Photograph of the Month February 2023 – Mongolian Ibex

Photographs are considered evocative and powerful when they generate an emotional response in the viewer – hate, love, fear, anger, envy, curiosity, power, passion etc. It’s counterintuitive to many, but one useful technique to generate an emotional response in your photographs is not to show the subject in all its detailed glory. Instead, give a hint or impression of the subject and let the viewer’s mind fill in the blanks. The power of suggestion and scale will help elevate any photograph. Executed properly, the insinuation is enough, and the imagination takes over, painting something that far transcends any straightforward photograph.

This is actually a full-colour photograph (no desaturation) backlit of a Mongolian Ibex high in the Altai mountains in Mongolia. It was done in camera with just a black-and-white point tweak in post-production. Shot with the Canon EOS R3 with a Canon RF 600mm f4L IS Lens. Sometimes you don’t need to work hard to make a great image. This was shot sitting down, drinking a cup of coffee and resting against some rocks when the Ibex appeared at the top of the mountain. I just saw the opportunity, picked up the camera, set the exposure and made the shot – serendipity.

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