Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday Report

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One of Bandhavgarh's tigers stares straight down the lens photographed on the 2017 Tigers of Bandhavgarh Safari Holiday

In late April/early May I completed two back-to-back Indian trips. The first being our Tigers of Bandhavgarh Safari Holiday. I always look forward to our annual trip to photograph tigers & this year was no different, apart from the fact that I was more excited than usual.

We took a break from Bandhavgarh in 2016, so I couldn’t wait to get back there. I can honestly say that I have never been more excited about going back to what I consider to be my second home.

We have been visiting the park for 7 years now & have gotten to know its residents very well. Along with the drivers & guides who have become our friends, we have mourned the loss of favourite tigers & celebrated the birth of new cubs.

The spot where three tiger brothers have made home their island in the middle of one of the watering holes photographed on the 2017 Tigers of Bandhavgarh Safari Holiday

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July’s Three Days with the Puffins of Skomer Island

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One of the Puffins of Skomer stood amongst the sea campion with a great meal of sand eels photographed during the July 2017 Skomer Island Puffin Photography Holiday

July was my second Puffins of Skomer Island Photography Holiday of 2017 for NaturesLens. This time I was to be co-leading the trip with the talented Kevin Morgans. He has a wealth of puffin photography experience so I was sure that it was going to be another amazing trip.

The trip for me started off at Gatwick airport. I was collecting a guest – who will be contributing his own Puffins of Skomer blog, I understand – Csaba, a long-time friend of David & Pui Hang, who was flying over from Hungary just to come & photograph the Puffins! It was great to have some company during the long 6 hour drive from Kent to the South West of Wales.

Kevin & myself met the rest of the group the following morning at Martins Haven which is where the boat departs from to Skomer Island. After a meet & greet everyone loaded their bags & food supply on the boat & off we went.

The weather forecast on arrival was not that great at all, Thick sea mist & heavy rain. Typical British summer weather!

Once everything was unloaded from the boat the group all made our way to the farm house which was going to be our home for the duration of the trip. Kevin & myself then gave a short briefing to the group asking what images & photography help they wanted to get out of the trip. I would say around 90% of the group wanted to learn or improve their bird in flight photography & also wanted to learn how to get a Puffin in flight with a very dark background. It is always useful when a big group of guests want to achieve the same thing, as allows us as guides to group people up to teach them all the same thing.

One of the Puffins of Skomer stood amongst the sea campion with a great meal of sand eels photographed during the July 2017 Skomer Island Puffin Photography Holiday Read more

June’s Puffin Photography Holiday

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One of the Puffins of Skomer stands at The Wick with a beak full of sand eels photographed during the June 2017 Skomer Island Puffin Photography Holiday

June took me back to the stunning Skomer Island in Wales. I was co leading the first of two NaturesLens Puffin Photography Holidays with David.

One of the Puffins of Skomer stands amongst the sea campion of Skomer Island with a beak full of Sand Eels photographed during the June 2017 Skomer Island Puffin Photography Holiday   Read more

Skomer’s Puffins in the Dark – Playing With Light

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One of Skomer's Puffins looks skyward photographed during the 2017 Puffins of Skomer Island Photography Holiday

I hope to share with you in this post, a technique that I used during the second of the NaturesLens Skomer’s Puffins Photography Holidays, to achieve some, what I think are, striking images of the puffins on a dark background.

Isolated in the darkness, one of Skomer's Puffins photographed during the 2017 Puffins of Skomer Island Photography Holiday

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Wild Brown Bears in Black and White

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Amongst the cotton grass, a young Finnish Brown Bear stands on his back legs captured during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday

Prior to my trip to Finland to photograph the Wild Brown Bears, I knew that I wanted to come away with a series of compelling & interesting black & white photographs.

With wildlife photography you can use monochrome to highlight the details of the animal or draw your viewers eyes directly to the subject of your image.

B&W images are also useful in turning distracting backgrounds into a dark uncluttered one. Probably the biggest reason I love shooting this way is that it keeps you focused on the actual composition & texture of the photo. It allows you to focus on shapes, light, shadows, lines, & small details allowing for a more interesting image. That is why some photos look more convincing & compelling in black & white than colour.

Amongst the cotton grass, a young Finnish Brown Bear stands on his back legs captured during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday Read more

Wolverines & Brown Bears of the Taiga Forest

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A wolverine stood on the edge of the Taiga Forest amongst a field of cotton grass

It was not all about big Brown Bears during the Finland Photography Holiday in the Taiga Forest; we had opportunities to see other species too & this included the rather rare & elusive Wolverine!

A wolverine stood on the edge of the Taiga Forest amongst a field of cotton grass

Once abundant in numbers, the wolverine is now a very rare animal due to over-hunting. However it was certainly one of the main highlights from the Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday.

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The Wild Brown Bears of Finland

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One of the female Brown Bears and her cub amongst the cotton grass of the Taiga photographed during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday

In June I had the pleasure of co-leading the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday to Vartius.

Close to the Russian border lies an area of the Taiga forest as wild & untouched as it gets within Europe, & here roams one of the greatest predators in the world, the wild Brown Bear!

One of the big male Brown Bears approaches the lake photographed during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography HolidayOn our first day, we arrived at the main camp location around mid-afternoon, the group settled into their rooms in a comfy wooden lodge & unpacked, preparing all their camera gear for the first night in the brown bear hides. When unpacked the group headed to the restaurant for dinner; dinner was served around 4 pm every afternoon before every hide session. The food was great, home cooked & tasty, & set us up nicely before heading off to the hides. One of the Finnish Brown Bears alongside one of the small lakes photographed during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography HolidayWe left our lodge around 5 pm every evening, taking in the 30-minute walk to through the forest & swamps to get to our hides. The hides were some of the best photographic hides I have worked from, supplied with ground level shooting holes & beds – what is not to like? We split the group up into various hides from 1 man to 3 man hides around the area which offered various views of the forest from open cotton field meadows, pine forest lakes & deep woodland hides.
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