5 questions with teen wildlife photographer from Durbs

Posted on 28 October 2019

The 13-year-old Branson Meaker is a budding young photographer from Durban North and a finalist in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards 2019.

‘The Aquabatic Antelope’ – his Highly Commended image of an airborne red lechwe in Botswana – is currently exhibiting among other impressive wildlife photographers at the Natural History Museum in London.

You may remember that his older brother, Skye Meaker, claimed top-prize and the title of Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year in 2018 when he was 16 years old. This time, we picked Branson’s brain to find out more about the destinations and scenery that inspires him – and his promising photos.

Branson Meaker, image supplied

1. What advice have Skye and the family been able to share with you when it comes to photography?  

They have taught me to be patient in the bush and also how to use certain settings on my camera. Through them, I’ve learnt to appreciate every sighting. I’ve practised on these same sightings with my family while we were in the bush. I’ve had to teach myself many things too and learn through trial and error.

2. What do you shoot on and what do you like to photograph?

I shoot on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III. I mainly enjoy wildlife photography, but also take sports and cultural photos for my school’s photography club – I’m currently a Grade 8 at Clifton College.

3. Do you remember what your first camera was?

My first camera was a blue and green Buzz Lightyear camera which my parents bought for me in America. I was about 5 years old then. It was a point-and-shoot camera without any settings and a picture of Buzz from the Toy Story movies.

Branson Meaker, image supplied

4. Tell us more about being a Durban Boy and the city as a location for aspiring photographers?

Durban is a good place to live. We are close to nature reserves and the weather is mild so we can go out into nature often.  We also have lots of sunlight which is good for taking photos.

Anyone can go outside with a camera and take pictures in their garden or at one of our parks such as the Botanic Gardens.  We are also near the beach which is also good to visit. Start small and learn all your camera settings.  Then practice and learn from your mistakes. It’s also fun taking pictures and showing people what you saw afterwards.

5. What is your favourite place to visit for a holiday?

I really enjoy Botswana. Both the Kwando Reserve and Mashatu Game Reserve are very special to me. I have been very lucky to visit other countries too like Zimbabwe and Kenya, and I enjoy travelling with my family and making memories.

Branson’s image will be on display at the Natural History Museum until 31 May 2020. To view more of wildlife shots, visit his website. bransonmeaker.com

Also read:

Durban teen’s wildlife photo on show in London

Wildlife Photographer of the Year winners 2019

Images supplied

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