Interview with wildlife photographer Reuben Brewer

photo credit: Reuben Brewer

photo credit: Reuben Brewer

Reuben, when did you discover a love for photography?

I achieved a distinction grade in an e-learning photography course by UK Open Learning on 3rd September 2010.

My home and hospital tutor allowed me to borrow his digital camera during a school holiday break, and I took photos of anything and everything I was interested in. I took photos of nature, patterns I find in everyday objects.

I was so intrigued at the types of photos I could take, and wanted to experiment more, so my mum bought me a digital camera from an electronics store in town.

Since then I was taking so many photographs, and building up a collection. We saw a photographic editing software in town, and in hopes of enhancing my photographs, we decided to buy it.

From this photographic editing software, I discovered, purely by chance, that it had more possibilities than simply enhancing my photographs. What I discovered was that I could manipulate my photos and alter them in such a combination of ways that I was able to create interesting and colourful abstract designs. I wanted to explore this avenue further, so I began taking more photographs of patterns in hopes of creating even more of these vibrant, colourful, and unusual designs. During an ASDAN course with one of the tutors I sold my designs set in greetings cards, in local craft village shop for a whole year. Also for the course I raised £200 from the sale of my greetings cards for a charity that went to the National Autistic Society.

Why do you chose to photograph nature? (The photographs are simply stunning)

 The reason why I chose nature photography is because of the many interesting subjects from interesting, colourful and unusual birds, to flowers, shrubs, and trees in just as many interesting and colourful shapes and sizes. Every time I see something I’ve never seen before that catches my eye, I’m immediately drawn to it and want to take as many photos as I can.

I’m always fascinated whenever I see a new animal visit the garden. For example, I can remember the first time I saw a European goldfinch from outside the window, I immediately got my camera ready, took a few photos through the glass. Came downstairs, but it flew off. Over time I learnt to give the animals a chance to get used to my presence, and eventually they start to come down more trustingly, I just wish I had the same effect on people I met at school. Luckily, it came back a few days later, and I began to take more photographs, this time from out in the garden and closer. I was amazed at the vivid colours, the strong crimson around it’s eye and beak. There was such a contrast between the red, creamy colour and black that surrounded its head.

photo credit: Reuben Brewer

photo credit: Reuben Brewer

Another very good example about animals and their trust is squirrels. Now, squirrels can be a nuisance when it comes to eating all the bird food, but I’ve learnt a few techniques, including weighted bird feeders, and chili suet. What really interested in me about the squirrel is its intelligence. Over time, I started to notice something. When I moved my hands in certain ways, as a way of expressing myself to explain something to the squirrel, after a few attempts and trust, it responded. What I mean is that, it felt confident to come down and feed on the bread on the floor. Then, not too long ago, I started to notice it started making chewing motions. I, thinking nothing of it, repeated the action back to the squirrel. After a few copying motions, it then came down and fed. Amazingly enough, the next time it arrived, it began making chewing motions again, remembering my actions the last time. I responded, and after a few attempts, it grew more trusting, and began to crawl down the fence and fed again. Now it’s become a routine, and they’ve been repeating this action every time they see me, like they are trying to receive reassurance that it’s alright that they can eat the food. This has really interested me, as this is not the only garden animal that responds to my actions.

What inspires you with regards to your photography?

As I said in my previous answer, I’m inspiration by anything and everything I find interesting. Natural photography is the field I concentrate the most on, and it’s the one aspect which has many fascinations in itself. There are many different plants and animals you can capture on camera out there, everywhere from parks and nature reserves around the country to wildlife, flowers, shrubs and trees in your garden.

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About Jo Worgan

Jo Worgan is a published author, writer and blogger. She has a degree in English Literature. She writes about life with her youngest son who is on the autistic spectrum. Jo tweets (@mummyworgan) and is also a freelance columnist for the Lancaster Guardian. ‘My Life with Tom, Living With Autism‘ is her second book and a culmination of her blog posts, and available on Kindle now, along with her first book, Life on the Spectrum. The Preschool years.