Wildlife photographer Simone Sbaraglia gave a fascinating talk illustrated with many of his memorable, intimate, photos to a joint meeting of City of London and Cripplegate Photographic Society and RPS London.
Moving on from long distance photography using telephoto lenses, Simone has learnt to get close to the animals and, through patience, become accepted as part of their groups. This technique has yielded a succession of award-winning photographs in an intimate style akin to human portraiture where he has brought back in the image his emotional connection with the animals. The animals are letting him make the photograph. His training as a mathematician has informed another string of stylish animal photos which reveal much beauty, symmetry and tenderness, from which a human viewer implies emotion. His photos of Japanese cranes (tsuru) displaying on the ice are particularly memorable.
Simone didn’t touch much on the philosophical basis for his photography except for a quote from Byron: “I love not man the less but nature more” and to say that in making a photograph he is revealing his emotion for his subject, in the way that a poet lays bare his emotions in his words. There is clearly an anthropomorphic undertone to Simone Sbaraglia's work as well as revealing the pure beauty of his subjects.
Wildlife photographers and nature sound recordists are the adventurers our time. Simone is lucky to have the privilege of working so close to many fascinating animals although it’s clearly not always a comfortable lifestyle and he has a good stock of hair-raising jungle tales.
I've used a screen grab of @LonPhotoSoc on Twitter, which includes one of the speaker's images, ie the image is already in the public domain as it is on Twitter.