In the steps of a great wildlife photographer…

I have been discovering the world of great natural game reserves and parks for some time now. This naturally led me onto wildlife photography.IMG_6441

An encounter with a wild animal is always special. Indeed, they are rare and difficult to spot, and they flee as soon as they perceive human presence. So if by “chance,” we get to capture the moment with a photograph, it is very satisfying. With that said, I’ve always wondered how those great wildlife photographers managed to capture both beautiful and rare moments in photographs.

This summer, I was making my project “Nostalgia for the lost paradise” in the Pantanal region of Brazil, which is home to 656 species of birds, over 400 species of fish, 80 species of mammals and more than 1100 species of butterflies *.  In the reserve, a project of «hide photography” ** was installed by photographer Bencé Maté with three cabins for animal photography. From outside the camouflaged huts, we see a mirror, allowing us to observe the outside while being invisible. Food is deposited there to attract animals some time before. The last step is to exterminate wasp nests, remove poisonous spiders and snakes.

Once inside, it’s time to wait. As animals come to eat or drink, we are able to observe freely as spying ghosts.  You can compare it with standing behind a television screen, except that the animal is less than one meter away. Creatures great and small come and go to the hide including, birds, butterflies, dragonflies and more birds, unaware of our presence. At any time, you can capture the moment by pressing a button whether they are eating, drinking, fighting or flying. Sometimes we just hear their sound, and after thirty minutes they finally appear in front of the glass. It is a great way to learn how to recognize their sound and understand their habits.

And here are some pics I got


* Source : Aves Migratórias do Pantanal . Coord .: Inês Serrano . Brasília : WWF , 2008 .

** Hide photography is a concept developed by the Hungarian wildlife photographer Bence Mate.

Photographs are copyright Valentine Vera


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