Expert Interview Series: Wedding and Food Photographer - Daniel Krieger

by Meera 26. July 2013 09:50

We were chuffed to get an opportunity to interview Daniel Krieger, an award winning photographer based in New York City. He recently won an award for the Best Wedding Photography Blog by the Wedding Channel and named as one of New York City's the best Wedding Photographers according to Time Out New York. He is also a regular freelancer for the New York Times.

You can find him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook . For more of his work, you can visit his website: http://www.danielkrieger.com and www.nycfoodphotographer.com

Photo Credit: Daniel Krieger

1.If you were to introduce yourself to me in an elevator, what would you say in 30 seconds about yourself and your work (no more than two lines)?

I'm a professional photographer and I work my ass off almost everyday, dedicating myself to my craft.  If I had a theme song it'd be Rick Ross - Hustlin'.

 

Photo Credit: Daniel Krieger

2. On your websites: http://www.danielkrieger.com and www.nycfoodphotographer.com, I noticed that you take amazing photographs in different categories.  How would you describe your photography style?

Perfect moments in photography happen through experience and just being there taking photos... luck doesn't hurt either.

 

Photo Credit: Daniel Krieger

3. What was your first professional break to get you started as a photographer?

Photographing for a small local paper called The Brooklyn Paper. The editor told me that I was going to get big and leave him for a larger publication… I told him I wouldn't. He was right.

Photo Credit: Daniel Krieger

4. You mentioned that you travel to different parts of the world for weddings and photo shoots. Which has been the best wedding destination in terms of getting the perfect photograph shots?

I shot a wedding in Mexico on a private island that was pretty perfect... I also travelled to India to shoot a wedding which was an amazing experience. I love Indian weddings, the colours and traditions involved are so detailed and photograph beautifully.

 

Photo Credit: Daniel Krieger

5. You are currently shooting photos for the New York Times. What is about New York that really inspired you to take the photographs that you do?

The history and status of the Times pushes you to work really hard and take your work seriously... I recently watched a biography on Bill Cunningham, a man who has dedicated his life to photography and fashion… all at the Times. I felt so removed and far away from what he's done while watching the movie, but at the end realized we work for the same publication, and felt a sense of pride in that.

 

Photo Credit: Daniel Krieger

6. Finally, what advice would you give to readers who may be considering moving into photography professionally?

It can be a wonderfully rewarding profession but its damn hard work. Be prepared to outwork and out-hustle almost anyone you know if you want to be successful and keep moving up. It's not like a 9-5 day job or even an 8-6 day job where you can kinda shut it off on the weekend or when you get home. I used to be the lazy one out of my friends in high school, now I work harder than almost anyone I know!!

More photographs by Daniel Krieger

Tags:

Expert Interview Series

Winners of the Printerpix Summer Days Photography Competition

by Meera 5. July 2013 12:39

Congratulations to all the winners of the Printerpix Summer Days Photography Competition!!

 

In 1st place, the winner was (prize: £200 worth of Printerpix goodies): Vicki Mather

 

2nd Place (prize: £100 worth of Printerpix goodies): Angelo Defensor

 

The Runners Up: (prize: 16"x12" photo canvas)

Andrea Obzerova

Emma Rhodes

Ewan Jamieson

Joe Limbu

Julia Plant

 

Martin Blow

Toni Manning

Naomi Moorhouse

 Neil Hedge

Stewart Campbell

Wendy Chadwick

 Be on the look out for more photography competitions coming your way.

 

Tags:

Expert Interview Series: Landscape Photographer - Brian Cormack

by Meera 18. June 2013 12:53

This week we have the pleasure of speaking to Brian Cormack, a landscape photographer, from Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. You can find more information about him here and you can follow him on Twitter: @cormackphotos.

For those readers who may not have seen your work, can you give us a brief introduction to yourself and what you do?

Photo Credit: Brian Cormack

I am a landscape photographer living in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA.  My photos have been shown in galleries across the state of Arkansas, and have been used by several museums in the US.  I've had photos published in several publications, and have had photos used by agencies varying from the Little Rock Film Festival to the National Park Service. 

What’s your inspiration to take the photographs that you shoot?

Photo Credit: Brian Cormack

I love being able to hike and camp, and photography is a perfect excuse to get out into the woods to explore.  The wilderness of Arkansas isn't as famous as some of the landscape destinations of the US.  But while the vistas and views aren't as dramatic as those in the western states, the ones here are much more smaller and intimate.  You can visit a great waterfall without any other hikers or photographers around, or visit areas that few other people have ever visited.  There are many great places that are just a short drive away from home, so it's inspiring to see how they can change with different seasons and conditions. 

When you first started off in photography, what challenges did you face? How would you advise others to overcome a similar situation?

Photo Credit: Brian Cormack

When I first started photography, I had no clue what I was doing.  I had a relative who taught me how to develop film, and from there I went out as often as I could manage to photograph anything and everything I could.  It ranged from trips into the Ozark Mountains, or any urban landscapes around my hometown of Little Rock.  The best advice I could offer, for anyone just starting out, is to get out and take as many photos as you can.  This is much easier now with digital photography (I shudder to think how much I spent getting film developed).  When out in the field, take as many pictures as you can, change your exposures, compositions, your point of view.  Don't just take a few photos and be done with it.  Explore more and find the best composition.  

What is the best part of being a photographer?

Photo Credit: Brian Cormack

Photography has allowed me to visit some beautiful places.  Besides visiting several amazing vistas and waterfalls in my home state, I've been able to travel to some amazing places in the US and in Europe.  Even if the photos don't turn out, I'm thankful that I've had a camera with me to help document everything.  

What advice would you give to readers who may be considering moving into photography professionally?

Photo Credit: Brian Cormack

I'm not quite a professional yet, since I have still have to go into my day job.  But one thing that has helped me to sell photos has been to put my photos out in many different outlets.  Last year, I was contacted by a company who wanted to purchase the rights to a few photos I posted onto Flickr for use in their advertising.  It helps to get your work out there to as many people as possible, it's amazing how people will find your work.  But the best thing to do would be to get out and shoot, and built up a good portfolio of a varying set of shots.  Even if the photos don't sell, it was still worth a hike into the woods, or a trip out with the camera!

Photo Credit: Brian Cormack

Tags:

Expert Interview Series

Expert Interview Series: Interview with photography enthusiast, Bob Towery

by Meera 7. June 2013 10:04

 

Working in the software industry by day; photography by night - this week, we interview Bob Towery to share his experience on how his hobby, photography, earns him some income.

Photo Credit: "Street Kiss" by Bob Towery 

1.If you were introducing yourself to me in an elevator, what would you say in 30 seconds about yourself and what you do (no more than two lines)?

My day job is in the software industry, photography is my artistic outlet.

2. Which genre of photography do you find most fascinating to photograph and why?

My favorite kind of photography at the moment is street photography. Really anything with people is interesting to me.

 

Photo Credit: "Street smile" by Bob Towery 

3. What is the best part of being a photographer?

Having fun with other photographers!

4.Even though photography is just a hobby for you, you still manage to earn some money from it. How did you market yourself and get leads / jobs in the early days?

I took pictures, printed them and gave them to people. Word spread and I got hired for various types of work.

5. What advice would you give to readers who may be considering moving into photography professionally?

Don't do it for the money. 

6. Finally, in terms of online, are there any websites, blogs or people on Twitter you'd recommend to readers who are trying to learn more about photography or perhaps take it up as a career?

Sure, stevehuffphoto.com, luminous-landscape.com, fredmiranda.com, dpreview.com

Photo Credit: "Chair" by Bob Towery 

You can read Bob's blog: www.dreamtomorrowblog.com to read more on his amazing work.

Tags:

Photo competitions: How to improve your chances of winning

by Meera 29. May 2013 12:19

Source

Photo competitions are by their very nature subjective. Judges, who are people with their own preferences and biases, compare one image to another and decide, often with very few guidelines, that one is better than the other. Still, the subjectivity of judges does not mean their decisions are completely baseless. There are certain things they look for, particular criteria that they expect the winning photographs to meet. By taking the best photograph you can and submitting it, you improve your chances of winning drastically.

Getting the shot

Source

The first step to winning a photography competition is snapping a great photograph. Below are some tips and techniques that will take your photographs from fun snapshots to outstanding works of art.

Don’t be afraid to get messy

Source

A great photo will be taken from an unusual angle, a time of day when the light is softer, or during moody weather. If you are willing to go out rain or shine, roll around in the mud and get really uncomfortable just to get the perfect shot, that determination will show.

Be aware of what the camera captures

Source

Make sure that the only things in the shot are the things you want in the shot. Check that no one is picking their nose in the background of your crowd photograph or that a pylon isn’t peeking in at the side of your nature shot – unless it adds a sense of humour and story that takes the photograph to an interesting new level.

Always be a photographer

Source

Take your camera with you everywhere, and always take photographs. You will be able to capture unexpected moments, unusual subjects or uncommon perspectives, and these are the creative elements that judges look for. Don’t worry about whether or not there is a competition running that you can submit to. Just take a great photo now, and find the competitions later.

Avoid overly trendy shots

Source

It’s not that trends are by definition bad; it’s more that if you submit a photograph of the same subject or using the same technique as many other photographers, your photograph will have trouble standing out.

Try to develop a personal, original style

Source

This can only be done with practice, but if you can create your own style, you’ll stand a better chance of making an impact on the judges.

Monochrome does not equal art

Source

Monochromatic photographs work because the lack of colour means the viewer has to concentrate on the content of the image. Unfortunately, not all images are bold enough to make a big statement when converted to black-and-white. If you are going to submit a black-and-white image, make sure the intended effect is in fact happening.

Submitting the photograph

Once you have got all the great shots you want, you will need to select the very best image in your set. These tips will help you figure out which photos are potential winners and which ones might be best left behind.

Weed out poor quality images


Source

Don’t submit anything that is out of focus, poorly lit or unintentionally blurry. These are often pulled out before judges see them, and even if they aren’t taken out, they simply aren’t going to win. After all, photo competitions are about photo quality, not about subjects.

Look at your photographs in a group

Source

It is harder to pick out the best photographs when you just look at them one at a time. Judges will look at all the photographs in large groups, selecting the ones that stand out for their shortlists. If you do the same when selecting which shot to submit, you have a better chance of picking one that grabs judges’ attention.

Get that wow factor

Source

Gather a group of people who you can trust to be brutally honest about your work. If when they look at an image, they all say ‘wow’, you know you’ve got an eye-catching shot on your hands. And that is what judges are looking for

Think of the little things

Source

Consider whether or not everything about your image just right. Could the cropping be tighter? Should the image be shifted just a bit to the left? Was there a bit of dust on the lens? These are the subtle little things that separate great photographs from standard shots, and they could make all the difference.

Check out past winner

Source

Competitions will change judges, and judges will change what exactly they look for in an outstanding photograph, but it still remains true that the best way to figure out what kind of photograph will win this year is to look at past winners. Compare your work to former champions, and you should be able to get an idea of which of your shots will be most successful.

Enter into the right category, in the right format, at the right time

Source

You can take the world’s best photograph of a bird in a tree, but if you submit it to the lizard category, it won’t win. Similarly, many people miss out their chance to win just by submitting their photo in the wrong file upload size or print size. And it almost goes without saying that you must have it submitted by the deadline.


If you keep these tips in mind, you should be able to find more success in the photograph competitions you enter.

Having read this, why not participate in our latest photography competition: Summer Days

Tags: , , ,

Competition | Hints and Tips

"SUMMER DAYS" Photography Competition: This competition is now closed!

by Meera 20. May 2013 16:34

A beautiful summer afternoon inspires poetry, lyrics and above all photography. Capturing that perfect moment on a camera is a great way of expressing how you are feeling at that particular moment in time. Why not share those beautiful moments with Printerpix in a photography competition. Whether you are a novice at photography or a master of photography, we would love to see those nostalgic photographs of fun-filled days, beautiful scenery, a sun-kissed rose or any other summery photographs.

We’re giving away:

1st place - £200 worth of Printerpix goodies

2nd place - £100 worth of Printerpix goodies

10 runners-up - 16” x 12” canvas print

Who can enter?

The competition is free to enter, and open to all in the UK.

How to enter:

To enter, email your photograph to makeithappen@printerpix.co.uk by 11.59pm on Sunday 9th of June, 2013. 

Enter "SUMMER DAYS" in the subject line and confirm your registered email address.

Terms & Conditions:

1. The competition closes 23:59 pm on Sunday 9th June 2013.

2. To enter the competition you must: (a) be a UK resident, (b) have a registered UK account with Printerpix, (c) email your photo to makeithappen@printerpix.co.uk between Thursday 23rd May and Sunday 9th June. Enter "SUMMER DAYS" in the subject line and confirm your registered email address.

3. The prizes are (first place) £200 worth of Printerpix products, (second place) £100 worth of Printerpix products, (10 runner up prizes) 1 Printerpix 16” x 12” Photo Canvas per runner up.

4. Only 1 entry per person is allowed. No entrant may win more than one prize.

5. There are no cash alternatives to the prizes.

6. No purchase is necessary to enter the competition: it costs nothing to register an account with Printerpix UK.

7. By submitting a creation as an entry in our competition you undertake that: (a) it is your original work; (b) it is not a copy of any other work (or any part of another work); (c) it is not infringing of anyone’s rights; and (d) anyone depicted in it has consented (or, where the person depicted is a minor, their parent/guardian has consented) to that depiction, and to the usage of the creation referred to in these Terms and Conditions - see, in particular, Clause 16 below.

8. Winners will be notified within 28 days from the closing date. The winner, second place and runners-up will be selected by a panel of judges comprising 2 Printerpix photographers and one independent judge. Each creation will be judged against the following criteria: (a) Creativity, (b) Memorable Photos, (c) Story Telling. Each of these 3 criteria will be afforded the same weighting by the judges, who will give each creation a mark out of 5 for each of the criteria. In the event of a tie, the judges will assess which creation will produce the best quality print.

9. The Winner, second place and runners-up will be notified within 28 days after the closing date (that is, by 7th July 2013) (each a "Prize Notification").

10. If any of them (or someone to whom a further Prize Notification is sent under this Clause 10) does not accept his/her prize by contacting Printerpix at the email address specified in his/her Prize Notification (a “Prize Acceptance”) within 14 days of receipt of the Prize Notification, he/she will forfeit the prize and the participant with the next highest marked entry promoted to that position by means of a Prize Notification.

11. Following Prize Acceptance, the prize value will be emailed (By way of e-voucher) to the winner’s and second placed participant’s registered email address, and he/she will be able to select the Printerpix products that they want to the value of their respective prizes.

12. Our competitions are not open to employees of Synchronized Communications or its affiliated companies, their families, agents or anyone professionally connected with the competition.

13. Promoter: Printerpix UK, Unit 5 Stonefield Way, South Ruislip, Middlesex HA4 0JS.

14. Participation in this competition signifies acceptance of these terms and conditions.

15.The Promoter will use any data submitted by entrants only for the purposes of running the competition, unless otherwise stated in the entry details. By entering this competition, all entrants consent to the use of their personal data by the Promoter for the purposes of this competition and any other purposes to which the entrant has consented.

16. Winners of the competition have to consent to their creation being featured on the Printerpix website and in emails, if the winner does not give consent the next participant will be promoted to the winning position.

17. The Promoter may (in its absolute discretion) feature all or part of the creations of the winner, second place and runners-up on the Printerpix website and in emails to Printerpix members together with their name and geographical area; by participating in the competition, you consent to all of this.

18. To obtain details of the winners or the judges, please email makeithappen@printerpix.co.uk stating the name of the competition in the subject heading 28 days after the closing date.

Good Luck!

We are listed with:
 
 
For hints and tips on what you need to do for a photography competition, read our post on Photo competitions: How to improve your chances of winning.
 
This competition is now closed. Thanks for your participation.

Tags:

Expert Interview Series: Landscape and Wedding Photographer, Paul Macro

by Meera 16. May 2013 09:46

This week we get to speak to Paul Macro, a professional photographer based in Norfolk, England who has a passion for landscape and wedding and lifestyle photography, amongst other areas of photography. Today he tells us his story on how he got into professional photography.

 

Photo Credit: Paul Macro

1.For those readers who may not have seen your work, can you give us a brief introduction to yourself and what you do?

 Well, born in the 70’s is all I will give away about my age.  I am a Self Employed Norfolk based Wedding, Lifestyle, Commercial and Landscape Photographer who sort of fell into photography almost by accident about 4 years ago.  I borrowed my Dad’s camera to capture the Wedding of two friends in Tuscany.  I was there with them and many of their Family and friends for a week allowing me to produce a photographic diary of their time, and on return to the UK had so many comments about the images that I decided that maybe it could be something I could take further.  It took another two years from there to really get to a point where I felt comfortable to take it to the next level.

 

Photo Credit: Paul Macro

2. I have seen that you have an interest in different areas of photography. How would you describe your photography style?

Yes, you are right.  To be honest there is not really anything I don’t enjoy photographing.  Everyone's style is their own and if I were to describe it in one word it would be ‘Artistic’ I was always interested in art at school and like to try and use this through my photography.  It is proof that you should always work hard in your school days as you never know when it may come back to assist you in your work.  Mine took almost 20 years.

Photo Credit: Paul Macro

Photo Credit: Paul Macro

Photo Credit: Paul Macro

3. Weddings contain special moments like one that you only have a second or two to recognise and capture. To what extent can you prepare yourself to capture moments like this?

This is too true.  It is something you learn as you progress.  Often it is about using your ears, I know that might sound an odd thing to say because you of course see images with your eyes.  The service and speeches are a good example of this.  Listen out for what's being said and you can anticipate reactions from people, which often give the best images as they are natural and more often than not they won’t even know they are being photographed at that time.  This is particularly true for the speeches.  It is always the reactions by those listening that make the best photos.  Other than that it’s just about always being ready.  Every Wedding is of course different, but there will always be those moments that you must be ready for.

Photo Credit: Paul Macro

4. What was your first professional break to get you started as a photographer?

I am not sure there is a particular moment that got me started.  The Wedding in Tuscany was what set me on the road to where I am now.  There have been a lot of moments along my journey that have made me very proud though.  The first time I saw one of my images being used on the cover of a magazine was a truly lovely moment.  Twitter has actually been a huge help for me, I have made some amazing contacts through here that have lead on to work I simply wouldn’t have got without it.  And of course from each job you do there will always be the potential for something else to come from it.  It really is like a snowball effect.  There are a lot of photographers out there, you won’t become a Professional Photographer overnight so be patient.

 

Photo Credit: Paul Macro

5. Finally, in terms of online, are there any websites, blogs or people on Twitter you’d recommend to readers who are trying to learn more about photography or perhaps take it up as a career?

My first advice would be to use Facebook, Twitter and Flickr as a source of information.  ‘Like’ and ‘follow’ as many photography related pages and companies that you can find.  If they turn out not to be of use you can always delete them later on.  Use # searches on Twitter to find local groups and clubs that you may be able to join for help and advice.  Flickr is a great place for this too as there are 100’s if not 1000’s of locally related groups.  You can of course follow me @camrovision and search for Camrovision Photography on Facebook.  I actually split my Facebook pages into one for Weddings & Lifestyle and another for my landscape images.  Feel free to ‘like’ my pages on there as you will be more than welcome.  I am planning on adding tips and advice to help everyone take better photos over the coming months.  You can also find some very helpful advice and tutorials on you tube.  Gavin Hoey is one that I remember finding and he has some great videos.

Some more images by Paul Macro

Tags:

Expert Interview Series

Expert Interview Series: Taking Photographs for a Good Cause

by Meera 9. May 2013 10:50

This week we speak to Lynn Foggon, who takes photographs as a hobby and for a good cause where she is involved in a Children's Charity, Pathways 4 All. 

1. For those readers who may not have seen your work, can you give us a brief introduction to yourself and what you do?

My main job would be full time Carer for my husband and mother of three monkeys aged 12, 3 and 1. 

Photography is something I started at school and have always enjoyed, more recently it became more about giving me something to do that was just for me! A hobby that could involve my family but also give me a bit of time to myself every now and then. I love photographing nature, scenery and people in natural surroundings. 

 

Photo credit: Lynn Foggon

 2. What’s your inspiration to take the photographs that you take?

Colour, children, happiness, light, I love being able to capture a Moment in time and save it forever!  I regularly take photos for a children's centre my son attends called pathways4all, it's a charity for children with additional needs, I've photographed some beautiful children at the centre over the last year.  I love natural photography, I don't do posed or staged shots, I just photograph a moment as it happens. 

 

Photo credit: Lynn Foggon

3. What is the best part of being a photographer?

People allow you into their lives, you can give people amazing memories to treasure in picture form, taking a photo of someone is such a personal thing.  

Capturing nature, colour and our whole world in one second  is something only a photographer can do, it's a real joy! 

 

Photo credit: Lynn Foggon

4. I have seen some fantastic nature shots on your Facebook page. How do you plan these shots?

To be honest there's no planning involved, I take a photo as I see it there and then!  All of the shots are just things I've come across while out and about with the children. 

 

Photo credit: Lynn Foggon

5. Finally, what advice would you give to readers who may be considering moving into photography professionally?

I'd encourage anyone to take up photography if they had an interest, as for professional photography, I can't really advise, I've had the opportunity to do it professionally and decided that I like it as a hobby where I choose what to photograph and when. 

Photo credit: Lynn Foggon "This is my 365 project from last year (2012)  :)"

You can follow her on Twitter and check out her photos on Facebook

Tags:

Expert Interview Series

Interview with Dr. Munir Virani on Wildlife Photography and Raptors

by Meera 25. April 2013 14:01

Dr Munir Virani has been researching on birds of prey for the last two decades. Munir is the Program Director for Africa and South Asia for The Peregrine Fund and a Research Associate at the National Museums of Kenya. He has published over a 100 popular and scientific articles and was awarded the Aga Khan Award for Excellence in 2002 for his work on vultures in South Asia. He also won the Twende Africa Photographer of the Year award in 2007. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Raptor Research Foundation and is on the Editorial Board of Swara and Ostrich (The African Journal of Ornithology). He is passionate about photography and his images can be viewed on www.munirvirani.com. He has also spoken on TED.com about his love for vultures. He lives in Nairobi with his wife and two sons and loves playing squash and cricket. 

Today, he gives us an exclusive interview on wildlife photography and his love for raptors.

 
Photo Credit: Munir Virani

1. Share with us something interesting about you?

I grew up eating, sleeping and breathing cricket and would play with my brothers and friends at every opportunity I got. When I was selected in the squad to represent Kenya in the 1990 Associate World Cup in Holland, I was forced to choose between cricket and academics. My Dean at the University of Nairobi made the choice for me and I will always be indebted to him. Naturally, academics took precedence over cricket. Over the last two decades, I have developed as a scientist who loves being outdoors and working with nature and wildlife. I have my wife Zahra to thank because she encouraged and stood by me over this period. I have a very strong passion for birds of prey (raptors) and wildlife photography. I find every excuse under the sun to explore the outdoors and watch and photograph raptors. I don’t think I could ever be a golfer because I would simply stop and watch birds in the sky. I am one of those people who have multiple talents (singing, cricket, squash, musical instruments, writing, photography and acting) but find it hard to stay focused on just one. I have genuinely felt that I am an artist trapped in a scientist’s body and feel very fortunate that I can approach my work more in an artistic fashion than as a scientist.

2. What type of camera do you shoot with?

I started with a Pentax, and then moved to Canon but have now settled for a Nikon D300 and have a Nikon 300mm F2.8 that I sometimes use with a Nikon 1.7 Converter. 

3. How would you describe your photography style?

I’d like to think that I am a versatile photographer. I am not tunnelled to wildlife only as I like shooting abstracts and people. I would say that my photography style ranges from being rapaciously vivid to unassumingly unctuous. More importantly, I aspire to take photographs that portray a message. Each image should speak for itself and therefore “less is more”. That’s my philosophy. I love shooting birds in flight and could wait hours before one takes off just to get the wing-patterns in motion. I also like dabbling with Black and White because it just has an alluring perspective altogether. I especially like converting elephant shots into Black and White. I am not an expert by any means and have so much more to learn.

Photo Credit: Munir Virani

 

Photo Credit: Munir Virani

4. There are lots of wildlife shots that a photographer can take. What’s your inspiration to take the wildlife photographs that you take?

Birds of prey are charismatic, glamorous and very sexy. There is something inherently mysterious and mesmerising when watching a hawk or an eagle bob its head and focus on its prey. On take off, a bird of prey uses a lot of muscles and energy. There is something hypnotic about watching flight feathers and wings at full stretch, or watching a Cheetah coil like a spring when it’s chasing a Gazelle. Predators have always caught the attention of man. They are revered and respected and watching an eagle or a falcon come down full stoop and grabbing prey inspires me a lot. They are the epitome of perfection, grace and athleticism. In many ways, man strives to be like these predators but we have ended up extirpating them. 

Photo Credit: Munir Virani

5. Could you tell us what was one of your most dangerous shots when taking a photograph in the wild?

In 1993, when I was young and naïve, I spent that entire year conducting research on the endemic and endangered Sokoke Scops Owl in Kenya’s Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. My work involved radio-tracking these birds at night. The forest has always had a healthy population of elephants. One early morning as I was leaving the forest, I heard sounds of some branches being broken and I got very excited. I walked with my camera in hand for about half a kilometre and as I turned a corner, I saw a herd of about 30 elephants walking towards me. I stood head on with my camera to click away as that was the first time I had seen them in that forest. Suddenly, I realized that my zoom lens was far too close to focus and as I lifted my head to observe them, the elephant leading the herd was within ten feet of me. My heart was thumping as I stood there motionless with camera in hand. There was a cold chill down my spine and yet, I felt calm and at ease. Then, the elephant stopped, raised its trunk and made the loudest trumpeting sound I ever heard. I thought that was going to be the end of me as I had heard stories about people being trampled by elephants. And then, within a fraction of a second, the elephants bolted into the thickets of the forest probably uprooting a tree or two. Whilst I felt a huge adrenalin rush, I had realized that I was irresponsible and foolish. Elephants have my utmost respect as do all wildlife. There have also been times when I have walked into wild tigers in the forests of Bandhavgarh National Park (India), and a pride of lions in Kenya’s Tsavo West National Park, but the elephant encounter was without a doubt, the most exhilarating if also dangerous.

Photo Credit: Munir Virani

6. How did you develop an interest in raptor photography?

I think those two words were mutually exclusive before they came back together. At university, my dad bought me my very first camera – a Pentax, which I cherish even to this day. I was inspired into photography by my very good friends Hitesh Mehta and Dr. Patrick Benson, both of whom are first class photographers. One evening at a slide presentation at a friend’s house, I showed 36 slides to friends about my trip to Lamu in coastal Kenya. Hitesh Mehta ordered me to throw 35 of them into a bin and said that the one he allowed barely made it. I was completely distraught and shattered. I had turned red with embarrassment and anger. Humans don’t take well to criticism. But I learned a very important lesson that evening.  I was inspired to improve my skills and I am thankful to Hitesh for doing that. I learned to take criticism positively and my photography got better. I got interested in raptors when I was taken “under the wing” of The Peregrine Fund in the early 1990s to train as a raptor biologist under the legendary raptor expert and guru Simon Thomsett. Simon injected me with one lethal dose of his passion for raptors and I became an addict. My research work enabled me to travel to some very exciting and fascinating places and I am very fortunate to see so many types of raptors so it was only a matter of time that I became hooked on raptor photography.

 
 
Photo Credit: Munir Virani

7.How high have you gone to take a photograph of a raptor?

About six years ago, I got a call from my friend Rob, who worked with an NGO. He said “Munir, you better get here as soon as you can, I am looking at a falcon at the top of the Kenyatta Conference Centre.” The KICC is an iconic 18 storey building located in the heart of Nairobi. I rushed there with my colleague Simon, camera on my back, only to find that the elevators had a very long queue. Simon winked at me and I knew that this meant only one thing! We were going to go all the way up by stairs. So off we went, panting and puffing and by the time I reached the 18th floor, my tongue was hanging out of my mouth. It was quite a comical sight but as I stared at the balcony from the 18th floor, I forgot everything and we saw a resplendent Lanner Falcon with two cute little chicks. It was most amazing to see this fantastic bird-predator over looking the city. I took many pictures and the climb up to the top was certainly worth it! There is also a massive cliff plateau in the heart of Bandhavgarh National Park from where we walk and climb through tiger-infested terrain to take pictures of vultures and peregrines.

8. You did interesting research on vultures – would you be able to tell us more about the project and an interesting encounter you faced while taking your photographs? 

Vulture populations have plummeted across the globe. In Africa, efforts to conserve these highly specialized and threatened scavengers have met with limited success and are fraught with challenges. Our research has shown that vultures forage over vast areas, spanning multiple countries in the course of a single year.  Their extensive movements coupled with communal feeding means that a single poisoned carcass in an area the size of Spain could have a regional impact on vulture populations.  High mortality rates are compounded by the fact that vultures have one of the slowest breeding rates of any birds so even small population declines require decades to recover. In south Asia we discovered that a pain killing drug called diclofenac was responsible for the catastrophic collapse of 99% of three species of vultures within a span of two decades. Fortunately, the governments of India, Nepal and Pakistan banned this drug in 2006 and now we are starting to see populations stabilize in areas where they had been extirpated. 

I must add that I am extremely fortunate and privileged to be working for The Peregrine Fund, a world class organisation. We are a hands-on bunch that have been around since 1970 and we pride ourselves in getting the work done. From restoring Peregrine Falcons and Californian Condors in the USA to identifying the cause of catastrophic declines in South Asian Vulture populations. I could not wish for a better organisation to work for.

There have been very many interesting encounters whilst photographing vultures, but the most memorable one took place in Bandhavgarh National Park. I was there with my colleague Dr Patrick Benson and we had to walk to one particular location to count vulture nests and photograph the cliffs where they nested on. As we walked to our census point, we saw numerous fresh tiger tracks along the way and my heart was racing quite fast. Finally from our point as we were recording numbers of nests, there was a gargantuan growl, and from the back of a huge boulder about 6 metres away, this massive tiger simply got up, stretched, and stared at us (we were in complete shock!) and sauntered down the hill into oblivion. I think words simply cannot describe how we were all dumbfounded by that experience which will forever be etched in my mind. 

Photo Credit: Munir Virani

9. What advice could you give to someone who wants to get in to wildlife photography?

The most important aspect to remember when you want to get into wildlife photography is that “the animal comes first”. You must never compromise the vitality or the behaviour of any wildlife subject to “get the perfect shot”. It is extremely important to understand the behaviour of the animals that you want to photograph. Patience is key! I would encourage budding photographers to spend as much time in the outdoors as they can. Also interacting and asking lots of questions to other established photographers really helps. Never be afraid of experimenting with different light settings, and never be discouraged by criticism of your shots! In fact, use the criticism as a tool to improve your photographic skills. You also need to be organized from keeping your equipment clean, to archiving and showcasing your images. A good camera and lens always helps!

 

Photo Credit: Munir Virani

10. Are there any photography blogs or websites that you follow?

Paolo Torchio www.paolotorchio.net and Federico Veronesi www.federicoveronesi.com are two photographers based in Kenya who are extremely talented wildlife photographers and I have learned a lot from them. 

You can check his video on Ted on “Why I love vultures?

Source 

You can also visit his Notes from the Field site on The Peregrine Fund: http://blogs.peregrinefund.org/author/46

A collection of Munir's Photographs:

 

 

All the photographs on this interview are courtesy of Munir Virani.

Tags:

Expert Interview Series

Sunshine Poetry Competition and Some Cool Reviews!

by Neeru 24. April 2013 10:10

We would like to introduce our new poetry competition: Sunshine. Whether you are a budding poet, experienced pro, or simply enjoy poetry, we want to hear from you!

What we are looking for:

Anything based on ‘Sunshine’ is acceptable as long as you can create some warmth and comfort to all those who read your poem.

It can be written in any style, in no more than 45 lines and must be 100% original.

When you enter the Printerpix poetry competition, you stand a chance of winning an Amazon voucher worth $100! And a 20"x 16" canvas!

To enter, email: feedback@printerpix.com with a poem that you’ve written by 09.00 am on Friday, 24th May 2013. Winners will be revealed Monday, 27th May 2013. Please mark the subject of your email with: Poetry Competition.

The Rules:

• Poetry theme: Sunshine

• Open to all those living in USA/UK/Europe

• No entry fee

• Must be the original work of the entrant

• No more than 45 lines

• Poems must be in English

• Deadline: 09.00 am on Friday, 24th May 2013. Winners will be revealed Monday, 27th May 2013.

Printerpix Reviews

To help you get to know our company a little better here are some great customer reviews to reveal the high quality product you will receive from us. We have two main company websites that exist both in the UK and US.


Good luck we look forward to reading your entries!

Competition update: We have finally selected a winner:

Tracy Davidson 

Memories of Childhood Summers

 

Funny Feet ice cream 

and Mini-Milk’s melting 

over sandy fingers. 

 

Buckets and spades 

and being too timid to ride 

the poor old donkeys. 

 

School holidays spent  

outdoors playing in the streets 

with nothing to fear. 

 

Pre-video games, 

pre-Walkmans, pre-mobiles, 

just pro-fun and games: 

 

Cowboys & Indians, 

Zombie Tag, May I, Statues, 

When Susie Was A Baby...

 

Riding our bikes, 

wobbling on new roller skates, 

climbing trees. 

 

Watching TV on rainy days: 

Why Don’t You, Mr Benn, The Red 

Hand Gang, Littlest Hobo...

 

Picnics packed 

in Tupperware, picking the sand 

from our sandwiches. 

 

Catching chickenpox 

from my cousin, one summer spent

covered in Calamine. 

 

Fetes and carnivals, winning 

goldfish that only lived a week, 

the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

 

Fragments of memories 

of summers long gone, but always 

remembered - and treasured.    

 

We chose this poem because of the high level of creativity and it just made us smile. 

We received an overwhelming amount of entries, choosing a winner was difficult, thank you everyone for taking part.

Tags:

Competitions

We're on Pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest

Printerpix on Twitter

About Printerpix

Printerpix is one of the fastest growing photo stores online. We enable you to design and print your most important memories, in the most beautiful ways, at the best prices.