Photography Tips from WPOTY’s People’s Choice Award Winner, Cristiano Vendramin

The Natural History Museum in London’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year People’s Choice Award 2021 went to a chilly mirror image from Santa Croce Lake in Italy. The snapshot was taken by photographer Cristiano Vendramin and is dedicated to a beloved friend who used to enjoy the lake. “I’d like to believe he gave me a feeling I’ll never forget,” Vendramin remarked. “This shot is dedicated to him as a result.” We spoke with Vendramin to learn more about his winning photo and his photography recommendations for nature.

So, what exactly do you do? I’m a lawyer who specializes in civil law. What steps did you take to get this shot? To attain to this trophy, it required years of work and enthusiasm for photography. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve gone to the lake to snap shots. The people’s vote, of course, was equally decisive.

Can you tell us about your photo’s backstory? Santa Croce Lake was a favorite spot of me and my photographic friend Bruno De Lorenzo. Bruno, who sadly passed away in 2018, had long emphasized the area’s photographic potential.

The winning photo was taken on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and I can assure you that I have never seen anything like it. It’s all tied to me. Do you have any amusing anecdotes about photographing in the wild?

I recall wanting to picture a canyon that is only accessible in the winter and having to trek across a frozen stream. Unfortunately, the ice gave away after a few hours of photographing, and I enjoyed a beautiful frozen bath. What are the items that you never leave the house without?

On a photographic level, I would say that I never leave home without my tripod, which aids me greatly in composition. What is one piece of advice you would provide to someone who wants to start photographing wildlife? First and foremost, I would advise spending as much time as possible outside and being respectful of nature. 

Then there’s the matter of studying and reading up on what’s around us and what might be intriguing to picture. Other People’s Choice Award winners can be found here, as well as some of the winning photos from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.