Jason Wharam is an African wildlife photographer and qualified safari guide now based in Surrey. He has received multiple industry awards for his work and if often called upon as a photography judge or wildlife speaker. He first discovered his love of photography on a safari in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. One of his guests asked him to try out his spare SLR and he was so thrilled with the results that his love for photography began in earnest. For Jason, beyond the excitement of seeing his shot brought to life, as a qualified zoologist he uses these images to confirm and evidence scientific data too.
Jason says that he doesn't have one specific photographic style as he continuously experiments with different styles in various scenarios. Capturing the moment and giving a true reflection of what he sees through the viewfinder is his goal.
That said, he does believe that eye contact from the subject is very important when photographing wildlife and likes to shoot from the lowest angle possible to maximise composition. He likes to use motion blur and time-lapse to create moods in his photography.
An inspiring conservationist
After many years working in Africa and seeing amazing creatures functioning perfectly in their natural habitat, he is passionate about conservation especially now that so many species are facing extinction. By sharing his wildlife images and through his talks he hopes to reach out to as many people as possible from all around the world and spread the conservation message.
Jason grew up on a farm in Zimbabwe so has always enjoyed being outdoors and observing wild animals. He quickly realised for all living creatures to survive, including humans, we need to both understand and conserve all the various ecosystems on our planet. His passions for conservation and the scientific study of animals continued into adulthood and he earned his degree in nature conservation. Wildlife photography, especially photographing elusive or endangered species, is challenging and through capturing beautiful images he aims to promote the need for conservation. Through the visual art of his photography, he is conveying a message and is inviting each of us to be aware and to make a difference.
When we asked Jason what his biggest fear was we expected a story like when a wild male lion came into camp looking for its' kill. This actually happened and caused a few hair-raising moments... but no! Jason's fear is to see an awesome wildlife sighting without his camera equipment to hand! He reminisced that in the rainy season 2002, as a safari guide in Savute Channel in Botswana, he'd led his group for an afternoon safari drive. He spotted fresh lion tracks and quickly tracked down the pride which had made a fresh buffalo kill. This in itself would have made for a fantastic shot but then the pride cubs (who'd been secretly watching the scene from the safety of a termite mound) joined in. The late afternoon sun came out and cubs started to play around the Buffalo carcass, the scene was breathtaking. The golden afternoon sunlight clashed with the dark blue rain clouds plus an azure narrow streak of blue sky just above the horizon in the west and the cubs frolicking at the forefront. An absolutely awesome moment....but he'd left his camera bag at camp. "Never again!"
Planning a photographic safari? Here are some useful tips.
We asked Jason for some tips for anyone looking to book a photographic trip to Africa. He strongly recommends the wilderness areas of Zimbabwe and Botswana, especially the Okavango Delta. The Okavango Delta is the largest inland delta in Africa, situated in the Kalahari, with water flowing all the way from the Angolan highlands to flood the delta on a yearly basis. In his expert opinion, the species diversity in the Okavango is magnificent and the photographic opportunities are fantastic. Hwange in Zimbabwe has probably the largest vast of uninhabited areas and the wildlife is untouched. These areas provide breathtaking experiences and are offer the photographer an opportunity to achieve some amazing shots.
- Canon 1D mk IV and 7D mk II camera body
- Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS mk II
- Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 OS Sport
- Vanguard Endeavor ED II binoculars (8x42)
- Canon 24-70 f2.8mm mk II
- Canon 17-40mm f4, 1.4 and 2x multipliers and a few generic flashes
- Vanguard ALTA Pro 2+ 263CT carbon tripod (Red Dot winner 2017)
- DJI Mavic
- Vanguard ALTA Sky 51D Backpack (Red Dot winner 2017)
- GoPro Hero 5
- Vanguard Supreme 40D hard case (elephant proof allegedly!! )
For more information visit www.jasonwharamphotography.com/