Making the best of any situation is a real strength and one we are all capably of if we try. As the world now enters a challenging period of lockdown due to the Coronavirus this mindset has never been more important. We are all in this together and must follow the governments guidance.
Being resourceful and working with what you have will inevitably make us look inward more than perhaps we’ve done in our lifetime. My hope is after this period we all start, wherever we may live to respect the natural world more but more importantly don’t use it in a way that if it strikes back as it’s done with COVID19 that we end up paying dearly for it.
A very interesting and balanced film that explains the story behind the latest COVID19 virus. Understanding the facts and the back story is really important in understanding the threat.
The coronavirus was not genetically engineered, studies have shown already. The two most likely scenarios point to bats or Pangolins. New research finds that SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus that causes COVID19, is the result of the natural process of evolution rather than a product of laboratory engineering. I hope China, the source of this latest coronavirus reaches out to the rest of the world and begins to slightly lower that “iron curtain” it’s used to hide and shelter behind for many years.
Coronavirus has also finally made us recognise the illegal wildlife trade is a public health issue. There will be few positives to take from this virus. But the global pandemic may yet prove to be an important moment in the attempts to address the illegal wildlife trade Our exportation of our best asset, the natural world is impacting every aspect of our daily lives now while growing death rates remind us all of our own fragility.
Cultural practices and behaviours need to change for the better of nature, mankind and the world. As we’ve seen in these “wet” markets around the world, that are mainly concentrated in Asia, animals forced together, coming abruptly into contact with humans doesn’t work and the outcome as we are seeing is extremely dangerous.
Over the years I’ve visited many animal markets in Indonesia, like this one in Whutan, China while posing as a foreigner interested in wild animals. I’ve also gone undercover and been part of rescue teams rescuing illegally caught Orangutans and other primates sold into the pet trade. What I saw was unbelievable and shocked me.
The abuse of wildlife will come back to haunt us once more if we don’t start to see and change our behaviours toward the natural world. We in the west need to do more to help local communities in these areas and don’t leave them in a situation where they have to strip and dissolve all of their natural resources to just provide for their families and earn money.
In this uncertainly we all find ourselves in now I just wanted to highlight that all around Mother Nature is not restricted and is going about its life as we look on. It almost feels like we are passengers in a vehicle we were controlling until recently. Spring has sprung, and it’s the best time of year for wildlife with new life, new beginnings and so forth. Making the best of what you’re given can also be used as a template within your wildlife photography.
Wherever you take your images nature is all around us, with a bit of patience and knowledge you’re start to see patterns and behaviours in the subject(s) you’re watching. Like us, all species are creatures of habit and what comes with that is tell-tale behaviours and reputation that if you see and learn this it will help the way in which you take and capture your images.
Work with what you have, compose the best you can giving that natural feel to your images. At the sametime this will also educate those that weren’t there with you a better understanding of the subject’s natural habitat and how and where they live. This is key and one form of information that will help the natural world I believe.
Here you can see a few simple examples of different British birds that landed not far from my hide and how I’ve used the natural foliage to compose each image. To many it will look cluttered and devoid of that “clinical” look and background that adores so many images everywhere. But to me I’m capturing more that an image I’m trying to educate the public while inspiring them with what we live alongside and how we can work with what we have as wildlife photographers.
Tours and Workshops – Update
Many of my photography tours this summer have been cancelled due to COVID19, they are ; Tigers of India, Magic of Mull, Finland and a trip I have been planning for two years, my Papua New Guinea tour. I’m sorry to all my clients that have booked onto these trips for all this inconvenience. I will be running these tours next year and some of you have just moved your booking and I thank you for that.
All of my one to ones, and one day workshops will be guaranteed, we will just have to be flexible with dates and when they can be run due to the restraints imposed for everyone’s health and wellbeing while helping our amazing NHS cope with this virus.
Talks – Update
A number of talks I was booked for have also been cancelled. I was due to be at the Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair in May of this year. Presenting my “Norfolk Rhapsody” talk and also doing a practical photography workshop within the grounds, but this has been cancelled now. For all the information on this see this link. As the year goes on I have many other talks booked and if these get cancelled I will do an update then.
In closing I just wanted to remind you that nature really is the best healer and to just work with what you have and always put nature first. I send my best wishes to all the small and large business’s out there who are and will struggle as we move forward. I’ve been doing what I love now for over ten years and my hope is I can continue this.
Peoples mental health is just as important and I would recommend that everyone opens their own windows just before first light and listen to the dawn chorus. Let the natural light from dawn slowly light up your room as its filled with gorgeous birdsong. Try and do alittle exercise first thing in the morning also to get your body and mind ready for the day ahead.
Nature is the best healer it’s also the best medicine for us all. Embrace its beauty and power and good luck to everyone over the coming months.