A Day in the Life of a Wildlife Photographer in Namibia

Donal Boyd brings nature — alive and flourishing — to your doorstep. As a conservation photographer, his mission is to advocate for wild spaces and animals by displaying their immaculate beauty.

A chemical engineer until 2015, Boyd made the leap into wildlife photography and ended up in some exotic places. In the second episode of “In the Field with Donal Boyd,” he ventures to Namibia’s largest private nature reserves, Erindi Private Game Reserve. His previous video saw him photographing Iceland’s iconic horse, the country’s cultural icon.

An elephant on the Erindi Private Game Reserve in Namibia. Photo by Donal Boyd.

The video gives a good idea of what it’s like to seek out animals in the southern African bush. Chance encounters provide a few opportunities, but on a 275 square-mile reserve a herd of elephants can hide in many places. Persistent and respectful, Boyd manages to photograph lions, giraffes, crocodiles, elephants, and more.

With a hand-held 400mm lens, Boyd is able to remain at a safe distance from his wild subjects. A vehicle and driver get him from location to location, and a stop back at headquarters even allows him a chance to make edits on his laptop. This is how a wildlife photographer works: on the go.

Giraffes and other majestic African animals figure prominently in Boyd’s work. Photo by Donal Boyd.

Erindi Private Game Reserve works with collaborators like Boyd on a portfolio of conservation projects. Elephants, cheetahs, leopards and even animals like aardvarks benefit from the exposure they receive through Boyd’s lens. Under threat from climate change and poaching, the conservation that Boyd promotes makes more sense than ever before.

Aligned with his still photography, Boyd also runs Donal Boyd Studio, a media production company that unites people, nature and wildlife using stories of human relationships with the natural world.

In the previous episode of “In the Field with Donal Boyd,” the iconic Icelandic horse is protagonist. Boyd, a resident of Iceland but also from Boston, disregards snow and cold temperatures to pursue his subject. As always, he renders the horses with his signature passion and powerful imagery.

Boyd uses a 400mm lens to capture intimate scenes like this. Photo by Donal Boyd.

Boyd now offers prints of his conservation photography for sale on his website. Via The Earth Advocate Fund, which he started in 2022, Boyd donates 10% of his proceeds to conservation efforts around the world.

Few photographers show as much commitment to their subject. Many find inspiration in Donal Boyd. A viewing of his videos, and especially of his stunning photographs, offers proof of Boyd’s compassion and talent.

Image credits: Photos by Donal Boyd.