I guess you could say my introduction and interest in photography came about more from my lifelong interest in wildlife than the other way around. Although always having been passively interested in photography from an early age, it was not until maybe six or seven years ago that my interest turned into a serious passion. This can be attributed to the instant gratification that digital photography presented combined with my desire to capture the sights and scenes of my outdoor wildlife encounters.
My initial introduction to wildlife was through hunting not photography. As a lifelong hunter and falconer I found myself suspended between the paradoxical situation of respecting, understanding and conserving wildlife while at the same time hunting and using that wildlife. Being self-taught as a photographer, I’d have to say my strengths in capturing a good image comes about more from my skills and field craft as a hunter than technical expertise as a photographer. This being said, the challenge of capturing that magical moment with a wild animal motivates me to learn my equipment and settings, as I dread wasting one of those once in a lifetime opportunities through being ill prepared.
I appreciate many forms of photography but have a passion for wildlife, birds in flight and birds of prey in particular. There is something about the predatory process of search, locate, attack and consume that fascinates me today as it did 40 years ago as a kid. My inspiration comes from viewing other photographers work. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to live in and travel to different places over the years in order to photograph wildlife, helped in part by sales from my work.
Wildlife photography is in some ways very similar to that of hunting, not only in learning the field craft and understanding your subject but particularly when comparing the conduct, ethics and behavior of hunters in the field. Just like hunting the conduct of photographers in the field sheds a spotlight on wildlife photography and how the general public and fellow photographers perceive it. It was not until the past few years when I began to immerse myself into wildlife photography that I began to learn of the negative press some photographers are drawing due to their actions in the field both in disrespect for private property and in disturbing or stressing the subjects in their natural habitat.
In recent years I have chosen to take my camera into the field instead of my bow or my falcons. I still get a similar sense of connection with nature and learning about my subject, developing skills and knowledge about their movements, behaviors and natural habits that has enabled me to get up close and personal to capture a good natural image and experience those unique often intimate moments. Aside from a genuine interest in my subjects, it is this challenge that drives me to travel distant places, get up at some unearthly time of day, spend many hours searching for my subject or enduring the harsh elements of the weather just to capture that image.
All Photographs Are © Mark Williams
Mark Williams Photographer Bio
Mark Williams emigrated from the UK to Canada in 1991 with his wife Ruth and young family where he spent over two decades enjoying the great outdoors and photographing its wildlife. Recently Mark and his wife have moved to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates as part of a career change, and attracted by the opportunity to use Dubai as a base to travel to new places on that side of the world and capture new images in a different light. He has always had an interest in the outdoors and its wildlife and nature and has since spent most of his life actively experiencing it. His travels have taken him to various parts of North and South America including Alaska, Galapagos, Belize, Ecuador, the Amazon as well as Europe, and South Africa. Mark is excited to be planning his latest 3-week adventure to the island of Madagascar which by the time this goes to print he will have completed.
Mark’s work has been published in various books and magazines and even record albums. More recently Mark has started to enter the occasional photographic competition and he has been awarded honorable mentions in both Canadian Geographic and Smithsonian Institute photographic competitions.
Blog / Website: Mark Williams Photographer