very handy lens!!
Q: What is your favorite place for wildlife photography in Africa/the rest of the world, and why?
A: Kenya has to be my favourite destination in Africa. The diversity of parks and animals is quite amazing. In specific lay I have had a bit of an obsession about Amboseli the last while. The park is pretty small but defines what makes Africa so special! Later this year I will be travelling to Svalbard to photograph polar bears so I am quite excited about that but Africa will always be in my soul.
Q: What is your current project you are working on?
A: I am currently busy focusing on Wild Eye, my company which offers photographic safaris, workshops and courses, and building the business up so right now there is not too much time for other projects.
Q: What is a dream project for you in the future?
A: I have a few of those but the one that is right at the top of the list is to do a visual documentary on the various parks in East Africa. The combination of photography and video will make for a very powerful exhibition and showcase the deeper and lesser known aspects one of the world’s greatest wildlife and photographic destinations.
Q: what are your concerns for the future regarding protecting the African wildlife and national parks?
A: Rhino poaching is obviously something that is in the news and a major concern as far as the natural heritage of Africa is concerned. I’m not sure anybody las the answer but it is imperative that, as wildlife photographers, we keep on showing the world the beauty of nature. Perhaps, even if in s avery small way, this will educate people and show them a world that we do not want to loose.
Q: What do you try to achieve with your photography?
A: Apart from showcasing the beauty of nature and sharing my passion for the wild places of Africa I always try and teach and educate people as to how they can improve their own photography. Too many photographers out there have a holier-than-thou attitude and do not want to share their knowledge which I think is very sad and short sighted. The more people we can introduce to the wonderful world of wildlife photography the better as it will make more people share images and the passion that we have for nature.
Q: Do you consider yourself being an artist?
A: Yes. I believe that any person that picks up a camera and creates an image is an artist.
Find Gerry van der Walt on the web: