The Little Wilderness


Shaun Viljoen


Open Category


We like to think of backyards as human spaces – a place for barbecues, cricket, a cuppa on the patio. But alongside the pavers, the Hills Hoist, the smell of fresh-cut grass, there is a whole other world right under our noses – a little wilderness. You don’t have to go to the Serengeti or the Amazon to see incredible creatures honed by millions of years of evolution playing out life-and-death struggles. You just have to step out the back door. That was my approach to the theme. I’ve used a macro lens to get up close and personal to the tiny subjects. I’ve used very small apertures and a flash to capture the detail and freeze the moment. I’ve chosen compositions that explore not only the incredible biological architecture of these creatures but also the world they inhabit. I’ve photographed them where I found them in the garden – not in a studio, not moved or posed – but in the little wilderness they call home. My photos explore the theme by presenting in-situ portraits of three very different examples of the tiny marvels that call every backyard home, that are just as much a part of our gardens as the veggie patch, the bird bath and the lemon tree.



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