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Wildlife

Remembering Karanja

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Karanja was the Maasai Mara’s most famous of its forty-nine black rhinos, famous for his age but probably more so for his magnificent 34 inch horns which made him so easily recognisable from the rest.

He was easily the oldest rhino in the reserve and died of natural causes on Christmas Eve 2014 at the age of around 44 years old. He was a rare living link from an era when rhinos were still common, and just as much as it was a privilege to see him his natural surroundings, it becomes a relief to know, against all odds, that he completed his life naturally.

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2014 In Review

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Solitude


FOR EACH END OF YEAR REVIEW as in 2011, 2012 and 2013, my own revisiting them twelve months hence is just as important as writing them to begin with. It’s one more yardstick to measure where I was then to where I am now. One’s own photography needs to evolve (just as anything else does) otherwise you become in danger of being stuck in your own past.

As with previous years there were objectives to achieve, and much of this year was taken up with my new book, AS LONG AS THERE ARE ANIMALS, along with its accompanying exhibition. Then if I could manage to sell a few pictures or win a award or two along the way, then so much the better.

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A Talk on Wildlife Photography in London

WWT London Wetland Centre

Muscovy Duck, at the WWT London Wetland Centre.

On Sunday 2nd February at 2pm I’ll be giving a talk about wildlife photography at the WWT London Wetland Centre in Barnes, near London. I’ll be giving my own perspective on photographing wildlife, from preparation through to the final print. Naturally, it’ll be illustrated by many of my own pictures too.

I will also share my own experiences of photographing African wildlife, in particular that of the great wildebeest migration which occurs every August in the Masai Mara in Kenya. I will cover what to expect on safari, how to prepare, and how to get the most out of the photographic opportunities there.

The talk will last approximately one hour, and there will be plenty of time for a question and answer session afterwards.

It’s free once you have paid for entry to the centre, but you’ll need to reserve your place, so please email the centre at info.london@nullwwt.org.uk to do so.

For directions, see how to find us on the WWT London Wetland Centre website.

If you can make it along, it’d be great to see you there.


Details:

Sunday 2nd February at 2pm

Queen Elizabeth’s Walk
Barnes, London
SW13 9WT

info.london@nullwwt.org.uk

2013 In Review

2013 saw me spend some eleven weeks in Kenya, hosting three private and six group photo safaris as well as spending a couple of weeks with just myself and the animals for company. These pictures are what came out of those eleven weeks in terms of my own photography. Equally satisfying though, was the opportunity to play a role in realising the ambition of forty or so other keen photographers and to see them achieve their own photographic dreams too.

Meanwhile at home, it felt like I never stood still with British Wildlife Centre and London Zoo workshops as well as two shows of my pictures cumulating in Bronze Black and White exhibition in London in November.

The thumbnails below are all clickable so click on them to view a larger version.


Leopard Country

Ask me what my favourite subject is and I’ll happily tell you, but today’s answer may be different from yesterday’s or tomorrow’s. But often it will be the leopard. February afforded me many opportunities, I think we encountered seven different individuals all told. Of the seven, it was Shujaa and Bahati who provided most of my pictures.

We never have off-season, almost every day yields a surprise, like the afternoon we encountered a lone black rhino just two minutes out of camp…

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The Sunday Times Animal Pictures of the Year

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Two cheetahs chasing down a Thomson’s Gazelle in August this year

The Sunday Times Magazine Animal Pictures of the Year for 2013

Today’s Sunday Times Magazine presents its annual Animal Pictures of the Year feature and it is a special privilege to have one of my own images chosen for 2013. An online version is here, but it’s a paid subscription though.

Two young cheetahs chasing down a hapless Thomson’s Gazelle was one of many highlights while hosting a photographic safari to the Masai Mara this August. The two cheetahs were young and still learning to kill, so they toyed with the gazelle with practice runs, bringing it down and releasing it several times before downing it down one final time just in front of our vehicle.

Cheetah chases are normally viewed from afar so when these two shepherded the gazelle directly before us, a close range photo became a reality. And of course the three clients who accompanied me that week also caught the sequence for themselves.

I will be running these photo safaris in 2014 as well, so for more info on these see:

Big Cat Photo Safaris
Great Migration Photo Safaris

A Natural Selection

david shepherd wildlife foundation gallery

An Exhibition of Black and White Wildlife Photography

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be showing a selection of my African wildlife photography at the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation Gallery in Surrey throughout the month of July.

It is a showing of about a dozen black and white photographs, taken between 2009-2012. It runs from 5th July to 3rd August, and entry is free. Needless to say, a percentage of sales will be donated to the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation to go towards saving endangered wildlife.

Private Preview, Friday 5th July
Places limited – please call 01483 443852 for more details.

DSWF Gallery
7 Kings Road, Shalford GU4 8JU
July 5th-August 3rd
Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Saturday 10am-4pm
Entry is Free

For more info please visit the David Shepherd Foundation Gallery website here.

Big Cat Photo Safaris 2014

lion cubs

I have two new safari dates confirmed for 2014, that of our African Big Cat Photo Safari in the Masai Mara in Kenya. The Mara is famous for its big cats, and as such it presents a wonderful opportunity to photograph lions, cheetahs and leopards. March, along with February and April, is a favoured season for big cats.

As well as this, it’s the beginning of the rainy season, and with that comes the big skies so loved by photographers. Needless to say there will be much else to see and photograph, including elephant, antelope, buffalo and hippo. And if we’re lucky, we may even see a black rhino.

We offer a prime location in the Masai Mara, exclusive vehicles with a row of seats per client, as well as Photoshop and Lightroom post processing guidance. Our photo safaris are especially geared for photographers in mind and we welcome photographers of all levels.

This eight day safari is limited to six people in each and we will be hosting two safaris. For more about this safari, including dates and costs, see our African Big Cat Photo Safari page here.

Notch

notch male lion portrait

This is possibly my favourite portrait of Notch, and I’ve posted it here because I could see no point in it languishing on my hard drive unseen by others. It seemed such a waste otherwise.

Notch is the one of the largest and is the oldest lions in the Masai Mara at about 13-14 years of age. His age is attributed to the fact that he is constantly in the presence of one or more of his four sons, who all bear varying semblances of himself.

I’m back there again this coming week from tomorrow, so I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for him.