Local Knowledge

keith-wilson Quite independently of each other two photographers featured in this issue have very similar messages to impart to anyone who loves wildlife. That message is simple: the more you know your subject and the closer you live to it, the better your chances of making really original pictures. Of course, it helps if you live in an area where nature still thrives, like the northern coast of Norway where Audun Rikardsen has always lived, or the rural hills of Umbria, which so enraptured Paul Harcourt Davies that he moved there.

Both photographers stress the value of returning to the same places repeatedly, observing animal behaviour and the changes in the environment to the point that they know the location and its wildlife intimately. It is this approach that enables them to capture what others never see. Audun is one of the world’s most commended photographers, but less than five years ago no-one had heard of him. That’s because he rarely photographs far from Trømso. Similarly, Paul takes a large proportion of his images in the gardens around his house. Audun says: “By knowing the subject and living in the area you can be there in the exact right moment.” And, as we all know, the key to success in a photograph, and most things in life, is down to timing.

And it's goodbye from me...

This is the 29th issue of Wild Planet Photo Magazine and my last as Editor. As much as I hate to fall back on clichés, there can be no disputing that nothing lasts forever, especially editorships! I’ve had a few in my time but this has been the most demanding as well as the most satisfying. I have decided to concentrate on working more closely with nature and conservation photographers in a more direct and collaborative way – something that is rarely possible when tied to a computer screen. However, I will continue to contribute to Wild Planet by interviewing emerging and influential photographers who inspire you. In the meantime, enjoy this issue and keep those pictures coming. See you soon.

Keith Wilson, Editor

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