Importance of Natural Resources

Chris Packham on his passion for wildlife photography


Having Aspergers is incredibly
advantageous when it comes to taking pictures. I think that I see the world in
a different way. I don’t know how anyone knew else sees it but I’ve learned to
accept that that’s the case. I see a world that’s joined up, made of
patterns, and I see it in an intensity of detail that I have begun to realize that
most people don’t see. In my world, each and every piece here you know these stands.
these lights, this room, is all a composite. Everything is joined together in a
matrix, so if any one bit of it moves I can know that and if any one bit of it
is not in the right place artistically, then it’s screaming at me, so I
suppose that ability to see the world slightly differently, it helps me.
What I like about photography perversely because it also
disappoints me and frustrates me and tires me and angers me, is the fact that
I’ll never get a perfect picture and that’s what I want. So if there are
mistakes with my image, I will try to correct them. Will I remove spots on a
Penguin’s breast? Yes, of course, they spoil it. I’ve got an enormous
amount of criticism from the rather conservative wildlife photographic
fraternity who saw this as ‘cheating’. So I was telling them
when I was doing it but I think there is that ongoing worry that we’re
changing reality, we’re changing the wild but I don’t I don’t mind so long as
people are honest about what they do. I’m happy with that. I’m very pleased to say that since I started taking photographs, wildlife
photography has come on in leaps and bounds, made enormous progress
in terms of it being a more mainstream art form. Photography, and I don’t say
this in a snobbish or arrogant way, is very much more an intellectual thing,
something to be thought about, and so I pre-plan a lot of the things
that I’m glad to do or at least the approaches that I’m going to do. I have a
subject, an idea, a plan. I research it, I find out the best place, the best
time to do it, the best equipment to do it. If I need
anything, borrow anything anything, change anything, and then I pursue it and
that’s the way that I work which is very different than I think a lot of wildlife
photographers. When I’m going to take a photograph, even if you know it’s
not the subject, it’s the type of photo that I want, sometimes, and I hate to say this
because I love my subjects, but sometimes what they are is actually irrelevant. I’m
thinking of the bigger picture. Many people may get bored or they may
give up because they don’t think they’re ever going to get there. Some of my
previous partners have called me belligerent. I always said: ‘No, I’m not belligerent, I’m just determined”. I just will keep going
and keep going and going and going until I get to the point where I say I have to
stop, and this is one thing I do have, I have stopped photos. You have to get to a
point where you think; ‘having invested this much energy, this much time, I’ve got
to move on to something else.’ I find it really hard to know when I’ve got that
stop photo ’cause I do just want to keep going but ultimately you know
that’s the best I can do at this point in my life, therefore I’ll move on and
try something else.


Reader Comments

  1. The bloke dosent have a clue because of him I’ve seen lapwing nest destroyed and I could do nothing about it!!!! Well done Packham!!!

  2. Your voice is highly irritating you sound like a little f**** kid with a speech impediment picked up photography and whatever else you can do quit talkin it's annoying

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