Archive for 2014

Back Among Nature

Filed in Projects, Workshops on Feb.20, 2014

Being among  nature is a place I belong and feel most at easy at so its been great to get back out with my camera recently to start photographing the beautiful wildlife on the lead up to spring, the favorite time of year for me. With the issues with rain and flooding over the last several weeks it has delayed some of the projects I have planned for this year. The rain though, fingers crossed seems to have given us the worst and as many communities are still underwater around the UK my sympathies go to them.

https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/

https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/

https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/

Wildlife hasn’t had a great time either with vast areas of the countryside underwater where many animals have suffered like illustrated with the images above of a Short-eared Owl trying to hunt but for miles around all the fields with flooded, quite a sad and upsetting thing for me to see as I really felt for this owl while I recently watched him to to hunt.

I have started working on my Great Crested Grebes project, a bird I love, their elegant pose, their beautiful markings and stunning plumage makes them one of the most handsome water dwelling birds in the UK in my eyes. They are the largest of the European Grebes and during the spring and summer they are such a striking bird, with their spectacular head, ruff and spiky head tuffs when they greet each other or display during courtship.

https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/

https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/

https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/

Last year I photographed these birds at the same site but was unable to go back at the start of the breeding season due to commitments, so this year I’m hoping to capture them as they build their bond between each other and go through their amazing courtship dance where they dive for weed, surfacing with this in their bills and offer it to one another while sharply turning their heads back and forth.

.https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/

In between the pouring rain there have been breaks in the weather and I have spent alot time there now, the lives of these amazing birds played out before me on each visit. They show real love and care for each other, when one goes out of sight the other calls in an attempt to locate its mate, such a strong bond which is so lovely to witness.

https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/

I am using a hide on the shore to photograph this pair of Grebes, just on the water’s edge and not in the water as this disturbs the birds and other species of animals around too much. Getting there before the sun comes up, with the dawn chorus as my companion, each bird jockeying for their own patch, staking their clam to that bit of land.

https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/

The are many species of birds there too, all starting to defend their patch so to speak, most are vocal from before dawn onward and there seems lots of fighting and warning  off others in readiness to find a lady and breed. I love to watch and capture animal behavior and by doing so you learn so much more about your subject over time. I managed to capture a full frontal of the male Goldeneye here, if luck is on your side and if you get the head face on they can have a real evil look to them as in the image below.

https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/

https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/

https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/

https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/

Canada Geese calling and fighting break the mornings silence many times during my recent visits there, I only wished these images had sound.It’s such an amazing time of day and one you greatly benefit from for being among its beauty and peace. The water levels are still high here so im hoping everything settles down and things can return to normal as soon as possible for people and wildlife really.

https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/

I really am hoping to spend as much time at this site over the next several weeks before I leave for Sumatra for two weeks where I will be working and shadowing the amazing work of SOCP – Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme, headed up by Dr Ian Singleton, but more news on the very soon.

http://www.sumatranorangutan.org/

https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/

In the meantime I have some 2015 dates for my photo tours now up on my website click here to view them.  My One to Ones now in their fifth year are as popular as ever so if you’d like to learn more about everything from fieldcraft, to subject knowledge to your own photography then click here to see the places I visit with clients.

I will update my blog with more images from this site in due coarse, I wish you all well with the weather and the forthcoming season of Spring, many thanks.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography


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Testing Times

Filed in Articles, Workshops on Jan.25, 2014

The weather has been testing to say the least since Christmas, with driving rain, gales, and flooding to many areas of the UK. On top of which mild temperatures with little sign of cold or snow on the horizon.  I have had to put back and re-book many one to ones and workshops just because the weather has been so unpredictable.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

More alarming though I’ve started seeing birds acting as though its Spring almost , singing and defending territories in readiness for their partner and nest building. It was almost the same pattern last year until alot of wildlife got caught out around March/April time with snow, frost and freezing temperatures. I only hope nature doesn’t get caught out once more.

I have managed a few one to ones over the last few weeks though,and this cute, soaked Water vole was one such day.  His little face here really is a picture as he kept my client and I company for an hour or so on a rain-soaked windy day last week.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

And my Dippers are in full song on many of the rivers I visit throughout the Peak District too and my client had a wonderful day watching, learning and photographing these amazing birds.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

I have been lucky enough though on some days to be in the right place with the right weather, or should I say a break in the weather. My Barn Owl project was ground to a halt with the conditions but over the last week or so I have seen both adults around and managed a few photos this being one of my favorites.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Barn Owls are having a tough time of it of late, with several cold winters, now with wet weather and flooding fields and also poisoning issues around the country this beautiful, iconic bird of the UK has its back against the wall and seems to be in real danger. To find out more about what you can do to help the Barn Owl Trust click here.  Its a charity I help with my images, a number of which are in their current handbook that helps farmers and landowners to manage their land better and live with Barn Owls.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Another firm favorite owl of mine and one I was luckier enough to see in the last few days too is the Short-eared Owl. This perch had been put in a few days ago by another photographer and the owl had started to use it to land on. I placed my hide not far from this perch in an attempt to get a nice close up portrait. As the sun came up this owl woke and started to hunt and I was very surprised as I was all set for the long wait because they mainly hunt in the late afternoon.But as you can see by the angle of the light this was the morning, with the light low on the bird which tells you what time of day it is.

I don’t no who was more surprised, me to see him or him to see me here. I shot through the dense reeds to hide alot of the imposing branch that was there and this was the result, giving a defused effect to the foreground. He stayed for a few moments, once I took a couple of images I just watched him as this was close and its often nice to watch rather than take photos I believe. I love his crazy looking eyes, bright yellow as he looked straight at me, such a handsome owl.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

I really hope for all wildlife concerned that the weather improves and there’s not a nasty sting in its tail resulting in a spell of bad weather when nature least expects it. I wish you all luck in whatever you photography and please dont let the weather put you off as one minute its raining the next the sun comes up so always be ready. This Mute Swan was feeding in the dawn light, when I arrived at this site it was raining within fifteen minutes it had stopped and the sun came out so you never no, good luck.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography


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Photo Tour Spaces-2014

Filed in Workshops on Jan.10, 2014

I have a few spaces left on the following photo tours for 2014 if you’d like to join me. I will be visiting the Shetland isles twice this year once in June and then in September where we will be just concentrate on Otters. In between this I will be once more visiting the magical island of Madagascar.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

My Stunning Shetland Tour is timed to coincide with the height of summer where daylight lasts for almost 24hrs.  Seabird colonies will be frantically feeding their young, waders filling the air with their calls and Otters going about their lives all around us. Working with my friend and expert on the ground in Shetland this tour provides a unique opportunity to see and photograph the best of Shetland’s spectacular nature. After the success of last year’s tour I have a couple of spaces free. To see more information about this tour please click here.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

In August I venture back to the amazing island of Madagascar. My last trip there with clients was amazing and this year see’s me running another trip there. I have a few spaces once more for this brilliant trip. On our 11 day photo trip you will see the best this unique island has to offer, amazing wildlife, superb beaches and great accommodation. Madagascar is host to a wide variety of species of lemur – these amazing creatures are found nowhere else in the world and new species are regularly discovered. The different species of lemur are spread throughout a variety of parks and reserves on the island. To see more about this amazing trip and book then click here.

https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/workshops/madagascar-photography-holiday.php

Madagascar

Boophus Tree Frog

Then I return back to the Shetland Isles to dedicate a whole week working with Otters. This 8 day photo tour among the beautiful landscape of the Shetland Isles will solely concentrate on finding Wild Otters and using fieldcraft taught my myself you will be able to have some amazing moments with these beautiful mammals. We will find various places where Otters are known to live and with a slow and steady pace we will be able to spend as much time at each place we visit during the week. I have a few places available so if you’d like to see more information on this trip then click here.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

I have just added for 2015 my photo tour to the Falkland Islands again I have spaces so if you’d like to join me for this amazing trip then click here. My last trip there with clients was just amazing and to read the blog on that trip then click here.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

My other trips are full and I will be releasing my 2015 dates for me Tigers of India trip soon and also my Wolves, Bears and Wolvrides trip in 2015. I hope you can join me and I look forward to meeting all my clients on my trips and workshops over the next 12 months, many thanks.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography


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