‘Qualified’ status is aligned to standards of competence that reflect a level where the customer should be ‘pleased with the results’, when employing the services of a skilled tradesman (the photographer). In other words ‘Qualified’ indicates professional ‘competence’ to a level where the Guild is willing to recognise the photographer as an ambassador of the association, so those who achieve that level should be proud of doing so.
Application to become a Qualified Guild Photographer
I am a keen amateur photographer that specializes in wildlife photography. I have always had a love for wildlife and I remember having a camera with me from being a child. I have taken photography more seriously since I went on my dream trip to Africa back in 2003 and since then I have continued to show my passion for wildlife through my pictures.
For my application, I wanted to show the beauty of British wildlife and I have broken my collection up into Mammals (images 1-8), Birds (Images 9-16) and then a mixture of both that I have converted into Black & White (Images 17-21).
Ideally with Wildlife photography you need to know your subject and you always put the wildlife’s welfare first over any image.
With processing, I try and do as much in camera as possible, as in composition, ensuring backgrounds are clear and trying to avoid any distractions as for any wildlife competitions you are only allowed to make simple adjustments.
For captive animals like those in wildlife parks, the aim is to make them look as though they are in the wild or at least that is the challenge. As I don’t do any processing to remove any objects like wire or fences, you have to decide whether to go in close or move myself into a position where there are none of the above. You can see this in images 2,5,6,7 & 8.
Light is an important part of photography. I like to use the light to enhance the detail on the animal’s skin/feathers like I did in images 4 &12 and especially image 9.
For fast moving species like Red Kites & Hares, you firstly need to be able to track the subject as they are often incredibly fast and change direction quickly. For images were you want to ‘freeze’ the motion, then you need a higher shutter speed of at least 1000 like in images 3, 11, 13 & 21. For images were you want to show motion, like wing blur then you need a much slower shutter speed like in images 10& 17.
For the majority of my portrait shots I choose to use a high aperture setting like f4/f5.6 so that you blur out the background to concentrate on showing your subject like in images 1, 14, 15 16 & 18. If I wanted to show my subject in its environment, then I would use a lower aperture like f11 as this would give more detail in the whole image.
Some images I feel are best converted to black & white as it gives added texture and shows off more detail in the subject like in images 17 to 21. I have often finished with a soft vignette so as to make the subject the centre of attention.
In all of my images I try my hardest to capture the characteristics and personalities of my subjects. I love all aspects of wildlife photography, from wearing full camo so as not to stand out, getting down and dirty trying to be at eye level with the subject or just a simple walk around a reserve. It takes a lot of time and patience which a lot of people do not have but I would not have it any other way.
I love being a wildlife photographer