By Erin Reilly
It's a jungle out there and wildlife photographers are at the mercy of both their subjects and the surrounding elements. Capturing images of animals in their natural habitat takes extreme patience, skill and bravery. Photographers Paul Souders, David Fettes and Anup Shah have dedicated their careers to snapping photos of stunning wildlife and share their experiences from the field.
paul souders: polar bear
"Thirty miles from land, I spotted this female polar bear padding across the melting sea ice of Hudson Bay. She moved almost effortlessly from the ice into the sea water and back again. I was all alone in a small, inflatable boat, hoping to capture some image that showed her grace, strength and beauty, yet also captured the vulnerability that these animals face in a changing world. When she swam under an iceberg, I held my camera out at the end of a 6-foot long pole and shot blindly, just hoping to get something in focus. It was over a week later, on the long train ride back south when I had time to look through all the images I had shot that night, that I stumbled across this frame of her staring up at me from just beneath the water’s surface, and knew she’d given me something special." - Paul Souders
david fettes: African lion
“A small pride of lions was feeding on a Kudu carcass so I got out of my vehicle and crawled up to them. The lions moved around to the other side of the Kudu but carried on with their meal whilst keeping a somewhat aggressive eye on me. I loved the intensity of the unwavering eye contact with this adult female as she glared at me, twitching her tail in warning. It was a privilege, and surreal to be mere feet away from this meal." - David Fettes
anup shah: African elephant
"I have, and always have had, a love of wildlife and a love of photography. Growing up in Kenya, where wildlife was just outside the door in abundance, it was easy for it to imprint on the psyche of my impressionable mind. This picture exemplifies the strength and majesty of an elephant. This is a bull and he wanders alone, a misanthrope. You can say that I am not in charge of my subjects; instead, my subjects are in charge of me." - Anup Shah