Join our Skomer Puffin Photography Holidays in 2016

, , ,
One of the famous North Atlantic Puffins photographed on the sea just off Skomer Island during a NaturesLens Photographic Holiday to Skomer Island

Once again, NaturesLens are proud to be running a pair of three night puffin photography holidays on Skomer Island to photograph the fantastic puffin population – and other wildlife. Our trips for 2014 & 2015 yielded some fantastic images, mainly due to the fact that we are able to stay with our photographic subjects well after the day-trippers have left the island, this, without fail, produces stunning photographs. 

One of the famous North Atlantic Puffins photographed on a NaturesLens Photographic Holiday to Skomer Island

During the NaturesLens Puffin Photography Holidays, you will stay on the island in the converted farm buildings which make up the hostel, this is the base for your holiday, we provide food and tuition if you require it; the puffins should be at the height of their season, hopefully producing the famous shot of a puffin with a mouthful of  sandeels.

One of the famous North Atlantic Puffins photographed on the sea just off Skomer Island during a NaturesLens Photographic Holiday to Skomer Island

If you would like to experience one of these superb puffin photography holidays for yourself, you can find the booking pages under the workshops & tours heading, secure a place on the first trip with Drew & Richard, to be held during June 2016, or the second trip with Drew & Daniel in July 2016 … a deposit of £125 holds your place with the balance due in April 2016.

Ospreys Photographic Holiday place available again

osprey of blue cypress lake - photograph these birds with NaturesLens on the Ospreys Photographic Holiday

We have just had a participant advise us that they cannot attend the Ospreys Photographic Holiday that is taking place in Florida during April 2016 – when we put it on the web site, this trip sold out very quickly, but this means that we do now have a single place available again – the main focus of the trip are the stunning ospreys that make their nests on Blue Cypress Lake – but we also have sessions scheduled for many days to photograph snail kites, roseate spoonbills & more. It should be a stunning trip, if you fancy joining us, please view the details of the holiday here. You can hold a place with a deposit, the balance is not due until early 2016, but we are advising people to book flights now, they are cheaper than we’ve seen them for a long time.

perched osprey of blue cypress lake - photograph these birds with NaturesLens on the Ospreys Photographic Holiday

Tigers of Bandhavgarh 2016 dates released

,

We’ve put up the dates for our 2016 photographic holiday return to Bandhavgarh to once again photograph the majestic Bengal tigers, plus the other wildlife of the region … we head back to the land of the Tiger between 3rd May & 11th May 2016 … we would love for you to join us!

There are a few changes, based on feedback from clients who attended this year, we have bundled in a full-day safari, those who undertook this in 2015 said that it was worthwhile & that they would do it again in a heartbeat, in fact some of our personal best sightings occurred on the full-day safaris.

The second change is that we are carrying on the ‘no single supplement’ policy that we implemented for the 2015 trip, this will be in place for certain for the first three places, beyond that, we may have to review the situation.

Young Bengal tiger walking in the long grass - photographed on a NaturesLens Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday

Once again, we have chosen to visit during the height of the Indian summer because the wildlife has to come to water. This maximises our chances of spotting a tiger, in fact, during one of the full-day safaris last year, we got had an encounter that we have waited five years for, that evening it was closely followed by another encounter of equally epic proportions!

Please be aware, that our Tigers of Bandhavgarh India workshop is probably one of our toughest due to the searing heat but at the same time, it’s also one of our most relaxing workshops thanks to the luxurious accommodation we have chosen for our downtime. And what an awesome base we have chosen – we again return to what we class as our home whilst in India, a hotel that we have been using for a number of years, where we class the staff as personal friends.

Bandhavgarh Accommodation

Our Tigers of Bandhavgarh India Photography Holiday makes use of private jeeps & expert local naturalists – the eyes & ears of these guides is the key to successful wildlife spotting, in 2015, without them, we would not have spotted sloth bear, the elusive leopard or many of the tigers that we did. Our jeeps carry just two people, ensuring that there is plenty of space for your camera(s), your monopod & you to move around. NaturesLens guides can offer one to one tuition sessions to anyone who wants it.

The Tigers of Bandhavgarh India Photography Holiday will run from 3rd May to 11th May 2016, if you are interested, please use the booking form on the event page to register your interest.

Please note that all bookings have to be made by 28th December 2015 to guarantee the game drives in the zones that we have designated.

Single place available again for our Puffin Photography Holiday in June

, ,
Staring skyward at a gull one of the famous Skomer Puffins amongst the burrows – photographed on a NaturesLens Puffins Photography Holiday

One of the Skomer Puffins walks amongst the burrows – photographed on the Puffin Photography Holiday

June Skomer Puffin Photography Holiday

We have one place come available for the first of the two photography holidays that NaturesLens are running to Skomer in a few months, this space is for the June trip – if you’d like to attend, please send us an email to info@natureslens.co.uk & we will send you the details by return. Last year’s trip was a massive success, so much so that we expanded it to three days this year, many of those who attended in 2014 are returning this year too.

Reminder about Dalmatian Pelicans in 2016

The first trip is full, & several places on the second trip have sold already, if you would like to join us for our five day trip, which includes three packed days of photographing this enigmatic bird then you can do so with just a deposit of £200 & pay the balance in November 2015. More details here

David Howse Dalmatian Pelican image photographed on a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

2016 White Tailed Sea Eagle Photography Holidays available

A White Tailed Sea Eagle poses on a frozen lake - photographed in Poland by a NaturesLens guide

We are pleased to announce that booking is open for the 2016 White Tailed Sea Eagles in Poland Photography Holidays, whilst this year we ran one in January & a second in February, in 2016, we are running them back to back, one after the other, in February.

Book here for trip 1 – February 7, 2016 – February 12, 2016 – £999 per person.
Book here for trip 2 – February 12, 2016 – February 17, 2016 – £999 per person.

Each of the four days of photography, the timetable is one of an early rise, so that the group can be moved to & settle into the hide(s) under the cover of darkness. The hide owners have devoted many years of hard work to ensure that the eagles visit the location & regularly feed, therefore it is absolutely vital that the eagles do not make any association between the food placed for them, and human beings.

A White Tailed Sea Eagle poses on a frozen lake - photographed in Poland by a NaturesLens guide

Our guide will get us settled into the hide, light the gas heater for us, & will then leave to allow us to prepare for the day ahead. We would stress that from this point onwards, nobody is allowed to leave the hide under any circumstances until after dark for the reason noted above. It is anticipated that in total the group will spend approx 11-12 hours each day in the hide.

The cost is £999 per person for 2016, with no single supplement & everyone having their own room – no need to share!

Dalmatian Pelican Photography open for bookings

David Howse Dalmatian Pelican image photographed on a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

We are pleased to announce that booking is open for the 2016 Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday & since the event is now expanded to include three full days of photography, it is even better than before.

Book here for trip 1 – January 16, 2016 – January 20, 2016 – £899 per person
Book here for trip 2 – January 20, 2016 – January 24, 2016 – £899 per person

Each of the three days will follow a similar format, in the morning we head out on the boat, travel down the lake, pick up fish for feeding, then feed the pelicans on the way back up the lake; the intent here is to draw the birds away from the shoreline, this is for a couple of reasons, firstly, so that the pelicans fly in towards us for some great flight and landing shots, secondly, to ensure that we have nice clean backgrounds.

Following this boat trip, we return to the hotel for lunch in the early afternoon: at about 3.30 pm we head out for the afternoon shooting session, we drive down the edge of the lake to the location where we perform and capture images of a shoreline feed, we shoot literally until the light is gone. When the light is no more, we return to the hotel, clean up & have an evening meal.

Some of our group then headed out for star photography, as several of them are keen on this & there is no light pollution in the area.

The cost is £899 per person for 2016, with no single supplement & everyone having their own room – no need to share!

Our first trip has a single place remaining on it, but we do have the opportunity to run a second trip immediately afterwards, there are 5 spaces available on this trip at the time of sending this email.

It’s worth noting that we include all accommodation, food, transport, boat trips, fish costs, permits & airport transfer costs in your cost, so all you have to pay for is any drinks & we stay in a lovely hotel about 10 minutes walk from the Lake in the northern area of the lake, no need to have a lengthy drive to the lake each morning!

Below are a couple of images captured by one of the participants on the event that we held in January, David Howse, who incidentally is booked on next years event already, like a few others!

Book here for trip 1 – January 16, 2016 – January 20, 2016 – £899 per person
Book here for trip 2 – January 20, 2016 – January 24, 2016 – £899 per person

David Howse Dalmatian Pelican image photographed on a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

David Howse Dalmatian Pelican Group photographed on a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

Reminiscing on the Tigers of Bandhavgarh

, ,

The recent spate of enquiries about our photographic holiday to India to photograph the Royal Bengal Tiger has got me reminiscing about our last visit to India & why this tour is one of my favourite trips. Young Bengal tiger walking in the long grass - photographed on a NaturesLens Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday I know I keep saying this but seeing a wild Bengal Tiger really is something very special. The first time I saw a wild tiger, I almost forgot to breathe because I was so spellbound by this majestic big cat. I can still remember seeing the pug marks in the soft sand before B2, Lord of Bandhavgarh, strode into view & lay just a few feet away from our car. We choose to visit Bandhavgarh because it has the highest density of tigers of all the national parks in India. As with all wildlife photography, there are no guarantees but one can always stack the cards in one’s favour by choosing the right time of year to visit. In our case, we choose to visit during the height of the Indian summer because the wildlife has to come to water. Bengal tiger and her cub walking through Bandhavgarh National Park - photographed on a NaturesLens Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday Our Tigers of Bandhavgarh India workshop is probably one of our toughest due to the searing heat but at the same time, it’s also one of our most relaxing workshops thanks to the luxurious accommodation we have chosen for our downtime. And what an awesome base we have chosen! Bengal Tiger walking along a rocky outcrop inside Bandhavgarh National Park - photographed on a NaturesLens Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday Each person or couple has their own villa measuring a minimum of 1000 sq. ft. Each villa has a bedroom, a dressing area, spacious bathroom, private courtyard with rain shower (perfect for cooling off after a hot game drive) & a private deck. The rooms are air-conditioned with TV, mini bar. safe, phone, wifi, hair dryer, basically all the modern conveniences that you may expect to find in a modern hotel. The courtyard at night - as found at the accommodation used on the NaturesLens Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography HolidayBandhavgarh Bedroom - as found at the accommodation used on the NaturesLens Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography HolidayVilla bathroom leading to outdoor rain shower - as found at the accommodation used on the NaturesLens Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography HolidayThe Pool - as found at the accommodation used on the NaturesLens Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday A typical day starts at 4am when we make our way to the jeeps for the short drive to the entrance of Bandhavgarh National Park. Once we have been assigned our naturalist & route, we head into the park. In May, the landscape of the park is probably at its most diverse with areas of arid dry grassland, pretty meadowland & pockets of lush green jungle, reminiscent of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. As you will see from the photos, all make fantastic settings for a Bengal tiger. Wildlife aside, there are also some fantastic architectural photographic opportunities such as the 35 foot long statue of Vishnu, carved out of a single piece of sandstone which is located halfway up to Bandhavgarh Fort. The path leading to & the area where the statue is located looks like something out of an Indiana Jones movie with water falling into a pool just below the statue & monkeys chasing each other across the statue. Giant statue of Vishnu hidden in the indian jungle of Bandhavgarh where you can also photograph Bengal tigers - photographed on a NaturesLens Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday Man-made caves that were once used as stables, guard rooms & justice courts also make for great images, especially if a Bengal tiger happens to wander in front of them. One such cave is home to hundreds of bats which can be photographed if you are brave enough to enter. The morning safari typically ends around 10am when the heat is starting to become uncomfortable. After a refreshing cool shower, breakfast is served as we talk excitedly about what sightings we had achieved. I remember one morning drive where my guest & I had no tiger sighting BUT we managed to grab photos of a sloth bear & her cub. We watched with much amusement as David & the rest of our guests sympathised about how my guest & I had not managed to see a tiger, that is, until they saw the back of our cameras. Sloth bear sightings are incredibly rare & definitely trump tiger sightings! Sloth Bears in Bandhavgarh National Park, where you can also photograph Bengal Tigers - photographed on a NaturesLens Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday After breakfast, the rest of the morning is at leisure for you to either catch up on some sleep, go through the morning’s images, take a dip in the enormous swimming pool, take advantage of the massage or therapy rooms or all of the above! A light lunch is served around noon if you fancy a bite to eat & we head out for the late afternoon/evening safari around 3pm. Whilst our target species is the Royal Bengal Tiger, there is also a wide variety of colourful birds & other wildlife such as Sambar, Spotted Deer, Langur monkeys, Gaur & wild boar. If we are lucky, we may even see Leopard, Sloth Bear & Asian Wild Dog. We leave the park as the sun goes down to head back to our villas. The evening meal can be served either indoors or outside under a star strewn sky. The cuisine is truly international with all requirements catered for. One evening, David had a hankering for fish & chips & that evening, he got exactly that for dinner! Nothing is too much trouble for the staff. Bengal Tiger Cub sat in long grass - photographed on a NaturesLens Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday Our Safari tour is based on the use of private jeeps & expert local naturalists. These guys really know their stuff & are excellent trackers. One morning, we were lucky enough to photograph a tigress emerging from the jungle because our naturalist had heard her sneeze & was able to judge where she would emerge! With just two people per jeep, there is plenty of space for camera equipment, tripods & for you to move around. David & I can offer one to one sessions to anyone who wants it. The Tigers of Bandhavgarh India Photography Holiday will run from 28th April to 7th May 2015. We have just one place left on this tour so if you are interested, please use our contact form to register your interest. Please note that all bookings have to be made by 28th December 2014 to guarantee the game drives.