I’ve always envied people with a lot of patience. When I take photos, I just randomly snap whatever catches my eye. This is not the case for Gerald Marella. When I was first introduced to him and his work, I could tell that he was different. He was certainly interactive in our social media group, but it was obvious that his heart and mind were always on his craft. He made excuses for absences sometimes, but there was really no need. His work shows where he spends his time and the results are utter perfection.
I recently asked Gerald the same questions I have been asking other photographers I am featuring. Here are his responses:
What inspires your works? I love being there. When I’m out photographing I try to become invisible. That can take time and patience, but if I can become part of the landscape a lot more natural behavior happens around me. Even when photographing eagles in an area where they aren’t habituated, it takes time to become ignored as part of the environment. Getting to that point and capturing a good photograph is very satisfying.
Which of your photographs is your favorite? I’d have to say the Barred Owl. It took a while to get to the point where the owl didn’t mind my presence. After that I was able to slow down, watch, and photograph the owl in a natural pose. I was careful to be respectful of it’s space and back off if it became too aware of my distance.http://fineartamerica.com/featured/barred-owl-portrait-1-gerald-marella.html
Is there a photographer you relate to? And why? I don’t know if relate is the right word, but Thomas Mangelsen’s work is amazing. When I see his nature photos I see some similarities in style.
Do you ever feel like giving up? I’ve never wanted to “give up”, but there are days when I think that I shouldn’t be allowed to own a camera. That’s when I know I need a break.
How long have you been taking photos? For many years, but for the past 15 or so with my focus on nature.
What’s the best thing about being a photographer? I love the process. Being out trying to become part of an environment and attempting to capture a photo that reflects a moment in time as if no one was there to see it.
What’s the worst thing about being an photographer? The equipment can be heavy to lug around. I always use a tripod and for small creatures a long lens is necessary.
Is there a purpose to your photography? I’m very literal. When I see a subject that I’d like to capture, I like the result to be an accurate portrayal of what I was seeing. That can be a tack sharp stop action, or the blur of a running animal. When I get the right result I feel that I’ve captured a second in time that will never be captured exactly the same way again.
How do you feel when people interpret your photos differently? I feel great! When people interpret a photo differently it means that they’re emotionally involved in the moment of capture as if they were there when it happened.
What advice do you have for aspiring photographers? Learn the mechanical and technical functions of your camera. You can’t effectively portray the emotion of the moment if you don’t know how your camera settings will manage the light and background. And, don’t accept OK. Your vision and style will change over time.
You can view more of Gerald’s amazing work here: