Wildlife photography changes perspective

Noah Orloff

I take a silent deep breath as I look into my viewfinder — I am in the presence of a great horned owl, an apex predator that just landed on a perch in front of me. The adrenaline rush that proceeds, is characteristic of almost all of my wildlife encounters.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved to take pictures and play around with cameras. This past year, this hobby has crossed paths with nature and has become a strong passion of mine. I am a wildlife photographer, specializing in birds. I use Instagram as a platform to share my photos and find inspiration in the work of other photographers. 

There are many elements of wildlife photography that keep me coming back to wildlife. My time spent in nature serves as a hiatus from the chaos of life during high school. Being able to spend time with only wildlife around me can foster reflection and creativity. No distractions are around. Finding a composition that tells a story has been challenging but thought provoking nonetheless. 

My time in nature also has helped me work on my patience and persistence. I have found myself waiting for hours to find a subject that potentially may not even come. 

Wildlife photography has connected me with the nature that surrounds us. Many of my favorite images, including that of the great horned owl, were captured in my own backyard. My passion has reminded me that the Earth is precious and requires careful treatment in order to protect its inhabitants. Whenever I interact with wildlife I remember that our planet is not only our home, it is theirs as well. This truth has led me to work hard at maintaining an ethical relationship with wildlife and trying to make environmentally conscious decisions.  

Wildlife photography is one of many ways students can develop a bond with the outdoors. For some, this may be expressed through camping or hiking. No matter what it is, it can help to escape from the stresses of day-to-day life. After all, you don’t need to be an “outdoors” person to look outside and appreciate the brilliance of life.

Wildlife photography has connected me with a beauty that I never even knew existed. In most instances, I have found that amazing subjects are all around us but we must merely look to find them. Today, our task is ensuring it stays that way.