From Australia to Africa, from Wildlife to Art Conservation Pieces
To honour the wildlife and its natural surroundings, we are focusing on Australian based photographer Tanya Stollznow and her dedication to the conversation of rare and endangered species.
As Tanya became more fascinated with wildlife photography, she undertook her first wildlife project at Taronga Zoo. This ultimately propelled her love for photographing animals leading to her trip to Africa several years later.
There’s nothing like getting behind the lens of a passionate photographer to discover more about the stunning arts from the Art of Africa group show.
WHO ARE YOU?
I was born in Gymea, NSW Australia. My parents moved frequently with work and I lived in both Sydney and Melbourne before finally returning to the inner west of Sydney to attend University. I studied psychology and then computer science while working semi professionally as a photographer part time.
THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER BUT WHERE DO YOU CALL HOME?
Australia is my home. Currently, I live in a beautiful little country town on the south coast of New South Wales about three hours south of Sydney.
HAVE YOU ALWAYS HAD AN INTEREST IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
I’ve always had a camera in hand for as long as I can remember. I tried a few different types of photography from fashion to street photography but it was the call of nature that gave me the greatest enjoyment and to which I was most drawn. I progressed into wildlife photography and have never looked back.
“My aim is to draw viewers into my images and evoke emotions and curiosity.”
HOW DID YOU BECOME A WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER?
I began working as a wildlife photographer twelve years ago in 2008. My love of the natural world in partnership with my love of photography led me to choose this career path.
WHO IS SOMEONE PAST OR PRESENT WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?
George Adamson - British Wildlife Author and Conservationist. The success of his book and subsequent film "Born Free “aided in funding Kenya's first wildlife reserves and brought the issue of wildlife conservation to the attention of the world.
“I have always been passionate about wildlife and the environment. It was a natural progression to pursue a career as a wildlife photographer.”
WHICH 5 WORDS BEST DESCRIBE YOU?
- Passion – you need to eat, sleep, breath, live and dream photography
- Dedication – you are always learning and need to be dedicated to exploring something new every day. Photography is a journey!
- Patience – you need to have patience and loads of it especially as a wildlife photographer where you may have to sit in a hide for hours waiting for the right light and THE shot.
- Know your subject – take the time to get to know everything you can about your subject.
- Be a storyteller
WHO ARE YOU AS AN ARTIST?
Artistically my work is a form of self-expression and exploration. Photographing the beauty and diversity of nature allows me to engage and connect to my subject through the lens and to feel moved and inspired. My aim is to draw viewers into my images and evoke emotions and curiosity.
My profession as a Wildlife Photographer affords me the privilege of being able to get messages across many people in the community, both locally and globally. One message that I am keen to promote is the plight of endangered species in Africa.
HOW DID YOU DEVELOP YOUR STYLE?
My photographic style is something that I developed from studying other photographers and making a list of what I found most compelling about their imagery. What did they do that engaged me? How could I take that and use it as a starting point to create my own unique style? Finding your own style takes time, exploration, and practice to discover what excites and motivates you.
ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON ANY CONSERVATION PROJECTS IN AFRICA OR ELSEWHERE?
Usually, I am dedicated towards community and conservation projects, to promote the plight of endangered species in Africa. Currently due to COVID-19, I have not been able to. However, my passion remains for endangered species as does my strong interest in the work of the Snow Leopard Trust and International Rhino Foundation.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF PHOTOGRAPHING WILDLIFE?
Animals can often be tough to find in the wild. It is important to know your subject. Observing and researching the animal you are photographing can give you the knowledge to predict behaviour and be best placed to get the shot.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY YOUR MOST REMARKABLE WILDLIFE ENCOUNTER HAS BEEN?
The most remarkable wildlife encounter I had was in Africa where I was privileged to witness the birth of a baby hippopotamus. Just after the calf was born a crocodile started circling mother and baby. The mother charged the crocodile repeatedly, keeping it away from her newborn calf.
“I am so enamoured with the wildlife and when I see something interesting, I am totally engaged with the animal through the lens.”
The Africa on White high key image collection was taken in the Kruger National Park and surrounds with the express purpose of bringing attention to the beauty of each species of wildlife and to promote awareness to protect our natural world.