BPP 143: Roie Galitz - Nature and Conservation Photography

Roie Galitz is an award winning wildlife and conservation photographer who's life mission is to shoot photos that speak for those who can not speak for themselves. Having shot endangered animals on all 7 continents, Im so excited to talk about how we can make a difference in the world with our cameras.

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In This Episode You'll Learn:

  • What is the job description of a Wildlife and Conservation Photographer

  • How Roie love of photography lead him to nature

  • Why Roie says learning the technical side of photography is the easiest part to learn

  • Why you don’t need to be “creative” to be a successful photographer

  • How to prepare for the unpredictable nature or wildlife

  • How are Roie makes bookings

  • How Roie has seen his photography impact the world

  • Recommendations for new photographers getting into wildlife and conservation photography

  • What kind of gear you need to get started with wildlife photography

  • What you need to know before you go out and photograph wild animals

  • The importance of having goals


fighting grizzly bears
sleeping polar bear on ice float
penguins at base of glacier
grizzly hunting for salmon in the water
3 walrus sunbathing at base of mountain

Did you enjoy this episode? Check out more recent interviews with other great guests!

Full Episode Transcription:

Disclaimer: The transcript was transcribed electronically and may contain errors that do not reflect accurately what the speaker said. Because of this, please do not quote this automated transcript.

Raymond: 00:01 Hey Raymond here from the beginner photography podcast. And today we're talking about wildlife and conservation photography. So let's get into it.

Intro: 00:10 Welcome to the beginner photography podcast with Raymond Hatfield's, the podcast dedicated to helping you grow your photography skills. Raymond interviews the world's top photographers in their field to ask questions that will get you taking better photos today. Now with you as always, husband, father, Home brewer, La Dodger Fan, an Indianapolis wedding photographer, Raymond Hatfield. Oh, welcome

Raymond: 00:40 back. Each and every one of you. I'm happy to see you. I'm happy for you to be here right now with me hanging out, chatting, talking about photography, because that is what we are doing today on the podcast. Like every week, I guess. So it's not just today, it's, it's, it's every, it's every day. So this is just another great episode. This is another episode that I, I gotta be honest. I love what I do. I really do. And today is no exception. Uh, you guys are going to get a lot out of this interview and I, because I interview somebody who I've never interviewed before in this genre photography, wildlife and conservation photography. I've tried to get other wildlife photographers on here. They're busy, they're in other remote parts of the world. And it just so happened that with today's guest, our calendars lined up and we made, we made magic, we made magic.

Raymond: 01:27 So I know that you guys are gonna really enjoy this episode, but first I want to give a shout out to a recent iTunes review. I love these. I love iTunes reviews. Whenever I see a new review, I, I get like, like warm inside. I know that sounds dumb. It's not, it's not the beer, I promise. It is. It's the joy that I get from hearing your take on photography, learning photography in the podcast itself. So today's iTunes review comes from Mick grody, Danny, number one mic grody. Danny, I don't know who you are, but all I can say is thank you for your review. He says, or maybe she says, I don't know. They say this is such a great resource for anyone trying to get into photography or are already a photographer. So many topics are discussed. Many of which I tried to wrap my head around.

Raymond: 02:19 Uh, vet aren't even related to photography or using a camera. For example. One topic was all about photography contracts and the many scenarios that could occur. Well make grody Danny number one. Thank you again for leaving me a review and thank you for having a hilarious username that makes me giggle like a child every time I say it because it's a, I don't know, it's, it's interesting. So again, uh, if you are interested in that interview that, uh, that they mentioned about photography contracts, that was interview number one 35 with Rachel brand key, the law tog so go back and have a listen to that if you didn't already. Uh, she a ton about, uh, all of the legalities of being a new photographer. You know, like when you need to have a contract, what should be in that contract. We talk a lot about money.

Raymond: 03:09 So again, if you're interested, go back and have a listen. Okay, we're going to get into today's interview, but before we do that, I have to make a bit of a disclaimer. Uh, today's audio is not the best. I, uh, have tried everything to, uh, to work it out, but we did have some technical difficulties when recording, uh, and something went haywire. So, uh, again, I did my best. It is not the audio quality of, of, of episodes past, but, uh, I know that you are still going to be able to get a ton out of this interview. So, uh, just know that the audio goes from good right in the beginning to, uh, well it just drops off really quick. And again, I did my best, but, um, I'm not an audio engineer. This is not the beginner audio engineers podcast. OK. I, I did my best and I hope that you can still get a lot out of a I out of this interview.

Raymond: 04:10 But once again, I will say that, uh, there's specifically, if you're in your car right now, please listen up there specifically one a moment pretty early on where, uh, I believe on Roy's end, uh, there was a horn honking outside of his window and it startled me and I'm standing here stationary in an office. So if you're driving your car, it may, and in fact, probably we'll start, start startled you. Why was that hard for me to say? So, uh, just, uh, don't go looking around. Uh, you know, they'll figure out who you're going going to cut off in traffic because it's a, it's the audio. Uh, so that's it. That's all. That's all. That's all that I can say about that. Uh, we're going to get into this interview right now with wildlife and conservation photographer, Rory Galatz. Today's guest is Roy Galatz and award-winning wildlife and conservation photographer whose life mission is to shoot photos that speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, having shot endangered animals all around the world. I'm so excited to talk about how we can make a difference in the world with our cameras. Roy, thank you so much for coming on the podcast.

Roie Galitz: 05:18 Thanks for having me.

Raymond: 05:20 of course. Before we get started, I want to know in your own words, what is wildlife and conservation photographer?

Roie Galitz: 05:31 So, um, I'd say it's a form of communication, first of all, cause uh, you're telling stories, I mean, we've all seen what the nature is. We all have seen the struggle those animals are going through on a daily basis. We've all seen our impact. So for me, photography is a way to communicate that into viewers worldwide because the animals can speak for themselves and many people write about it. But nothing is stronger than your eyesight. Some nothing is stronger than hardcore visual evidence of storytelling on what's going on in the field. That's, that's what it is for me.

Raymond: 06:20 So I've, I've seen your talks and I know that obviously, uh, you know, not only a lot about the ecosystem that these animals are in that you're talking about, but you're also a very talented photographer. So I got to know what was it that came first? Was it the love of photography or was it the love of conservation?

Roie Galitz: 06:43 Well of course the answer is one, it's the rough photography because I fell in love with photography and photography has broaden my horizons in such a profound way that I, I finally found a way to share my world perspective, the way I see and feel the world. And it gave me tools to experience the world in a more enhanced way. So photography and the passion for photography came first. And at the beginning I was photographing everything and anything I was addicted, I was obsessed. I'm not shy to say the word obsessed. And uh, and the love for, for nature can came during that period. And it became my, my primary focus on, in photography around 2006. Until then, I was doing everything since 2003 to 2006. I even shot some commercials. I've done some commercial work, some portraits, but the, the two loves for wildlife nature and, and photography, uh, got together and just happened very naturally, so to speak.

Raymond: 08:03 So when you first picked up that camera, I want to know what was, what was the hardest part about photography, uh, from a technical standpoint for you to learn?

Roie Galitz: 08:14 Um, to be honest, the technical side was the easiest one for me. I just, uh, it all felt so logical, so simple, like the way it should have been. And, and actually the creative side was my, I, uh, bigger difficulty. That's where, that's where I struggle. That's where I was fighting to find my own voice, my own, our inputs. Um, it wasn't the technical side. The technicality was always easy for me. Uh, but the creative side is a lot. So, so when it came to the creative

Raymond: 08:56 side, um, was it your early photos that you looked at and you just realized that they weren't where you saw others, where their photos were or what was it that led you to, to, to start focusing on, on the creative side?

Roie Galitz: 09:10 Well, uh, I used creativity through technique. I thought that, uh, well for me, first of all, photography was a way to experience the world in a, in richer, enriched way. Um, but in order to get to that point, I use technique as my tool for creativity because for me, if you show somebody the world as it is, it isn't that interesting because they already see it that way because that's the way it is. So I want it to show the world in a different view. So I started doing an experimenting with a macro photography, uh, insects, you know, by bugs and so on. I started doing some landscape. I really, I got into infrared photography and, uh, HDR, which is like, I think every photographer falls into the lap there in the beginning. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. And then you get out and you see that it's all, it's all really the worst kind of a thing, but we all did it.

Roie Galitz: 10:14 It's okay. Uh, everybody is photographing override, started photographing flowers and cats. Some do, but you continue onwards. So, uh, I use the technique to find my different view, to show the world in a different way, uh, as other photographers are, you can get the word in a different way and showing it creatively without technique. So I started, uh, aspiring in that direction. I started looking into other other, other photographers works and, uh, post-processing. So I think that it's still my challenge because every time I tried to show things differently, I, I've been doing that ever since. It's a going struggle and I don't think anybody, there is any, I don't think there is any photographer who doesn't struggle with it because it's the holy grail because you want to show something new, cause actually showing more of the same, you're irrelevant. You're not interesting. You've got an experience, you've got to experiment, you've got to show in the world in a different view. And I think it's, it will never finish that struggle.

Raymond: 11:29 I love that kind of sentiment that you had there. Uh, so my question is once, once somebody's, uh, they get going, right, they practice all sorts of photography. They figure out something that they're kind of drawn to and then they start to go towards that path and then still experiment, experiment, experiment. Can you give me an example of, of maybe today where you're still experimenting in your photography? 13 years in?

Roie Galitz: 11:55 Sure. Um, actually it's six days when I started, but that's why I like photography is there. But, uh, I'd like to, I'd like to elaborate on, on the previous note before I go into my current experimentation. Um, I think that each and everyone, one of us, and I'm for sure one of them. Uh, we all have our strengths and our weaknesses. Okay. And in life, in general, in photography and specifically you've got to find, you need to map who you want are and where is your strength and where is your weaknesses. Uh, and you got to go with your strengths because they should just start going with your weaknesses. Your only be mediocre at best after a long struggle and, uh, lots of failures. Uh, and that's a good way to go in life in general and photography specifically. So, uh, I think mapping my own, I've been doing some inner thinking.

Roie Galitz: 13:00 I think that every photographer should do that. What am I good at? What am I bad at? Where are my weaknesses? Where are my strengths? Where are my opportunities? Where are my threats? Uh, and I, I came to understanding that I'm not really creative. I'm sorry. I'm not really, uh, you know, you can say very, uh, and my wife says, not very low emotional, uh, emotional, uh, how do you call it? Um, quantity, uh, intelligence, emotional intelligence. You know, that phrase? Of course. Yeah. That, that, uh, so I'm, I thought I was good at portrait photography, but I really wasn't because that's my weakness. Other photographers are doing amazing job. They get into the room, they see the other subject, they become best friends within five minutes, and in the next 10 minutes they photograph your soul. Okay. I'm, I, I can't do that. I can't, I don't have that ability as a human being. Uh, so although I thought I wanted to be a portrait photographer, I don't have that ability. I don't have that, that skillset. Uh, but as I said, I'm very technical, so I went into the, into the areas in photography where technicality matters and that in a, uh, commercial work and that in, uh, sports, photography and nature photography, because the other is you need skills that they don't have such as creativity or, or, uh, emotional intelligence or, uh, other sets of skills. Uh, so after that mapping, I remained those three

Roie Galitz: 14:52 and I did, I also did a lot of sports photography, but I love nature too better because in sports also that, I don't want to say another thing, another aspect is that in sports you have so many people in that field of sports. Okay. Like, I like surfing photography that, so there's a lot of surfers who are doing photography and they do a wonderful job and they know all the surfers and they know what surfers like and they know how to Photograph Surf Surfing even better than me. Okay. The same with every field in sports, you name it, soccer, football, uh, athletics, uh, bikes, whatever. Every field. You have that guy who is one of the guys and he is doing amazing photography. And also is doing it for free. So I think, I think that, uh, I couldn't compete in that field and that's one more reason I went into wildlife photography, into nature photography. So it all, it all combines and, and, and that's the reason why, why I went to nature photography.

Raymond: 16:01 You know, I think that that story, I'm sorry. Real quick, I think that story is really gonna Resonate with a lot of listeners of the podcast. Um, and I shared this last week, I sent out a, a survey to my listeners [inaudible] excuse me, asking a series of questions. And one of the questions was, do you think that you are creative? And 70% said that they felt like they were creative, but 30% said that they felt like they were not creative. And I don't know, maybe it's just me cause this is who I am. But I was trying to wrap my head around that, trying to figure out like that bundle. But hearing your perspective kind of fills in those gaps for me. And I hope that the listeners who said that, no, I don't feel like I'm creative. Also get a lot out of that statement as well. So thank you for sharing that.

Roie Galitz: 16:47 That's great. Because I think that when asking people, uh, if there is a certain, they're the ones that survey asking students to rate if they are above the average in their class or below, the average of their class at 90% said they're above the average. And of course, of course that can be 90% the average. Okay. So, um, so the same with the here. I think that the definition of creativity varies. Uh, because although I, I, I'm doing creative work, I don't send myself creative in the creative aspects that I want to be. So creativity is many times, uh, it's a subjective of course. Okay. So you can't say he is creative. He is not creative. He has it. He doesn't have it. It's a, it's a range. It's a, yeah, it's a, you can't say from here, creativity starts and here it ends. Uh, but you always, you can create your creativity by inspiration.

Roie Galitz: 17:56 My inspiration from other photographers, from other fields in arts, from other nature, from uh, trying to change your perspective, working with different clinics, uh, you be more creative or differently creative with a drone then with a camera and on your iPhone. Okay. So, uh, there are a lot of techniques and I'm a technical kind of guy. There's a lot of techniques to creativity and that's what I'm using. I don't have that guts creativity, so to speak, saying that I wake up in the morning, I haven't image and then I go and create something out of nothing. You know what I mean? Yeah. Which some flower there, they're amazing. Uh, I mean I wish, I wish I could do that. I wish I could draw, I wish I could play, but I don't. And that's who I am. I have my advantages, I have my disadvantages, I have my strengths and my weaknesses and everybody should find their own strengths and ministered with witnesses because once you know who you are, you have a much better way to deal with the world as it is.

Raymond: 19:05 I love that. I love that. Okay. So, so building upon that, okay, let's focus a little, a little bit less on the creative side if that's a bit of a weakness and we'll focus more on the technical side, which obviously wildlife photography has a lot of. Now, recently I was watching your, um, I believe it was Tedx, uh, Helsinki talk where you were talking about the rarity of capturing mating polar bears. Okay. Yeah. Wonderful Talk. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I want to know, you know, you just said a, you don't just go into it and hope for the best that there's a lot of planning involved. So how do you prepare to be in the right place at the right time for these two endangered animals to come together and do something that they do once every three years?

Roie Galitz: 19:57 Well, you play a nice music. You put some wine. No, I'm just kidding. Ah, well my, my creativity comes from, first of all, from behaviors and aspects in an exclusive access and a kind of, uh, aspirations. I want to get calls. How do I get closer? I want to shoot from above this behavior. How do I do that? So it comes from the needs that my creativity comes from a need and not out of a creativity for the sake of creativity. Um, but, uh, plan planning is a key factor because I, I have a list of images I want to do and I think everybody should have a list. It doesn't mean you'll get the list done. I don't think, I don't know any photographer who got his list done. But having a list helps you focus on what you need to get. So I wanted to do a pull up there, meeting photography.

Roie Galitz: 20:58 So there is several aspects. What do I need to get that shot? I got to go where the fall bears are. Sorry. Got to find out where the polar bears are. I got to get special permits cause I got to go into an area that's unreachable for humans. And when do they mate? Okay. So they made it at the end of merge or during April. Okay. That's another thing. Uh, and then you got, you need to, to have your intelligence to have your info. Uh, so then you ask around and you're seeing a polar bear mailing code ship around and then you start hearing those gossip stories. Yeah, I heard that one is many wheel. That one I thought I saw a male going into the area with two females and the females don't have cubs because if they have cops, it's different story without carbs. They released the females release pheromones, uh, that which the male, uh, can resect. And they have a, this Jacob's in Oregon at the top of their pallet. And then they, they approached the females and then they meet. So once you have all that or that information, when you have the, uh, uh, schedule your permit, your logistics, everything around it, it's all the matter of just going out there hoping for the best and, and, and, and capture it.

Raymond: 22:25 Okay. Hold on. Before you go any further, there has to be more than just hoping for the best. Cause I'm sure that, especially when it comes to the location, but it doesn't mean that it's going to happen. Right, exactly. But so that was exactly what I was looking for. All of that planning was exactly what I was looking for in that answer. But now, more specifically, I want to know, how did you choose the spot that you decided to, to be in knowing that there would be polar bears that would, that would show up, if that makes sense.

Roie Galitz: 22:58 You go where the polar bears are, you don't choose, you don't choose anything. You are done

Raymond: 23:06 track these fo these polar bears until they see each other and then set up.

Roie Galitz: 23:10 Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, the first I had the information of after I told you everything, I've had the information of meeting for the bears. So I knew in what area, what fueled in Svalbard they're supposed to be. So, uh, that's where I had to be. That's where I had to go. And I have had amazing, amazing specialists. Top of the line specialist, uh, which I'd been working with also on the BBC film, a small bears, you know, that came up last Christmas, um, also in the u s and PBS nature. Um, so we've had all these experience and go, actually, to be honest, I'm going there again on Saturday. Oh yeah. Sorry.

Raymond: 23:58 What is, what are you hoping to get out of this trip?

Roie Galitz: 24:02 Aw, I can't, I can't tell you. [inaudible] okay. Okay. Something with like white bears, another form of white bear. Okay. I got it. I got it. Oh, it's the same boat. More of the polar bears. I've got some more behaviors and more things that I hope I'm hoping for. Uh, but you never know. Again, not nothing is certain, nothing is guaranteed. There is so much, so much uncertainty when it comes to nature to, I like photography because the animals never do what I want them to do. They do what they need to do. Okay. So it's a so many question marks. Actually. There are, there are more question marks than, than exclamation marks, but, um, I think, uh, I'm hoping for the best and uh, keep your fingers crossed as well. Uh, but I'm going back this Saturday for a one week project, uh, coming back and I'm going there again at the end of April for another project.

Raymond: 25:06 Okay. Well, very cool. Very cool. I guess that Kinda brings me to one of my next questions, which is, uh, how, how does the, the, the career side of being a wildlife or conservation photographer work? Because as a, as a wedding photographer, couples come to me, they asked me to shoot their wedding. They pay me money, I show up end of death. That's a good plan, right? Yeah. Not, not too bad, but I know that other photographers, lots of street photographers, they go out on their own. They do their own work, they shoot what they want, they come back and then they sell or license their images. So from a wildlife photography standpoint, how does, how does the career side work for you? Hey Raymond here, and if you're listening to this, it means that you are listening to the free version of today's podcast, which means that you are missing out big time.

Raymond: 25:52 You know, if you become a premium member, not only do you unlock the full interview with today's guests where they share so much more valuable information on how to become a successful photographer, but you also get access to the entire back catalog of past interviews with some of the world's most renowned and experienced photographers who open up and share how they got to where they are and what they would do if they had to start all over again today. Now, if you want to find out, become a premium member by heading over to patrion.com forward slash beginner photography podcast, or just head on over to the beginner photography podcast.com and click the link on our homepage. That's it. I hope to see you there. Yeah. Uh, [inaudible] you obviously got into the conservation side of photography to help make a change in the world, right? Like you said, for those you want to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. So can you tell me about a time where, where you have seen one of your photos make a difference in conservation efforts?

Roie Galitz: 27:00 Well, if, first of all, it's a, it started, um, in, um, 2014 when I started seeing things for myself that are disturbing, seeing less polar bears, seeing hungry polar bears, seeing mess size. So that, that got me into that conservation aspect of photography, uh, because I felt like I've seen too much to ignore it. I seen too much to say this is not happening. And for me, a, as I said in the Ted talk a, I meant it that well, global warming was two words you just read about and hear about and suddenly there it is. It's real. Uh, so I think joining a Greenpeace, um, has became a, a really amazing opportunity and becoming their ambassadors or on their campaigns has been amazing, uh, journey. And, uh, they, I can't say this one specific image that made a whole lot of difference, but maybe, maybe for km. But, uh, there had been many, many images that have been part of campaigns and that thing I think that, uh, made a difference. There are images, uh, of, uh, the dreaming of CIS, the image of a polar bear slipping on the ice that has been featured, uh, in many, uh, medias and also my, uh, campaign for the Antarctic, which was also a really nice with Greenpeace to create the orthotic ocean sanctuary. Um,

Raymond: 28:42 can you tell me a little bit more about that? How, how does a project like that work? They have a goal to create the sanctuary and then they contact you. What, what's going through your head?

Roie Galitz: 28:53 Oh my God, yes. Yeah. Hey, that's what's going on there. Just to be a, just to say it, to set it straight, but, uh, yeah. Uh, Greenpeace has asked me if I would like to participate in that campaign and I said, absolutely yes. Uh, and uh, I gave them my material from the Antarctic. Uh, we created with the Green PC, Israel, uh, uh, wonderful videos explaining about the Antarctic Ocean sanctuary and its purpose. Uh, what's the threat and what's the solution, uh, along with other Greenpeace ambassadors or has been doing amazing work. A great piece has gathered millions of, uh, signatures on the campaign. On the petition and, uh, got the countries who are involved in the Antarctic, uh, pact to vote about the, the sanctuary. Uh, 22 out of 25 countries voted yes. Three voted no. Um, so there is the ocean sanctuary didn't, um, materialize, maybe it will in the future, but Greenpeace has made the, a organization for crit harvesting, uh, made a commitment to make a commitment not to harvest krill in the ocean or ocean of Antarctica.

Roie Galitz: 30:08 And so we did get something there was a positive outcome to that campaign as well as other campaigns, uh, in Svalbard in the North Pole to stop, uh, draining for oil and gas, uh, because that could be a huge disaster if, uh, there would be an oil spill like in the Gulf of Mexico, but in the North Pole. Uh, so that is also, uh, been a very successful campaign by Greenpeace and other, uh, organizations as well. So I think, uh, photographers, I mean, not just me, I'm one of many, uh, who are doing amazing work. Uh, photographers have our, the ambassadors I can say of nature, photographers convey a message that is much stronger than words because seeing a Hungary polar bear like the one shot by Paul Niclin last year, uh, starving the barrels and uh, and uh, and the debris, uh, get huge attention from the international community. A lot more than another article in the news cause people believe what they see. And that's what [inaudible] is.

Raymond: 31:18 So when they came to you with this idea of this sanctuary and asked you to do the campaign, kind of want to know, uh, what's like, what was their goal for you? What was the, what did they want out of the photography and how did you take what they wanted and turn it in

Roie Galitz: 31:34 to that? So first of all, I can show you the, the campaign itself. Uh, it's, um, it's a really nice campaign, very informative. And what they wanted me to show is to explain what's going on in Antarctica, what is the threat and why I did the solution. So we had to go a three stage, uh, video. And the goal is to get as many signatures on the petition as possible. Uh, so again, photography is a, it's a way to communicate. So that's, that's my, my job, uh, in this campaign. That's my goal, just to get as many, as, as many people as involved as possible because if people care, the government's care, if people don't care the government

Raymond: 32:22 all right. And they're the ones who write the checks. I get it. Yeah. So if somebody is listening right now and they really love, uh, the idea of, yeah, they definitely will be. If somebody is listening right now and they, they love the idea of, of, of going out and doing better things in the world with their camera and telling those stories, how would you recommend that somebody gets started in, in conservation efforts through photography?

Roie Galitz: 32:52 Well, I think the best way to start is as also the way I started, which is just go out there and photograph, share images and share stories. If you see some wrong being done, don't overlook, not look the other way, but photograph, share your story and share it online. If everybody talks about it, it becomes even stronger. The next phase when I, when I heard my voice wasn't strong enough, that's when I joined a Greenpeace. But there are so many good environmental of course, the weakest as well. Uh, when environmental organizations that people can join, uh, that people can donate, that people can sign the petitions, uh, because every voice counts, every image counts. And, and again, we are all in this together. Yeah.

Raymond: 33:49 It kind of just parents kind of the whole thesis of this podcast, which is just get out there and just shoot shooting jails. Yeah. You come up with something, people will like it. I love it. I love it. Okay. Now I want to talk about gear for a quick moment because a gear is something that we don't really talk a lot about on this podcast as a, um, as you know, as a professional working photographer that that a, that a photo is more than just the sum of its settings, right? But with, with wildlife photography, it's a different ball game. You have to take a lot of stuff because sometimes you're in these remote locations. So can you share what photographers need to know? Like what makes your kid different than say a portrait photographer?

Roie Galitz: 34:37 Yeah, it's heavier, but um, well I wanna I want to make a point straight first and foremost, photographers, especially wildlife photographers, but all kinds of photographers, usually when the image is not good, they blame the gear. Okay. First things first. Don't blame the gear. The gear is fine. Okay. The gear is, is super. The, the worst camera today is better than the best camera. 10 years ago and 10 years ago, there were amazing images being made all over the world. I mean, no doubt about it. So first it's not the gear. The gear is fine. Just try to work with that. While you have a bad photographer, we get bad images out of the best camera out there. So again, it's, it's not the gear. Uh, but uh, that being said, uh, you want to adopt you gear to what you shooting and not the other way around.

Roie Galitz: 35:43 Okay. So look at what you like to shoot and see how you can shoot it better. And if your gear is your limit, then you buy something new. Uh, for me, one of my favorite wildlife photography Lens is the Nikon 24 70 f 2.8. Okay. Which is, you'd say it's a portrait Lens. And why is it all about portraits a, it's about behavior. It's about getting close. It's about showing, uh, the environment as well as the animal. Okay. So first things first. I mean, try and work with, right? You have and improve your gear only once you've reached a certain limit of your own, of your own equipment. Uh, I am, uh, Gito ambassador origins, or is the tripod company. Yeah. Uh, so, uh, tripods and bags and accessories. Uh, so I'm a, their ambassador and most of the DJI ambassador. And I'm also working, uh, magic technology.

Roie Galitz: 36:47 G G tech is the Hard drives. It's professional brands. Uh, sandy skin was digital and I'm also a Nikkon a beta tester for the year. Uh, so to be honest, I'm, I get gear for free so I can choose whatever I want. Uh, so yeah, sure. Why not give me the 800mm later about. So gear, man, I wouldn't necessarily buy everything that I'm getting. I will work with one I have and not start buying unnecessary gear and stocking up, uh, when it costs so much. So you have to, you have to, to, to see where you're going and then adjust your gear accordingly and not, not the other way around. I heard people say, I got this amazing camera at a, and then there's 600 millimeter lens, but I'm, I'm photographing dogs.

Roie Galitz: 37:45 Don't need that kind of lands for dog puppy dogs and all that stayed away. I get it. Exactly. So again, you need to need to really think about what you're getting and how will it improve your photography, uh, and not just go and buy whatever and working your way around it. Sometimes my gear is not, it's not just the lenses, it's also the, the, the laptop and, and my, uh, uh, backups and the tripods and, uh, triggers, uh, remote, uh, underwater housing, drone batteries, batteries, batteries, and also clothing. Because when you shoot at times 30, one was 40 degrees, you have to have the right gear and the right gloves. And the right, uh, balaclava whatever. You've got to have your, a hand warmers, not for your hands but for your batteries. Uh, so there, there's a lot of things you think about that are not just photography. It could be a satellite phone, but it's part of my photography. Yeah. Yeah, of course. Yeah,

Raymond: 38:52 of course. Yeah. One of the, what's the camera like on those satellite phones? Are they any good?

Roie Galitz: 38:57 Oh, okay. Oh Man. Okay. I got you. I got that four. I've got my eyes with me, so,

Raymond: 39:03 oh, there you go. Does that still work at negative 30 degrees?

Roie Galitz: 39:08 Well, the, the iPhone, the iPhone, uh, I keep it inside my suits and I get it out and I put it back in. Uh, everyone's dad. Yeah, because otherwise when it, when the battery dies, you can't turn it on unless you charge it unlike a camera batteries, which after you, you hit them out, they are full again. [inaudible] and that's fine. You gotta be really careful with your iPhone.

Raymond: 39:33 So for, for those, we kind of talked about wanting to get into conservation photography. We talked a little bit about the gear and what it takes in conservation photography. Um, what do people need to know before going into these potentially dangerous situations with potentially dangerous animals?

Roie Galitz: 39:53 Don't, uh, no. The, the big with dangerous animals and men in dangerous situations, you have to have training and knowledge. I mean, don't go into a situation, uh, that you don't know how you're going to get out of okay. In general. In life. Yeah. Okay. It's not just photography, but, uh, the, you have to learn, you have to ask, you have to s uh, to test. You have to be careful. You need to see and talk to people who are doing this because if they are doing it and they're still there, it means they're probably doing it, doing it well. Uh, so, uh, it took me, uh, myself a long time before I dared, uh, getting closer, uh, to set, set with an animals [inaudible] most animals, I still don't [inaudible] but, uh, don't do something you're unsure of and always ask if you have any question.

Roie Galitz: 40:56 And of course, uh, respect nature because, uh, sometimes things that you think are okay could create a lot of stress with the animal and a stress with the animal could be harmful for the animal or harmful for the photographer if the photographer is not careful. Uh, so don't, don't go and do crazy things unless you know what you're doing. A took me after, only after seeing hundreds, hundreds, thousands, maybe of war verses over five years, I started getting closer to them. Okay. I only even then I feel that t to read and I feel I can read their communication because when their role and Russ is stressed, it shows a certain behavior and whether he's relaxed, he shows a sudden behavior. So you have to be to know how to read this behavior and reading this behavior. It could be a matter of seconds before it can be, uh, harmful for either you or the animals because you don't want to start a stem p e yeah.

Roie Galitz: 42:03 And you don't want to be hurt, hurt as well. Uh, so again, it's a, it's a, a lot of practice and a lot of time and a lot of reading and a lot of consulting and a lot of talking to people who are doing it. So again, don't do anything you're, you're unsure of. Have you ever had a very, uh, dangerous moment that you were legitimately scared for your life and how'd you get out of it? Well, it's not a, I mean, it's not a walk in the park. Okay. But, uh, depending on which park, I mean, there are some parks, I think that more dense, but, uh, it, to tell you that I've been genuinely really scared for my life in a life threatening situation that I almost died. No, it never happened to me. Good. Because you paid attention to your surroundings. You didn't get into those situations.

Roie Galitz: 43:01 Uh, but they're, you know, they're, there are moments where I'm stretching the limits. Uh, I won't say there are, aren't. Uh, last week I was in Tanzania and I was photographing hippos and to photograph people's is, you know, hope was going to be dangerous. Okay. But I, I got low because I want to get this low angle, the same eye level as the hippo and a, and hippos can be dangerous. You have to be. Yeah. I had a guy, one of my, other than one of the rangers was standing behind me and watching over just a toward me. And in case something happens that I'm unaware of because I'm concentrating on photography. So I've got, I got my watcher and I've got my, my hippos and I've got my camera, uh, and every now and then a hippo, uh, Matt get too close or my, uh, dive and approach on the water, and then he'd get up closer.

Roie Galitz: 43:58 And you know, though they have these, uh, thick sounds, very heavy, deep sounds where you in your gut when, when the, when they're calling and, uh, of course they also the a decade, that's the word. Poop. Poop. Yeah. And, and they throwing around with their tail. Uh, they do. I felt it, but it is, they did it on me, but yeah, but it's one of the risks of the hazards of the occupation. Uh, but you know why I always, I only placed myself in that situation because I knew there was a, a, a small cliff, a one meter cliff at the edge, at the edge of the, of the ground. So I knew people's can't climb them. They can't jump. They can climb a one meter a step. Oh, that is. So that's why I felt comfortable being this close. I, you wouldn't do that if there was a shoreline, a gradual slope where they could charge and run straight at me. So that's why I felt comfortable.

Raymond: 45:10 Yeah. No, I can imagine that being on that end of a, a, of a hippo charge would be probably one of the scariest experiences that a human could experience. So I'm glad that, uh, that you paid attention to your surroundings.

Roie Galitz: 45:22 Yeah, that's fine. It, you have to have a spotter you'll have to add because somebody can surprise you where you're not expecting it, and you have to have this knowledge about what is safe and what is not safe, uh, in order to, uh, to watch yourself.

Raymond: 45:37 Yeah. Yeah. Well, Rory, I mean, you've shared so much today. You've, you've, you've given us a ton of Info and really helped out. I think for those who want to get out in nature, I spend some time with, with, uh, with wildlife and photograph to hopefully better not only their communities but the world. So again, I, I can't thank you enough for coming on the podcast. I really appreciate it. Can you share with the listeners how they can get in touch or find you online?

Roie Galitz: 46:06 Sure. Uh, well we can look up Rye gallet on the Instagram or Facebook or Google. Um, and I'm there, I'm on every social media practically, uh, yet again, I feel free. I'd appreciate it. And again, thank you so much for hosting me. Uh, it's been, uh, a lot of fun talking to you and sharing my perspective and I hope you enjoy it.

Raymond: 46:32 I should have and I know that the listeners did as well. So again, Roy, thank you again so much for coming on the podcast and uh, I look forward to keeping up with you and your travels and, uh, and I'll be crossing my fingers that you don't get in front of a, a hippo stampede anytime soon. So again, man, have a, have a great day. Thank you.

Roie Galitz: 46:47 Thank you so much.

Raymond: 46:50 I got to tell you that interview, I want to, uh, go and start photographing and polar bears mating. I'm serious. I maybe, you know, not in Antarctica. I've always wanted to go to Antarctica. Um, I've always wanted to see polar bears. My logo in my photography business is of a polar bear. Um, uh, they just seem like such majestic creatures and you know, having the ability to see them close up and uh, you know, gained some sort of trust to be able to photograph them is just a really, really inspiring to me. And I really enjoyed this episode, but my biggest takeaway was definitely the, the honesty right there that Roy shared of, you know, you don't have to be quote unquote traditionally creative in order to be successful as a photographer. As I mentioned in that survey that I sent out, the 30% of you have said that you do not feel like you are creatives, you know, and, and I'm assuming that the camera is, hopefully it is what you're assuming is going to be your way into some sort of creativity and that's awesome and that is awesome.

Raymond: 48:02 But I would just, uh, pair it again that, uh, well what Roy said that you don't have to be, you don't have to be so far out there to be considered creative, right? You can use the technical skills to do something new and creative in your photography because creativity is different for every single person. And it, uh, it, it is defined, uh, in a different way depending on what, whatever it is that you are doing. So just keep it up, you know, just keep it up, put in the work, put in the time, keep practicing and you will achieve, uh, you know, happiness in your photography and you're going to get to a point to where you are doing, uh, creative work to your standards. And that is awesome. I would love to know if you are one of the 30% of people that, uh, uh, responded to the survey and some of it you don't feel like you are a creative.

Raymond: 49:00 I really want to know your specifically, your biggest takeaway from this interview. If it was that or if it was something else. So feel free, please share it in the beginning of photography podcast, Facebook group. And if you're not already a part of the beginning of photography podcast, Facebook group, we have over 1000 members of photographers just like you who are at, you know, their own a place in this journey in photography. And we all know that, uh, that nobody is, you know, at the, at the same skill level. So there's no dumb questions. There's no rudeness. It is just a community of likeminded new photographers who want to help each other out. So if you're interested, feel free to join. I would love to have you just search Facebook for beginner photography podcast, a group, and you will find it. You don't have to answer three quick questions and then I will let you in. You will, you'll get the golden ticket into the group and then please share your biggest takeaway from this interview and that is it. Okay, I am going to take off now and I will see you all again next week. How does that sound? Sounds pretty good. All right. Until next week, I want you to get out there, keep shooting, try something new and creative. I don't know. Focus on yourself and be safe. All right, that's it. I love you all.

Speaker 2: 50:16 If you enjoy today's podcast, please leave us a review in iTunes or your favorite podcast player and continue the conversation with Raymond and other listeners of the podcast by joining the beginner photography podcast Facebook group today. Thank you. We'll see you again next week.