Wildlife conservation, wildlife photographer, Frank van Egmond
Frank has a gift for capturing the essense of the wilds and allowing us to step inside via his beautiful photography.
(Photos at end of blog post)
Its probably a year ago now that Frank and I connected via LinkedIn. During his trip to South Africa last year he was kind enough to visit one of our conservation sites to document the very first Nikela sponsored project…the Meholkwazula high school Enviro clubs reward trip to experience Shannon’s bird of prey demonstration and sanctuary.
Get to know this wonderful person via the questions Mike posed:
What is your background?
Having grown up in a small town in the Netherlands, I spent much of my childhood out in the forest, playing and later ATB biking. At that time I did not have a special interest in wildlife. My initial career path got me tangled in the IT web for over 10 years, where I was working as a network engineer.
How did you get your start doing what you are doing?
While employed at an originally US-based computer company, I accepted a transfer to Johannesburg, South Africa and this opened up a whole new world for me. It was a life-changing experience. During this time, I met my wife and together we visited many game parks in South Africa for holidays. This triggered an interest in capturing the beauty of our natural world. Almost six years passed before I was able to take up wildlife photography professionally. Every day spent out in the bush is different from the next and there is always so much for me to learn, so it remains a challenge and I can never wait to get back in the field. Africa captures your heart and never lets go!
What is your favorite place in the world to photograph and why?
I have a big love for Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. The nature is very diverse and there is ample opportunity to photograph the wildlife. The Imfolozi and Ndumo Game Reserves are among my favorites. With each visit I find myself excited about the sightings: a herd of 60+ elephants crossing a river; spending time with a pack of African wild dogs or watching a rhino utilizing a fallen tree as a scratching post. The landscape of the western section of Imfolozi has a prehistoric look to it. Rhinoceros are plentiful, as the park has the highest density of White Rhinoceros in the world. Unfortunately, Kwazulu-Natal has had it’s fair share of rhino poaching incidents, right inside the parks. Anti-poaching measures have been stepped up over the past six months though and I am hoping for a reduction in poaching attacks this year.
Any projects you are looking forward to getting involved with in the future?
After having spent so much time taking the photos, the publishing of the first book will be like having a baby delivered !
Any advice for others who might be looking to get involved in Wildlife Photography?
Practice extensively within your own region before visiting exotic places. Your success rate will increase, hopefully coupled with a decline in missed photo opportunities. Also, my advice is not to try and save pennies when it comes to buying tripods and lenses. Sooner or later the expensive equipment becomes a must. Try to be unique in your approach to photography and find your own niche. Photos do not always need to sharp to be good. Practice using slow shutter speeds to create the effect of motion in your pictures.
Why did you choose to support Nikela?
Small charity organizations can accomplish very direct results. Margrit and Russ were at the beginning of their journey in building up Nikela and it was a good opportunity to do something good and make a contribution.
Thank you Frank for believing in Nikela, may your beautiful photos continue to touch the lives of many.
Please take a look at more of Frank’s works of art by going to wildlife stock photography
Bat-eared Fox Pups at their den