About Us - Leo Images Photography

Hello

We hope that you enjoy these images which were taken, mainly, during our travels to Africa but also Svalbard, Japan, The Pantanal, The Falkland Islands, Alaska, South Georgia, Indonesia and Antarctica as well as various locations in the UK and abroad.

2018 was a fantastic year. In April we went to Indonesia, on a trip with our friends at Natures Images, to photograph orangutans in Borneo, Black Crested Macaques in Sulawesi and Komodo Dragons. In addition we enjoyed some spectacular night walks in the rain forest, and have gained more experience of macro and flash photography.

In November we fulfilled an ambition by visiting South Georgia with Wild Photo Travel, led by award winning photographer Ole Jorgen Liodden and his team of experienced guides, with whom we have also traveled to Svalbard and Antarctica. The weather made for some difficult, but very rewarding, photography. The highlight was undoubtedly the blizzard, and near "white out" conditions at St Andrews Bay.

Nearer home we visited the Puffin colonies of Skomer Island, in the company of Drew Buckley and Richard Peters. The ability to stay on the island enabled us to capture images of the birds in beautiful golden evening light.

We were also regular visitors to River Gwash Trout Farm, which is close to where we live, to see Ospreys diving for fish. More trips are planned for 2019. 

In terms of output, and hopefully quality, we feel that 2018 was one of our best year. The only problem is the backlog of images yet to be processed. As we work through them we will update these galleries as we stumble across more deserving images.

2019 will also be a busy year with a trip to Baja California to see whales, with Mark Carwardine. Our images from Andenes were also taken on one of Mark's trips. We are also scheduled for Madagascar in September, with Natures Images, to see the lemurs and other rainforest creatures. We are also discussing a trip to the Shetlands, mainly to see otters.

The "wish list" isn't getting any shorter!

We will update our site after each trip, or as we edit previous trips, when we have new photos to show you.

Please visit our Portfolio page to see the images which we feel best represent our work

Some of our images are also published on Instagram and Facebook, please click the links below the Menu bar on the Home page.

Click here to see our Portfolio

If you would like to buy prints, greetings cards or calendars, featuring our images, or would like to leave a comment  please click "Contact Us" in the menu bar and send us an email.


About our images

We have been to some wonderful places, here are a few. Links to the some of the websites mentioned are at the end.

To date, the only place we have returned to in Africa is South Luangwa in Zambia. This is a relatively unspoiled area, which is not overcrowded by tourists and is said to be the best place in Africa to see leopard. There are three lion prides, which are relatively easy to find particularly in the dry season when the wildlife congregates near the river to take advantage of the dwindling supply of water. On both occasions we stayed in the two camps owned and operated by Shenton Safaris, Kaingo and Mwamba.

A particular feature of the Shenton camps are the photographic hides, which is where we took our photos of the Hippos and Carmine Bee Eaters.

Also in Africa we strongly recommend a visit to see the Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda, which is a beautiful country and the site of the infamous genocide of 1994. Rwanda has realised that the Mountain Gorillas are worth more to them alive, as a source of income, than as a target for poachers. Fees for a Gorilla visit are high, but some of the money is used to benefit the local community. As a result the population of this critically endangered species is increasing, and their habitat at the top of the Virunga Mountains cannot be used for additional farmland. Former poachers are employed to demonstrate their skills as archers to tourists, and act as porters, so that they can make a living from gorillas without killing them. The grave of Dian Fossey (Gorillas in the Mist) who, ironically, opposed "Gorilla Tourism" can be visited nearby.

The Masai Mara is well known as a safari destination, having been featured for a number of years in BBC's Big Cat Diaries. As a result the area can be a little overcrowded, particularly during the annual migration. We were lucky enough to be recommended the Kicheche camp, which is situated in a conservancy area, and consequently a little less crowded. Try to time your visit with the annual migration, which is an amazing spectacle. Kicheche has Massai guides, who are spectacularly capable of putting you in the right place at the right time. More recently we visited Entim Camp in the company of award winning fine art photographer David Lloyd.

The images in our Japan gallery were taken, in early 2014, on the Winter Wonderland tour run by Martin Bailey, who is one of our favourite photographers. In addition to being a talented photographer Martin is a generous, but unobtrusive, teacher. We subscribe to his weekly podcasts which  are well worth a listen. Highlights of the trip were the Snow Monkeys, who enjoy sitting in the natural jacuzzi, Red Crowned Cranes, Whooper Swans and Stellar Eagles taking fish thrown from the boat. Martin's other trips to Iceland and Namibia are on our bucket list.

Nearer to home we have found a number of excellent photographic hides, and have been able to see Badger, Fox, Ospreys and Kingfishers.

The Farne Island are worth a visit, particularly in June when the male puffins bring sand eels in their beaks to their young, who are in burrows with the females below ground. To do so they must run the gauntlet of predatory black headed gulls, who are determined to steal their catch.  Also worth seeing the Arctic Terns who nest by the walkway, and are fiercely protective of their nests and young so much so that they dive bomb and peck the heads of visitors who do not move on quickly enough. Boat trips are operated from Seahouses by Billy Shiels. We recommend staying at St Cuthbert's House.

Arguably the Puffin colony at Skomer offers better opportunities due to being able to stay on the island, and work in golden evening light.

We travelled to Antarctica with Ole and Roy who operate Wild Photo Travel, which is based in Svalbard. Both are accomplished, and award winning photographers in their own right. Be aware that these are expeditions, not tourist trips, so be prepared for wake up calls at 3am to take advantage of the light, and late nights for the same reason. We also went on their Svalbard expedition in March 2016, which gave us the opportunity to photograph landscape and  Polar Bears in Winter light, and whilst the seas were still largely frozen.

We use Nikon cameras, currently D4S and D500, principally due to their ability to shoot high quality images with fast shutter speeds in low light. The D4S is "full frame" whereas the D500 is a "crop" camera, which adds 50% to the focal length of our lenses whilst providing "full frame" speed and quality. Our main lenses are the 600mm F4, the lightweight 300mm and the superb 70-200mm.

Most serious photographers we have met  shoot their images in RAW, rather than JPEG, as this allows the maximum opportunity to enhance the final image on the computer. The software of choice is Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (Lightroom), which is "non destructive" meaning that it does not degrade the original image. Lightroom's "Publish Services" makes it easy to upload images to websites, such as this, in addition to various social media sites and the galleries we carry around on our iPads. Further enhancements can be made using the Nik software suite and Piccure, which link in to the Lightroom interface.

Links

Shenton Safaris

Kicheche Mara Camp

Martin Bailey Photography

Wild Photo Travel

British Wildlife Centre

Slimbridge

Photographers on Safari

Nature Photography Hides

Natures Images

Billy Shiel's boat trips

St Cuthbert's House

We will update this page when we find other places which we consider worth a visit.

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