We caught up with wildlife photographer David Tipling to learn more about his career capturing incredible images of the natural world.
What first inspired you to get into photography?
I caught the photography bug at around 13 years of age. I started to visit Brands Hatch with school friends and got into photography through wanting to photograph the racing. I was already into birds and wildlife so it was a natural progression to start photographing birds. I still have however a dream to be a sports photographer!
“Above all I have always been wowed by the natural world.”
What appealed to you about wildlife photography in particular?
I love the challenge and the ability to be as creative as your imagination allows and there is perhaps the hunting instinct in me too.
When I was young I did not really excel at anything but found that composing pictures came naturally, wildlife photography was something I became good at quite quickly and I was soon being published as a teenager. I became quite obsessive and that hunger to take pictures remains with me today.
What do you enjoy most about being a professional photographer?
I love to travel and be outdoors and be creative. I enjoy the business side of making a living in what is a very competitive industry. Above all I have always been wowed by the natural world.
What has been your career highlight?
Awards although nice to receive are in my view not the be all and end all as photography like any other art form is so subjective. So my career highlights have been some of the things I’ve seen and journeys I’ve made. Camping next to an Emperor Penguin colony in Antarctica back in 1998 was both exhilarating and a really special photographic opportunity. More recently, last January I circumnavigated the island of South Georgia with a team of biologists visiting all known Wandering Albatross colonies, that was really special.
“The more time you spend in the field the more opportunities will come your way.”
What are your top tips for anyone who wants to take better wildlife photos?
The three P’s, patience, perseverance and planning. You can always learn plenty about your subject which can be put to good use in planning a shot. The more time you spend in the field the more opportunities will come your way.
Do you have any advice for capturing photos of animals without disturbing them?
Observe and be aware when your subject starts looking nervous. A slow cautious approach giving time for your subject to accept you into their environment will always end with better pictures.
Tell us more about your photography courses.
I run one to one courses and will take two people too on day long photo safaris here in North Norfolk. Whether it is to become a better wildlife photographer, understand how to use your camera or you simply want to be able to be put in good situations to take great pictures of wildlife, we tailor days to suit. More details can be found on my website at www.davidtipling.com.
Finally I have a new book being published in May celebrating the world’s seabirds in words and pictures, titled Seabirds of the World.
You’ve read David’s tips, now grab your camera, get outdoors and take some fantastic photos of our wonderful wildlife 🙂