Chit Chat With . . .
Harman Singh Heer
His love for nature and Wildlife Photography has no bounds, on many occasions he has spent hours on end to capture his master piece. The 20 year old never fails to surprise his audience and social media followers with his creativity. Never shy of supporting animal and wildlife charities by auctioning his photos and collaborating with other photographers, his last piece was auctioned for $10,000. This month our Chit Chat is with Harman Singh Heer, Millennial Photographer, who talks about photography, juggling photography and schoolwork and sound advice to fellow millennials.
What does photography mean to you?
I believe photography is a means of making fleeting moments, eternal, and then sharing these moments with an audience to highlight the importance of our natural world and the beauty of our planet. I essentially see photography as a medium for advocating how humans have neglected and destroyed the planet and its flora and fauna.
How would you describe your photography style?
I would describe my photographic style as artistic, yet still realistic. I find it important to show the world in a way that isn’t necessarily visible to the naked eye. This is often in the form of intimate compositions especially when it comes to wildlife, as I feel there is so much emotion and power in the eyes and expression of each animal. I still believe it is important to keep the photograph relatively realistic and I often will not add elements that were not a part of the original scene.
How long have you been a photographer?
I picked up my first camera 8 years ago, however I only really began focusing on photography at a more professional scale in the last 3 years.
Among your work, which one is your favourite? And Why?
It is too difficult to think of just one favourite photo, but there are a few that continue to blow my mind every time I look at them — the cheetah reflection, black panther, human face in the shape of a dune and my sister with the moonrise. (all showcased below)
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am inspired by nature. I want to show people things they have never seen before, encouraging them to understand that they, or their kids or even grandkids may never get to see such things as long as humanity continues prioritising economic growth over the wellbeing of the planet.
Whose work has influenced you the most?
Shaaz Jung and Emilie Ristevski have been two major influences to my work and style, I truly admire their work.
Which is your favourite lens? Why?
My favourite lens is the Canon 70-200 because it is amazing for both wildlife and landscape photography, making it extremely versatile. Not only this but it can go down to an aperture of F2.8 making it an ideal lens for low light situations which is some of my favourite light to shoot in.
What type of cameras do you shoot with?
I shoot with a Canon 1DX M2 and a Canon 5D M4. Alongside this I also use a Phantom 4 Pro drone for some of my marine wildlife and landscape work.
Photos by Harman Singh Heer
Photos by Harman Singh Heer
What makes the good picture stand out from the average?
I would say composition and uniqueness. The way you compose an image is personally one of the most important aspects of distinguishing a good photograph over an average one. Editing and colour correction is also extremely important. And if you can get a unique subject in your viewfinder that will help even more.
How do you educate yourself to take better photos?
Predominantly through practice. Every time I am out in the field I learn new things and get more comfortable with using my gear and its functionality. Alongside this, friends, social media and also the internet have educated me significantly.
What do you like least about being a photographer?
Every time I get back from a holiday where I have been taking photos I’m in need of another one ;)
What do you like most about being a photographer?
Definitely the rush I feel when I look through the viewfinder at a subject or landscape I have dreamt of seeing and photographing, and then clicking the shutter knowing I captured the shot I have been manifesting.
How do you juggle your schoolwork and photography?
I’m in university now so it is not too difficult. We get a 3 month summer holiday each year which lets me focus on photography. And during the Uni period I tend to use my camera less but still try and go out to shoot over the weekends.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I am not sure yet but definitely something to do with photography. I would love to work for National Geographic, or conduct photo safaris in Kenya. I would potentially even be interested in becoming a certified guide.
How has the pandemic affected you?
I haven’t been able to travel and go back to Kenya in almost two years which is a bit frustrating considering I used to go back at least once a year pre-Covid. That said, it has also impacted me in a very beneficial way. It has forced me to step outside of my comfort zone and diversify my portfolio. I photographed marine life such as a Southern Right Whale, Humpback Whales, Dolphins, A tiger shark and bronze whaler sharks all for the first time which was beyond incredible. I tried some portraits which I actually enjoyed. I definitely learnt that there is so much beauty everywhere you are so travel isn’t necessarily something that should stop me from doing what I love.
How do you contribute to the community?
I try my best to support wildlife and local communities throughout Africa by donating my work for causes such as charity auctions or fundraisers. I recently was a part of Prints for Wildlife, a fundraising campaign remedy the negative effects of Covid-19 on African wildlife and local communities throughout Africa. I donated a photograph of a male lion sitting on a rock in black and white, which managed to sell out and raise $10,000 of the total $1 million that was raised. I have never been a part of something so inspiring and incredibly fulfilling.
What advice would you give to the millennials your age?
Don’t be afraid to do what you love and what you are passionate about just because certain people or society puts you down for it. Ultimately you want to be happy so do what makes you happy.
How can people contact you?