Entries Tagged ‘India’:

Ranthambhore-Tell A Story

Filed in Articles, Photography Tips on Apr.20, 2015

I have always given alot back from my own photography since turning professional in October 2009 making my living solely from this industry that has changed so much during that time. Anyone that can see can take a photograph, what takes time is learning to see, I truly believe in this saying when it comes to wildlife photography.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

craig jones wildlife photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

On the second week with my clients I decided to restrict myself to one lens on each safari and post my favourite image from that day along with how I took the image, the settings behind the image and my thought process behind the image. This will I hope help you to get into the mindset of a working wildlife photographer and hopefully inspire you to think, see and take shots differently.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

I have decided to post just one image on my blog from each day which will be very different to my previous trips to Ranthambhore. Hopefully it will demonstrate how one image can really speak for you, how it can tell a story at the same time making you a better wildlife photographer,  restricting yourself to one image and thinking more about angles, composition and not just snapping away and thinking first and seeing the image within the image or the story as the title says.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

The beauty of photographing wildlife is that it is always changing and evolving, encountering the unexpected. In this environment the wildlife photographer must learn to work with these changing environmental conditions and behaviours. Make best use of those and capture that wild encounter with your camera and the result cannot always be predicted .

The first safari of the second week started on Tuesday with new clients and the following images I hope will inspire you, help you and above all go someway into seeing a different way of thinking when you’re looking through your viewfinder. At the same time learning you so much about the subject, the environment it lives in and above all more about you and your own photography.

Tuesday 21st April 2014 

craig jones wildlife photography

Camera Settings – nikon D4S, nikon F2.8 300mm, F4, 1/200, iso 400, matrix metering, -0.3ev exposure compensation. 

A mother Bengal Tiger and her one year old cub drink from a small forest pool in the late afternoon sun. On our afternoon drive with temperatures reaching nearly 42 drgees we came across this female and her two cubs. We parked up in a postion away from them and turned our engine off. She was sleeping for round two hours on and off and we just watched her and the cubs it was just magical. After they started to become alittle more active and they moved around and played before heading towards this small pool.

I was working with a fixed focal lens so I couldn’t zoom in or out and I was framing them the best I could. I focused my camera on the cub in the foreground and followed them down to this pool through my viewfinder. I was running out of room and did my best to keep them both in the frame very aware not to clip or cut one out and this was the result. Making best use of what angle you have is key when working with a fixed focal length. Soon after then moved off and all three vanished back into the forest.

Wednesday 22nd April 2015

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Cameras settings – nikon d4s, nikon f2.8 300mm, f4, 1/2000, iso 1000, matrix,  -0.7ev exposure compensation. 

Two young Bengal Tiger cubs sit waiting for their mum after they heard her calling for them in the morning light. I was only going to get focus on one and depth of field so I choose the front one. This resulted in the cub in the background being burred and giving a strong outline of another tiger. Both soon moved off into the undergrowth and later found their mother who took them off into the forest.

Thursday 23rd April 2015

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Camera settings – nikon d4s, nikon f2.8 300mm, f5.6, 1/2000, iso 400, matrix, +1.0 exposure compensation. 

A Black headed Ibis feeding in the dawn light. I followed the bird through my viewfinder from right to left and placed the subject over the the right so the bird would be walking into the frame.I used continuos servo mode to capture any movement and freeze it with a high shutter speed. The result is seen here with the birds beak open and foot raised which adds a sense of movement to this image. I chose to under expose a little too to gain a strong outline creating a wonderful silhouette.

Friday 24th April 2015

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Camera settings – nikon d4s, nikon f2.8 300mm, f4, 1/500, iso 1000, matrix metering, -2.0 ev exposure compensation. 

A Black Drongo bird taken in the morning light. We parked up to just take in the surrounding then this bird landed feet in front of me. I really love these birds and their fork-shapred tails that live in the national park. This bird landed on these naturally occurring grasses and I composed him over the the righthand side of my viewfinder giving space to the front of the bird as I watched through my viewfinder. I waited for a little interest in the form of action or a certain look. Then the bird looked straight at me in something I call first contact. When a wild animal makes first contact with a human and this was the result.

Saturday 24th April 2015

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Camera settings – nikon d4s, nikon f2.8 300mm, f8, 1/1000, iso 200, matrix metering, -1.0 exposure compensation.

We spent a wonderful few hours in the morning sitting and watching this family of Bengal Tigers. There were three cubs and a female Tigress that would come from the safety of the long grass, then play and then vanish back into this long grass. So I chose the aperture F8 so I could gain more depth of field. Under exposing for the light as it was very bright and we were shooting into the light.

Once all three cubs came out from cover composition was hard as I was using a fixed focal length lens and so I had to really try to keep them all in the frame. I placed my focus spot on the cub in the middle and this was the shot I took. I have changed it to black and white because more often and not images that are contrasty look better in this format.

Sunday 28th April 2015

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Camera settings – nikon d4s, nikon f2.8 300mm, f 5.6, 1/1000, iso 400, matrix metring, -0.7 exposure compensation. 

A young Bengal Tiger cub sitting near a forest pool makes first contact with me. A saying I describe when human meets wild animal and for a split second theres an intense stare that can often look straight through you. Composition wise I composed him over to the right, placing my focus spot on the eyes and leaving negative space over on the left. I took a few images and was carful not to spook him with the noise from my cameras shutter button.

Those are my images from week two, I have lots more but I wanted to post these hoping to inspire you and try different things within your own photography. Being more selective and disciplining yourself to a few images or using one lens I feel makes you work harder and inevitably a better wildlife photographer. two weeks and twenty-four safaris for me have flown by once more and Id like to thank everyone one of my clients for your time and I hope you enjoyed the time you spent searching and photographing Bengal Tigers here.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Thank you to Sealskinz for the products that have helped me on this two week trip to India which have really protected me and my gear in some hot and tough conditions.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

craig jones wildlife photography

If you’d like to join me on my 2016 trip then please see the following link, many thanks.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography


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Ranthambhore Live-Our Luck Continues

Filed in Articles on Apr.22, 2014

After two days of driving too and from Ranthambhore to Delhi airport, dropping off the first weeks clients and picking up the new ones it was good to be back on the trail of the Tigers. Once again my new client hadn’t ever seen a Tiger and it was his wish and dream to see one in the wild. After our morning coffee and a routine I was so use too now,we entered Ranthambhore this morning. The noise, and chaotic nature of Delhi replaced with the calm and beautiful morning light.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Both of my jeeps were allocated their zones and once more we set off on a well practised routine. The mornings are so special in Ranthanbhore, the smells, the flowers, the light, you can even smell some of the animals and where they have scent marked certain trees etc.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Once we entered our zone it wasn’t long before we heard Samba Deer alarm calls, often this is the first sound you hear that may indicate there is a Tiger around. We stop the jeep, turn the engine off and just listen.  By listening and letting nature tell you whats happening around you there is some much you can learn and lots of information that can be gathered by doing this.

On this occasion the noise and calls just slowly stopped and we started our jeep and continued on the small dirt track you have to stay on throughout the whole duration of your safari. While you search and look there is so much to see, as Ranthambhore is far more than just Tigers.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

We carried on, then in a flash..”Tiger..Tiger” those famous words over the years I have become accustom too. We looked over to our right and there was a big male Tiger cleaning himself. He was T23, a very rarely seen and shy dominate male of that area. My client took some images, people including myself often freeze on their first view of a wild Tiger but the noise of his shutter going indicated he was fine.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

He was very aware of us, and getting a closer view amongst the dense habitat was a little tough. Within a few moments though he got up and vanished as quickly as we had found him. Clients always wish to see a wild Tiger, thats why they book this trip with me but I have to say as I remember it well. There is no better feeling than seeing your first Tiger and now in my case seeing your clients see their first so I was overjoyed here.

We tired to track him but he went deep into the forest and you have to stay on that small dirt track within your zone which is for the welfare of the Tigers and the safely of people in the jeeps. We carried on and once more you settle into the routine of listening, turning the engine off, ands watching for tracks and clues. The mornings for me always often up the best chances to see Tigers as its cooler and they transverse their territories during this time.

Craig Jones Wildlife photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

After capturing alittle more of the wildlife of Ranthambhore later we had a chance encounter with T19. We didn’t see her cubs this time as she was hunting but it was still a wonderful moment and for my new client having never seen a wild Tiger to now seeing two in his first day was amazing. My other jeep also had some amazing encounters with T19 and her cubs so all and all another great day on the first day of the second trip.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Ever client from my 2014 trip now had seen and got some lovely images of Wild Bengal Tigers which is what I always try to deliver, but nothing can ever be promised as these are wild animals and don’t turn up when you want them or land or sit somewhere where you have enticed them into with food. So nothing can be promised and no image can be planned you really just take what you can and get.

I hope our luck as a group continues after this first day with 5 more days of safaris left. I will report back in a few days time and I hope you are enjoying these blogs back home. If you would like to join me on my 2015 trip then please click here for more information, all the best from Ranthambhore, India.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography


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Ranthambhore Live- The Queen

Filed in Articles, Workshops on Apr.15, 2014

Today for me has been a very touching and moving day, we spent an hour in the company of Machali, the Queen of Ranthambhore. She is seventeen years old now maybe even more and hasn’t been seen for months presumed dead. Many people have been looking for her and a few weeks back she was spotted once more.  After another early rise and out before first light heading to the national park of Ranthambhore we were once again given our zones and off we set on the search for wild Tigers.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

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As we traveled along the dirt track, dust everywhere, the light was beautiful. One of my jeeps was in another zone to us and we found ourselves alone. We looked over to our left and there was a Tiger sitting down. Instantly the word “Machali” was said. There she was, missing for months and now laying down on the ground. As we drove closer she became aware of us. That first contact with a wild animal is always special to me. We got within a safe distance of her and turned the engine off. She turned around to see us and I couldn’t believe she was there I truly couldn’t.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Not long after we’d arrived she got up, its then I first noticed how poorly she was. I had read that she was unwell and in her final days but it wasn’t until she stood up that the true extent of those rumours became very real. I took some photos but stopped if Im honest and she limped pass the jeep, her tongue almost at times falling out of her mouth as she no longer has any teeth in there to hold anything in.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

I will not publish those few photos of her limping past my jeep or any other that show her in difficulty because I want to remember her in the best way I can as I feel she is on her last legs so to speak and may die very soon. She’s in a bad way, four years ago I had seen her and she looked well, last year I had a brief encounter but nothing special but here I was with my client tucked away, with no other person around watching the Queen Of Ranthambhore as she’s known.

For a number of years the forest department in Ranthambhore have put dead Buffalo out for her to eat as she can no longer hunt and kill her prey having had all her teeth over the years fall out or drop out. She is famous for killing crocodiles here and this is where is legionary status begun and her teeth started to come out. But a recent decision to stop putting food out and let nature take its toll has come into place I’m told. I would like her to dead her way and with some dignity so even though its hard I feel its the right thing to do and let her leave this world as she came in on her own terms.

Craig Jones Wildlife photography

Craig Jones Wildlife photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife photography

It was very unsettling because there was life all around her yet her she was in real pain and slowly dyeing before my very eyes. She walked past the jeep and went into the water, backing herself in very slowly and carefully, limping so bad she was almost using three legs instead of four. No images were taken during this time as i watched wanted to get out and help her as I truly hate seeing animals in discomfort but this is a wild Tigress I am talking about and no teeth or not it pays not to get too close and I didn’t want to anyway really.

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Craig Jones Wildlife photography

She settled in the water and stayed for for well over forty mintues, slight moving her position from time to time. While she was doing this the sun was still raising, bathing the whole area is some amazing light. The conditions were beautiful with little wind and no noise we just sat there and took photos of her and watched and it was amazing if I’m honest. This Tigress was written off a while back, presumed dead and here we where feet away from her.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Then without warning she very slowly got up and begun to walk away from our postion. We were able to follow her a bit before she vanished into the dense forests there. All the time her pace was slow and the pain and discomfort she was in was painful to see and watch for me.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

She was gone then and that was most probably the final time I will see her alive as she’s really looking weak and very thin, some of the images I have of her walking you can see her pain in her face but those I will never publish but you have to take my word for it they show a Tigress in real trouble and almost at the point of giving in. I hope she goes asleep without pain and does not wake up and is remembered as the most amazing Tigress that even walked the planet if I’m honest.

My client and I had a chat about what we had just witnessed before heading back to our hotel and breakfast. What I had seen though troubled me all day, I took those images to bed with me as I had a few hours of sleep before a quick lunch and then out for our afternoon safari. I went in the other jeep because i rotate myself through both jeeps so all clients have time with me and learn from my experience there as I have had over a hundred plus safaris now in Ranthambhore and I’m still learning about this amazing place I feel.

We were in one of my favourite zones for that afternoons drive, zone Three with its impressive lake and old fort building that litter that part of the national park. It wasn’t long before we heard alarm calls and we saw a male Tiger just sleeping in the tall grass. We made a decision to stay there and just wait for our moment because sooner or later the Tiger will have to move. The without warning he stood up, had a bit of a stretch then disappeared into the tall grass and we didn’t see him again.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

We played cat and mouse most of the afternoon really hearing alarm calls and waiting for signs there were Tigers around. It was nice though to sit in a shaded area and watch the place unfold before your eyes. The morning though and those images kept coming to mind as I thought about Machali and if she was ok. I just couldn’t get what i saw out of my mind. Then an alarm call, the place seemed to just got mad and there was news that T19 and her four cubs were around the lake.We waited as often nature can and does tell you whats going on as long as you just read the singals. At that time another big male in the distance headed over the small walkway crossing onto the small island the Tigers often use to sleep out the heat of the day.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Salim our guide then got word where the cubs were and so off we went hanging onto the jeep for dear life, dust flying everywhere intense heat raining down on us as we drove to where they were. Once we arrived there were many other jeeps, all watching a small little island in the distance. The cubs hadn’t been seen alot and here we were engine turned off watching a small peace of land to our front.

Then I heard cameras going off from the other jeeps and we all looked to our front, at this point both of my jeeps were together so all my clients would see these cubs should they show. Then in the far distance, one, two, three and four cubs left their mum- T19 and played a few feet away. They were so far away that the images were not great and this one is the best of a bad bunch as they were so far away.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

You can just about see them but fingers crossed we head back tomorrow and they might still be there. Its been an incredible few days so far for all my clients in Ranthambhore. Amazing sightings of wild Bengal Tigers and some special moments already. We have lots of time and days left in front of us so fingers crossed we have more great luck and more great sightings. Im off to bed now as its late here in India and another early start beckons shorlty. I hope you have enjoyed my posts so far and the future ones, all the best from Ranthambhore, India.

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Ranthambhore Live

Filed in Places Of Interest, Workshops on Apr.13, 2014

Ranthambhore Live.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Hello from India, after a long journey by train from my home, then plane then taxi to reach the Ranthambhore Bagh Im now in my room writing this first of many blogs. In my fifth year of visiting this amazing place and running my own photo tours here I wanted to do something different this year time allowing. Im just about to go to bed as we are four and a half hours ahead and after the last 24 hours I along with my clients are wrecked so an early night is needed.

Craig Jones Wildlife photography

After seeing the new dawn in as we flew towards our final destaion. The view below us was breatkaing. Once we got to the airport we were picked up and then we were driven to our home for the next two weeks, the Ranthambore bagh, owned and run by friends Poonam and Aditya Singh. Once unpacked we went outside to where you have your freshly cooked Indian cuisine which is the best I’ve ever had. While you eat your surrounded by the traditional India music played by the locals that are invited in to provide the background music which is brilliant

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

My clients loved the food and we had a nice relax before tomorrows events, 5am tomorrow morning we wake up with a lovely coffee and banana, I’m up earlier than that as I do my morning exercises then get dressed and stand on the road with my coffee as I love the sights and smell of the morning there. At 5.30am sharp we are picked up by the same guides I have been working with for those five years- Raj Kumar, Salim Ali, two of the best guides in India by none.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

We then enter the kingdom of the Tigers and it all starts. I have two weeks with clients, some 24 – 4 hour safaris in total and I’m so looking forward to showing my clients this amazing place and its Tigers fingers crossed. So this year I’m going to be writing my blog directly from India and not once I get home. Hopefully taking you on the same journey with my words and images almost as we experience it.

I wont sleep tonight I know I wont in readiness for the morning, my bags and cameras cleaned and packed, I’ve gone through the routine and gear with each of my clients so everyones ready. I cannot explain this place its magical. just like the jungle book by Rudyard Kipling. I love India and the Ranthambhore bagh is brilliant and almost home from home when I’m here as the staff look after me and my clients so well. Getting me coffee, ice cream and all sorts from the local market which is lovely.

Craig Jones Wildlife photography

Before I went to bed tonight Aditya’s and Poonams daughter Nyra Singh stopped me and I took her photo, she ran to the little shop there and picked up a tee-shirt she liked to show me as you can see. She has grown up so much over the last few years and is a lovely child. Most children when they see me either cry or just stare as I’m tall, bald and tower over them, but she shows me her favourite tee-shirt which i found really funny.

Right I’m off to bed, cannot wait until the morning and I hope to update the blog as often as I can during the coming two weeks, all the best back home everyone.

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Keep The Tigers Alive

Filed in Articles on Aug.22, 2012

They say a picture paints a thousand words, I hope this one does, tt’s a Female Tigress wondering through her territory in the morning light, taken in Ranthambhore Tiger reserve, India. This photograph captures the moment when she became aware of my presence as I sat in a small jeep, hidden from view, thousands of miles from home, engine turned off and the air thick with alarm calls.  I could not only feel my heart beat I could hear it among the forest noises as I captured this photograph.

On 29th August 2012, the Supreme Court in India decides the plight of the Royal Bengal Tiger by those that maybe haven’t even seen or even been to those areas now that they may condemn to the history books. India is home to half the world’s tiger population, according to the latest census released in March 2011 by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, the current population is estimated at 1,706 – up from 1,411 in 2008.  A link hear to the recent ruling can be seen.

The Supreme Court wants the Tiger reserves to restrict tourism to the buffer zones, but the problem in Ranthambore, as well as other reserves, is that the only area it can designate as buffer is not somewhere tourists would want to visit, let alone tigers. There, the buffer zone is a wilderness with very little flora or fauna, littered with gravel mines. To reach the zone, tigers would have to travel 35 miles from the main park, and even cross main roads. So these proposed plans and buffer zones just won’t work and will be the beginning of the end for Tigers in India.

Ranthambhore Tigers are doing really well and the reserve is run to a strict rule. At present there is 25 cubs there doing well, one family being brought up by their Father, the first time in history this has been reported. And my group of clients this year had the amazing privilege of witnessing this and capturing the images of dad with his two cubs as their mum had died and he was bringing them up alone. To read the story of this case click here.

Animals only breed when they are happy, so how are tourists distributing them? as in core areas Tiger numbers on the whole are on the up. Nature would tell us if it wasn’t happy with falling birth rates, Tigers numbers falling or dying. But she tells us the opposite here in Ranthambhore. A place I know well and love, having visited many times over the last several years. I’ve met many drivers, guides and people that live in and around the tourisms area of Ranthambhore whose whole economy is based on tourism, take this away and they have nothing.

All of which rely on the Tiger for their livehood, but more than that they love, cherish and look after these animals. Keeping them as safe as they possibly can. Remove all of this and this will send the Tigers into the history books I believe and many others on the ground also do. I’ve been told its called – community based conservation, and the tiger will be exterminated without it.

I am no scientist but it’s so clear the Tigers are ONLY living because of these people and tourism, let’s hope they carry on keeping Mother Nature’s most beautiful animal as safe as it can. I hope they make the right decision for the Tiger first and foremost, keeping this animal alive, safe and well for the future generations to see just how beautiful they are, good luck to the Tiger and also the Indian people.

I am off to Madagascar at the weekend for my 11 day photo tour there so once I return home I will up date my blog on the courts ruling as the date of the hearing coincides with when I’m away, many thanks.


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Tigers of India-Witnessing History

Filed in Places Of Interest, Wildlife, Workshops on May.23, 2012

The days just flew passed during our time in Ranthambhore, India.  We settled into our routine with twice daily safaris surrounded by nature, culture and the colours of this amazing country. By now all my clients had seen and captured some amazing images of Bengal Tigers which I was over the moon with.  As the host of this trip I organise and run myself with great help from my friends in India. Everyone’s wish was to see these animals at the same time and maybe capture them on camera and that’s exactly what they all did.

There are seven ‘old’ gates within the national park and twice a day we’d pass through the main gate, which is the way to one of the 5 zones that you are allocated before each trip.  Each zone is around 25 km plus in size, where your jeep has to stay on a small path which takes you around the chosen zone.  There is a very strict code of conduct on board eg. no shouting/loud noise and you cannot get out of the jeep, it’s all controlled really well with the Tigers welfare being paramount.

It was great to see some of the guards which I had made friends with during my many trips to this place over the last several years. They do an amazing job with limited resources keeping just over 30 Tigers safe from the ever presence of poaching. They showed me around and were very kind and helpful to my group by letting us pass through the main gate and onto our zone for that day with minimal fuss.  The photo below shows the ‘chef’ as he’s known, he’s worked for 38 years in Ranthambhore and knows every inch of the place, his wisdom and experience you just couldn’t learn overnight.

I took some presents this year for them, images of Tigers for their homes. I always get out of the jeep at checkpoints to shake their hands and introduce my clients to the guards. A warm embrace and smiles all round.  They all deserve respect for the job they are doing and I try to show that to them in my way, as respect is earned not given my late mum always taught me.

I only wished the many politicians and people involved with Tiger conservation around the world could see the frontline in the battle against poachers and give them more equipment and resources, because on the ground we are asking these fellows to risk their lives against a well organized band of poachers. Once these Tigers have gone the whole area falls and the Tiger will not return, very sad but money has to be channeled into helping the guards around India in keeping the Tigers alive. I was shocked and saddened by how these guys stop poachers with their limited resources.

As on so many other safaris the lady of the lake-T17 was hunting and patroling mainly in the morning.  Both jeeps had some wonderful moments photographing this lovely Tigress. Its real heart in the mouth stuff though as they seem to except the small jeeps we are in but I truly don’t think they know there’s an easy meal for them inside. This is always going through your mind as you take photographs as they pass by your jeep.  Nothing can ever prepare you for this, you have to witness this for it to truly make sense. I hope these images convey those special and priceless moments I took with these amazing and extremely rare Tigers, showing just how beautiful they are.

Salim my guide headed off on one such encounter and we parked up alone some distance in front of this patrolling Tigress. We could hear the distant calls of Peacocks sounding the alarm, letting the whole area know a Tiger was around, we just waited and waited until she came over the hill, paused and walked down and pass our jeep. I chose to shoot with my fisheye lens trying to convey the habitat which I love to show in my work and give the subject a sense of scale among her kingdom.

This image below captured her as she walked past our jeep and then vanished into the cover of the jungle, this was close, an experience I can see so clear in my head as I type now, but truly magical.

During one safari my clients and I witnessed a part of history, for a few minutes but what seemed like hours we were priviliged to witness something that’s been rarely spoken about in the past and even rarer to see.  A male Tiger rearing his young, totally unheard of in the tiger world. Only the female tigers were known to raise the cubs, but the male Tiger known as T25 has shown that the males also do it.  Wildlife experts say cubs are usually raised by their mothers and male tigers often kill cubs they come across. Officials believe there is no recorded evidence of males behaving like this.

It is common for male tigers to never even set eyes upon the cubs they father, especially when the mother is not present and many male tigers will simply see cubs as food. Their mum died on 9 February 2011 and ever since T25 has reared them and looked after them which is just an amazing story in its self but to see them on this day was magical, truly magical.

We had been in place for over an hour, waiting at a small natural drinking hole that had been refilled with the overnight storm we’d had. Then without warning we saw T25 coming from the shadows of the jungle, walking with great strength and power. The males are completely different to the females. They are shyer and very aggressive in their nature. Their physical size is alot bigger, with a rounder head and massive frame. You know when looking your witnessing a top predator with great power and presence.

We had gone through apertures, shutter speed, iso and making the adjustments to our cameras with the fading light, making sure should anything happen that we were ready. T26 a male Tiger walked down first, slowly but full of life, he sat down close to the water and began drinking fully aware we were there and he gave us a look to let us know that. An air of total confidence and control with no fear of nothing, thats when you know your king of the jungle.  We watched him quietly.

We heard a few small calls as he looked around at the different noises he’d heard as he was drinking. Then from nowhere one of his cubs appeared from the forest. She stood there few a few seconds looking for reassurance it was ok to join her dad before heading down to the water to drink.

She settled alongside her father as they both drank aware of the shutter noise from our cameras. It was a moment I’ll never forget, but at the time you’re just concentrating so much on capturing the moment it really doesn’t sink in until after.  He was always on guard, so to speak, and you sensed his protection of her by just seeing them together so close. The other cub never showed but both are doing very well I am told.

They drank for a few minutes before T25, the male got up and headed back into the dense jungle with his cub following.

He led the way as he’d done when first visiting the watering hole, his cub waiting behind until he went first. I managed to capture him here just looking back and giving a slight call to his cub. She then came from behind a tree and followed her father into the jungle. It was very touching to see this bond between them both played out before us, thousands of miles from home as we witnessed history in Ranthambhore one of if not the best place in India to see Bengal Tigers in the wild.

The whole week was brilliant and each evening my clients had their own best images from that day to talk through.  Each year the trip seems to get better and you really have to see one of these amazing animals in the flesh to truly appreciate their beauty. With so much wildlife in Ranthambhore the photographic opportunities are everywhere. A paradise in more ways than one for a wildlife photographer.

There’s something very human like when we look into the eyes of primates. Something that touches deep inside our soles where we see so much of our own human mannerisms. I did a close up of this young black faced langur monkey sitting close to his mum. I slowly walked forward as not to disturb the young one or the mum and this was the result making best use of the side lighting to bring out detail, shape and texture to the image, another wonderful and touching moment from Ranthambhore, India.

The week there passed far to quick and before we knew it the time had come to leave Ranthambhore and head off home. I wished I could have stayed as I really love this place and its Tigers.  It has a magical feel to it, an old fort taken over by nature. We headed for the airport the same way we came, packed lunches in hand as we started the journey home.

A big thank you to my clients for your company and another big thank you to Rag and Salim for your help and expert tracking and guidance with the Tigers. Many thanks to the staff at the Ranthambhore Bagh where we stay, great food, warm welcome and a great base for this trip.

I will be releasing a few more limited edition prints very soon to go along with the 3 others I currently have, where 50% of the profits go to a charity I work with to help rise money for Tigers around the world; 21 Century Tiger. Where they spend 100% of your money in helping Tigers around the world, these animals are in real danger of extinction and need as much help as possible so that future children get the chance to see this amazing animal in the wild.

Next years dates and information is up on on my website here, so if you wish to see these amazing images and capture some beautiful images working alongside myself and two of the best guides in India then contact me for more information.

I’ll be giving my top tips on fieldcraft in July’s issue of Practical Photography, which is out the second week of June. Fieldcraft when working with wild animals with their natural fear of man, away from per-planned perches, baited set ups and captive animals is the most important tool in any wildlife photographers toolbox.

Capturing real images as seen on the ground and not changed by the hand of man is what wildlife photography means to me as a professional, its the way I work when among nature.  I go through what works on the ground and how you can almost think like wildlife and become part of the landscape. All built on respect for your subject and wildlife around you, this is the foundation to my work today so I hope you enjoy the article.

And just before I go there are still a few places left on my Summer Tide workshop in Norfolk in conjunction with Calumet Photographic, for more information and bookings please click on this link. or click on their seminars page for Manchester and Drummond street branches with more workshops and talks planned very soon. For an idea of what you may see on this day then click on a previous interview I did here with Practical Photography covering my passion for this amazing event.


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