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Why do we do it? Personal contemplation on motives behind the wildlife photography

This article is my personal dive into behavioral and emotional roots that might lie in the background of our drive to do this thing called wildlife photography. This might be very different for different people but this is how I perceive it in my occasional contemplations of deeper impulses, motivations and meaning behind the craft of wildlife photography (and urge to do it and persevere in the face of numerous challenges it brings).

I will be following a path of quote by Christian Bouche-Villeneuve a.k.a. Chris Marker:

“Photography is a kind of hunting. It is the hunting instinct without the desire to kill. It is for angels… You stalk, you aim, you shoot, and click! Instead of killing something, you have made it eternal.”

Word instinct is spot on! It rings with mighty clarity and it fully encompasses the essence of what it is that we do when we “perform” our craft of wildlife photography. It appeals to something ancient and primitive in us, an urge that needs to be satisfied. Behaviorally, it simulates ancient behavior (hunting, exploration,...) that echoes our evolutionary past and in doing that we find a sense of fulfillment and purpose. It’s been passed down the tree of life through millennia of generations, sealed deep in our genes. Apparent result isn’t the same but the process is; being out in the nature, giving ourselves to to the mercy of the elements but spiting it nevertheless, planning the approach, stalking, waiting, the allure of the great beyond and the adventure of what is yet to reveal itself, the eternal suspense and unquenchable thirst for the next best shot, for making a ghostly moment eternal. It requires understanding, sharpening our senses, testing the boundaries of our physical and mental endurance, immense patience and persistence, resulting in utmost respect and awe with the wild.

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