I will be displaying my work at this weekends Art And Design event at the beautiful Pavilion Gardens,Buxton,Derbyshire-3rd,4th July.Fine art prints,canvases,my Limited EditionTiger Prints, and much more will be on display,also four-coming trips,news and advice.There are more events throughout the summer planned which included this years Birdfair in August
The event showcasts the very best in: Art,Furniture,Ceramics,Silverware,Glassware,Jewellery,Textiles,Photography and so many other design led products from across the region.Its set in the Victorian extravaganza of cast iron glass,which offers newly refurbished facilities including cafes,coffee bar,gift boutique,and art gallery set in this historic listed building,all set in wonderful gardening.I will be on hand to answer any questions in regard to wildlife photography as I operate an ‘Open’ door policy where I enjoy helping and showing people how to take better images of nature with my simply approach and techniques I employ and use myself.So if you are about in the area on Saturday or Sunday please pop in and say hello.
In the mean time I have just returned from Norfolk working on some of my projects there and tomorrow I am setting off again for two days where a client has booked two days with me,so really looking forward to that as at present my camera is never away I am that busy.Looking forward to this weekend in Buxton and meeting those that can make it,in the meantime good luck with your photography.
Over the last few weeks I have found myself almost tied to my desk either compiling my four-coming trips to India and Kenya and so forth,editing images and making submissions,and processing images.So to find some peace and quiet away from these tasks I like the least I have found myself drawn to some of my favourite places within nature,places I have been so,so many times over the years.So on the odd days I’ve had spare I’ve replaced the pen for my camera and visited the coast,my Barn Owl and my Dipper sites to which I have committed myself to capturing these animals over a twelve month period,through the changing seasons.
Where I have resisted in parts the temptation to fill the frame with the subject on most occasions,instead capturing my style where I love to include some of the surrounding habitat.By doing this I feel the image can tell more of a story about the animal and it’s relationship with the environment.Where the subject itself may be very small in the frame,this helps to illustrate the scale of the landscape and something I have always been drawn towards in my work.But as shown below a large in the frame image works in giving a close up into their world.
Composition plays a key role in this type of image so its important to remember the Rule Of Thirds that I covered in a previous post on‘Composition’ remembering to place the subject away from the centre of the frame.
I have three Dippers sites I am visiting quite regular,time permitting at present,compiling images throughout the year, where all birds are all doing well in different ways within the Peak District,Derbyshire.These birds as you know if you are a regular visitor to my blog have amazed my from when i was a small lad,and they still amaze me to this day,with their character and constent ‘Dipping’ behaviour ever present when you first see these birds in and around freshwater.Dippers nest early and in alot of cases can have a second brood of chicks throughout the season.One pair I have watched are feeding around three at present,when their parent lands the cries and screaming from the chicks in the nest is deafening,piercing through the noise from the fast flowing water close to their nest.
I run Dipper Of The Dales one day workshops,where I take you to the best site depending on the time of year within the Peak District.Giving you the chance to see and photography these Master’s Of The River
Also on the same stretch of river is a family of Grey Wagtails,where I have enjoyed watching their intense and frantic movement gathering food for the chicks,with the male pausing for a second in these lovely shaped tree branches below before he entered the nest,with a bit of a chance shot of the bird taking off using a slow shutter speed below this,beautiful to watch all this happening as its a great time to go out and watch wildlife now,with parents feeding young,juveniles having left the safety of their homes all happening around you as you immerse yourself in nature.
I have also been able to have a few days at the coast photographing Seabird’s,with the Puffin being high on my wish list again.I just love the clown-like faces on these beautiful birds,which apart from the four months of the year they come ashore to breed they spend the other eight months,living and feeding at sea,now that’s a very hardy bird.
My image called Fighting Puffins made the final round of this year’s BBC Veolia Environmental Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2010,where I was chuffed to bits as it was the first year I had entered this highly prestigious competition,with ten images in the semi-finals,and one in the final round,below is the image of two male Puffins fighting over a woman.
Where if you click onto the link here it will take you to the site,put in email@example.com and the code 223682 and you will see the fore mentioned images.Good luck to all those that have won there respective categories and now go forward to the big prize..co.uk
With my most enjoyable time of late being in photographing Barn Owls in the lovely evening light we’ve been afforded lately.This is the male I have photographed from the beginning of the year who survived the prolonged cold spell,he’s doing really well and has young to feed at the moment.Here he is seen small in the frame with the surrounding habitat turning this beautiful red and orange-yellow colour as the sun had almost set,just beautiful.
A big thank you to all the interest I have had in regard to my Limited Edition Tiger prints,that are now officially on 21 Century Tiger website,promoting these images,where 50% of the profits go to helping Wild Tigers as I really wanted to help these amazing animals that I was privileged to see earlier this year in India.
MyTigers Of Indiaphoto-tour is now live on my workshops page,which promises to be an amazing adventure over the 8 days,also myAmazing Africa photo-tour is now live also .Where I am running a Photo-Tour to Kenya to photograph the Masai Mara Migration this year and next year alongside Paul McDougall who runs PhotographyKenya another amazing trip for wildlife photographer’s and enthusiasts alike.What ever you’d like to photograph it is really, as said a great time to go outdoors to photograph wildlife right now,where nature will always be challenging but when it all comes together there can surely no better feeling and satisfaction as a photographer in getting your images,good luck.
I have been asked by Paul McDougall, Directer Of Wild Connections to run this years August trip to Kenya, for the Breathtaking spectacular that is the ‘Masai Mara Migration’ which is so immense it is called the Great Migration.The Great Migration is one of the most impressive natural events worldwide, involving an immensity of herbivores some 1,300,000 wildebeests, 360,000 Thomson’s gazelles, and 191,000 zebras. These numerous migrants are followed along their annual, circular route by a block of hungry predators, most notably lions and hyena,which has to be one of the most spectacular events in the natural world.
From August 9th until the 16th August you have a chance to witness and photography this amazing event alongside myself as I am running a 8 day Photo-Tour,with7 days on the ground,with two private safari’s each day run by Pauls’ expert guides he employs.The workshop will be live next week on my Workshops page, and will have the detailed schedule for what will be a trip of a life time that I can promise you!!
For a little background to Pauls Company and what got him into these amazing trips he wrote these words;
“Wild Connection Safaris was formed in 2005. The idea came from sharing a safari with Isaac Kinyanjui in 2004.We both shared the same passion for Wildlife and Conservation and wanted to form a different type of Safari Business. We had an idea that we didn’t want people to just come and see the amazing Wildlife in Kenya, we wanted to educate people and wanted them to share in the experience of a safari. We also wanted them to go away and share information with other people not just the photographs that they had taken.
We try not to take anymore than 6 clients in a vehicle so that everyone gets a window seat. We also like to specialize in small group and photographic safaris.Anybody who has been on a safari with us always notices the unique individual experience that we try to offer. Isaac is a fantastic teacher and like a walking encyclopedia. Our other guides and drivers also share our same passionate values in educating and informing.We offer all sorts of tours to many different locations. We prefer to Tailor-make safari’s to suit the individual clients needs and requirements, whether this be a particular budget or a particular itinerary.We usually run 2 photographic safaris a year. These usually fall in the months of January and August.
On these safaris we take photographers of all abilities and either get them in the best places to capture their desired images or provide them with handy hints and tips to improve their images.We also offer many other services. Car hire, flights, city tours to name a few. We have been taking clients to Tanzania since the company formed but have just started to take people to Uganda and Rwanda. The first of these tours in June 2008 was a huge success.For more information please take a look at www.wildconnectiontours.co.uk, or contact me directly.”
I cannot wait and we have spaces available for this amazing trip so what ever your background in Wildlife photography it doesn’t matter as I will teach and show you all my skills I have mastered over my time in regard to Wildlife Photography, pass on my amazing passion for Wildlife,with my brilliant and proven fieldcraft skills,and pass on my love for the natural world as so many have witnessed who have attended my workshops,trips,tours, here are just a few of the many I have received from very happy clients in my Testimonials .All the key ingredients for an amazing trip, so if you’d like more information on this trip then please drop me a line,or wait until the Photo-Tour comes out late next week in my Workshops page, I cannot wait for this trip,just amazing wildlife there!!
This Roe Deer workshop is being run by Jeroen Stel, alongside myself and it will be held in a heather moorland area in the center of the Netherlands from 23rd July until late evening of the 25rd July. Within this reserve there are around 60-80 Roe Deer which can be approached on foot up to around 10-20 meters where Jeroen has spent many,many years photographing these beautiful animals. There is also a corn field where we will be spending some time in and with good fieldcraft,which we will teach and show you, we will be able to get as close as 8-10 meters for some stunning cose up portraits of these creatures..
The workshop will coincide with the annual Roe deer rut so that’s perfect timing!
There is a lovely buffet restaurant nearby where we will be having our diners and lunch .We will be leaving the UK early on the 23 July Traveling by Euro-Star then driving to meet up with Jeroen .The cost includes all travel costs.It promises to be a brilliant trip,with amazing encounters with this shy and elusive deer
The cost per Person is;
£650.00 on a shared basis/Twin Bed, Single Supplement is available at an extra cost.
Cost Includes: Accommodation, Breakfast, Evening Meal, All Transport, Use Of Hides.
Cost Excludes: Alcohol/soft drinks and Sundry Items.
So if you would like to photograph these animals and learn from two Wildlife photographers with a great passion and knowledge of nature then send me an email or contact Jeroen Stel for more details on this amazing trip we have planned,Thank you.
My Limited Edition Prints are now finalised and are on sale on my website within the Portfolio. There is three Limited Edition Tiger prints and one Limited Edition Barn Owl there for sale at the moment with more in the pipeline. With only 100 of each of these stunning Limited Edition images available where 50% of the profits from each one will be donated to the 21st Century Tiger,click here and you will see these images on their site also, where 100% of their funds raised go directly to wild tiger projects around the world.
Your purchase will help the conservation of these beautiful animals. The reason I want to do this is after seeing these amazing creatures for the first time in 2010 The Year Of The Tiger in the wild at Ranthambore, I was greatly moved by their beauty and character, with an aura of power and majesty when you see them patrolling their territory.The tigers whole existence in our world today is down to humans,with the real threat of Wild Tigers being extinct ever present, so after seeing these animals in the wild, doing nothing is just not an option for me.
I was empowered and moved by my visit to Ranthambore to do something to help, so by offering these three Limited Editions where 50% of the profits from each image sold will go direct to helping these beautiful creatures mothernature made so beautiful survive in the wild, hopefully helping to preserve them for future generations.
There is a large selection of images from my recent trip to India available in the India category within the Portfolio section also,where I was able to capture some lovely moments I had with these stunning animals.I have a week long Photo-Tour next May,working with the very best guides I have forged very good working relationships with there, enabling us to be able to capture these beautiful moments for our guests where we have 3-4 spaces available.The trip will be up on my Workshops soon or for the latest information join up to our Newsletter which is on our homepage,by just leaving your name and email,address.In the meantime I hope you purchase one of these amazing Tiger Prints which will help these beautiful animals directly with your money,a big Thank You on behalf of the Tiger.
Demand for our Workshops,Tours and Prints/Canvases and events is growing all the time so in response to this we are bringing out a regular newsletter.where you can keep up to date with what we are doing by signing up for this regular newsletter.This new feature can been seen on the front page of the website as shown below in this image and by clicking here
You will get priority notification of all up and coming events,workshops,tours and you will be able to see the latest work and projects we have been working on that month.With Trips to India for the stunning Bengal Tigers,Brown Bears In Finland,Spring Waders In Norfolk,Winter Waders,Texel,Mull,Wildlife Of The Peaks,One To Ones At High Tide/Norfolk,Barn Owl One Day Workshops and much more coming in the next 12 months,it promises to be an action packed time. I have also been asked by Paul McDougall,Director of Wild Connection Safaris if I would be interested in running,alongside himself a safari to Kenya in august for the Migration of the Masai Mara, this year and next year maybe so I have this in the pine line for august,more details to come.
I have three Limited Edition Framed or Unframed Fine Art Tiger prints-A2,A3 with only 100 being released,where each one will be numbered and signed, coming out next week, where 50% of the profits will go to helping Wild Tiger in India through 21 Century Tiger,this will be added to my website along with professionally printed Gift Vouchers that are signed and numbered personally by Craig Jones making an idea present for all occasions
The newsletter will give you all the very latest news,all you have to do is put your email address down, and your name to be sure of receiving one.I have several Art and Craft fairs throughout the summer,plus I am at this years Birdfair where one of these amazing Tiger prints has been donated by myself to help the vital conservation projects Birdfair support.So there is so much I am involved in,helping others etc that’s the reason we have brought out this newsletter,so I hope you enjoy it,all the best…Craig
Humans have spent many thousands of years adapting to naturalenvironments, yet have only inhabited urban ones for relativelyfew generations,Whilst those individuals living in an urban envoriment who seek out parks and gardensappear to understand the personal health and well-beingbenefits arising from a ‘Contact With Nature’,tapping into this vital resource that natureprovides.Asmore people survive to older age, and as patterns of living,working,feeding have changed,diseases such as coronary heart disease,diabetes and cancerhave come to dominate our population.Wheremental, behavioural and social health problems are increasing in this time of great change in the way we live our life’s.The answer for me is one I have benefited from since a small child and that is a ‘Contact With Nature’ .
Studies of ecology, biology, psychology and psychiatryhave attempted to examine the human relationshipwithin the natural world, some concluding that as well as beingtotally dependent on nature for material needs (food, water,shelter, etc.) humans also need nature for psychological, emotionaland spiritual needs.Yet how dependent humans are on nature for psychologicaland well-being needs, and what benefits can be gained from interactingwith nature are just beginning to be investigated by experts around the world.
The healing effects of a natural view are increasingly beingunderstood in stressful environments such as hospitals, nursinghomes,military etc. In these environments particularly, as well asfor people who work in windowless offices, studies show thatseeing nature is important to people and is an effective meansof relieving stress and improving their well-being,so in this time of stress the only real answer to help us is in getting back to nature,having contact when and where we can and tapping into these‘Green lungs’ that our parks,fields,reservoirs play within our urban,city lives.
I live within an urban environment in Staffordshire,where from a small child I was able to find these, little ‘Green Lungs’ within that world,in which unknowing to myself at the time, were helping me,my contact with nature building a love,a empathy towards the natural world,and in turn the world I lived in.There is a place known locally as ‘Bluebell Wood’ where I have visited as a youngster,playing tree houses,soldiers,hide and seek etc, right through to the present day as an adult.Its an old coppice of woodland,made up of hazel, magnificent beech, elegant silver birch and ancient oak forming the backbone to this wood.
Beneath their foliage they shelter a vast carpet of native bluebells which have taken several centuries to reach perfection. The intense azure haze and glorious heady scent from these beautiful, elegant flowers is one of the chief delights of the English countryside and a truly unforgettable sight.Its a place I go too,often finding myself just sitting,laying down and listening to nature,the corus of birds signing their hearts out,the distance noise of urban life occasionally piercing the silence of this magical place.
Over the last year I have been trying to capture a family of Foxes that I caught abrief glimpse of last year while visiting this place.Giving me the slip everytime I tracked them down, through foot prints,tracks,smells etc.As quick as I’d find their den,they’d move to another. I’ve had this relationship with this family of Foxes now for over a year,and to this day it bring a big smile to my face, as trying to capture a wild Red Fox away from rubbish bins,street corners is very hard I have found.I have used my many,many trips to this place to build a picture of their lives and behaviour’s and just as I getting somewhere the famous dog walk comes around the corner and breaks that silence and trust I have built up,in turn making the Fox really sensitive to disturbance.
The den is under a thick,dense tree line,making for poor light,but I have been able to find a way in, almost disappearing within the stinging nettles,and thorny vegetation this Fox family have chosen to live in,affording them a private world only available at ground level.Over the last week I have observed their cubs coming out and playing,most of the time to dense for a photograph.With several holes into the den its been a trail and error exercise for me to place my hide where I think they will appear while moving at a snails pace,most of the time though they outwitt me!!.This week I have been lucky as the cubs are getting more bolder and don’t see my hide which I have left there now for weeks,each time I return to the hide, the adult foxes have covered it in their distinctive ‘Smell’ which after several hours makes your noise and eyes run its so strong,nice to know they’ve ‘accepted’ my hide though. The male Red Fox can been send above with the beautiful Bluebells as the backdrop.
Often as a Wildlife photographer you wait on the off chance for a wild animal to linger in front of your lens longer enough to be able to get a decent picture of that special moment,placing a ‘Frame’ around what you have seen,showing this to others so in turn the picture of Wildlife around us becomes clear to them.This is the essence for me what Wildlife Photography means.Where my unique philosophy when it comes to Wildlife Photography that was derived from those early encounters with nature,where being at ‘One’ with nature to get the best from your subject is key, also helping your well-being in terms of this encounter with the natural world.
In my conclusion on the topics I have mentioned in this post,and as our understanding of the natural environment has developed,and the massive destruction human activities can have on naturalsystems has been observed, a more clearer view has emerged.This view recognizes that plants and animals,including humansdo not exist as independently as was once thought, butinstead are part of complex and interconnected ecosystems onwhich they are entirely dependent.The ‘ecosystem’ isthe fundamental point on which all life is dependent.It is clear that nature and the natural environments relateto human health and well-being.Where that’ Contact With Nature’ is key to un-locking the door to human well-being and happiness, where my advice would just be simple,seek out these ‘Green Lungs’ within your place of work or where you live,learn and watch nature,through the changing seasons as they come and go,look out for whats happening around you,the noises,the smells etc and in turn it will enrich your life more than you can imagine.
The trip so far had surpassed my wildest dreams in regard to seeing a wild Royal Bengal Tiger during my trip toRanthambore,India,so with the final few days approaching I was filled with mixed emotions as I wanted to stay longer as I’d grown very attacted to these beautiful animals and was sad the end was almost in sight.Some of the close encounters I had were indeed a mixture of things,one being my brilliant guides,Salim and Raj but also I felt lady luck had some how played her hand in this, as the whole trip took me 3 months to plan,my original flight and booking was lost due to the Volcanic plumes of air over British air space,yet through all the ups and downs,never giving in I got here.The biggest support I had through all this was my wonderful wife Vanessa,who had helped me so much with the trip,it wouldn’t have been possible without your help,so thank you to my lovely wife,Vanessa.
I hope I have done the RoyalBengal Tiger real justice with my photographs, below are a few of the images I got on the final days at Ranthambore,India,they are taken with a mixture of lens,from a wide-angled lens to a long lens all trying to capture these beautiful animals mother-nature made so beautiful in their natural environment.
All images of the Royal Bengal Tiger and various other wildlife from my India trip on my website are available to buy throughPayPal,alongside the other various photographs.I have been asked by people living outside of the UK if they can buy my images and the answer is yes as I use UPS .So if you would like to purchase signed,framed prints or Canvases @ A2,A3,A4 size, Printed on Fuji-film,High Quality Pro Lustre paper using Fuji Frontier 570 printers or the digital image(s) supplied on CD and you live abroad then buy them through PayPal on my Portfolio page as normal and the postage cost will be sent to you upon receiving your address/country.
Where each order is seen by myself before it goes out to the customer to ensure the highest quality. There will be a few Limited Edition Tiger images too with profits going to helping Tigers in the wild and a few going to ‘Help the Heroes’ charity,alongside my ‘Lone Poppy’ image so look out out for these in the future .
I had a wonderful time,thank you to Ganesh,Dicky,Salim,Raj and all the wonderful people I met in India,who have become good friends now.I am returning very soon to capture more Royal bengal Tigers,and I also have planned a small Tour/Workshop there next May,details very soon.