As a photographer I always try to take my camera out when we go walking, from the longer weekend trips to the Mournes and those hidden places where you find special species, to even the weekday dog walks around the block. For me, it's a great way to feel more connected to the natural world and it helps me focus on the present moment, shutting out other distractions and thoughts. It might not work for everyone, but time spent in nature with a camera always helps me feel, for a moment, in a little world of my own calm.
Heron Strangford Lough ©Lawrence Eagling 2020
Wildlife photography can also play an important part in conservation, with loads of projects across the globe now using photographs from the public to ID species and monitor distribution patterns, even of individual animals! This type of photographic data is really valuable to scientists and conservation managers and many are now really encouraging us the public to report our sightings! This ranges from the rarer sightings, like the basking sharks spring arrival to our shore, to the everyday, such as the iNaturalist project, which aims to build a database of the biodiversity in every region!
Notches in the fin such as with the orca John Coe can help to identify individuals
©Lawrence Eagling 2020
If you're interested in using your pics for the greater good, check out these examples below!
Basking shark sightings: http://www.baskingshark-photoid.org
Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust: https://hwdt.org/photo-id-catalogues
Bear sighting in Yellowstone: https://hwdt.org/photo-id-catalogues
Also for a lovely read on the mental health benefits of wildlife photography check out this article: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/07/finding-sanctuary-in-nature-during-lockdown