There is no doubt that good close-up images of wildlife usually hold immediate impact: an ‘in your face’ type of instant appeal, but a picture which depicts the creature in its natural habitat often leads to a far more compelling image, with a deeper sense of meaning and longevity. Inspired by great wildlife artists such as the late Sir Peter Scott, I have always sought out these type of images, since my interest in wildlife photography first began some 25 years ago.
When the subject only takes up a small portion of the frame, composition can become a more creative experience. Frame filling portraits are relatively simple to compose as the background and foreground are usually rendered out of focus, leaving you with the simple decision of which side of the frame to place the subject. When composing for a much wider scene, the background and foreground should hold just as much importance, but there are more elements at your disposal. Careful positioning often permits parts of the landscape to be found to create a natural frame, and an extra palette of colours and textures can be used to add interest. Most importantly, however, these elements should all work in harmony to create an image that is effective in its simplicity.