Reading along in photo-forums, one soon realizes what really matters in the realm of wildlife-photography: long focal length, large aperture, preferably light and cheap. The typical photographer taking pictures of wild animals might want to do this from a safe distance, on the one hand not to disturb the animals and on the other hand not to get eaten or trampled. What happens, however, if a photographer turns this whole concept of wildlife-photography upside down, by using a wide angle lens and shooting pictures at close range? As Anup Shah demonstrates with his book Serengeti Spy, the result of this is a kind of street photography in the wilderness with the potential to revolutionize the genre.
How do you succeed in getting close to the animals without scaring them away or ending up on the menu? For this purpose, Shah constructed a special device which allows him to operate the camera (pan, zoom, focus, etc.) out of the safety of his off-road vehicle. Before the camera can be called into action at all, motifs need to be found. Not an easy task, considering the vast extent of the Serengeti. As soon as a promising site is spotted, extensive waiting is the order of the day. An effort not to be underestimated, which, in the end, more than paid off in view of the breathtaking photos.
More on his creation process can be found in the interview with AmericanPhotomag. It’s a must read!