We hope that you enjoy these photographs which were taken, mainly, during our travels to Africa but also Svalbard, Japan, the Pantanal in Brazil and Antarctica. 2016 was an exiting year, in January we went to Andenes in northern Norway where we saw Orcas, Fin and Sperm whales and, briefly, the Northern Lights. We made a return trip to Svalbard in March, and were rewarded with some great scenery and wildlife in extremely cold conditions. Closer to home we spent a day photographing diving kingfishers in Worcestershire. In November we visited the Falkland Islands.
2017 will also be busy with trips to The Mara, with David Lloyd, and Alaska to see the bears catching salmon, with Natures Images. In between we intend to spend a number of days in various hides around the UK.
We will update our site after each trip when we have new photos to show you.
Please visit our Portfolio page to see the images which we feel best represent our work
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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. 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 Picture, which link in to the Lightroom interface.
We will update this page when we find other places which we consider worth a visit.