Category Archives: natureslens

Winter in Laguna de El Taray

A Harrier in the snow during the Winter in Laguna de El Taray

Sadly our trips in 2021 to visit the Laguna de El Taray during the winter months were cancelled. This is a massive shame since the estate near Villafranca de Los Caballeros was covered in snow this year, meaning some stunning images were available for capture.

Luckily, Camilo was able to capture some of these images during winter in Laguna de El Taray & send them over to us!
Whilst we cannot promise snow in future years, we can promise an impressive roster of wildlife during both the summer & winter visits to the Castilla-La Mancha region of Spain.
Camilo recently switched to a mirrorless system, he was previously a Canon 1DX user, these images were captured on one of his Sony α9 II bodies coupled to a FE 600mm F4 GM OSS lens.
Our next winter trip is this time next year, being in January 2022, that gives people time to get vaccinated & for the world to get back to whatever the new normal will be.
You can guarantee 2022 will see us champing at the bit to show our guests the estate, the fantastic birds & the hides which facilitate capturing some stunning images.
You can find more details about our offering to photograph the Winter Birds of Toledo by clicking the button below.

Socially distanced photography holidays & workshops

One of the young seals perfectly silhouetted against the sky photographed during the NaturesLens Grey Seals of the Norfolk Coast photography workshop

We have been asked a number of times about social distancing & how our photography tours & workshops will change, if they need to.

These requirements for our photography trips will likely change whilst we adapt to a world with a need for guide & guests to be socially distanced.
For our previous comments & our booking guarantee, you can read our main COVID-19 page.
The NaturesLens Grey Seals of the Norfolk Coast photography workshops are amongst the first workshops that we will be running with a need for guide & guests to be socially distanced
The bulk of our trips only take 4-6 guests, this means that we carry on as usual & social distancing is the new normal.
Most of our photography tours do not see strangers sharing same room accommodation, so nothing will change there. Social distancing should be relatively easy; our policy has always been to have single occupancy at no extra charge for the bulk of our tours unless the persons sharing the room are from the same household.
This applies to our U.K. workshops such as the seal photography weeks being led this year by Robin or trips further afield.
In the case of the seal photography weeks, we will be fully encouraging our guests to use their own transportation to & from the photography locations.
The NaturesLens Grey Seals of the Norfolk Coast photography workshops are amongst the first workshops that we will be running with a need for guide & guests to be socially distanced
On all our photography tours we will be asking the following
  • That participants maintain a 2m socially distanced gap from each other where possible.
  • That participants wear masks or face coverings at any indoor area made use of during the photography workshop or trip.
  • That participants understand that we will conduct regular temperature checks for staff & participants.
  • That participants confirm, prior to the photography tour commencing, that they have followed current government guidance, including self-isolating if they (or their contacts) have tested positive or suffer any symptoms.
  • That participants have necessary travel insurance in place in accordance with the regulations of the country in which the photography tour is taking place.
  • That participants have the necessary proof of negative COVID tests which have taken place in accordance with the regulations of the country in which the photography trip is taking place.
  • That participants will follow the guidance & requests of our photography leaders regarding remaining socially distanced when requested to do so.
For transportation on our photography holidays, we will be following the requirements & the regulations of the country in which the photography tour is taking place. Currently, these vary massively by country however, some are easy to answer straight away.
For India, we have only ever had one person per row on the safari jeeps & this is how it will be in the future.
For our photography holiday in Costa Rica, we use a 20-seater bus, so our guides & five guests should find it easy to remain socially distanced.
Greece has some interesting regulations & requirements, which means we will have to make some changes, but we will address those nearer the time.
For all other trips, we will be closely following the social distancing requirements & regulations of the respective country.
We will be requesting that all hotels, & other locations that we make use of, where practical, have a published COVID-19 risk assessment & procedures policy which has been made available to us & is in accordance with the regulations of the country in which the photography holiday is taking place.

A report & a discount for the Bears of Finland

One of the male bears pauses in front of the photographic hides photographed during the Majestic Brown Bears Cubs of Finland Photography Holiday

For the 2019 season, we decided to improve our Bears of Finland photography tours by visiting not just one but two different centres. During this photography holiday, our group travelled to Viiksimo to photograph adult bears, wolf & wolverine before moving on to Suomussalmi to photograph super cute bear cubs with their mothers.

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A new Puma Photography Holiday in Patagonia

A puma surveys the mountain range it calls home photographed in the Torres del Paine National Park the location for the NaturesLens Pumas of Patagonia Photography Holiday

Our new tour to photograph the Winter Pumas of Patagonia is scheduled to run during mid-August 2022 & costs £8499 per person for seven full days of puma spotting, which is more days than comparable trips.

However, if you book & pay your deposit now & we can fill this Puma Photography Holiday prior to October 2020, we can secure 2020 pricing which would drop the cost of this trip down to £6999 which is a saving of £1500!
A full trip is 4 clients – so you should not find this to be a crowded affair.
Patagonia is one of the world’s top wildlife destinations to experience real wildness & also some dramatic wildlife photography. Located between rich subpolar forests & the vast Patagonian steppes, the backbone of the park is the Paine mountain range, with the famous & much-photographed Cuernos (horns) del Paine as its centrepiece. This 2,100 m massive granite formation rises abruptly over the surrounding plains, providing a unique & extremely photogenic backdrop.
Our primary focus on this tour is very much on the resident puma (also known as cougar & mountain lion) population of Torres del Paine National Park & its surrounding areas. We will be working with the local trackers involved in the National Geographic coverage of these magnificent animals. Some of the population are amazingly tolerant to people, so close encounters, while we are on foot, are a genuine possibility. We have deliberately chosen to visit early in the season because there is less traffic in the park & on the ranch & the pumas are a bit more active during the day, which always helps with the photography! Also, if we are lucky, we may have the opportunity to photograph them in the last snows as winter turns to spring.
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The Package Travel Regulations are not optional

Did you know that in 2018 the Package Travel Regulations were updated & now offer you – as a consumer – more protection than ever?

The Package Travel Regulations offer protection if you are on a trip that is defined as a package holiday.
Virtually all photography holiday of 24 hours or longer are required to be compliant with the Package Travel Regulations. Continue reading

10 more stunning images of the Spring Birds of Lake Kerkini

A night heron perched within the dead forest photographed during the Spring Birds of Kerkini photography Holiday conducted by NaturesLens

This is the second of the blog postings from David’s visit to photograph the spring birds of northern Greece in June 2019. The first blog post can be found here.

The squacco heron has replaced the green heron as my favourite comical heron. There’s just something about their features & character that makes me smile whenever I see photos of them. The low perspective really helps to make these two images.
Gorgeous light helped to illuminate the feathers on this cormorant. I think this is my favourite image from all the ones that David sent in.  A simple portrait but the bird just pops & I love all the detail in the feathers. Continue reading

Birds of Central Spain at El Taray

One of the estates fabulous raptors flies across grassland photographed during the NaturesLens Birds of Toledo photography holiday at Hides del Taray

Our photography tour to El Taray to photograph the Birds of Central Spain was a new trip for 2019 but I can see how it may well become our flagship Spanish birding tour. There is literally something for everyone whether you like raptors, pretty little birds or wading birds.

Ellen was one of our guests on our inaugural trip and she very kindly sent in these stunning images for us to share with you.

We were originally attracted to El Taray because it is home to the largest colony of lesser kestrels that we have ever encountered. However, we soon discovered that the number of species that can be photographed here is simply phenomenal! This includes wild Goshawk that is not live-baited.
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10 stunning images of the Spring Birds of Lake Kerkini

A night heron hunts for fish in the shallow waters of Lake Kerkini photographed during the Spring Birds of Kerkini photography Holiday conducted by NaturesLens

David was another attendee on our Spring Birds of Lake Kerkini trip in June 2019. He sent in so many stunning images that we decided to spread them over two blog posts.

A regular NaturesLens client, David has also visited Lake Kerkini with us many times for the iconic Dalmatian Pelicans. In fact, after he visited Lake Kerkini for the second time with us, he asked us, “when are you going to run a trip to photograph the spring birds?”

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