One of David Taylor’s passions since childhood has been wildlife and nature, particularly British birds. When his career in industrial photography began at Lubrizol he was able to spend time, after work, around the site which is set in rolling countryside and a sanctuary for birds and wildlife. He says: ‘I was able to build hides in the wooded areas around the site to either observe or take photographs. Lubrizol colleagues used to joke with me, saying I should have a bedroom there as I spent so much of my time on site. Wildlife photography can be very time consuming, which meant when I was busy traveling for work I had no time to dedicate to my wildlife projects, but over the last five years I have been able to reignite my passion and interest.’
The Japanese Macacque is better known as the snow monkey, and some of them live where snow covers the ground for months each year. When planning a wildlife trip in Japan in winter, the Macacque has to be on the list to spend some time with. It is a very sad story for some of them as there is very much a hierarchy between groups, and they can be very aggressive towards each other – it has been known for them to take out their frustrations on photographers too, and you have to have your wits about you, particularly near the hot springs, which is reserved for the elite of the groups. The family huddled together in this shot are definitely outcasts, as you can see from their expressions.
photographs can be quite complex and takes a lot of research. David explains: ‘Although I have a Fellowship in the industrial commercial sector, I thought it would be a challenge to work towards gaining a Fellowship in my second love, wildlife. My plan was to try and work on a high key colour theme, with journeys to shoot in the extremes of cold wintery locations. The appearance of grain or noise within some of the images is caused by driving snow.’
Conditions can be tough, with extremes of temperature, even in one day: ‘Wildlife photography is all about patiently waiting, watching, and capturing images,’ David explains. ‘It often takes hours of searching to find animals and birds, then more time to get to the right position for light and background without disturbing them, then sitting quietly for just that right moment.’
To see Bison in the wild, as the Americans say, is awesome, and to see a herd on the move is spectacular, as they can be very dangerous, with constant reminders to keep your distance. I tucked well into the side of the track with snow built around the equipment to conceal it as much as possible, then moved away to safety to fire the camera from inside of our caterpillar vehicle, and waited for the moment. Having tried a couple of times a few days before, unsuccessfully, I finally got the shot I had visualised.