We are very happy to introduce another one of the 3 artists, whose work was featured at the set 0: the urge to get out. Meet Vilius Paškevičius, a nature activist and wild-life photographer.
Vilius is based in Lithuania, where he travels around the country to portrait Lithuanian wildlife. He reveals secret life of animals through his camera lens and uses his stunning images to educate people about rarely seen or met animals, as well as ecological issues.
If you would like to see more of Vilius photography, you could follow him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gallinago
We recently met Vilius online and he kindly agreed to answer few of our questions:
Hi, I know you as a wildlife photographer, do you also portrait other topics in your works? What made you interested in wildlife photography and how did you start it?
Mostly I photograph wildlife, sometimes landscape. Something else very rarely, for commercial reasons. I started to get interested in photography about fifteen ears ago, when first compact digital cameras appeared. While I didn’t have my own camera then, while playing with friend’s or relatives’ devices and learning to use various manual functions, I truly got into photography. I am using professional camera for 9 years now.
What traits does a wildlife photographer needs to have? Is patience the most important one? Did you have to study biology and animal behavior to take better pictures?
Patience is a necessary quality for every nature photographer. I can easily sit in one place for a long time, even if nothing interesting happens. Yet I don’t think all nature photographers should be alike in order for the results to be good. The specifics of the work of different photographers may differ, but if the result is satisfactory – great.
It is very useful to have information; if someone is genuinely interested, it accumulates by itself. Interest in theory is important, but in the end, it is all about practice. Nature photography requires a lot of specific knowledge that you will not learn from either photography or biology manuals.
As wildlife photographers might need to spend a lot of time in cold and wet conditions, it could make it hard to stay motivated. Have you experienced moments when you thought ‘enough is enough’? What is inspiring/motivating you as an artists and what values you try to portrait in your work? How long does it take from the idea to the final picture? Are there more people involved in the process or do you prefer working alone?
There are different difficulties when photographing different things. For example, when photographing deer, it is sometimes very difficult to get close to them and stay unnoticed. When photographing small and fast animals, the hardest part is completing the technical side of the frame.
Sometimes it is so difficult not to fall asleep while waiting in a hide, that at some point you lose control of it…
In nature photography, there are endless wonderful things that have already been created, all you have to do is find a way to approach it and find a new corner to look at it. I like to search for it.
I myself am a very deep introvert, so spending time alone is not only easy for me, but also necessary and natural. I think it also helps when photographing animals. Others like to take photos with companies, but it seems impractical to me – it is much harder to stay unheard and undetected.
What was the most memorable photograph that you have taken? Do you portrait only Lithuanian wildlife? What is your dream animal/animal related event to photograph in the future?
It would be difficult to name just one specific frame. A photo with a mother mangut carrying a child is very dear to me because of the rare and unique moment. This is one of my most memorable photos.
There are also photos that are dear to me because they are technically difficult to perform and are very rare. Some of these pictures are of swifts in flight.
So far, I have no desire to take photos abroad, but thinking about enticing latitudes, it would be the north – Alaska and the northern regions of Canada.
I’d like to photograph those animals that are currently extinct in the wild of Lithuania.
You have already printed your work as postcards for ‘Atgal Į Gamtą’, did it help the organization with the projects and/or public reach? What do you think about postcards as a physical medium for spreading awareness on the topic? Have you ever received a postcard that made you think about it for a while?
Postcards were made for fundraising for the organisation, it was quite successful. I believe that visual and physical messages can be engaging and meaningful. Personally, I receive postcards very rarely. But I like to have them as small pictures or illustrations.