Two months to go...

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.

A sleek and beautiful leopard moving stealthfully towards some boar. Canon 1DX 400mm f2.8.

A sleek and beautiful leopard moving stealthfully towards some boar. Canon 1DX 400mm f2.8.

A sloth bear crossing the jungle trail. Just look at those huge claws! Canon 1DX, 400mm f2.8.

A sloth bear crossing the jungle trail. Just look at those huge claws! Canon 1DX, 400mm f2.8.

A lovely tigress in a dry rocky terrain, deep in the jungle. 1DX 400mm f2.8

A lovely tigress in a dry rocky terrain, deep in the jungle. 1DX 400mm f2.8

Giving her space made her comfortable around us, so she proceeded to walk towards our reversing jeep. This in turn allowed for some beautiful habitat images. You can see her left ear turned, perhaps listening to the deer alarm calls that were occurring. 1DX 400mm f2.8.

Giving her space made her comfortable around us, so she proceeded to walk towards our reversing jeep. This in turn allowed for some beautiful habitat images. You can see her left ear turned, perhaps listening to the deer alarm calls that were occurring. 1DX 400mm f2.8.

Some beautiful rays of light breaking through the forest highlighting an already beautiful species. Canon 1DX, 400mm f2.8.

Some beautiful rays of light breaking through the forest highlighting an already beautiful species. Canon 1DX, 400mm f2.8.

BBC Interview

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.

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The huge 400mm f2.8 and the mini EOS RP

The huge 400mm f2.8 and the mini EOS RP

The beautiful Sonam, of Tadoba tiger reserve, India, getting some air time.

The beautiful Sonam, of Tadoba tiger reserve, India, getting some air time.

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

Ethics of Wildlife Photography.

Here are some behind the scenes images of the shoot courtesy of Andy Purcell - thank you for hosting on the day!

A serious rig!

A serious rig!

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AP7_1078 TAL 7X10  (c)Andy Purcell_resize.JPG

Until next time…

A royal bath

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.

77d, 800mm f8, 1/125th sec, iso 100.

77d, 800mm f8, 1/125th sec, iso 100.

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…

Toned processing

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.

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Rules

I dislike rules in art, one such ‘rule’ is that the subject must be looking into the frame. Perhaps we risk creating formulaic compositions with such mindsets and philosophies…

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Canon 1DX, 400mm f2.8, iso 100, 1/350th sec.