Wild Souls: Sharing Opinions of Awarded Animal Project and Wildlife Photography Experience

Animals themselves once lived harmoniously from time immemorial, as well as have coexisted together and along side each other with human beings. Last decades years, however, there are existing issues in terms of the loss of wildlife’s diversity and beauty due to humans' activities and expansion. In order to raise this awareness, talented photographer Pedro Jarque Krebs brought us an artistic and impressive animal photography which was awarded the winner of the 2017 "Sente•Antu Cup" International Photo Contest.

Global Photography made an interview with Pedro Jarque Krebs who shares his ideas on this series and wildlife.


Global Photography: Could you tell us about your approaches of shooting?

Pedro Jarque Krebs: "Photography is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality”. This phrase from the American photographer Alfred Stieglitz who summarizes my approach to photography. The power to freeze time and tell a story, to convey a feeling, often ends up transcending reality itself.

In the end, the photographer ends up, like any narrator, being a vehicle of truth, a truth which he inevitably manipulates with or without the will to do so. And like any story told, it ends up revealing more about the author himself than of the object of the narrative.

Ebony © Pedro Jarque Krebs

GP: What did you want to express with your series “Wild Souls”?

Pedro: Wild Souls is a cry of despair and hope. It is a way of drawing attention to the drama we are experiencing with its epicentre in non-human animals. The expansion of human domination has caused the destruction of many species, and we are currently experiencing what is already known as the sixth mass extinction.

We all, or almost all, love animals. They share with us the mystery of life, consciousness and being. Without them our very survival would be threatened. For this reason I wanted to show the animals in an isolated, more intimate way, to restore the destroyed bridges and seek reconciliation with them.

GP: What are the difficulties faced by a wildlife photographer on a regular basis?

Pedro: I consider myself an animal photographer in the broadest sense of this definition. This includes wildlife, but not exclusively. I do portraits of animals in any environment, be it in the wild or in captivity, in zoos, sanctuaries, nature reserves, preservation centres, etc.. Any environment where I can have contact with the animal and photograph it. It is definitely more complicated in a wild environment, because wild animals are increasingly isolated and confined to territories that are often inaccessible.

If there is an opportunity to enter the territory of the wild animal so much the better, but for me this is not a requirement, since my work is an artistic proposal, and not documentary work. What I want is the animal to extract it from its environment and digitally "put it" it in my studio.

Oops! Did I scare you © Pedro Jarque Krebs

GP: Have you ever been in a dangerous situation to capture the perfect shot?

Pedro: Any photograph does justify putting yourself at extreme risk. In this sense, recklessness does not guarantee a good photograph, but patience and a little luck do. Most of the time a good photograph is the result of being in the right place at the right time. And in other cases it is the result of careful planning. Working with animals can be dangerous if proper precautions are not taken and, I say it again, it is not worth endangering the physical integrity of the photographer or the animal.

An animal photographer must learn to respect the animal and find ways to not disturb it. If you have the possibility to work with them in a real studio, it will have to be with extreme safety measures and with assistants trained to handle the animal. In my case, most of the time I shoot from a safe distance or in a protected space. The times I have been in direct contact with potentially dangerous animals have been in the presence of their caretakers and with animals used to human contact. I have been in direct contact with wolves and even tigers, but always with supervision. I don't think I've been in any situation of danger.

Mindfulness © Pedro Jarque Krebs

GP: Is there any wildlife you haven’t seen yet that you really want to seek out?

Pedro: There are a lot of animal species I don't know. I'd say I know a negligible part of all the zoological wealth. In my country, Peru, specifically in the Amazon rainforest, there are countless little-known animal species and even some unknown ones that I would love to photograph. And I'll have to hurry, because the rate of extinction is increasing. Every 10 minutes a living species is extinct in the world.

GP: What kind of equipment do you use and is there a specific reason why you chose it over other similar equipment?

Pedro: : I use a Canon 5D MIII camera, most of the time with a 70-300 telephoto lens, which allows me a very wide range of distances. Since I was very young I got used to the Canon brand, but there are a lot of equally good brands. I also worked with Hasselblad equipment in the analog era, and now I would love to work with a digital Hasselblad.

Mass Hysteria © Pedro Jarque Krebs

GP: Do you have a tip for beginner to intermediate photographers that will help them improve their photography?

Pedro: I started with analog photography, and this meant a limitation in the way I worked. Having a restricted amount of negative film forced you to think very carefully about the photo before shooting. Likewise, by not being able to see the result immediately you were forced to know your camera very well and also know what were you doing, because there would not be a second chance if things didn't go well.

Today's digital equipment offers the advantages of seeing the result immediately and being able to shoot virtually without limit. But these advantages can become a disadvantage if you don't rely on the knowledge of your equipment. I think that an initiating photographer should impose to himself the analogical limitation and see what he gets. For example, limiting yourself to a set number of shots and not being able to see the result immediately. This would be a good exercise to improve the knowledge of the camera and to strive to compose the image more carefully. The rest is a simple matter of practice.

Mona Lisa © Pedro Jarque Krebs

(All photos copyrighted Pedro Jarque Krebs)

>> Click the titles of "Wild Souls I" and "Wild Souls II" to check full seies of photo.

>> To explore more of photographer Pedro Jarque Krebs's information at THIS PAGE.

>> Browse all winners and nominations of the 2017 “Sente•Antu Cup” International Photo Contest HERE.

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