Marina Cano is probably one of the distinguished wildlife photographer of our times. She is an award winning wildlife photographer from Cantabria in North of Spain.
Marina’s unique style of photography makes her one of the successful wildlife photographers. It’s such a pleasure to see her work. Those of you who haven’t see her work yet, I would recommend you to go through her amazing website http://www.marinacano.com. You will fall in love with her photographs and would be inspired to take your photography to next level.
She is a living example of how one could achieve great results by studying the subjects and places that are close to your home. It might not be far from truth that she has produced the best photographs from Cabarceno Natural Park in Cantabria Spain.
If you google Cabarceno Natural Park and check for the images, you will see that most of the images are uninteresting, but not Marina’s! They are exceptional.
So…what does it teach us? It’s in our hands to make the best use of the situation. Would you start making best of your present situation? I hope so.
Let’s get to know more about this inspiring and famous wildlife photographer Marina Cano in her own words. A hearty welcome to Marina to our blog.
Prathap: I have followed your work for a very long time now. The first photograph that I truly fell in love with is the photograph of this Lynx. I would love to know behind the scenes of this amazing photograph.
Marina Cano: This is my most stolen picture. Unfortunately this image of the lynx in the forest is not original. I mean the lynx is my picture, but not the forest.
This is my real Lynx picture. It’s a Boreal Lynx taken in Cabarceno Wildlife Park.
Prathap: You are one of the very few photographers who believed photographing the same species many a times until you perfected an image. This very famous image of yours is probably the most striking composition and skilful use of light.
Would it be possible to let our readers know your initial days of photography to find that unique style?
Marina Cano: My initial days taking pictures were a discovery, meeting the wildlife more than ten years ago in the largest wildlife park in Europe, Cabarceno in Cantabria Spain, 20 minutes form where I live. I’m a lucky girl.
Prathap: Most of your photographs are so unique and evocative. Whether it is an intimate portrait of Zebras or intimacy between the Giraffes, there is something that is awe-inspiring. How do you achieve such exemplary results Marina?! What drives you to get these unique photographs?
Any tips to make such photographs would be greatly appreciated.
Marina Cano: I’ve been asked many times about the intimacy and the black background in these photographs. What appears to be mysterious, is actually very easy to do and explain. The photographs are taken in Cabárceno (the largest safari park in Europe, where the animals live in semi-freedom). Some of the animals have shelters where they can hide from the rain. This is the time when I take the photos. When it rains, the animals stand in the doorway in such a way that the diffused light of the leaden sky illuminates their heads gently, while the rest of their bodies and the background remain dark, as the light diminishes as it penetrates the shelter.
Prathap: If I remember properly, the following photograph made it to National Geographic Cover page sometime back. Congratulations on this great achievement!
You have made a vertical and a horizontal composition of the same scene. Both are exceptional. Would it be possible to give some tips on making photographs of animals in their natural habitat? What should one keep in mind about the light and composition?
Marina Cano: This is one of the most beautiful scenaries in the world – Amboseli National Park in Kenya. Having the Kilimanjaro in the backgraound, sunrise and then an elephant in front of my camera, I just took the picture. All the beauty was there.
You have to be quick, because the light changes in seconds. I knew I wanted enough deep of field to get all in focus. I also took the picture with high ISO. You have to know the principal technnical about your camera, and then be creative once you take pictures.
Prathap: What are the most important considerations a wildlife photographer should make in order to produce quality work? How important is post-processing workflow to getting your vision come true?
Marina Cano: I started photography when I was a teenager, and I use to work with my images in the dark room. Post processing is something natural for me. Photoshop is a great tool to process your pictures.
Prathap: You conduct one-on-one and group workshops. Looking at your unique style of photography I presume your workshops would also be unique. Would it possible to describe it to our readers? Tell us about your upcoming workshops.
Marina Cano: I have two different kinds of workshops – groups and one-on-one.
I like small groups, so I can explain personally every single question, any doubts or check the work of each one of my guests. I run workshops In Cabarceno, and I know every single corner of the park by heart. People learn composition, the importance of light, ready for opportunities, to get the better moments… and we are sponsored by Canon, so we can take pictures with the best equipment you can dream of. Also we have always a lot of fun.
On the other hand, one-to-one workshops are really interesting. Absolutely personal and much focused on the interests of the participating photographer. Also we have time to work on Photoshop.
My upcoming group workshop is in next March (March 20th, 21st, and 22nd) and other workshops on May 22-23-24, July 3-4-5, September 25-26-27, November 6-7-8.
All the info about my workshops can be found here: http://www.marinacano.com/product/workshops-2/
Prathap: It was pleasure talking to you Marina. On behalf of our readers, I thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to take us through a virtual photographic journey. Have a great year ahead!
Marina Cano: Thanks to you. It was a pleasure.
I hope you enjoyed this interview.