Interview with Wokoti

25 March 2011 No Comment

NPX: How long have you been interested nature photography? And also how you started.

I have been interested in nature photography, particularly bird photography since the early 1980s. I started birdwatching from a very young age and I wanted to document the birds that I saw so that I could show them to my friends. It wasn’t until I was almost 20 that I could afford a budget slr and embark on this endeavour. Due to the substantial expenditure involved and the less than encouraging results with film, I stopped shooting birds sometime in the late 1980s. It was not until 2008 that I got into digital photography to shoot birds, very much as a result of the beautiful bird photos by an old close friend, Roger Ngaw.

NPX: What do you like about it in particular?

I like that bird photography provides a whole new dimension to my bird-watching activity. I find it very rewarding if I manage to capture a good photo of a wild bird. The fact that it is by and large a solitary activity complements my bird-watching very well.

NPX: What’s your photography techniques and how you learn them?

I try to learn and apply good photography techniques from friends and publications. I have much to be thankful for in terms of guidance received from friends. Still I had to learn quite a bit on my own simply because of my preferred method of shooting birds. So there was a lot of trial and error involved and the learning and improvement processes are far from over.

NPX: Were there any photographer(s) that you like and influences your style?

I have to say that I haven’t really met any bird photographers whom I do not like (except perhaps the two whom I saw throwing missiles at an owlet). They’re generally a helpful lot and I very much enjoy their company and camaraderie, especially from the regulars (too many to name :D ). I was very much influenced by GSSoh’s non-flash results and have adopted that approach very early on. I figured that it would also help me avoid any friction with the bird-watching fraternity which took a dim view of flash photography :sweat:

NPX: What are the stuff in your dry cabinet? What are the items in your bag during birding?

Much of the stuff in my dry cabinet is quite useless for birding, except for the longer Zuiko lenses more suitable for birding. I don’t use a bag during birding, just a waist-pouch belt. I carry my two teleconverters, my bins, extra batteries and CF cards. What else depends very much on the nature of the trip. I typically sling my camera and 300mm f2.8 over my shoulder and bird watch.

NPX: Which is your favourite bird species and why?

I don’t have a favourite bird species but rare/uncommon, endemic or colourful birds will definitely up the excitement.

NPX: Which other genres of nature photography you’d like to pursue in the future? Why is it so?

I’m not really into photography except for holiday and family/friend snaps. So I’ll probably confine myself to these genres, if they can be called that.

NPX: While pursuing your hobby, what is your most memorable moment to date?

I’ve had many a memorable moment pursuing my hobby, both pleasant and harrowing. The harrowing is usually when I’m operating alone with nobody to witness my cowardice. Thank goodness!

NPX: What are the challenges you’ve faced?

I am very clear that birding is very much a recreational hobby to me. I do not have a specific objective to achieve other than to enjoy the great outdoors doing what I like when I have the time. So apart from finding the time to indulge in this, I don’t perceive anything to be a challenge. There’s not supposed to be one!

NPX: Please share with us a couple of your favorite images accumulated over the years. Please describe to us why you like these images.

I like this one because it is reminds me of my digiscoping efforts when I first took up digital photography. I of course hung up my spotter, pns camera, brackets and tripod soon thereafter because it compromised too much my bird-watching.

I like this one which I had shot with a tripod mounted Sigma 300-800mm f5,6 as it belongs to a series from a session which re-affirmed my preference for handholding.

I like the general mood and look of this early morning shot.

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