Posts

A pair of the Wild Brown Bears on the side of one of the lakes captured by NaturesLens guest Trevor during the Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday

Outward Bound

As a keen wildlife photographer, I am always looking at ways to challenge myself so when Sean Weekly told me of availability on a trip to Finland to photograph the Wild Brown Bears, I jumped at it. I had met Sean on Skomer Island back in 2016 photographing the Atlantic Puffins & learnt so much in that short time I was confident that I would enjoy the trip even though it was my first organised wildlife trip.

An image of one of the Wild Brown Bears captured by NaturesLens guest Trevor during the Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday

Read more

An image of a large adult wild brown bear as he walks adjacent to the lake photographed during the NaturesLens photography holiday to photograph the Wild Brown Bear

This is part two of my blog about my encounters with the Wild Brown Bear of Finland – if you have missed it, please read part 1 here.

The amazing environment that the wild brown bears are found within photographed during the NaturesLens photography holiday to photograph the Wild Brown Bear

Night 4

Night 4 for me was a bit of a bust from a bear perspective. I chose to go into a single man hide for the night & was quietly confident of some good results. However, it was not to be as the wild brown bear sightings were too far away although there was some amusement as a very large male brown bear approached a nearby hide & the occupants started to panic as they were ‘over lensed’ for the shots & great panic ensued as the bear serenely walked past!

Read more

A portrait of one of the juvenile wild brown bears photographed during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holidays

I was very excited waiting for the day I was to head off to on an adventure to see &, hopefully, capture some images of the wild brown bears of Finland for myself. I had previously spent a wonderful weekend with NaturesLens on their “Birds of Prey Workshop” prior to going abroad, this was primarily to help hone my, admittedly, very basic photography skills when it comes to wildlife & the capture of images of nature.

After this taster I was keen to get going on my wild brown bear trip & to try out my newly acquired skills. The time soon came & I was in this wonderful boreal location where wild brown bears were to be found & it was just beautiful; watching the sun rise, set & rise again in a few hours in the land of the “midnight sun”, lakes with mist gathering & the white balls of cotton grass seeds swaying in the breeze.

One of the large male wild brown bears up close to one of the hides photographed during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holidays Read more

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

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.

Read more

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.
Read more

Bathed In Golden Light At The End Of The Day This Is Just One Of The Adult European Brown Bears Found In The Slovenian Forests - Photographed On The Natureslens Slovenian Bear Photography Holiday

Following on from our successful photography holiday in September 2016, we are pleased to offer a pair of wildlife photography holidays to Slovenia to photograph the European Brown Bears, the first in May 2017 is focussed on the adult Slovenian Bear &, hopefully, their cubs, the second in September 2017 is to capture images of the Slovenian Bears & their yearling cubs, how will be more bold than those encountered during the May trip.

One Of The Adult European Brown Bears Poses On Rocks - Photographed On The Natureslens Slovenian Bear Photography Holiday

We have included below a selection of the images that we captured during the photography workshop conducted during September 2016 – unlike the trip to photograph the Bears of Finland, both the Slovenian Bears & Cubs Photography Holiday, & the Slovenian Bears Photography Holiday do not require you to spend overnight in the hides, you exit the hides when the light has gone, return to the hotel, have a warming evening meal & sleep in the comfort of your bedroom

JOIN NATURESLENS TO PHOTOGRAPH THE SLOVENIAN BEARS & CUBS FOR YOURSELF

Slovenia is an increasingly important location for the European Brown Bear & their survival as a top-level predator within Europe & it is easy to see why. The lush forests provide the ideal habitat free from being hunted for the European Brown Bear to thrive & survive, our 5 day photography workshop in the midst the territory of these impressive animals provides an abundance of opportunities.

We have two opportunities for you to photograph the amazing Slovenian Bears, both costing £1599 exc travel to Slovenia itself – all transportation within Slovenia, breakfast, lunch & dinner, accommodation & guidance/tuition from Sean Weekly is included, the date for the Slovenian Bears & Cubs Photography Holiday is May 20 – 25, 2017, whilst that for the Slovenian Bears, who will hopefully be bringing their older & bolder cubs to the hides, is set for September 2 – 7, 2017.

To hold a place on either trip, we only require a 25% deposit from you, £400, with the balance due 12 weeks prior to the trip taking place.

Please be aware, you will require lenses that let in the maximum amount of light – largest aperture or smallest f-stop – & a camera with which you are comfortable capturing images at a high ISO – the action is not fast-paced, so rapid FPS is not a deciding factor for equipment suitable for this trip.

One Of The Female European Brown Bears Watches Over One Of Her Cubs In The Slovenian Forests - Photographed On The Natureslens Slovenian Bear Photography Holiday One Of The Adult European Brown Bears Lounges Amongst The Rocks Opposite The Tower Hide In The Slovenian Forests - Photographed On The Natureslens Slovenian Bear Photography Holiday One Of The Female Adult European Brown Bears Stares Directly Into The Tower Hide - Photographed On The Natureslens Slovenian Bear Photography Holiday One of the adult European brown bears resting in the Slovenian Forests - photographed on the NaturesLens Slovenian Bear Photography Holiday  One Of The European Brown Bears Found In The Slovenian Forests Peers Between Two Trees - Photographed On The Natureslens Slovenian Bear Photography Holiday One Of The Large Adult European Brown Bear Females Sits Watching Her Cubs - Photographed On The Natureslens Slovenian Bear Photography Holiday A Young Adult European Brown Bear As Found In The Slovenian Forests - Photographed On The Natureslens Slovenian Bear Photography Holiday One Of The European Brown Bear Cubs Found In The Slovenian Forests - Photographed On The Natureslens Slovenian Bear Photography Holiday Bathed In Golden Light At The End Of The Day This Is Just One Of The Adult European Brown Bears Found In The Slovenian Forests - Photographed On The Natureslens Slovenian Bear Photography Holiday An Adult European Brown Bear In The Slovenian Forests - Photographed On The Natureslens Slovenian Bear Photography Holiday A Resting Adult European Brown Bear Found In The Slovenian Forests - Photographed On The Natureslens Slovenian Bear Photography Holiday One Of The Adult European Brown Bears Found In The Slovenian Forests - Photographed On The Natureslens Slovenian Bear Photography HolidayOne of the female adult European brown bears emerges from the trees that form the large tracts of forest in the location of the Slovenian Bear Hides - photographed on the NaturesLens Slovenian Bear Photography Holiday