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B E


What challenges/projects top your list? I want to see more of the world. My next destination is Iceland. I am struck by the stark natural and unspoiled beauty of the place. Besides, I’ve never been there.


I began as a wildlife photographer, almost entirely, and I want to expand myself more into landscapes. While most of the same rules apply to all forms of photography I find landscapes can stretch my abilities in a different way than wildlife. Having said that, I really do love being around animals and will never cease doing animal photography.


How could future technology advance photography? Technologically, advances in lenses and in cameras will make it possible to capture even better quality wildlife images in difficult conditions. For instance, due to the expanded light sensitivity of digital sensors, it is now possible to obtain good images in far less light than was possible just a few years ago.


What equipment do you consider essential? A good tripod is the one piece of equipment that one cannot do without, particularly when shooting landscapes. A cheap tripod is a bad place to economize.


Are there any innovations you would recommend? I don’t have any specific recommendations. Many manufacturers produce great cameras and there is an endless supply of software to choose from. My best advice is to try before you buy to see what fits ones requirements.


Is it timing, patience, experience or technology that plays the greatest role in capturing the best images? I think the answer to this question depends on the subject. With wildlife I think empathy is of prime importance. My goal is always to show the animal as a sentient being and to show that sentience in a photograph one must feel it in the field. I don’t think a non-emotional photographer can capture emotion in an image as well as a photographer who “feels” as well as sees his/her subject.


With landscapes, patience is particularly important. Too many people see an enticing subject and immediately begin shooting. For me, it is important to take a bit of time to “take in” the atmosphere. I wander around and try to decide what it is that drew me to the subject.


Next, I try to find the best vantage point that will allow me to capture the essence of the place. There are certainly times when I just can’t make it happen photographically and simply enjoy with my eyes alone.


Who do you admire professionally? I have a very good friend, Rod Barbee, whose work I greatly admire. There are many better known photographers in the world but, in my opinion, none with a better eye for an image. He is a reminder to me that great talent and humility are not mutually exclusive.


How do you hope your work is remembered? I suppose that I would like to be remembered as a photographer whose emotional attachment to his subject was reflected in his images. If my images have value beyond a “pretty picture” I hope it is to aid in the recognition that the natural world is a wondrous place and that we all bear personal responsibility for its preservation.


How has nature influenced your values and ideals? I have never been entirely comfortable in a city. I am most relaxed when I am in the midst of a more natural environment. I cherish every moment that I can spend listening to a waterfall or watching an animal prowl the forest. It is grounding and it reminds me of what is important to me. How many more “things” do I need as opposed to how many more places can I experience?


I am concerned that so much of what I find so vital in my life is at risk. Each day more natural environment is lost and it worries me that not enough is being done to preserve it.


Debate seems to replace action and inaction becomes the norm. I watch this take place every day in the United States. People must be made to realize that environmental preservation is not simply a term but is a necessity.


I believe that time is running out. I do what I can in my own small way by helping wildlife conservation groups with donated images. When I have any kind of forum at all I speak my mind. I wish more people were listening.


What is the personal message you get from a conversation with mother nature? In a word, solace. I am never more at peace than when I am alone in a natural place or when I can look into the eyes of a wild animal.


Where can people learn more and purchase your work? Visit my website www.richardbadgerphoto.com


INSPIRATION


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