Wildlife photography is the genre of photography concerned with the documenting of wildlife in their natural habitat, Orana Wildlife Park in Christchurch is New Zealand’s only open range zoo. Visiting Orana Park therefore offers a unique opportunity for the self-assignment of exercising your photography skills because in the wild animals are difficult to approach, predicting their actions is hit and miss, whereas the animals at Orana Park are not perturbed when viewed from quite close up and because there are mostly no bars or cages so capturing great images of them in interesting situations just takes a little patience to be in the right place at the right time.
Orana gallery self-assignment
The photographs I take at Orana Park using specialised equipment;
- long focal length image stabilised lenses, which allow me to get a tighter image filling the frame with my subjects,
- a polarising filter, to darken and saturate the colour of skies and clouds, manage reflections and suppress glare bouncing off feathers, fur, leaves, grass and the surface of water,
- a monopod or tripod,
and an eye for interesting situations to capture in photography.
Taking a photo, freezing a moment in time, reveals how intensely interesting and amazing reality truly is.
The practice of self-assignment can be one of a photographer’s most useful exercises. It is a highly personal experience in which the photographer becomes his own audience—there is no client to please, no specific requirements by which the photographs will be judged. Many professionals use the self-assignment to break away from a specialized area in which they normally work; it is a tool that they use to keep from getting stale. My self assignments are structured, serving as a way to test my abilities should I ever be offered that “dream” assignment. Whichever the case, this is an opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them. Some good images may be captured in the bargain, but the purpose behind any such practice is to move beyond the ordinary, to break the photographic cliché.
Type, image, message – combining type and image for dynamic effect
The creative integration of type and image in this self-assigned ‘Orana Gallery’ wildlife poster format, the convergence and the opposition of type and imagery, this is the basis of compelling design. Combining type and wildlife images for dynamic effect to create tension and meaning in design in simple visual terms, this is a celebration of joining the forces of words and pictures given open range.
Photographer: Shaun Waugh