Wildlife and Water

Here we go again. This month’s theme for the competition is wildlife and water. Whereto from here? What do I think about how the living world engages with water? What exactly constitutes a good representation of Wildlife and Water?

Is it a bird flying over the ocean?

Or a battle for territory on the rocks beside it?

Would an Eagle fishing over a fresh water lake do the trick?

Or would it be better to put the bird with its prey solidly (?) fluidly in the water?

Could the subject be small and the water distant? Why is a tortoise making tracks by the sea anyway?

Does a sunbaked hippo show its need for a muddy bath? Especially because there is no water there?

Should feathers touch?

Or show their immaculate colours after a bath?

Should the water be big and the wild subdued to a small tame spot?

Or would a smudged blue background be water enough?

Do creatures from the deep surface into our world with cold gold eyes and no colour to the water at all?

Is a bluebottle still wild if its life is not sustained by the shallow layer of water it is in?

Is the quiet of a crocodile with a dragonfly on its brow visible to all?

Wildlife in motion

When faced with a brief like this, and you have to pick a single photograph, what do you look for in your portfolio?

Is it the young juvenile Pale Chanting Goshawk in Kgalagadi showing each feather in motion?

Would you consider the local cape gulls cracking open their mussels?

There is always that marsh harrier feeding its juvenile a mouse high up in the sky.

So many times I have photographed a bird with something in its beak as being interesting. But is an elephant eating considered to be ‘in motion’ and note worthy, or do the mammals have to run and fight to get recognised?

Is an insect a wildlife? Is the bee wolf heavily setting off with its recently stung prey fully in motion?

What I have come to realise is that I have examples of individual species living in their movement, but with it being a collective title: “wildlife in motion,” those huge migrations are more likely to be the sought after thing. Hordes of animals trying to cross a crocodile infested river? A blur of juicy impala streaking away from three young cheetah. Monarch butterflies. Raptors flying over a narrow strip of land crossing from Russia into Africa. I’ll get to those still. But not today. Today I’m still trying to pick one.