Many consider a photograph a fixed moment, a flash frozen in time. But wildlife photography is far from still with wild dog hunts, leopard chases and kudu brawls, the wilderness is constantly on the move. Here are some of our favourite motion images from photographers speaking at this year’s Wild Shots Wildlife Photography Symposium. Wild Card members stand to qualify for a R400 discount.

This year’s Wild Shots conference brings together some of the best wildlife photographers in the world. As a preview of what’s to come, we’ve talked to some of this year’s presenters about one subject: movement in photography. Don’t miss their full presentations at the symposium itself, held on 22 October 2016 in Johannesburg and 29 October 2016 in Cape Town.

Taking flight

Photographer: Andrew Beck

“Photography is about telling a story in a single frame, and movement aids in directing the viewers through the scene. It also adds something ‘out of the ordinary’ to an extent. For this image I used a 400mm lens with a 2x converter to provide a focal length of 800mm. In order to capture the movement of the bee-eater coming in to land, I dialled down my ISO value to ISO 125 to make the camera less sensitive to light. I simultaneously stopped down my aperture value to f/11 to yield a shutter speed of 1/30 of a second. Using back button focus to anchor the focus on the static bird, I then released the AF button and waited for the second bird to fly into frame before releasing the shutter.”

Wild Shots 2016-Andrew Beck
Equipment: Canon 1DX, 400mm F2.8, 2x converter, 1/30 sec, f/11, ISO 125

After nine years of environmental and conservation studies and six years spent guiding safaris, Andrew Beck naturally developed a love for the wild. He is the founder of Wild-Eye, a company offering photographic safaris, equipment hire and camera training. “With every guided and photographic safari I undertake, my aim is to ignite the same passion for photography and conservation in others.” Andrew will be speaking on “The Photographic Journey” – how to progress your work to the next level.

The journey

Photographer: Andrew Aveley

“Having a still image can reflect many things, but adding motion helps to create mood, rhythm and tension within the photograph. The subject and the development process also play a vital role in this union. I used the Extreme panning technique here. You deliberately slow down the shutter speed to create a blurry motion of the subject when in motion itself.”

Wild Shots 2016-Andrew Aveley
Equipment: Canon 5D MK III, Canon 500mm F4 MK II, 1/10 Sec, f/32, ISO 50

Andrew Aveley is a passionate wildlife photographer based in South Africa. His work has been internationally recognized, and he now offers private photographic guiding as well as wildlife photographic exhibitions. “I am passionate about conservation and think photography is an important tool in adding to efforts to preserve our natural heritage for generations to come.” Andrew’s talk at Wild Shots is entitled ‘Black and White – the art of exposure’.

On the move

Photographer: Scott Ramsay

“I took these photos in Kaokoveld near Puros in northwest Namibia. These are the so-called desert elephants that roam the region. They were moving deceptively quickly. So that I was able to keep my distance (out of respect to the elephants), I photographed them with my 500mm and 400mm lenses from afar. Although they had plenty of space to walk around me, they continued to walks towards me, only diverting their course as they came within about 50 metres of me. I love the fact that they are walking, as if they are on an adventure that only they know about. Their movement across the barren, arid landscape also illustrates how Earth’s largest land mammal needs huge amounts of space and land to survive…especially in the Namib desert.”

Purros Conservancy in Kunene Region in Namibia. Desert-adapted elephants near the community of Purros.

Equipment: Canon EOS-1D, EF500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, 1/2000 sec, f/9.5, ISO 500

Scott Ramsay is a photographer and writer focused on exploring South Africa’s national parks and wilderness areas. He is set to release a new book, South Africa’s Wildest Places, featuring 30 of the country’s protected areas. “Through my photography, writing, books, blogging, social media and public talks, I hope to inspire you to travel to the continent’s national parks and nature reserves, so that you too can experience the power of African wilderness.” Scott’s talk is entitled “Wilderness matters – thoughts from five years in the wild.”

Caught in the act

Photographer: Albert Froneman

“Capturing birds in flight is a unique challenge. I strive to show the beauty of the bird as well as something about its behaviour. I photographed this African skimmer from a boat on the Okavango River in northern Botswana, where these birds nest and breed on sandbanks in the river. They skim the surface of the water in search of tiny minnows or invertebrates, mostly at night, but starting in the late afternoon. The sun was setting, which posed a challenge to maintain a fast shutter speed to still freeze the action. The photo was shot handheld using a 500mm f/4 lens – the handheld technique worked well as skimmers are fast, erratic flyers and following their flight movements can be very challenging. In order to freeze the movement of the bird I selected a fast shutter speed of 1/2000 of a second and an aperture of f/5.6.”

Wild Shots 2016-Albert Froneman
Equipment: Nikon D3S, 500mm lens, 1/2000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 720

Albert Froneman says he’s been interested in nature and especially birds ever since he can remember. He is a regular contributor to Wild and African Birdlife magazines and has won several awards. These days he is much sought after as a photo safari guide and for his insights into image processing and manipulation. Albert will be speaking on how to capture birds in action – a quest for that perfect shot.

Book your seat at Wild Shots

The Wild Shots Wildlife Photography Symposium takes place in Johannesburg on 22 October 2016 and Cape Town on 29 October 2016.

The first 20 valid Wild Card members to register will each receive a R400 discount on their delegate pass: 10 each in Johannesburg and Cape Town. To qualify for the discount, follow these steps:

  1. Register online for Wild Shots Wildlife Photography Symposium. Click on concession – R950.
  2. Send a copy of your ID or passport with your Wild Card number to [email protected] (subject line: Wild Card member) so your membership can be verified.
  3. Successful applicants will be notified and sent an invoice. Payment has to be settled in full within 14 days after registering or registration will automatically be cancelled.