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Further encounters with the Wild Brown Bear – Part 2

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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!

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Encounters with Wild Brown Bears – Part 1

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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

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Sorcha’s view of the land of the Wild Brown Bear

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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

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 last of the Dalmatian Pelican images from Sean

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Sitting contentedly, one of the Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

In January I had the pleasure of co-guiding one of the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holidays, along with Pui Hang. We took a group out to Greece to capture images of an oft-overlooked bird, the Dalmatian Pelican. This is the third and final part of a series of three blog posts covering the trip. All the Dalmatian Pelican images shown here were taken on this spectacular trip. If you missed the first part, then you can read it here or the second part here.

A Dalmatian Pelican lands on Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

We had hoped that the lake would thaw sufficiently for a boat trip on our last day. The sun was melting the ice and snow by day but by night the temperatures dropped, freezing the lake again. Ironically, the second group led by Dan were hoping that the lake remained frozen so that they could also have a chance at getting some unique shots too.

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More imagery of the Kerkini Pelicans from Sean

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One of the Dalmatian Pelicans strides across the ice of a frozen Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

In January I had the pleasure of co-guiding one of the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holidays, along with Pui Hang. We took a group out to Greece to capture images of an oft-overlooked bird – the Kerkini Pelicans. This is the second part of a series of three blog posts covering the trip, with more Dalmatian Pelicans images taken by myself. If you missed the first part, then you can read it here.

A black & white portrait of one of the pelicans photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday Read more

Events

Ospreys of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday

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As the sun rises over the lake, casting a blue reflection over the surrounding Cypress trees, hundreds of nesting Ospreys come into view. From an early morning boat trip, the light bathing this remarkable location in golden tones, you will have the opportunity to capture the magnificent Osprey in its glory – join NaturesLens on an odyessy to Florida & an eight-night trip to photograph the Ospreys of Blue Cypress Lake.

Heading out to make another catch, one of the many ospreys that flew above the boat evey morning - photographed on the NaturesLens Ospreys of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday

Blue Cypress Lake – so called because of the blue appearance of the cypress trees as the morning sun’s rays reflect off the water – is an idyllic destination for photographers wishing to add remarkable bird images to their wildlife photography portfolio.

Hundreds of Ospreys nest in the beautiful Cypress trees that adorn the lake. There were over 200 nesting pairs at last count, all in the trees which dot the lake’s shoreline & grow into the water. The NaturesLens Ospreys of Cypress Lake wildlife tour is focused on these fascinating birds & their wonderful natural habitat.

We visit in April, which affords numerous opportunities to observe the parent birds soaring out across the lake, back dropped by clear blue skies above, & clear blue water below, to hunt for fish to feed their nesting chicks. Watch as the large raptor, with wings that can grow almost two metres in length, dives into the cool waters, plucking bass to return to its young.

An Osprey perches with a freshly caught fish - photographed on the NaturesLens Ospreys of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday

During five early morning boat trips, you will spend around three hours on the lake, photographing the Ospreys at eye level, nesting, diving for fish & gathering nest material.

In addition to the osprey trips, we include one early morning boat trip to a different lake to photograph the snail kites which are found in the area, this is an extremely rare raptor that has been seeing some growth in the Florida area over the last few years.

Every afternoon, we have access to the boat to visit either the snail kites or, more likely, the local rookeries, where you will be able to capture images of the beautiful roseate spoonbills, the various types of egret & their young.

On the Saturday, we leave the Vero Beach area, transferring to Cape Coral, where we will have a later afternoon & an early morning session capturing images of the burrowing owls of the area, these are similar to our little owls but live in the main community areas of Cape Coral, as well as being able to photograph them in the public areas, we have access to a number of private areas that afford cleaner backdrops & nicer perches.

As with all NaturesLens wildlife photography holidays, small group sizes guarantee prime positions during the boat trips & at other photography locations, with space to work to capture breath-taking images.

An osprey sits atop it's nest - photographed as the sun rose on the NaturesLens Ospreys of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday

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