We are back with another Hahnemühle Photography Month. This year we want to show how diverse photography and fine art printing is and can be. Each week we will focus on selected highlights and topics. During our first week, we will talk about Wildlife and Landscape Photography and how it can follow a mission. Together with our friends from Prints for Wildlife, we will share various videos, images and interviews from participating photographers.
For our interview series during the first week of the Hahnemühle Photography Month, we interviewed Wildlife photographer Lee-Anne Robertson.
Could you introduce yourself in 3-4 sentences?
“My name is Lee-Anne Robertson and I live on a farm in the Sundays River Valley, South Africa. We farm with cattle and sheep and I help my husband with the books. I am a mother to a son and daughter, both who are my pride and joy! I am also mother to five dogs.”
How and When did you figure out you wanted to become a Wildlife/Nature photographer?
“Although not an artist I love looking at art and have always been drawn to beautiful things, be that interiors, art shops, fabrics , sculptures and I love any form of creativity. Thus began my journey with photography as it was a creative outlet for me. I started very late in life ( 42 or so) and I am living proof that it is never too late to follow your passion!!! 😂 I am not very good at drawing or painting but felt I wanted to capture beauty that was all around me so I decided to get a camera and from that minute I was hooked!”
How did you decide to get into this photography field?
“In the beginning I did a lot of landscapes and seascapes but found being on the beach at 5am in the morning was not the safest place for a woman on her own, so I started visiting the nearby Addo Elephant Park and I discovered I absolutely loved being out in nature watching the animals and spending time with them. It very quickly developed into a full blown passion and I spent all my time learning everything I could about wildlife photography!”
Why did you become a photographer, and do you follow a specific goal or have a mission with your photography?
“My main mission with my photography is to just get people to fall in love with the beauty of nature and animals and to showcase wildlife to people so that they want to love and protect them. With the ever growing population and the diminishing land for wildlife to thrive and survive, we need to ensure that we do not push these amazing animals to the brink.”
Why do you print your images?
“There is no greater reward than to see your work printed. It makes you feel so proud to see what you created and just to share that with others and have it displayed in their homes is just incredible!
Since when are you offering photo prints and what made you decide to offer your photos as printed work?
“Once I had a collection of work I felt was worthy to be purchased I began offering prints. That took a while as I was a complete and utter novice 10 years ago having never used a digital camera, knowing nothing about lightroom, photoshop , camera settings or anything else about photography.”
Why do you believe prints can not only be valuable, tangible pieces of art, but also support a greater cause? Can you affect people’s minds and hearts with the power of art?
“I think you can definitely affect peoples minds and heart with art – photography is very emotive and can have a huge impact on people if you capture your subject in such a way that it conveys the vulnerability of the species or the beauty of our planet. There’re so many ways you can use photography as a tool to convey certain messages or just to showcase an animal.”
When it comes to the paper choice – why did you go for Hahnemühle?
“The paper choice was because of the high quality of the paper”
Which is your favourite Hahnemühle paper to print on and why?
“My favorite is the Hahnemuhle Photo Rag® 308 gsm.”
Have you considered our Natural Line papers, which are sourced ecologically?
“I would love to try the natural line of papers next.”
How did you pick your favourite paper – testing, accident, recommendation?
“The prints always come out beautifully and the clients are always pleased.”
Why do you support Prints for Wildlife with your work and why do you think the cause is important?
“I support prints for wildlife because for too long nature and wildlife take a backseat to people but I believe they are equally important and natural environments and animals deserve to roam the planet without threat of persecution from the ever expanding population. By creating awareness of their plight hopefully they can continue to thrive and survive on a planet they call home as much as we do! Earth is their only home. They belong here. Nature restores balance . We cannot allow the destruction of wild animals and places. It’s not fair or just.”
Prints for Wildlife is a fundraiser aiming to ensure protected areas continue to deliver benefits to people and wildlife during the COVID pandemic. More than 170 wildlife photographers, including renown international and emerging and local wildlife photogrpahers, have come together to mobilise needed support for one cause: to continue the protection of vital landscapes in Africa. The fundraiser runs from 11 July to 11 August 2021. All funds collected via the print sale go directly to conservation non-profit African Parks. The price per print is 100 USA excluding shipping. 100% of the proceeds (after printing and handling) will be donated to African Parks. All prints are printed on our sustainable Natural Line Paper Hahnemühle Hemp from our Digital FineArt Collection.
Make sure to check out the images Lee-Anne donated to the Prints for Wildlife fundraiser.