PhotoTalk – Wildlife; Kester Clarke and Kwesi Isles

First in the PhotoTalk series.

PhotoTalk 2020/01


I’ve always admired those folks who do wildlife photography, in Guyana its mostly Bird Photography, but they do get in quite a bit of wildlife too. For local art competitions and exhibitions its been hard for these photos to break into the top where they are considered art.

My view on this has always been that the photographers approach has a lot to do with it. Many Bird Photographers are concentrating on catching the Bird, whether at rest or in flight, its not an easy task to get a great shot of the bird; what results most times are what I consider Bird Portraits, again, excellent work, but often not considered “art” by many.

I was discussing this with an artist and one of the things I came away from that conversation with was that the resulting photographs often lacked other compositional elements related to “story-telling”.

I wanted to mention two “Bird” photographs that, in my opinion, broke through that barrier and by themselves speak volumes. Kester Clarke’s image gives not only action in a still frame, but also offers drama, the shallow depth of field, the sharp details in the birds with the bit of motion blur on the wings makes it an instant pleaser. Kwesi Isles’ image uses subtle background detail with sharp foreground detail in the “post” to add to the main subject in flight, putting it in greyscale lets the viewer see all of this while being undistracted by colour, I haven’t seen the coloured version, but I believe that the background colour would have diminished the clarity seen in the black and white version.

Just my two cents. 

Thanks Kester and Kwesi!

Michael C. Lam

Originally published on the Guyana Photographers’ Facebook page on March 25th, 2020. Comments can be seen there on the post.

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