Independent Voices, Indy Voices

David Gulden: Like humans, animals can be very boring

The photographer shares his secrets from the wild

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What was the first photograph you ever took?

Photography has never led me, photography follows me. I can not remember my first picture I took, but I do remember that on my first trip to Africa at age fifteen with my father I did not bring a camera.

You have said you've had to lie in wait for hours before getting the perfect shot. What have you learnt from observing animals for such long periods of time?

I have learned that, like humans, animals can be very boring; there is a lot of sleeping in the animal kingdom.

What is your favourite animal to photograph and why?

African Crowned Eagles are my favorite. Dinosaurs may have evolved into birds but this animal is more like a dragon. They can pluck a monkey out of a tree and keep flying. In order to photo these eagles I install camera mounts above their nests. Climbing the nests is not an easy adventure.

Have you ever been attacked by an animal whilst at work?

Yes, and you can see witness it here.

Spoiler alert- if you cannot access YouTube, a rhino crashed into my car at full speed

You must have seen the decline of elephants and wildlife in general during your career as a photographer. Do you have experiences of this?

If I wanted to see a huge decline in a resident elephant population I would visit the Selous in Tanzania, it's a hot mess down there. In Kenya we are luck to have some very dedicated and overly qualified people working to protect our wildlife. There is still plenty of pressure on Kenya's elephants but they are still here, it's incredible that in this modern age we have seriously large elephants living in Tsavo who's tusks drag against the ground when they walk. So do not mourn Africa and its elephants. Instead pack your bags and come and see them. Conservationists can't save nature but tourists can.

What is the best thing you've witnessed in the wilderness?

Max Graham, the CEO of Space for Giants.


You can bid for prints from David Gulden as part of our Christmas appeal here

Read more about our Christmas campaign here

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