Short exposure Jon Bryant
Image above: Red fox, I see you © Jon Bryant
Based in Belgium, Jon Bryant is a landscape, wildlife and nature photographer who strives to be more creative in his image-making. He takes to the spotlight in this month's Short Exposure, our online series where we chat to outdoor photographers active in the online community.
Outdoor Photography: Hello! First of all please introduce yourself: tell us the type of pictures you like to take and how you first got into photography.
Jon Bryant: Hello! I’m a wildlife, landscape and nature photographer based in Belgium. I try to combine landscape techniques with wildlife subjects to create wildscapes – photographs that show the context of the subject in its environment. I’ve been an avid photographer since my teenage years (in the days of film!), but in the last five or so years I’ve really focused on photography that gets me outdoors.
OP: How often are you able to get out there and photograph, and is there a particular location you normally go to?
JB: I get out with my camera as often as I can, weather permitting. In addition to dedicated photography trips where I may travel abroad I’m a strong advocate of not overlooking what’s on my doorstep. My recent local focus has been the High Fens in southeast Belgium.
Image above: Hoar frost versus the sun, High Fens, Belgium © Jon Bryant
OP: What are you working on at the moment?
JB: Having spent the last three years focusing on African wildlife photography, the 12 months or so have seen me focus much more on landscape photography and taking pictures of local wildlife. One area I’m focusing on is intimate landscapes and woodland photography because I think seeking out intriguing compositions is a good challenge.
OP: Where do you find your inspiration?
JB: I’m extremely passionate about photography and am fortunate to be good friends with a couple of amazing professional photographers who are a constant source of inspiration and support to me. I think it’s important to be able to have good relationships with like-minded peers who can motivate you and whose work is also an inspiration.
Image above: The flight of the snow storm, black headed gulls, Belgium © Jon Bryant
OP: What’s your dream photography project?
JB: I probably have too many to mention! On the wildlife side, I have a soft spot for big cats so I’d be keen to photograph Iberian lynx and snow leopards. From a landscape perspective, a good friend has visited Chile these past two years and seeing his images made me want to visit the national park of Torres de Paine and Tierra del Fuego.
OP: Is there one thing in particular you think would improve your photography?
JB: I think the beauty of photography is the learning curve. No matter what level we are, there’s always room to improve. I’m a good technical shooter, but I’m not naturally creative so some of the projects I’m focusing on are to improve my artistic photographic side.
OP: What do you think is hot right now in the photography world?
JB: In the past few years Iceland’s popularity as a photography destination has exploded – Norway and Greenland too. I suspect we’ll see a lot of images from these locations in the coming years. And, despite the uncertainty around drone regulations, the popularity of aerial photography will continue to rise (no pun intended!).
Image above: The klipspringers view, Tsavo west, Kenya © Jon Bryant
OP: Where do you see your photography in five years time?
JB: That’s a really difficult question. Four years ago I was stood in the African bush telling the field guide (who is now a good friend) how I wanted my images published – how naïve I was! But it was a goal at that time, and one I’ve achieved. Since then, I’ve become a brand ambassador, public speaker at major photographic events and had articles published. I like to take things step-by-step: each year I set goals and try to achieve them. It’s a worthwhile process as it helps me focus, so my plan is just to keep on going!