What is it with photographers as all I ever see is pictures of elephants, buffalo, lions, leopards, cheetah, hyenas’, wild dog etc? Why do they never show the common species and more importantly the smaller more interesting stuff? (You have to agree that some of the antelope species are extremely photogenic!) It is also no wonder that when people visit a reserve and don’t manage to find these animals that they say they saw nothing! I must admit that I do see a few pictures of giraffe and zebra surreptitiously tucked within their postings but normally only if it is draped by an African sunset or sunrise.
Feeling somewhat unsure of myself about knocking photographers I have just rechecked a number of well known photographers’ sites and guess what? I am right! They all focus on the big and hairy! The photographers that I am referring to are all professionals and I suppose that those pictures sell trips and not the ubiquitous impala, kudu etc.
So what crawled up my nose, tugged on the cockroach in my brain, and prompted me to write this somewhat belittling blog? I suppose it’s because game reserves and every living (and not living) thing within them are linked and it is not only the predators that are important. How long would a predator last without prey? How important, yet photographically unattractive, is a cadaver beetle or blow fly?
My background is in conservation and training so a trip around a reserve without sightings of predators is extremely rewarding as everything that my eyes happen to focus on has a meaning and a purpose so I try to link them or place them within the ‘web’ that all reserves have. Nothing in any wild space is there as a free loader or there with no important function to serve – except man of course.
I admit that I do get lots of pleasure looking at the professional photographers’ sites and fully understand their motives, but feel that these could be enhanced by a few pics of the more common stuff. Just a thought – cockroach freed!
Nigel Anderson – Guide for African Insight
Email: HYPERLINK “mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”
Photographs: Rainer Holterhoff