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 in Brazil, the Falkland Islands, Alaska and Antarctica as well as various locationsin the UK.

2017 was a fantastic year. In February we returned to the Mara, on a trip led by David Lloyd and based at the excellent Entim Camp. We have been to Africa a number of times, but this was the best.

In September we visited Alaska to watch the Grizzly Bears take advantage of the salmon run, on a trip organised by our friends at Natures Images. The bears in this region have never been hunted and therefore have no fear of people, nor do they see us as food. In short they are indifferent to our presence, which led to some close encounters. 

Closer to home, in the summer, we visited Alan MacFadyen's superb diving Kingfisher set up and Badger hides, followed by a return trip to Rothiemurchus to photograph to Ospreys.

In September we had the privilege of accompanying Danny Green to Bradgate Park for the deer rut.

In terms of output, and hopefully quality, we feel that 2017 was 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.

2018 will also be busy with trips to Indonesia, with Natures Images, mainly to photograph Orangutans and Komodo Dragons but also to expand our experience of macro photography. In November we will fulfil a long held ambition and visit South Georgia in the company of award winning Ole Jorgen Linden, and his team of guides at Wild Photo. In the UK we will be going to the Puffin colony at Skomer, with Richard Peters, and have scheduled a number of trips to photograph Ospreys at nearby Rutland Water

2019 is already taking shape with a trip to Mexico, with Mark Carwardine, to see whales and to  Madagascar, with Mark Sisson of Natures Images, to see the Lemurs. 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, 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.

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 the British Wildlife Centre where it is possible to see and photograph, amongst other species, populations of badgers, otters and red squirrels.

On a similar theme, the Wildlife and Wetland Trust site at Slimbridge is also worth a visit. The raptor images were taken mainly in the UK on workshop days run by John Wright, who operates as Photographers on Safari.

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.

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 D800, principally due to their ability to shoot high quality images with fast shutter speeds in low light. A recent addition to our kit is the new D500, 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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