During the first week of the NaturesLens Grey Seals of Lincolnshire photography holidays, Sean took the group out onto the sandbanks at low tide where they were able to capture images of the seals in the surf. They were lucky enough to get some lovely shots of these iconic mammals swimming around, frolicking in the surf & curiously popping their heads up through the waves. Continue reading →
During our Seals of Lincolnshire photography holidays, the first group of guests experienced what can only be described as the most extreme weather conditions. From rainstorms to hailstones & sandstorms to rainbows. The conditions were harsh, but the opportunities presented by the ever-changing weather were completely epic as evidenced by the images in this blog post. Continue reading →
Over the course of the two weeks of our Seals of Lincolnshire photography holidays, our guests were blessed with some excellent light. This gave Sean the opportunity to show them how to produce some creative imagery using the light for side-lit, front-lit & back-lit portraits. Continue reading →
During November I spent two weeks guiding the NaturesLens Grey Seal photography holidays. The Grey Seal is one of Britain’s most charming mammals & my personal favourite subject to photograph so to spend this amount of time with them was an enormous privilege!
With just under half of their global population inhabiting the UK, their curious nature & cuddly appearance makes these animals fascinating to watch let alone photograph.
This pair of Grey Seal photography trips started off at a beautiful fully-equipped cottage with the private beach being a stone’s throw away from the seals. Once the group & I had settled in, we kitted up in our waterproofs & boots & headed to the beach for our first session with the Seals. It was low tide, so we were able to venture straight out to the sandbanks where some of the seal colony stayed.
Are you may have seen elsewhere, we have launched the follow-up to the 2017 week-long seal photography holiday – that, it has to be said, produced some beautiful imagery – with a week-long seal photography holiday in Norfolk, our first event, for Norfolk Seal Photography is to be conducted in November 2018, specifically November 25 – November 30 2018 & costs £999.
Sean recently spent several days in the area that the Norfolk Seal photography events will be conducted within, & we thought that you might be interested to see some of the types of imagery that he captured during his brief recce trip for us.
The cost is £999 per participant which includes five 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.
As soon as I had set eyes on some photographs of Dalmatian Pelicans on the internet I knew that I was going to visit them, I was so profoundly enchanted by them. It didn’t take me long to find the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday & I booked it right away!
Six months later I found myself standing on the shores of the beautiful Lake Kerkini in Northern Greece, adjacent to the Bulgarian border, & I discovered that these majestic birds are even more charming than I had first imagined. Each morning & evening for four fully-packed days we went out for lengthy sessions of Dalmatian Pelican photography & I never got tired of doing so. We started off with a gorgeous sunrise on the first morning out on the lake with our avian models following in the wake of the boat. Our fabulous boatman & Dalmatian Pelican expert kept them entertained & happy so that we could catch wonderful moments. These early morning boat trips were a treat by themselves; the colourful sunrises with these gorgeous birds in front is something you will never forget as well as the sight of the lake that lies calmly like a perfect mirror for the flying Pelicans. What a beautiful experience … after a 3 hours boat trip in the mornings & a nice break in our comfortable hotel for lunch & warming up we went out a second time to photograph the Pelicans from ashore in the afternoon. I was amazed at the sheer abundance of dalmatian pelican photography opportunities; flying, landing, portraits, close-ups, details, panning, long exposures, reflections, wide-angle shots, single birds, pairs, groups vying for fish & many more. The cloudy days provided for capturing calm pictures with perfect reflections & vibrant colours, the sunny days golden light. & if you ran out of ideas all you had to do was ask Sean, our excellent guide; so easy going, knowledgeable, always helpful & encouraging. The workshop was perfectly organised, the hotel comfortable, providing piles of delicious Greek food & thanks to a friendly group of NaturesLens guests, we also had a lot of fun & laughter … what more would you want? You are welcome to view more images of these beautiful birds on my homepage. To photograph the charismatic Dalmatian Pelicans yourself, join Sean Weekly, one of the most active members of the NaturesLens guiding team, in Kerkini, Greece during January 2018 for a trip lasting 4 nights; this photography holiday will offer you the opportunity to capture images of the Dalmatian Pelican; the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday is offered on a full board, non-shared room basis, & costs £1099 per participant. All the details of the Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday are available on the dedicated event page.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 →