Category Archives: reports

10 inspiring images of the White Horses of the Camargue

An inquisitive stallion walks up the beach as photographed during the NaturesLens White Horses of the Camargue Photography Holiday

I wanted to share more images from our White Horses of the Camargue photography trip in September 2018 to give everyone an idea of the sort of photographic opportunities available. You’ll notice that I haven’t included any images of the frenzy of white horses running towards you with water splashing everywhere. The point of this blog post is to demonstrate what else can be achieved.

A group shot of these stunning horses is a definite must-have. The reflection shot was taken at sunrise using a Canon 1Dx Mk 2 & Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM at ISO 640, f/7.1, 1/250s, -1ev at 80mm. As the horses started to move towards us, I changed settings because I wanted a tight group shot. For those of you interested in my settings, this shot was taken at ISO 1000, f/8, 1/500s, 0ev at 300mm.
Continue reading

White Horses of the Camargue Photography – A Minimalist Approach

A silhouette of a rearing stallion photographed during the NaturesLens White Horses of the Camargue Photography Holiday

I led our Wild White Horses of the Camargue photography holiday back in September 2018. This is one trip where big lenses are not required. In fact, the combination of a wide angle lens coupled with a mid-zoom lens such as a 70-200mm or a 100-400mm is perfect.

I had packed my 16-35mm & 70-200mm, but at the last minute, I decided to ditch both lenses in favour of my Canon EF 28-300mm f3.5-5.6 L IS USM Lens. I bought this lens back in 2010 because I hated changing lenses & wanted something that would give me a wide range of focal lengths.
The Canon EF 28-300mm f3.5-5.6 L IS USM Lens is known as Canon’s travel lens due to its incredible flexibility, but it wasn’t popular due to its weight & the fact that it was a push/pull zoom. I am a huge fan of the push/pull zoom; in fact, my go to lens was the original Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens before I (reluctantly) upgraded to the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Telephoto Lens. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about the original 100-400mm, but I never experienced any of the issues described with my lens so I guess I must have been the lucky owner of one of the few good ones.
I found it incredibly liberating travelling so light & throughout the trip, I fell in love with the Canon EF 28-300mm all over again. In my opinion, this lens is even more versatile than the Canon EF 100-400mm since it covers most of the most commonly used focal lengths in a single lens & with an aperture of f/3.5 at 28mm, it also works very well as a non-dedicated macro lens. And let’s not forget the enormous advantage of not having to change lenses in the middle of a photo shoot!
The Canon EF 28-300mm Lens turned out to be the perfect lens for this White Horses of the Camargue photography trip. I was able to capture clean shots of the horses at 300mm, as they ran towards us in the salt marshes & the sea before they kicked up too much spray. The push/pull system allowed me to easily adjust my focal length right back up to 28mm as the horses ran past us.
Continue reading

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

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.

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

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 Continue reading

Tigers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday Report

One of Bandhavgarh's tigers stares straight down the lens photographed on the 2017 Tigers of Bandhavgarh Safari Holiday

In late April/early May I completed two back-to-back Indian trips. The first being our Tigers of Bandhavgarh Safari Holiday. I always look forward to our annual trip to photograph tigers & this year was no different, apart from the fact that I was more excited than usual.

We took a break from Bandhavgarh in 2016, so I couldn’t wait to get back there. I can honestly say that I have never been more excited about going back to what I consider to be my second home.

We have been visiting the park for 7 years now & have gotten to know its residents very well. Along with the drivers & guides who have become our friends, we have mourned the loss of favourite tigers & celebrated the birth of new cubs.

The spot where three tiger brothers have made home their island in the middle of one of the watering holes photographed on the 2017 Tigers of Bandhavgarh Safari Holiday

Continue reading

Wolverines & Brown Bears of the Taiga Forest

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.

Continue reading

Dan reports in from our Spanish Bird Photography Holiday

One of Calera's Bustards at sunrise image captured during a NaturesLens Spanish Bird Photography Holiday

This was my second year leading a group for NaturesLens on their Spanish Bird Photography Holiday that is focussed around the fantastic hides in Calera & once again they did not disappoint.

The stars of this area in Spain are the bustards & the black-winged kite but when Europe’s more common but still wonderful & colourful birds are also on your doorstep there’s really nothing not to like – add in some paella, sunshine & a few beers & I’m happy!

This year I had the chance to photograph a few species I missed last year. Starting with the charismatic little owl! I’ll share the others in my second blog but for now just look at those eyes…

A little owl poses in the Spanish olive grove image captured during a NaturesLens Spanish Bird Photography Holiday Continue reading