What makes a great nature photographer? Equipment? Technique? Knowledge of the natural world? All this and more as we discover from a conversation with Scott Portelli.
A review of just a small number of the awards won by Scott positions him as one of the world’s leading nature photographers: the prestigious Natural History Museum’s International Wildlife Photographer of the Year in 2016, national winner of the Sony World Photography Awards 2016, and Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year 2021, to mention only three.
So, what is it that makes a great nature photograph? Looking at Scott’s images, one of the answers is ‘nuance’ – or as Scott describes it, “the essence of natural behaviour.” His photos aren’t just correctly exposed and accurately focused. Nor is it the beautiful light or the artful composition he employs – there’s something more. And that ‘something’ comes from years of working in the field, learning about the subjects he photographs and, most importantly, being aware of what is happening within the viewfinder as he searches for the ‘decisive moment’.
Explains Scott, “I often have a concept or idea in mind when I am looking to create an image that is different or thought-provoking. Executing these ideas can sometimes involve quite a high degree of difficulty."
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