In pursuit of the perfect picture
Getting the perfect wildlife shot entails being pretty fit – just ask Port Elizabeth attorney John Vosloo, who has had to do his fair share of making a dash for it when his subject was not all that happy to pose.
After taking up black and white photography as an adolescent, Vosloo got back behind his camera almost three decades later and now, with a string of accomplishments as a conservation photographer, he shows no signs of stopping.
With his home perfectly situated on the banks of the Sundays River, about 4km from the Addo Elephant National Park, Vosloo, 54, is a finalist in the November issue of Getaway Magazine in the annual Getaway Gallery competition.
Vosloo is a two-time finalist in the competition with images of two lionesses feasting on a kudu cow they caught at Kuzuko Lodge, and the other of two buffalo in the Addo park.
The winner will be chosen in December.
“I am very proud of my achievements that I have accumulated because there are thousands of very competent wildlife photographers around the country,” Vosloo said.
“Over the years I have been chased and charged on quite a few occasions by some of the Big Five when trying to get a special image. I’ve had to make a dash for it a number of times.”
Vosloo primarily shoots his award-winning images from his vehicle. Also sharing a keen interest in avian photography, Vosloo has had the opportunity of capturing many birds at Bird Island and enjoys snapping at the Cerebos salt pans.
But he said elephants were on the top of the list of animals he enjoys capturing.
“They are such complex and intelligent creatures with a distinct family structure which runs far deeper than what one is inclined to see at first glance.
“I am generally a very creative person and I have always had a love for the visual arts which led me to dabble in black and white photography while at high school and then I stopped about two, three years after high school,” he said.
In 2014, Vosloo picked up his camera again, feeling an urge to resume his passion.
“I decided to focus on nature photography and living close to Addo made life a whole lot easier to pursue it. I aligned myself with SANParks – they saw some of my photographs and approached me, and from that a relationship formed between us.”
Among Vosloo’s long list of accomplishments, he had his work published in Africa Geographic Yearbook in 2016 as well as African Birdlife as portfolio photographer and he was recognised as a Sunday Times finalist throughout the year.
Vosloo – who has his own attorney’s firm in Newton Park – was named Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year in 2017, and had his work published in Wild Magazine – a Milan-based publication.
One of his more prestigious accomplishments was winning Senior Image of SA in the Photographic Society of SA annual interclub competition in 2017.
“Everyone with a camera or a cellphone is capturing wildlife all over the world. But to be recognised on the level of Getaway, Photographic Society of SA and Africa Geographic is one of the highest accolades any photographer can achieve in South Africa.”