Tag Archives: photography holiday

12 mesmerizing images of the Dalmatian Pelicans of Kerkini

Beautifully reflected in the waters of Kerkini a quartet of the Pelicans photographed by Tony Berry during one of the 2019 NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Tours

Earlier this year, Tony attended our Dalmatian Pelicans of Kerkini photography holiday. 2019 saw the return of snow & ice to the region so he faced some challenging weather conditions but thanks to our resourceful boatman, Tony came back with some stunning photos. He has very kindly sent in 12 beautiful images for us to share with you.

I can honestly say that I never get tired of looking at the images that our guests send into us. Everyone has a different eye & a different take. It’s just great to see so much creativity.

Tony told us that “the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Kerkini was a very well organised trip. Perhaps my most memorable moments of the trip were when the pelicans were resting silently in the calm waters of the lake, in the soft evening light”. I think it would be fair to say that Tony was blessed with some stunning light while he was in Greece. The colours in his reflection shot of a quartet of pelicans are simply sublime!

Meet our boat skipper Vasilis. He is incredibly helpful & has an extraordinary empathy with the pelicans. Everyone always comments about how passionately he cares for their well-being.

Lake Kerkini froze over for the second time in the history of our running trips there. Lucky for us, Vasilis rallied the local fishermen who helped to break the ice in some areas so that our guests were able to get out onto the lake.
Our Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece photography holiday offers plenty of opportunities to capture gorgeous portrait images as well as birds in flight & action shots.  Our hotel is less than 500m from the lake which means that everyone can go back to the hotel in between sessions to warm up & enjoy some lunch. Just what you need after a brisk, cold morning of pelican photography!
Thanks again to Tony for sharing his beautiful images with us. We’ll no doubt see you again soon.

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.
Having this flexibility also proved to be extremely useful during our special portrait session where the group had the opportunity to photograph a black stallion & a white stallion in natural light against a clean, moody backdrop. I was able to zoom in for tight headshots & zoom out to capture action shots of the horses running or rearing up on their hind legs.
Some of my favourite shots from this fantastic trip were taken at 28mm; such as the horses running through the woods & the white horses standing in the lagoon under a clear blue sky. Not having to change lenses made it so much easier for me to experiment a lot more with varying focal lengths.
My favourite shot was taken during the beach session just as the sun was setting. For those of you who are interested, the settings for the image below are ISO 1600 | f/9 | 1/320s | 0ev | 40mm.
Our White Horses of the Camargue photography trip was action packed with so many photographic opportunities on the beach, in the dunes, in salt marshes & of course, our exclusive portrait session. I can’t help but smile when I think back to this trip where I packed more shoes than camera lenses!
For those of you who are interested in buying this lens, it is worth noting that you cannot use the 28-300mm with converters. However, if you want to travel light, this lens is absolutely perfect!
Serge Krouglikoff will be leading our 2019 Wild White Horses of the Camargue Photography Holiday. If you would like to join him, you can find more details about the trip by clicking here.

Photographing the Ice Grizzlies of the Yukon

A Grizzly Bear Making A Splash In The River   Captured During The Natureslens Ice Grizzlies Of The Yukon Photography Holiday

My experience of photographing the Ice Grizzlies of the Yukon could very easily read like one of those early childhood ‘what I did in my holidays’ essays. “I got up & then I got on a coach. I went to the airport & flew in a big plane to a place called Vancouver. I got into another, smaller plane & went to Whitehorse. It was snowy & cold. The next day I got in an even smaller plane & went to a place called Dawson City.  It was a Sunday; everything was closed. I stayed in a hotel & then we got in a helicopter. Then we saw bears & a wolf. Then we came home”.

That’s pretty accurate, albeit over-simplistic. It’s quite an adventure getting to Bear Cave Mountain, but boy is it worth it. Dawson City is a fascinating mix of history & modern. Many old buildings date from the Gold Rush era, in varying states of upkeep, & the trappings of modern life, but with a very Northern twist. A seasonal city that serves the tourist industry as well as still supporting commercial gold extraction. It was post-season when we were there but it was still fascinating & the people are welcoming.
The next stage of the adventure is the helicopter ride — two hours over the starkly majestic tundra & mountains of the Northern Yukon. Challenging & inhospitable doesn’t even start to describe it. The approach to the camp is ‘interesting’. There’s no sign of where the camp is & the pilot just took us down to river level & landed on a shingle ‘beach’. Only then could we see the camp through the trees. Settling in didn’t take long. There are only four buildings & a ‘room with a view’ – more on this later – the main cabin, three two-person sleeping cabins & a loo.
The message from the very point of arrival was that this is grizzly bear country & everywhere was a potential viewing site – yes, even the camp. And that, I suppose, is the key to the success of this place. Respect the grizzly bears & their environment & they will reward you. The local guides, Phil & Ross, were quick to induct us into the required behaviour – slow, deliberate movement, no talking unless necessary, & then very quietly. The philosophy is to give the bears nothing – no encouragement, no reward, & no bad experiences of humans. It works.

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Finland’s Wild Brown Bears & other Wildlife from David Jones

One Of The Wild Brown Bears In The Rain   Photographed During The NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears Of Finland Photography Holiday

David attended our Wild Brown Bears of Finland photography trip earlier this year. His primary interest is in bird photography, but when presented with the opportunity to photograph bears & possibly the elusive wolverine, he couldn’t resist.

The bear centre is home to some beautiful bird species such as the goldeneye. David was lucky enough to capture images of both the male & female & even a chick!
A Female Goldeneye Photographed During The NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears Of Finland Photography Holiday Continue reading

Wild White Horses of the Camargue in monochrome

Portrait of fighting stallions typical of the type of image that may be captured during the NaturesLens Wild White Horses of the Camargue Photography Holiday

Earlier this year, I wrote a series of blog posts about the Wild White Horses of the Camargue. I will be heading out to the Camargue on Friday to lead our 2018 trip & thought it would be nice to showcase how these majestic steeds look in monochrome.

We always try to offer something a little bit different from other operators & in this case; we include a unique portrait session. This is an opportunity to photograph a white & a black stallion in a studio-like environment with both natural & studio lighting.

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A journey to photograph the South African Wildlife of Zimanga

An Oxpecker Sat On A The Neck Of A Giraffe   Photographed During The NaturesLens African Wildlife Of Zimanga Photography Holiday

Last month I had the pleasure of guiding a great group of guests on our South African Wildlife of Zimanga photography holiday. This tour is the perfect blend of traditional safari game drives coupled with some extraordinary hide sessions. There was something for everyone – majestic mammals, beautiful raptors & little birds.

Zimanga, the South African wildlife reserve is a 3-hour drive from Durban airport. Upon arrival at the reserve entrance, we transferred to the lodge by a land cruiser. We were greeted by giraffe, buffalo, impala, warthog, kudu & nyala as we drove the short distance to our accommodation – what a great start to the trip!
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The Black Stallions of the Camargue

Black stallion prancing during a portrait session typical of the type of image that may be captured during the NaturesLens Wild White Horses of the Camargue Photography Holiday

One of the things that make our White Horses of the Camargue trip unique is the opportunity to photograph black stallions.

We will have a session with a black stallion on the beach/ dunes and in the sea plus a further creative portrait session. Each session lasts around 90 – 120 minutes so there will be plenty of time to capture some truly stunning images of these midnight steeds.

Serge and I will be on hand to provide advice on settings to help you get the best images possible. There will be a chance in between sessions to look at our pictures for those who would like some extra tuition.

We will stay in the medieval walled city of Aigues-Mortes during our time in the Camargue. In our free time, we can walk the ramparts and take in the fantastic view of the eerie red salt lagoons and enormous sparkling salt piles as well as the canals that skirt around the town. So much to do and see in just five days!

A black stallion canters in an arena during a special portrait session typical of the type of image that may be captured during the NaturesLens Wild White Horses of the Camargue Photography Holiday Continue reading