Spotlight: Sven Začek, Estonia

In our Spotlight feature, we ask our members some questions to learn more about what inspires their photography, the processes they use to make images, and the stories behind their favorite pictures.

Q: What’s the story behind this photo?

A: The Ural owl is my favorite species and I have been photographing them for nine years now. National Geographic published a story about my owl in the 2012 June issue. And the activities between the female and a chick were the deciding photos that made the story complete.

Q: Why do you take pictures?

A: I love reliving rare moments in nature through my photos.

Q: What do you like to take pictures of and why?

A: Animals and their behavior and landscapes in different natural phenomena (blizzards, storms, rain, snow, etc). “Why” is difficult to answer. It is like asking why do I love my wife. Because I am drawn to her, and trying to pinpoint what exactly is the reason doesn’t make sense for me.

Q: Whose photography has influenced you the most?

A: Michael S. Quinton. Especially his great gray owl and northern goshawk stories in the National Geographic magazine.

See more of Sven’s photos in his Your Shot gallery.