Luuk Belgers is a dutch photographer who loves to shoot nature. His pictures are stunning and very soft and subtle when it comes to the moment, light or that new species of bird. In this wonderful interview with us, he shares a lot related to photography and his love for nature photography.
Could you introduce yourself?
My name is Luuk Belgers, 32 years old, based in the Netherlands. I mainly focus (both literally and figuratively speaking..) on wildlife and birds, though I find myself being increasingly interested in landscape work.
When did you start shooting and how did this love for nature photography happen?
I’ve been a nature and wildlife photographer for about 5 years now and I basically taught myself everything I know about photography and nature. I grew up in the countryside and always had a strong urge to be outside. One of my other hobby’s is fly fishing and for this you also need a good eye for what’s going on in and around the river.
A moment that first triggered me to become a nature and wildlife photographer was when I was enjoying a warm Summer sunset while fly-fishing on a river near my home. Kingfishers were flying by and dragonflies were hunting on emerging Mayflies. Suddenly, a Roe Deer calf came up behind me out from the tall grass, had a curious look at me and decided I was no threat and started drinking from the river. Normally these animals are very skittish and run at the first sight of a human being. So having one accept me in its environment was an amazing experience.
How often do you travel to these wonderful places?
I hardly ever travel. Most of my images are actually taken within a radius of 2 miles from my hometown, which really shows how diverse the area is if you know where to look. I’m planning on traveling much more in the coming years as I believe that too much of the same environment is starting to limit my growth as a photographer. Admiring the amazing work of fellow Dutchman Marsel van Oosten and Vincent Munier from France only fuels my desire to travel more.
I have way too much gear for someone who is only 27 years old! I have lenses in the range of 16 and 500mm. I mainly use my Nikon 500mm F4 VR coupled to a Nikon D800.
My inspiration comes from nature itself and other nature and wildlife photographers. Browsing through Flickr, Facebook, and 121clicks.com provides me with a continuous stream of places I want to visit and moments I would like to capture. Even though I find inspiration in the work of others, I believe it’s important to also put in your own unique touch into an image and of course not just copy what others are doing.
One thing that photography had taught you over the years?
Location, location, location. In all fields of nature photography, you need to know where to look for your subjects. The better you are at choosing the correct location (and moment), the less perseverance you will need in order to get the shot you’re looking for. Never giving up on the image you have in your mind is another thing that I’ve learned over the years. The moment will come, eventually.
Your future goals and what is that you want to achieve through photography?
My future goal is to become better…. and better… and better. Nature and wildlife photographers are plentiful these days and it’s getting more and more difficult to be original in your work, to show something that hasn’t been done before. I think one needs to stand out from the crowd in order to get noticed and become successful. I try to stand out in my own way by putting something original in my photographs. I try to put in a connection between the subject and the person looking at the photo. Make a bit more personal. The best way to describe it is intimacy and if you look closely, this is something you see in the work of every great nature and wildlife photographer. There is always something that makes those images stand out, a certain…. magic.
Thanks again for this wonderful opportunity with 121clicks.com, any final thoughts or words of advice for your fans?
One final thing I would like to mention is something I’ve experienced on Facebook and other communities lately. I, and a few other photographers as well, have noticed that many non-professional photographers are considering their hobby to be a rat race in whoever is able to make the best images, resulting in the most comments and ‘likes’ on one’s posts. “If you like or comment on my photos, I’ll like and comment on yours” kind of thing. It’s easy to get caught up in that movement and forget what it’s all about, having fun with the camera, being outside, and seeing stuff ‘normal’ people probably never get to see. So my advice to other new photographers is to never forget what started that photography fire inside of you in the first place. That’s the fuel that will keep you going as a photographer.
You can find Luuk Belgers on the Web:
All the pictures in this post are copyrighted to Luuk Belgers. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.