The Journal of Wildlife Photography was founded by Jared Lloyd, a professional wildlife photographer who counts the likes of the BBC and National Geographic as clients. Originally known as the Photographer’s Journal, Jared had two rather lofty goals in mind in entering the fray of online publications: to bring readers workshop level education, and to create a publication that he would actually want to read himself.
Out of demand, like many professional photographers these days, Jared began offering photography workshops and expeditions more than a decade ago, to some of his favorite places on the planet. Some locations were encountered on assignment for magazines. Others were chosen simply because of the incredible diversity of photographic subjects. And for years, Jared led thousands of clients into the wild, mixing his background as a guide and biologist with hands on photography education.
Then, as luck would have it one December morning, Jared found himself chest deep in water that was freezing into chunks of ice on his 5mm neoprene waders just before dawn. Though it was salt water, the temperatures were so cold that the water around him was beginning to crust over and harden around his chest forcing him to break the ice with his elbows just so he had the room to breathe.
This wasn’t a bad thing, however. This was all by design. He was with a small group of other photographers. The wind was whipping out of the northeast, spitting bits of sleet and snow in their face. And over the course of three hours, several thousand ducks fell from the heavens landing 20 feet in front of them as memory cards were filled to capacity with full frame images of ducks in flight.
The action was so hot, no one noticed the cold or the ice or the snow or the wind. But the situation was demanding on skills. First, you have birds the size of a football moving at anywhere between 50-75mph. As they come in close enough to photograph, they are twisting and tipping and banking left and right desperately trying to break free of the wind just before crashing down into the water. So many things were happening all at once. So many birds flying in, so fast, and often obscured by snow and ice. Though this was what every photographer in the water had dreamed of, the challenge was processing all of the real time information fast enough to make adjustments, compose, track, and shoot.
It was in this moment that Jared realized that no matter how hard he tried, no matter how fast he could move back and forth amongst his clients, no matter how detailed his lectures the night before, each and every one of these photographers were in a most preposterous situation with cold and ice and snow and wind and birds and light and compositions all needing to be accounted for constantly. You can’t learn new skills in these situations. You can hone and polish what you do know, but you have to step up to the plate with a solid skill set to begin with if you hope to come away successful.
This was a pivotal moment for Jared. Though he had been teaching photography for a decade by this point, it was in this moment that he realized that most photographers desperately needed more. They needed supplementary in-depth education in advanced concepts of wildlife photography – and all from a controlled environment, from the comfort of their own homes, that worked on their schedule, with their pace, before they stepped into the arena like this.
The problem was not the information being conveyed on workshops. The problem was the simple fact that when in the field, clients suffered from acute sensory overload. In other words, there was often times so much going on that it was a challenge for them to grasp everything in the field and in the moment.
Complex and advanced concepts like understanding the importance of the Fibonacci sequence in composition were rarely understood, if they were even heard in the first place, when brown bears charged through the water after salmon mere feet in front of participants lenses. Nor were the nuances of auto focus systems and tracking strategies even heard as photographers stood in a native skiff, miles off shore in the impossibly blue waters of the southern Caribbean as red-billed tropic birds and magnificent frigate birds circled a rainforest cloaked rock like it was a lost world in the tropics. These were concepts better off learned before setting off into the field, and then perfected while on workshops.
And so, it was there in the frozen waters of the northern Chesapeake Bay in December, with ice hanging from his beard as a nor’easter churned its way up the coastline and some of the most epic duck photography Jared had ever witnessed unfolded, that the Journal was born.
Let’s face it, in today’s world of photography publications “education” is not exactly the top priority. Magazines are generally written for entertainment, not to empower and educate. This is what makes the Journal of Wildlife Photography different. And this is why we decided to call this thing a Journal, instead of a magazine, to begin with. You see, a journal is serious business. The designation is reserved for publications of the highest educational order. This is why academic publications use the title, such as the Journal of New England Medicine, or the Journal Nature.
As the Journal of Wildlife Photography has grown from its humble beginnings, as new photographers have stepped on board to add their own unique expertise and teach readers all about new and diverse skill sets, we have held true to our original goals. This truly is workshop level education – but even better. It’s actionable. It’s written, designed, and curated by working professionals.
The Journal of Wildlife Photography will help you become a better photographer. Not everyone has the opportunity to be in the field every day learning the ropes through trial and error. Your time in the outdoors is valuable and you want to make the most of your shoots.
The Journal of Wildlife Photography teaches you the skills necessary to do just that. This is a fast track to taking your photography to the next level.
Subscribe here: https://journalofwildlifephotography.com