Outdoorphoto Blog » Wouda Interviews Wildlife Photographer Brendon Cremer

Wouda Interviews Wildlife Photographer Brendon Cremer

BEGINNER

Out of the 6 years he’s been working as a full-time photographic guide, he’s spent at least two of those years on safari; waking up before sunrise. No wonder that when Brendon’s at home he wants to sleep late! We consider ourselves really lucky to call such a talented (some would say South Africa’s best) wildlife photographer, friend.

An iconic photograph taken by Brendon Cremer of a lioness in action

Always outdoors

Brendon Cremer grew up in a small farming community in Marondera, Zimbabwe. The boarding school he attended was on a private game reserve close to home and he remembers ALWAYS being outside. His whole family was ‘outdoorsie’ kinda people who loved going camping and fishing. During school holidays, Brendon used to work at a safari camp, which led to him becoming a Professional Game Ranger later in his life.

Two young elephants playing

How his photographic journey started

Constantly surrounded by the beauty nature has to offer and having always liked photography, Brendon started posting his photographs on galleries and forums such as the Outdoorphoto Gallery. He started getting better and more people took notice of his work. Eventually, it came to the point where he started working as a freelance guide for Tusk Photo (ODP Safaris at the time) and he’s been guiding with them for 6 years now.

A beautiful shot of a rhino in the bush

Favourites

In general, the big cats are Brendon’s favourite. He says that they’re always up to something new and that their personalities and characters differ just like humans.

Leopard lazing in a trea

WILD-life’s beauty and the beast

I asked Brendon to share with us a moment out in nature that really ‘hit him in the feels’ and he says that he’s witnessed many births, from elephants and giraffes to zebra and buffalo and that it will always be captivating. “It’s amazing to see how quickly (give or take 2 hours) a new-born animal goes from being unable to stand, to running, especially when you compare it to a human baby.”

On the other side, they were out photographing young leopard cubs the one time when a male came into the picture. The mother tried to protect her cubs but the male got to one and killed it. “It was rough to witness!” It was not that particular male’s cubs and he wanted to spread his genes so for that reason the males will kill other offspring. “It brings you down to earth and reminds you that in nature, it’s survival of the fittest. (and… it’s not called WILD-life for no reason.)

A wild dog pup with her mother

To capture Alaska’s diversity

His dream photographic travel destination will have to be Alaska & British Columbia. “Just as other people want to come visit and experience Africa, I would like to experience something that’s unfamiliar to me.” Alaska has a variety of diverse wildlife like the salmon run, wolves, Bald Eagles, Polar bears, Brown bears and the rare Spirit Bear. (The Kermode bear, also known as the “spirit bear”, is a rare subspecies of the American black bear living in the Central and North Coast regions of British Columbia, Canada. It is the official provincial mammal of British Columbia.)

Fish Eagle catching a fish

Brendon’s gear list:

  • Nikon D810
  • Nikon D600
  • Nikon D500
  • Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8
  • Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8
  • Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8
  • Nikon 400mm f/2.8
  • Nikon SB900
  • Nikon SB910
  • Profoto B2’s
  • Cactus Laser Trigger
  • Benro Carbon Fiber Tripod

 

Brendon’s recommendation for first timers:

Nikon D500 Camera
It is easy to use with great image quality.
(Read Brendon’s review of the D500 Camera if you want to find out a bit more about why he recommends it.)

Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 and Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 Zoom Lenses
When out on safari for the first time, you need to think about renting or buying a lens that will give you excellent zoom capabilities. You want to be able to photograph the leopard right next to the game viewer as well as the cheetah sitting on an anthill in the distance. Both the Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 and the Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 lenses will provide good versatility with great image quality and are lightweight, which is a bonus.

A close-up of a nile crocodile

Low light conditions

When on safari in low light conditions, his advice would be to set your camera up to focus faster. “Instead of using group focus, use a single point focus.” He also recommends that you know the ISO capabilities of your camera and to work within that range.

A herd of elephant grazing

A little bit of post-processing

When asked to elaborate a bit on his post-processing procedure he said, “I am by no means a purist. I am in the business of selling images, so if need be, I will remove something that bothers me.” But in true photographer form, he added that ideally, you want to do as little as possible.

A photograph of a baby leopard in the grass

Sharing his love of nature

He loves teaching and sharing his knowledge with the clients on safari. “I especially like it when it’s people experiencing Africa for the first time.” Seeing how excited people get just helps him appreciate his ‘job’ even more.

A photograph of a male lion running with intent

Brendon’s Top Tips

Be Patient
Nature has its own time.

Persevere
If you don’t get the shot right the first time, try again until you succeed.

Work a sighting
Think of all the possible ways you can photograph a sighting. Don’t get stuck in photographing the same angle and end up with generic images.

An lone elephant with stars

Sitting down, chatting with Brendon, one can’t help but notice how his whole demeanour changes when talking about what he does. The immense love he has for nature and what he does for a living is tangible. And when he says that he NEVER grows bored with what he does… inspiring, to say the least.

“You never know what you’re gonna see. There’s a huge element of the unknown, which I love.”

A badger
Spotlight on a hyena eating
A black and white photograph of a elephants foot and trunk
A baby bird on water lily
A profile shot of a rhino
A young zebra prancing around
Black and white photo of a baby hyena
A jackal in the field on a misty day
Beautiful baby leopard in a tree
Beautiful profile shot of a walking elephant
A leopard at twighlight with a beautifull blue background
A majestic shot of a male lion with a big mane

About the Author:

Wouda McMicken spends her work days as part of the driven Outdoorphoto team. She enjoys photography, especially experimenting with her treasured Nikon Film camera. The privilege of doing interviews with Professional Photographers all over the world is what makes her get up in the mornings, excited for a new day’s work. She is a self-confessed klutz and can be easily bribed with a stylish pair of jeans or good food. Having the ‘need’ for her nails to be neatly painted at all times, fresh jam doughnuts and salted caramel ice cream is her kryptonite. She dreams of a future filled with sunny skies, palm trees and sandy beaches with her Ukulele and a Piña Colada close by.

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