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This Wildlife Photographer Waits Over a Week for the ‘Perfect Shot’


Wildlife photography often requires a great deal of patience, and one photographer who has mastered the art of waiting is Belgian wildlife photographer Michel d’Oultremont. Here’s an 11-minute short film titled “The Wait” by Contra Agency that follows d’Oultremont in his pursuit of the “perfect shot.”

At 22 years of age, d’Oultremont was awarded the ‘Rising Star’ award in the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. This particular award recognizes creative talent among photographers between the ages of 18 and 26.

The film follows him on a shoot in the Carpathian mountains of Romania during the hunt for bison. The animals are part of a WWF reintroduction program, having been absent from the area for over 200 years. d’Oultremont was, unsurprisingly, desperate to capture the bison on camera.

“I think some people see nature as completely separate from their lives when actually we’re all part of it,” he says.

Through a great deal of perseverance, he finally got the shots he was waiting for.

“Without patience, it’s not possible to see the animals,” d’Oultremont says. “If half an hour or an hour passes and you’re fed up and want to leave the hide, it’s just not going to work.”

It’s not unusual for d’Oultremont to go for a week or more without taking a single picture while waiting for that opportunity to present itself.

“Nature is so unpredictable, you can spend two or three weeks doing nothing… and then ‘boom’,” the photographer says. “I tried to put more importance on the environment, or the play of light, rather than the animal itself.

“I’d prefer to take a picture of a common bird in a beautiful environment, rather than a rare bird in a [type of] light or environment that wouldn’t make it beautiful.”

Here’s a selection of d’Oultremont’s other wildlife photos:

“Photo taken in Belgium near my home in a small nature reserve, it was the first time that a blue throat was observed in this reserve. Taken at sunset.”
“Capercaillie photographing from my car. A crazy individuals. Photographing in Sweden.”
“Short-eared Owl Fighting for a mouse. Taken in winter in Cambrai en france, no bait was used.”
“Razorbill photographed on the stonehaeven cliff, setting black and white.”
“Photo made in Scotland on the cliff of troup head during a very big storm, this gannet fly over a sea unleashed.”
“I stayed for a week on a place of singing of black grouse in Sweden. One morning the whole area was frosted, the sun was reflected on a cloud and in the drops of water, which gives these incredibly magical colors!”
“Photo made in Belgium right next to my house, this nice owl to decide to make his young in this tree that I know very well. A real treat to be able to observe them. No bait was used.”
“Image made in Holland. I waited several long years before realizing this image, I wanted a crossed deer in this biotope of dream.”
“Deer photograph during the sow period in Belgium. One October morning or the whole area was frosted, a unique moment.”

You can see more of Michel d’Oultremont’s work on his website, Facebook, and Instagram.

(via Omeleto via Fstoppers)

Image credits: Photographs by Michel d’Oultremont and used with permission