I’ve been looking forward to my return to Tadoba for a while now and decided to go through some images from my last adventure. We had a lovely afternoon with a beautiful tigress and managed to capture her in a variety of habitats and situations. That’s the beauty of Tadoba… lakes, thick jungle, meadows, but most of all, colour and a variety of species.
Had a lovely time with the BBC last week talking about the ethics of wildlife photography, tigers and the art form itself. The piece was shot at my local RSPB (Sandwell Valley) nature reserve, with the BBC’s Shefali Oza.
In the 15 years I have been photographing wildlife I have seen a steep change in the number of photographers in the field. There seems to be and endless list of courses/workshops relating to wildlife photography, camera settings but only a few that cover ethics of wildlife photography, field-craft and animal behaviour. The UK National Wildlife Crime unit has launched a campaign called undisturbed which seeks to raise awareness and it will be active on social media until the end of the year. Some useful references can be found on the below link
Here are some behind the scenes images of the shoot courtesy of Andy Purcell - thank you for hosting on the day!
Until next time…
A lovely weekend meeting and greeting a variety of talented artists at the MAC tutors exhibition.
Tadoba tiger reserve, 2016, late evening we encountered a pack of Dhole that seemed somewhat excited and were circling around a patch of forest. It was only when the whistles subsided and one of them looked up, that we spotted a very young leopard silhouetted against the darkening sky.
Deep in the buffer zone of Tadoba tiger reserve, we come across a huge male tiger. He was walking with an intent, a purpose, and as always we gave him a wide berth. We calculated the general direction he was travelling in, and by using the guides knowledge of the jungle topography, we backed off and managed to have all of our photographic opportunities of him facing us. We would patiently wait for him to walk through the small clearings in the thick forest, and time photography with these windows. He seemed to oblige, and we captured multiple compositions at different focal lengths. The main challenge I had was managing the harsh late morning sun, so I predominately took my images as he passed through shade, which enabled me to get some nice diffuse light on the face and eyes. His sheer presence and grace of movement reminded me of a quote from famous tiger hunter (turned conservationist) Jim Corbett :
”The tiger is a large hearted gentleman with boundless courage and that when he is exterminated, as exterminated he will be, unless public opinion rallies to his support – India will be the poorer by having lost the finest of her fauna “
We can all do our bit to help conserve and protect tigers in many ways, please click below to start.
A beautiful, bright eyed male tiger rests during a warm evening at Tadoba tiger reserve, India. Tigers love water unlike most cats. and can often be found resting in small lakes and waterholes, especially April onwards. The temperature during this time can reach 45 degrees Celsius and is very challenging to shoot in, so its vital we have enough fluid and protect our skin.
I am always looking for the perfect reflection, so when the water is moving, sometimes it is best to take a burst of images in order to have the key elements in the reflection as clear and as distortion free as possible. Also, when the subject is stationary, I try to extract as much detail from the scene by shooting at the lowest iso, exposing to the right and keeping the camera and lens as stable as possible. This gives me a great foundation for processing and scope to enlarge images for prints and exhibitions.
People often ask me why I don’t sometimes include the tigers ears. The reasons are simple, it is an artistic choice as I am drawn to the beauty of markings, and the eyes of the species. I hope you are too…
I am really getting a feel for toned and fine art style processing on my images. The approach mostly seems to work when the image is relatively simple with few elements, and the subject is distinct. I’ve used a variety of methods to get the look am after utilising both lightroom, and especially photoshop to get the tonality I think suits the image. Here are some cheetah from yesterday, taken with the usual canon 400mm f2.8 and 1DX setup at a local wildlife park.
Beautiful feathers of a Phalacrocorax aristotelis