Category Archives: photography holidays

My 2018 return to the Golden Eagles & Raptors of Spain

A Bonelli's Eagle Of The Sierra Morena Region Of Spain Image Captured During The NaturesLens Golden Eagles & Raptors Of Spain Photography Holiday

I travelled back to the mountains of the Sierra Morena in Spain in mid-April to lead the NaturesLens Golden Eagles & Raptors of Spain Photography Holiday for the second time.

Last year’s trip had been amazing & the whole group came back with some phenomenal images, including some from the now famous red fox versus golden eagle encounter. I couldn’t wait to go back & see what 2018 had to offer & I was not disappointed.
We took the first flight out of Gatwick to Malaga & then transferred to Adamuz which was our base & home for the duration of the trip. This provincial town is situated in beautiful natural surroundings & its picturesque location made it the perfect place to sit around for a beer or two after the photography sessions.
When we arrived, we dropped our bags at the hotel & headed straight out to the Golden Eagle hide. The location of the hide is about 20km from the hotel driving through some of the most scenic landscape. In case you are wondering, there is no long walk to the hide as we are dropped off right outside!
The Eagles decided that they did not want to play ball that afternoon. But that was ok, because the 50 Griffon Vultures that arrived kept us very busy! I love these scavenging raptors, so for me, this was vulture heaven!

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Forgotten Little Bulgaria? A new photography guide joins us

Does My Nose Look Big In This A Macro Image By Victoria Hillman

Pui Hang & I are delighted to announce the addition of a new photography guide – Victoria Hillman. Some of you will have heard of, or know of her & some of you will have met her, especially if you happened to have been one of our guests on our June Skomer trip this year!

Victoria is best known as the author of ‘Forgotten Little Creatures‘, an exciting publication that celebrates all the smaller things that live around us, bringing together creative photography & interesting scientific & historical facts; the stories behind the images & how we can help the wildlife around us.
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Last chance for the Dalmatian Pelicans of Kerkini in 2019

A group of Dalmatian Pelicans known as a pod or a squadron photographed during one of the NaturesLens Kerkini Pelican Photography Holidays

With two photography tours already full, the third tour for 2019 really is the last chance for you to capture images of the Dalmatian Pelicans of Kerkini in 2019 with NaturesLens, no-one else has the same schedule as ourselves, including staying only 500m from the lake in a superb Greek Taverna-styled hotel, having a boat trip for the whole group every morning & multiple other photography opportunities in the afternoon, including feeds on the shoreline. For the past five years, NaturesLens has been working with the locals of Kerkini, & our guides & clients have produced award-winning images year-on-year.

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A 2018 visit to the fantastic Spanish Birds of Calera

A Lesser Kestrel Having A Scratch On The Rooftop Of A Derelict Farm Building Image Captured During The 2018 Spanish Bird Photography Holiday In Calera

Spring of 2018 saw me spending two weeks in Spain. The first week was for the Eagles & Raptors photography holiday in the Sierra Morena Mountains. The second week saw me travelling to Madrid to collect the next group of clients & then on to Calera y Chozas for the NaturesLens Spanish bird photography holiday.

The Natureslens photography tour to Calera has been running for a few years now & always offers a wide variety of birds to photograph on the plains & the mountains close to the area.  2018 was my first visit here after taking over guiding from the incredibly talented Dan Trim. Having seen his images from the previous trips he led for NaturesLens, I couldn’t wait to see them for myself.
Calera y Chozas is just two hours drive from Madrid & is an area with many locations for photographic opportunities. In previous years, when David, Pui Hang & Dan have led trips there, the bar had been set high with images of Azure-winged Magpie, bee-eater, black kite, black vulture, black-winged kite, cuckoo, great bustard, great grey shrike, griffon vulture, hoopoe, kestrel, lesser kestrel, little owl, red kite & red-legged partridge & more all being captured. Continue reading

Omar’s Images of the Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece

Three Dalmatian Pelicans photographed at water level on Lake Kerkini - an image captured during a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holiday

Omar & his friend came all the way from Kuwait to join our Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece photography holiday. Our trips this year attracted many international clients from USA & Kuwait to Denmark, Belgium & Germany.

A close up headshot of a Dalmatian Pelican an image captured during a Natureslens Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holiday
I have to admit to being blown away when I opened Omar’s email & saw his images. Some of them are absolutely sensational.
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Jessica’s Images of the Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece

A pair of Dalmatian Pelicans with their beaks just touching the water an image captured during a Natureslens Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holiday

Jessica was a guest on one of the Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Workshops that we conducted in January 2018. Having run this tour for the past four years, the itinerary is now, in our opinion, the perfect experience. But it’s not what we think that matters, the view of our guests matters more.

Jessica said, “I had the pleasure to go to Greece in January 2018 to photograph the Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece & I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Not only were there plenty of opportunities to capture images of these big & charismatic birds in various conditions, but we also had a lot of fun with the group. Our guide Sean was always attentive & ready to answer our questions & give photography advice. The accommodation was ideal & the trip very well organised. Being able to photograph the pelicans very early in the morning & late in the afternoon added a special touch to the photos. I would certainly recommend going on this photography trip in Greece.”
A close up of a dalmatian pelican red pouch an image captured during a Natureslens Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holiday Continue reading

A visit to the Tigers of Tadoba … & their cubs

Tiger cub looking fierce as his mother rests an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

David learnt that there were two female tigers who had recently given birth to cubs in Tadoba National Park. This was probably around late November 2017 & two other females had also given birth a little earlier. It seemed that a visit to see the Tigers of Tadoba was on!

A Tiger Cub checking the scent on a tree an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday
David & I, plus my friend Andy, could not miss this great opportunity of hopefully viewing 3 to 4-month-old tiger cubs. So, we caught a plane to Nagpur & then travelled to Tadoba for some excellent tiger viewing & photography.
David is always networking which helps significantly in the meticulous planning NaturesLens always carry out when preparing wildlife photographic trips & workshops. This was no exception.
Tiger cub looking fierce as his mother rests an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday
If you want to get the best possible viewing in the core tiger zones, you usually have to book at least three months in advance.  David learnt that two of the Tigers had made their home outside of the core zones of the reserve. We therefore decided to take a gamble & arrange some of our drives in the lesser used reserve areas. We hoped this would increase our chances of seeing as many different cubs as possible. Of course, this could have gone wrong if the Tigers had returned to the main areas but we felt confident they would not.
Our gamble paid off! In reality, this was probably not an enormous gamble due to the planning by David. Most tourists tend to stick to the traditional core areas as they believe they offer the best sightings. I believe we were the only westerners in the areas where these two females were to be found, which made our viewings & images even more special.
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Karen’s Pelicans of Lake Kerkini

A Dalmatian Pelican drifts gently on the waters of Lake Kerkini photographed during a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday

Karen joined our Pelicans of Lake Kerkini trip in 2018, having missed out in 2017. She may not have gotten the snow, but she got some awesome light, coupled with fantastic opportunities for reflection shots.

With three boat trips & three shoreline feeds, there were plenty of opportunities to get some classic shots “in the bag” before trying some more creative photography.
In the image below, the clean backdrop coupled with the glass like waters of Lake Kerkini make this image. Were it not for the slight ripples in the water; you could flip the picture upside down & be none the wiser!
A Dalmatian Pelican lands on the glass like waters of Lake Kerkini photographed during one of the NaturesLens Photography Holidays for photography of the Pelicans of Lake Kerkini
Our hotel is within walking distance of Lake Kerkini, making sunrise & sunset shots possible. The pink tones that Karen has captured in the photo below are glorious.
I always enjoy seeing client photos. Everyone has a different eye, & it’s great to see so many diverse takes on the same subject as it can often inspire people to try a different type of shot.
A Dalmatian Pelican lands on the waters of Lake Kerkini at sunrise photographed during one of the NaturesLens Photography Holidays for photography of the Pelicans of Lake Kerkini
I hope Karen’s camera didn’t get wet as she got down low to get this shot! Look at the detail in the feathers, & the crazy hairdo.
We choose to visit the Pelicans of Lake Kerkini in January as the birds are in their full winter plumage. The white feathers & bright red pouch makes them more attractive to photograph but also helps the pelican to attract a partner!
One of the Dalmatian Pelicans drifts gently on the waters of Lake Kerkini photographed during one of the NaturesLens Photography Holidays for photography of the Pelicans of Lake Kerkini
One of the Dalmatian Pelicans flies above the waters of Lake Kerkini at sunrise photographed during one of the NaturesLens Photography Holidays for photography of the Pelicans of Lake Kerkini

Photograph the Pelicans of Lake Kerkini yourself

To photograph the charismatic Pelicans of Lake Kerkini yourself, join Sean Weekly, one of the members of the NaturesLens guiding team, in Kerkini, Greece during January 2019 for a trip lasting four nights. This photography holiday will offer you the opportunity to capture images of the Dalmatian Pelican. The NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday is provided on a full board, non-shared room basis.

All the details of the Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday are available on the dedicated event page.