Monthly Archives: January 2018

Sean will lead a second trip for the Wildcats, Eagles, & Lynx of Spain

The female lynx sharpens her claws by scratching a log image captured during a NaturesLens Wildcat, Eagles & Iberian Lynx of Spain Photography Holiday

The first trip to photograph the Wildcats, Eagles, & Lynx of Spain has sold out, however, Sean has leapt in & will be leading the second trip, the format is the same as the first trip & once again, there are only four places available. The new dates are 13th – 17th December 2018 & you can make a booking on the dedicated event page.

The female lynx of the area image captured during a NaturesLens Wildcat, Eagles & Iberian Lynx of Spain Photography Holiday

To give the best chance of capturing award-worthy images, we include 3 hide sessions with the lynx; the Iberian Lynx is a naturally shy animal, but these hide sessions are proving to be extremely productive.

The male lynx pauses and stands on a fallen log image captured during a NaturesLens Wildcat, Eagles & Iberian Lynx of Spain Photography Holiday

Accommodation is provided on a full board basis – from a light breakfast through to a 3-course dinner with a picnic lunch in between. Everything is taken care of for you so that experiencing & photographing the species & their environment are all you need to worry about.

This trip suits keen photographers with a desire to experience the magnificent wildlife that this region of Spain has to offer; capturing editorial-quality images of a range of both mammal & bird species to treasure for years to come. Places are highly limited to ensure the best experience for every guest, so book early to avoid disappointment.

The typical itinerary for this wildlife photography tour is packed with photography sessions:

8th December 2018Arrive MalagaWolf PhotographyAdamuz
9th December 2018Imperial EagleLynxAdamuz
10th December 2018WildcatLynxAdamuz
11th December 2018WildcatLynxAdamuz
12th December 2018Imperial EagleHomeUK

This is a photography holiday of 4 nights duration, which costs £1499 & takes place in Adamuz in Spain, between the dates of 13th – 17th December 2018. It is ideal for photographing Iberian lynx, Egyptian mongoose, European wildcat, golden eagle, imperial eagle, red fox & more. This photography holiday is led by Sean Weekly for NaturesLens. The photography holiday is offered on a full board, non-shared basis. Group size for this photography holiday is a minimum of 3 participants & a maximum of 4, plus Sean.

You can view some of the images that were captured, by PN, in December 2017 on this blog post.

A European Wildcat photographed at dawn image captured during a NaturesLens Wildcat, Eagles & Iberian Lynx of Spain Photography Holiday

Bookings open for Dalmatian Pelican Photography in 2019

Our trio of Dalmatian Pelican photography trips this year have been a massive success – the third group are out in Greece right now – some of the images that have been posted have been nothing short of staggering, summing up the beauty of the birds.

An image captured by Sean Weekly during the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holidays

There will be blog posts from some of the guests forthcoming – & of course; Sean will be writing up his experience & posting images on the NaturesLens blog. The picture above & the one below are from Sean, who has created something moody & brooding.

An image captured during the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holidays by Sean Weekly

If you would like to take the opportunity to join Sean in Greece to photograph these charismatic birds for yourself, you’d better be quick – the first set of dates for 2019 is already fully reserved, so we have opened up the second set of dates – you can view the details & make a booking enquiry here.

The NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Kerkini Photography Holiday is offered on a full board, non-shared room basis, & costs £1099 per participant.

To close – here are a pair of images from Annette, who was part of the first group that joined Sean on the lake for several days of Dalmatian Pelican Photography.

An image captured by Annette during the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holidays

An image captured during the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holidays by Annette

Some time spent with the Wildcats, Eagles & Lynx of Spain

The young female Iberian lynx image captured during a NaturesLens Wildcat, Eagles & Iberian Lynx of Spain Photography Holiday

During December 2017, I was lucky enough to spend some time with the Wildcats, Eagles & Lynx of Spain; this was preparation for a trip that we were researching to add to our portfolio.  Once again, I visited Spain in the hope of capturing some images of the elusive Iberian lynx. This wasn’t the first time that we have attempted to launch a photography trip focussed on these subjects. My initial attempt was back in January 2016, but unfortunately, it was unsuccessful for a variety of reasons, not least the lack of sightings.

I arrived in Sierra Morena hoping to be lucky as the reports I had been receiving was that lynx had been spotted in the areas on a regular basis. I arrived too late to go into the lynx hide so spent the afternoon chatting with my host about the species I hoped to photograph to see if we could turn this into a potential photography tour for the guests of NaturesLens – over the next few hours, the plan for the Wildcats, Eagles & Lynx of Spain was formed.

Our host has been working on his lynx project for some years & the area is now home to a more Iberian lynx than Doñana National Park with excellent, regular sightings.

The following morning, I rose early to visit the Imperial Spanish Eagle hide. As soon as the sun rose, to my surprise, a Golden Eagle appeared on the large rock to my right. I watched this magnificent raptor feed for a short while, to allow it to settle before I started taking images.

Perched on a rock, a Golden Eagle lit by the dawn light image captured during a NaturesLens Wildcat, Eagles & Iberian Lynx of Spain Photography Holiday Continue reading

Georgia’s thoughts on our Winter Wildlife of Japan photography holiday

Early morning in Rausu sees the eagles greet the fishing fleet captured NaturesLens during the Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday

Hi! I’m Georgia Wilson. It wasn’t my idea to attend the NaturesLens Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday … that belonged to my eagle mad husband, Graeme. Complicated photographic gear makes my eyes glaze over. So why, you may ask, would I consider going?

Well, I’ve never been to Japan & I like being out in the wilderness areas. I love observing animals & birds in their natural habitat … probably more to the point, I have a spirit of adventure. The thought of being on a boat in the middle of pack ice sounded fun. So with that thought in mind, I agreed to go.
Some wouldn’t consider me as a serious photographer because I only used a Canon Powershot SX720 HS, which has 40x optical zoom & HTC One XL phone camera. However, that thought didn’t stop me from trying to get the most out of my little cameras.
For this trip, I wanted to keep things simple. I set the Powershot on automatic, so the camera made all the technical decisions. I was in charge of the framing. The photos below, just a selection from over 300o, are just as they were taken … no ‘doctoring up’. BTW, the cameras were handheld, i.e. no tripod or monopod. & I think the photos are a testimony to what a fine camera the Canon Powershot is.
Moral of the story … you don’t have to have the expensive photographic equipment to enjoy this trip. All you need is a spirit of adventure & imagination, plus a sense of fun; if you go with the flow, you’ll have a wonderful time.

Georgia herself, bringing a special kind of Aussie bubbliness to the tour captured NaturesLens during the Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday Mount Fuji captured NaturesLens during the Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday The mountainous landscape of Hokkaido in Winter captured NaturesLens during the Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday The red crowned cranes at their roosting site near Tsuri captured NaturesLens during the Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday Perfect moon captured NaturesLens during the Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday Close up of one of the red crowned cranes of Akan captured NaturesLens during the Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday A trio of whooper swans sleep on the thermal waters of Lake Kussharo captured NaturesLens during the Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday Early morning in Rausu sees the eagles greet the fishing fleet captured NaturesLens during the Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday One of Hokkaido's red foxes pauses as he crosses the snow captured NaturesLens during the Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday

This trip to see & photograph the Winter Wildlife of Japan was a bazillion times better than any written description could convey. I lost count at the number of jaw-dropping experiences I had … the sunrises, sunsets, every changing light to watch a living painting unfold, surreal, elegant, mystical.

Blend this with the graciousness of the Japanese & their culture … PLUS a small group of quirky travel companions … all perfect ingredients to create a trip that I will remember forever.

Photograph the Winter Wildlife of Japan for yourself

To photograph the charismatic winter wildlife of Japan for yourself, join David Miles & Ian Roberts, members of the NaturesLens guiding team, in Japan during February 2019 for a trip lasting 13 nights; this photography holiday will offer you the opportunity to capture images of the red-crowned crane, snow monkey, steller’s sea eagle, white tailed sea eagle, whooper swan, plus more; the NaturesLens Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday is offered on a half board, non-shared room basis, & costs £5249 per participant, but there are several early-bird places available priced at £4999.

All the details of the  Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday are available on the dedicated event page.

Lincolnshire Seal Photography by Gladys

A well fattened seal pup who almost looks like he is laughing image captured on a NaturesLens Seal Photography Workshop

November 2017 saw Gladys joining one of the NaturesLens Seal Photography tours, the intent, to spend a week intensively capturing images of the Seals of Lincolnshire coastline in all lighting & weather conditions, under the guidance of Sean, who led the trips for us & offered mentoring & advice.

A pair of bull seals fight on the sands image captured on a NaturesLens Seal Photography Workshop

The group experienced all types of behaviour throughout the week of seal photography, but apparently the most daunting & loud was when this pair of bull seals decided to face-off & fight each other.

At the end of the rainbow, one of the seals caught in a storm image captured on a NaturesLens Seal Photography Workshop

As Gladys describes it ‘An Awesome Moment‘, which is fitting for what happens when you have the opportunity to capture an image of your target subject with a rainbow in the background!

One of the seal pups exposed for mono image captured on a NaturesLens Seal Photography Workshop

The group were very lucky with the ideal weather conditions throughout the week which resulted in lovely colors. However, in the case of this image, Gladys couldn’t resist processing it to monochrome.

A very recently born seal pup on the beach image captured on a NaturesLens Seal Photography Workshop

On the first morning, the group found this lovely pup in beautiful morning light, Gladys states that she was amazed to see that a part of the umbilical cord was still attached, which appears to be a very common thing even when the pups where already a few days old.

A well fattened seal pup who almost looks like he is laughing image captured on a NaturesLens Seal Photography Workshop

Without a doubt this was the group’s favourite seal pup! They nicknamed him ‘Chubba’, & every day they looked out for him as he demonstrated funny behaviour which caused the whole group much amusement!

A young seal pup looks inquisitively at the photographer image captured on a NaturesLens Seal Photography Workshop

In addition to the photography on the beaches & at the surfs edge, sometimes the seal pups made their way up to the dunes, which as Gladys says, gave a nice change of setting, for seal photography in the green grass areas.

A bull and a female seal caught amongst the shifting sands whipped up in the aftermath of a storm image captured on a NaturesLens Seal Photography Workshop

One afternoon, the group experienced some extreme weather conditions, everyone commented that it was very difficult to photograph under these circumstances; but they persevered & managed to get some extraordinary images. This female seal was reaching out to her pup to make sure it was still laying next to her as it was impossible to see in the sand storm.

Join Sean in 2018 for a week of Seal Photography

In November 2018, Sean will be leading a 5-night-long wildlife photography holiday focussed on Seal photography, but this time in Norfolk for NaturesLens, specifically between the dates of November 25 – 30 2018.

The cost is £999 per participant which includes 5 nights accommodation in a gorgeous cottage on a dinner, bed & breakfast basis, your meals will be warming, homely & plentiful to get you warmed through & filled up after a long day on the beach. Numbers are limited to ensure that the trip is sustainable, ethical & enjoyable for every photographer.

The Seals of Helgoland

An adult seal lies in the sands of Dune island image captured during a NaturesLens Seals of Helgoland Photography Holiday

When I first told my husband that I was travelling to Helgoland, he immediately started to tell me about the island’s fascinating military history & it’s having been used as a naval base during the two world wars. After WWII, the island was used as a bombing range – & most notably, a Royal Navy attack in 1947 created one of the most significant single non-nuclear detonations in history. Following British occupation, the island was finally returned to Germany in 1952. The history of the island is fascinating & well worth researching, but for my short time there it was all about the seals, the Seals of Helgoland.

One of the large bull seals lies on the sands of Dune island image captured during a NaturesLens Seals of Helgoland Photography Holiday

The journey to Helgoland isn’t straightforward. From Heathrow we had the flight to Hamburg, then a car journey to Cuxhaven, & finally a boat to Helgoland. With stop-overs & connections, the travel time is quite lengthy, but as always, once you’re with the wildlife all that pales into insignificance. Continue reading