As a hobbyist, Daryl started to explore digital photography in 2006. Since then, it has been a journey through various genres until he found his true passion – wildlife photography. In pursuit of artistic documentation of animal behaviour, Daryl has travelled to far-flung locations such as Africa and has won several medals for his wildlife photography.(Report by Isaiah Tan)
Q1: How did you get started in photography, and in particular, wildlife photography?
Daryl Yeo (D): I began as a hobbyist photographer in 2006 and attended several courses at SAFRA Photography Club. In 2011, I bought a Canon EF500mm f/4 IS II USM and that started my journey in wildlife photography.
Q2: What’s the most important photographic lesson you’ve learnt?
D: Practice makes perfect. For every good image, there are probably several hundreds more that are not. When I first started, the success rate of my images was low, but the more I shot, the more confident I became and my images improved.
Q3: How much does one need to know about the habitat and animals before starting on wildlife photography?
D: For locating animals, we rely on the local guides. If you understand animal behaviour, you can plan your shot instead of simply reacting. Knowledge of the wildlife helps us to be prepared, resulting in more fruitful trips. Understanding our impact on the subject also helps us to be environmentally responsible.
Q4: What’s the most exciting wildlife situation you’ve encountered?
D: During my first trip to Kenya, we passed two bull elephants in a fight. Instinctively we stopped to photograph the action. Hearing the camera clicks and our excitement, the elephants suddenly stopped and stared at us. We froze; it would have been disastrous if the elephants had charged towards us. Fortunately, they continued their fight. It was a moment of cold sweat.
Q5: Can you discuss some of the difficulties in shooting wildlife?
D: As photographers, we often strive for good subjects, in perfect lighting conditions, and with ideal composition. This is actually difficult to achieve in wildlife photography. It may take several attempts before one gets lucky. But when that happens, the photographer must be ready to capitalise on it. As photographers we must adapt and think on our feet.
Q6: Where have you travelled for wildlife photography, and which is your favourite place and why?
D: My passion has taken me to Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia; as well as far-flung locations in Africa, Japan and US. Africa is addictive; it keeps me going back for more. The diversity of animals is unmatched and even if I return to the same place, I may observe different behaviours.
Q7: Which is your most memorable photograph? Why?
D: I followed a family of cheetahs in Tanzania in 2013. The cubs were about a year old, just learning to hunt. The family was relaxed in our presence, as the cubs played with one another beside our Jeep. Suddenly, their mother flushed out a fawn, but she did not kill it. The fawn was released for the cubs to chase after. This happened a few times before the fawn was tired and eventually killed. It is a strong lesson on survival – both for the fawn and for the young cheetahs.
Since 2012, Daryl Yeo has won several medals from international photography competitions. He was awarded Associateship of the Royal Photographic Society (ARPS) from the UK in 2014. Apart from that, he was also awarded the Fellowship from various photography associations such as the Photographic Society of Singapore, Photographic Society of Malaysia, and Singapore Colour Photographic Society. Besides wildlife, Daryl also enjoys travel, dance and sports photography. He was part of the official photography team in Chingay 2012 and 2014, and had also volunteered in the National Day Parade 2014 as a photographer.
A professional videographer with a love for photography, Isaiah runs a video production company, a wedding video/photo business, as well as a small bar in Singapore. He enjoys experimenting with different photographic techniques and always wants to learn and discover more of the world around him.