The Call of the Wild


Nathan McNeil

Finalist in

Open Category

Written Statement

With a brief as open as ‘This Makes Me Happy’, the idea for submissions was simple: go on adventures in the outdoors! Since before picking up a camera, the outdoors ruled my life and was always my source of happiness, wether I knew it or not. Then along came photography, my newest source of happiness. Combine the two and you have a perfect recipe to fill the brief. I can’t really try to narrow down any particular part of the outdoors that makes me happy, it’s an all-encompassing thing that I have no need to dissect, just an urge to embrace!

Creating photos in the outdoors can often be a bit of a challenge, varying light, fast moving subjects, hours of walking to get to our destination, etc. but that’s all part of the package. It’s a fulfilling experience being able to go on adventures to places off the beaten track and capturing how we interact with these places is what I love most. When I am in the places I try to capture my images as naturally as possible, with a documentary-style approach. Sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time but in order to do that, you have to be constantly watching situations unfold and trying to look ahead of what is happening. As I am usually shooting people, shutter speed is a massive priority in order to freeze the action & second to that is composition.

I feel these images explore the theme of ‘This Makes Me Happy’ by showing the relationship humans and the outdoors have and how spending time in nature can truly cleanse your soul and get rid of your worries, even when life throws you a curveball.


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