Capturing the Wild: Celebrating the Top Wildlife Photographers
In the realm of wildlife photography, where patience, skill, and a deep connection to the natural world are essential, there are those who rise above the rest to create extraordinary visual narratives. In this blog, we embark on a thrilling journey through the untamed wilderness, guided by the lens of the three exceptional photographers who stood out as the best in our recent wildlife photo contest.
I am a conservation scientist, drone pilot and an avid wildlife photographer based out of Gauteng, South Africa. I completed my formal training in 2007 as a nature conservation student in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, whereafter I conducted a postgraduate study on the vulnerable African Grass Owl on the Highveld of South Africa. I am currently employed by a non-profit conservation organization, where my primary role is to study novel ways in which wildlife can be protected from power line electrocutions and collisions. My employer is a registered remotely piloted aircraft operator in South Africa and, as a holder of a remote pilot license,Ialso pilot unmanned aerial vehicles for various conservation missions. My love for wildlife photography blossomed in the Kgalagadi and has since been nurtured by a passion for birding, scuba diving and various other outdoor hobbies I share with my wife.
You can take a look to my work in my Instagram!
About my journey:
I grew up in Tanzania. My dad was a missionary farmer from Florida who went to Tanzania to help with agriculture. My mom was the photographer and taught me how to use the dark room she had assembled. I learned from her about how to capture beauty, and the pleasure of capturing a moment of meaning in time.
I eventually ended up, going to medical school and becoming a radiologist. Now I work with pictures every day, except they are pictures of the insides of people. Each set of images tells a story. I think of each case almost like a short Sherlock Holmes story. Using clues, training, and the images, I tell a story with each report.
When we moved to Alaska, eight years ago, I jumped back into my love of photography. I have worked at my craft, gradually improving. I have learned from other photographers and from people who enjoy my pictures. Our trip to Antarctica was especially helpful as there were National Geographic photographers on board who taught classes in photography. We even had the opportunity to present our images and have them critique our work. I consider myself still very much an amateur.
Antarctica was an amazing experience. To see, pristine, landscapes untouched by men, to learn about the most remote continent on earth, and to experience such wealth of wildlife was truly wonderful. I attempted with my pictures to capture some of that wild, inspiring journey. That has become my tagline, joy in the journey, #joyinthejourney.
Alaska is an amazing state. From the arctic ocean, to the southern Alaskan coasts. The wild life of bears and moose, eagles and whales, are extraordinary. It has truly been a wonderful journey trying to capture its beauty. Landscape and wildlife photography are my favorite.
Photography reminds me to look at things from a different perspective, to remember there is meaning in the every day, and that it takes skill to capture a moment with beauty and grace.
Visit my website to know more about me!
Jean-Simon Bégin is a professional painter and wildlife photographer from Quebec City. Active in these two disciplines for more than 15 years, he has participated in some sixty solo or group exhibitions and has received more than fifty awards in Canada and internationally. He is considered one of the most influential photographers in Canada. In 2022, he was named Canadian Wildlife Photographer of the Year by Canadian Geographic.
To date, over 1250 paintings and photographs bearing his signature have been acquired from collectors. A permanent artist with two prestigious Quebec gallery owners for several years, he launched his independent career in 2019 and inaugurated his studio-gallery. That same year, he founded a publishing house, Ookpik, to publish his first photographic art book, Contemplation, about Quebec wildlife in the winter context. The book sold over 2000 copies in less than two years. Solstice will follow in 2021, a monumental 300-page book illustrating the story of the longest sunny day of the year. The artist is currently working on his third book which will be about Nunavik.
Jean-Simon reaches tens of millions of subscribers annually through his various platforms. He acts as a content creator and shares all of his adventures free of charge to the greatest number of people.
With his work, he tries to raise awareness and educate the population about the fragility of biodiversity and the importance of saving it.
Visit www.jeansimonbegin.com to see more of his work.
This has been an amazing contest, more than 300 photographs participate, from mammals to birds, from the cold of Antartic to the humid forest of Congo. Some photos in black and white, some other in full color.
To know more about our open contests click here!