Knut Erik Alnæs ¬– Showcasing the often-unseen beauty of wildlife

Knut Erik Alnæs fell in love with photography when he was 9 and borrowed his father’s video camera to film roe deer and red foxes around their cabin. “I loved being close to wildlife and being able to relive the experience afterwards,” he explains. A couple of years later he bought a Canon EOS 550D digital SLR and has been hooked on nature and wildlife photography ever since.

When he was 15, Knut Erik was awarded second place in the Young Nordic Nature Photographer of the Year contest. While it was great to have his images acknowledged by the professionals that had inspired him, it was also a perfect way to get to know other photographers, to expand his network and thereby his source of inspiration.

For years Knut Erik considered photography as a serious hobby that happened to bring an income. He continued to win awards, but it wasn’t until Canon first reached out to him in 2019 that he realised that photography could be more than a hobby. However, he had signed up to study law at the University of Oslo, and he wasn’t about to back out on that.

Being a full-time law student and a full-time nature photographer requires hard work and great organisational skills. Dedication and time management are key to succeeding in both.

Having birds and wildlife as his primarily subject, set a documentary baseline to his images. But Knut Erik wants to do more than simply record what happened. He has always admired Michel d`Oultremont and Vincent Munier’s work; the way they capture moments in nature with a rare sense of emotion. That is what he too strives to achieve: “I want to showcase the beautiful moments I experiences out in the wild, moments that most people never get to see.”

The best wildlife encounters really get the heart racing. Knut Erik loves the feeling of encountering something wild, knowing that he got the perfect shot and a fantastic experience at the same time. Light plays an essential role for him: using the beautiful Nordic light throughout the year to create different expressions. His ultimate photographic goal is to shoot a wild lynx, backlit in the evening light in the spring forest.

Knut Erik Alnæs, 23
Oslo, Norway
Nature and wildlife photography
Instagram: knuterikalnaes

As advice for anyone interested in nature photography, Knut Erik says the first thing is to spend time in nature. Second thing is persistence and patience. With wildlife, there are a lot of times when you catch nothing. But that is not a reason to give up. Even if you don’t take any pictures, it will still have been a great nature experience.

It is important to have fun. Knut Erik says it can be useful to share experiences with other photographers. Teaming up means you have double the eyes, which increases the odds of spotting something amazing.

And on a more technical level, it is important to be aware of two angles: that of the light and that of the subject. Planning ahead, you should think about the light in which you want to photograph your subject, then find the best angle for that purpose. When it comes to the subject, try to be at the same level and preferably create a complementary foreground for it.

Knut Erik Alnæs’ kitbag

Knut Erik Alnæs’ favourite kit includes Canon RF 400 f/2.8L IS USM, Canon EOS R3, Canon EOS R5, Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM II, Canon RF 1.4x, Canon RF 2x, Canon EF 16-35 f/4L IS USM.