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Not my words, as you'll understand from the quotation marks, but those of a professional photographer: Steve Bloom. I'm the latest convert to his work. All thanks to an outdoor exhibition of huge prints of his work in a park in Stavanger.
They were also showing a film with excerpts from an interview they did with him, interspersed with bits of documentary film about the pro at work. His wildlife photos are stunning - and different from many wildlife photos I had seen up to now. I knew his swimming elephant (without knowing it was his), but as it turns out, he has many more unusual and stunning wildlife photos.
Steve seems to have a way to evoke emotions about animals. And he does that on purpose. He says that his purpose is to "convey the sentient nature of animals. I'm trying to blur the lines between them and us." Well, it works for me - I felt a connection with the animals on his photos.
He doesn't always follow the (un)written rules of wildlife photography, something that made me smile - I couldn't help but think that some of his photos might not have gained a lot of votes if he had uploaded them to EPZ. I mean, he has photos in which there is nothing sharp at all - nothing!. And shots where the background isn't blurred. Unusual crops. And I could go on. But the images work!
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that he didn't have a background in photography. I suppose that enabled him to start out as a photographer with his own fresh look on things. And he has an unbridled passion for what he does, and for the subjects he shoots. That's bound to give his images power. He says: "Every single image means so much to me. I'm driven by emotion and I always shoot from the heart."
And in doing so, he's also touched my heart. I'm already looking at the whole subject of wildlife differently than before.