COVID Update Polar Bears of the High Arctic 2020 Delayed until 2021

As a direct result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis that originated in China and the continual travel bans and closure of countries around the world my 2020 Polar Bears of the High Arctic expedition to Svalbard is being delayed until 2021. Full details are on my website in the Workshops link.

 

Photo of the Month May 2020 – Wild Wolf

The photograph of the month for May 2020 comes from my Finland workshop in September last year to photograph Wolves and Wolverines (Read the Trip Report). Photographed from a ground level hide in no mans land between Finland and Russia during the first late Autumn snowfall; this photograph captures for me the very essence of a wild wolf. The gesture with the raised paw and angle of attack of the animals head in combination with the intense glare makes for a powerful and emotive photograph.

By way of a little back story to this photograph – I had actually dragged a small portable ground level hide into this location specifically for the clean and distant forest background in combination with the soft grasses in the foreground. I was then very fortunate to have this young wolf approach within 600mm range just as the first snow was beginning to fall. Finland has very quickly become one of my favourite destinations on the planet for wildlife photography and I am looking forward to returning later this year (assuming we are all able to travel!).  I will have a video on the post production of the photograph in Adobe Lightroom in coming days.

Workshop and Expedition Bookings COVID-19 Update 2020

It is fair to say that the pandemic and global shutdown that is currently ongoing has made for a rather troubling start to the 2020 year. There is a lot of uncertainty and doubt around the new self isolation, social distancing and travel restrictions that are in place around the world. And, there is of course obvious doubt and concern around current and future travel – wether it be personal or business.

There have been a number of enquiries made over the last couple of weeks to my Wild Nature Photo Travel business regarding how to safely book onto a future workshop or expedition to both avoid missing out on a place and to avoid any potential financial loss should a trip fail to run. Given the current state of affairs I am now holding places on future trips without deposits and without further obligation at this point. This allows anyone to safely put their name down for a future trip without the concern of having to place a non-refundable deposit.  Trips will then be formalised much closer to their planned starting date and payments arranged at this time should anyone wish to proceed. There is absolutely no obligation to proceed if for any reason you are prevented from travel, or choose not to travel for any reason. In effect, this new system allows anyone to hold a place on any trip without deposit and to cancel for any reason up to the point payments will be finalised (typically 90 days prior to commencement of a workshop/expedition).

This new booking methodology is being put in place immediately to ease any concerns regarding wether an expedition or workshop will proceed and will apply to all future bookings from today (10th April 2020) until further notice. If there are any queries or questions regarding holding a place on a future trip please do not hesitate to drop me an email at any time.

For workshops and expeditions where payments have already been received each trip is being dealt with on an individual basis in the interests of the attendees and the successful execution of the trip. In some cases this will mean deferral of the trip until a later date.

Self Isolation Freedom Day!

Today is Freedom Day! After fourteen days of self isolation after my return from the East Coast of Greenland I can finally emerge from my home office and makeshift bedroom and enjoy the newly imposed restrictions here in Australia – fate it seems is not without a sense of irony. Freedom day includes a photograph I made in September last year by the shores of a placid lake near the cabin we were using on my Finland workshop. With a soft fog slowly rising at dawn and perfectly still waters the scene was set for some wonderful landscape imagery. Finland in Autumn has quickly become one of my top favourite destinations for both wildlife and landscape photography.

The photograph was taken hand held with the Canon EOS 1DX MK2 with the Canon 16-35mm at ISO800 f11 at 1/500th of a second. I will be returning to Finland in September this year (provided the world returns to some sense of normality) to lead another workshop to this amazing location for Wolves, Wolverine and Bears (only two places remaining).

Self Isolation Day Fourteen – Big Brown Bear

Day fourteen of mandatory self isolation (freedom tomorrow!) includes a photograph I made in September last year of a large adult male Brown Bear emerging from the forest on the Finland / Russia Border. I had actually positioned myself in a small portable ground level hide along a game trail where I had seen wolves the evening before in the hope they would come back (they did just before dark). I had not expected this large fellow to come wandering out of the forest! The bear came within just a dozen feet of my hide on his way past which gave me a great opportunity to photograph him with the beautiful soft grasses in the foreground.

The photograph was taken from a small ground level portable hide, hand held with the Canon EOS 1DX MK2 with the Canon 600mm f4L IS MK3 at ISO1600 f5.6 at 1/400th of a second. I will be returning to Finland in September this year to lead another workshop to this amazing location for Wolves, Wolverine and Bears (only two places remaining).