Jaco Marx is a full-time dental surgeon from South Africa who moonlights as an incredibly talented nature, wildlife, and travel photographer, as well as a conservationist. Whatever free time he can scrounge, Jaco spends photographing the African wilderness.

He hopes his photos will influence people and change the way they think about wildlife. By bringing Africa into people’s living rooms, he seeks to drive home the point that nature is in a fragile state now more than ever.

You can see more of his work by following him on 500px, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, or visiting his website. You can also purchase prints of his work at 1x.

With the technological advancements in digital photography, wildlife photography boomed and more people are joining this hobby/profession every day. The result is a massive amount of wildlife images on the internet, Facebook and/or photography websites.

It is important to not just ‘take’ a wildlife image, but rather ‘create’ an image, this means including extra elements like light and dust for instance. Suddenly the ‘normal’ wildlife image will be elevated to a next level…a much more appealing image.

Below I have included a few images I think will demonstrate this:


In the image above, the photograph was taken early morning light with the sun straight ahead. The dust kicked up by the elephant herd created a magical realm for light to illuminate the surroundings. 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100


In the image above the baby elephant ran into a dry river bed with sun slightly from the left, just enough to include some details in the shadows. 1/1000sec, f/4.0, ISO 100


A beautiful cheetah traversing the open plains, kicking up dust in bright morning sun. This will only be visible if the image is taken with some good back light. Once again I shot slightly into the sun to achieve some rim light and visible shadow trails. 1/500sec, f/4.0, ISO 400


In this picture, I wanted to include the roots of the tree, the beautiful golden sunlight, and the soft background, adding some substance to the image. 1/400sec, f/4.0, ISO 1250?

I hope the images above demonstrated what I wanted to convey: that adding natural elements can add a lot to your final result.