Suffolk, UK in late 2017 was thriving with Kingfisher activity. Combine this with a beautiful habitat, and presence of other charismatic species, a day or two was all that was needed for a nice set of images…
A good month has passed since my last shoot with the cubs at ZSLW. They are now a lot more active and a real challenge to photograph.
Usual gear, 1dx, 400mm f2.8 etc.
Bird on a stick... but... what a bird! 800mm f8, 1dx.
My trip to Tadoba Tiger reserve is fast approaching, and I need to get back in tune with photographing the big cats. I opted for a visit to ZSL Whipsnade, as the tigress has recently given birth to four beautiful cubs....
Ten years ago, I had the privilege of seeing my first wild tiger, deep in the core of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, India. It didn’t come easy. We had days of no sightings, and only hints of their presence. After a lot of fruitless searching, we got the call and at around eleven am, boarded the elephant. The tigers were resting well away from any roads. The ride through the jungle was filmed by my friend, and I have recently found the VHS after a decade. Recalling my own memories, and watching the newly recovered footage… the forest was surreal. Truly beautiful, pristine and untouched. We moved through a gushing river with crystal clear water, through thick Sal growth and into a ravine deep in the jungle where we stopped. I recall looking into the distance, seeking my first glimpse, but in fact, just below us was a large sub-adult wild tiger. It is no exaggeration to say the animal radiated a presence, spirit, and at the same time a vulnerability, that I have seldom seen in front of my lens. So after bagging my shots, I put the camera down for five minutes and did a 360. The idea at the time was rather than remembering a close-up of a wild tiger through a viewfinder, it would be a far stronger memory seeing it with my own eyes, and I am so glad I did.
It was such a powerful experience, that it led me to photograph them constantly ever since. Whether that was at my local zoo, or back in India. More so than a photographic subject, I grew to understand her wider role in the natural world that includes us. Tigers are an umbrella species, and even humans, for all our innovation and technology, are still a part of this system.
To put it simply, if we can protect umbrella species, such as the tiger, we also protect the forests, the other jungle species and underground water reserves at the same time. Ultimately, our own long term survival. This very reason draws me back every year, and has given me a purpose and drive that is partially fulfilled by photography, but more so by helping to resurrect this declining cat. I have used my camera to capture the tiger aesthetically and created calendars and prints to raise money for their protection; I took storytelling images to educate and empower audiences, and now will embark on a long term project to further this purpose.
So this tiger day, ten years later I implore everyone to help support this iconic and vibrant species, whether that be through raising awareness through your own photography and blogs, or generating funds for charities. We only have one chance to preserve the tiger, let’s not hesitate to take it.
Please click here to see how you can help.
It means a lot to have my images used in this context. I had always wanted my images to help with the conservation of wild tigers and this particular shot has served them well. Please visit https://conservewildcats.org/ to see how you can help. I've seen tigers in the wild many times, and for all their strength and courage, they are still extremely vulnerable and need our help...
A beautiful wild tigress @ Tadoba Tiger reserve, India.
Taken @ a hide
canon 1dx, 400mm f2.8
Working as a store representative for Nikon, I was given the opportunity to try out some cool kit!
A male tiger glides past our jeep at Tadoba Andhari tiger reserve, central India.
A long lost Raw file finally processed 7 years after taking it.
I decided to skip Skomer Island and try the Farnes this year. A weekend was finally made available, so after a 3am start, and epic four hour journey, I was greeted with severe swell and cancelled boat trips. However, I endured and managed a few hours on both Inner Farne and Staple Island the following day. This is a glimpse into what I saw: