“I look with my eyes… I capture with my heart and I freeze the moment with my camera.”
In recent years, a wealth of talented female photographers have made their mark on the wildlife/nature scene. These individuals possess the skills to consistently capture magic on film. Counted amongst them is rising star Ilna Booyens who frequently shares her work on the South African Wildlife Photographers group.
We have recently had the privilege to do a short interview with her to learn more about how she gets that perfect shot.
WLR: You post a photo almost daily on the South African Wildlife Photography group. How often do you get to a game park?
Ilna: About four times a year, with any spare time I have. I am in the park when the gate opens and out when it closes again. I spend a week or two in a game park. I will sometimes sleep in the back of the cruiser on a mattress.
As I have said to people before: I look with my eyes… I capture with my heart and I freeze the moment with my camera.
WLR: How did you start with photography?
Ilna: Regular visits to Pilanesberg, Kruger Park, Kgalagadi. I had to capture my memories in some or other way.
WLR: How long have you done “serious” photography. That is, when did you first get your DSLR camera and what was it?
Ilna: In 2007 I got my Canon 350D, but I only shot in Auto mode as I knew nothing about settings, so I only used it when we went on holiday about once a year. I got more serious about photography in October 2015 when I bought a Canon 7D Mark II with a Canon 100-400II lens. It’s now my best friend.
WLR: In a 2015 Kruger-2-Kalahari newsletter Mario and Jenny Fazakes praised you for your patience and how ready you were for the shot at the Rathlago waterhole in Pilanesberg. What do you think distinguishes an above-average photographer from the average?
Ilna: Patience, Persistence and Sacrifice – to go out in all conditions for that perfect photo opportunity.
WLR: What do you use to edit your photos?
Ilna: Lightroom 5. I have not figured out every feature but it does the essential stuff I need. I shoot in RAW.
WLR: If you had to upgrade your current kit, what would you consider?
Ilna: I would go for the Canon 1DX Mark II and a Canon EF600mm F/4L IS II.
WLR: Which photographers inspire you?
Ilna: Braeme Holland, John Vosloo, Prelena Soma Owen, Grant Atkinson, Shayne Maguire.