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Wide Wild World

Wide Wild World

The concept of portrayal of “living landscapes” through photography is both amazing and awe-inspiring, while narrating the varied tales of wild habitats that make it a haven for its inhabitants.

Landscape photography can be more than just a collection of pretty pictures. It can be a representation of an entire ecosystem, where life thrives and prospers under various conditions native to that habitat. By representing this life aesthetically in its habitat, we transform a landscape image into a ‘living landscape’.

One of the objectives of making living landscapes is to tell a story about the habitat, showcasing its beauty, while at the same time drawing the viewer’s attention to the life it holds within. Zooming out and isolating the wildlife hold equal importance in this genre of photography, thus positioning itself in between wildlife and landscape photography.

Wild habitats come in a diverse array of colours and shapes, and within each type of habitat there is a different adaptation of life unique to that terrain. A landscape comes to life when we successfully establish the subtle relation between the habitat and the life it holds in the image. An effective ‘living landscape’ has the power to tell an entire story about the animal and its surroundings in just one frame.

Blue sheep in Ladakh Canon EOS 40D Lens: EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Exposure: 1/1000 sec; f/5.6; ISO 100

Blue sheep in Ladakh Canon EOS 40D Lens: EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Exposure: 1/1000 sec; f/5.6; ISO 100

 

Mugger crocodile in Ranganathittu Canon EOS 40D Lens: EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Exposure: 1/2000 sec; f/7.1; ISO 400

Mugger crocodile in Ranganathittu Canon EOS 40D Lens: EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Exposure: 1/2000 sec; f/7.1; ISO 400

The main subject in the image is still the wildlife, but it is complemented by the rich textures and colours of its habitat. As a result it is important to pay attention to the placement of the wildlife in the frame, apart from other key elements of the landscape.

Crab in Baindur beach Canon EOS 40D Lens: 10-20mm Exposure: 1/50 sec; f/11; ISO 100

Crab in Baindur beach Canon EOS 40D Lens: 10-20mm Exposure: 1/50 sec; f/11; ISO 100

A landscape comes to life when we successfully establish the subtle relation between the habitat and the life it holds in the image. An effective ‘living landscape’ has the power to tell an entire story about the animal and its surroundings in just one frame.

Some tips to keep in mind when you make living landscapes:

  • It never hurts to zoom out or even use a wide angle lens when making wildlife images.
  • Always try to include as much of the habitat as possible in the frame.
  • Never have the wildlife occupy a major portion of the frame, but at the same time make sure it is isolated adequately so that it is not difficult to find.
  • The main subject in the image is still the wildlife, but it is complemented by the rich textures and colours of its habitat. As a result it is important to pay attention to the placement of the wildlife in the frame and compose the image like a landscape.
  • The usual rules of landscape photography still hold good in this type of photography.
  • It is not necessary to have the individual details of the wildlife element rendered in your image as long as the subject is evident and identifiable in the landscape.
  • Try to include the relationship between the habitat and the wildlife to convey the story of life in the habitat.

Cover photo: Elephants in Kaziranga


Read also: Junglimericks: In the Crazy Wilds of India


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About the Author /

Sriharsha Ganjam is a landscape photographer. Nature and its subjects have always held a deep-rooted fascination in his imagination and he tries to showcase the subtle relationships that exist in nature in his images. His first exposure to nature photography was during a Bandhavgarh trip in Dec 2007, and before he knew it, he was hooked onto nature photography undertaking more trips and buying even more equipment to satiate his new-found passion. Sriharsha is also a member of Landscape-Wizards.com

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