Series Spotlight - Herons & Co by Staffan Widstrand


Staffan Widstrand is one of Sweden’s internationally most recognised and celebrated nature photographers. Having won many international awards, including ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year’ eleven times and ‘GDT European Nature Photographer of the Year’ five times, he has been deemed ‘one of the most influential nature photographers’ by Outdoor Photography Magazine. On top of his award winning Photography he is an avid conservationist and has founded several conservation initiatives, including the ‘International League of Conservation Photography’. He is also involved in ‘Rewilding’ schemes in order to rebuild wild environments so that wildlife and ecosystems can survive and thrive without constant human management. 

Staffan deems the wild and wilderness so important in an artistic sense because of the freedom and hope for freedom that it provides; he uses the example of a bird, where ‘when you see a bird, it is because that bird wants to be there, not because it is part of some business plan’. You can sense the freedom he so admires in this Series Spotlight. His photography captures these birds but does not trap them. He favours long lenses and tight frames to create a sense of intimacy and focus on the details of graphics and colour. He also favours taking photos in the early morning and late evening which is evident in the striking yellow and pink of daylight and daybreak. Although the birds in his photography seem dramatic and performative they are merely existing. It is his skill and stylistic choices that make these photos so striking. 

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