Entries Tagged ‘India’:
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As 2010 leaves us and a new year begins I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year and all the best in the four coming year. Now that the holiday period is over and the snow has melted in most areas it was nice to get out with the camera to blow the cob webs of Christmas off at the same time break in my new walking boots I had received as a present. A walk around the Peak District in better conditions than before Christmas was the perfect taster for the trips and workshops coming up.
I love the vast open moorland and the views on a clear winters day are just stunning, and as ever the Red Grouse where out in numbers calling, patrolling their territories in the morning light, always on the look out for a female. Beautiful birds I love spending time with watching and listening to their calls.
I am heading to Scotland soon, to photograph some of the animals that live in and around this area over several days working the land, watching, listening, looking for clues using my skills and fieldcraft to capture wildlife in this amazing part of the UK. If and when I can I will update my blog before heading home.
I have had some great interest in the Sumatran Orangutans trip in September so thank you to all those interested in this very different trip which is more remote and totally different then its neighbour Borneo. Also my trip to Greenland- Arctic Adventure 2012 is almost ready where I have chartered a whole ex-racing yacht to head up to Greenland and Turner Island to see and photograph Polar bears, Whales and so much more living and operating from this ex-round the world racing yacht during our 14 day trip. It will be an amazing adventure and something very different where the wildlife will not hear our approach, add to this a lower point of view almost level with the sea making for a perfect platform for wildlife photography.
I have one place left on my Tigers trip in May- Tigers Of India, witness this amazing animal in the wild, and just a quick reminder that I have 3 limited edition Tigers prints where 50% of the profit goes directly to helping Tigers around the world through the charity 21 Century Tiger who spend every penny raised on helping this amazing animal survive around the globe.
There are a few places left on my Masia Mara Migration trip also so if these or any of my other trips, one day workshops interest you then just contact me here for more details. Big thanks to all those who have booked and I look forward to meeting you all in the coming weeks and months and helping you improve your wildlife photography at the same time learning you more about the wildlife around you and how to capture the things you see, so all the best and many thanks
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Once I returned from India it was my aim to use my images of the amazing Royal Bengal Tiger to demonstrate to people their beauty and prowess, at the same time highlighting the tragic position these animals find themselves in, now with around 3400 Tigers left in the wild. Where captive Tigers and those kept as pets are now outnumbering their wild counterparts which is a truly shocking statistic.
I have always felt that powerful images and powerful music go so well together and over the last few weeks I have experimented and developed a few examples as a visual slideshow and posted them on my blog and Facebook page. I was amazed at the feedback I received from people and especially amazed when a gentleman called Martyn Ford, a former Entomologist at the British Museum of Natural History, and now a professional conductor and record producer, had seen one of my slideshows and contacted me. We exchanged emails and Martyn invited me to give him a call. Hes a great bloke and was very helpful. We spoke about many subjects and he told me of a lady named Thao Nguyen a brilliant Musician, Composer, and Music Arranger who he works with. She is also a very good wildlife photographer with a great eye for her subjects.
Over a period of a few weeks Martyn came back to me with a brilliant piece of music called Fragile Earth that has never been used and one Thao was willing to let me use on my 2010 Year Of The Tiger slide show which I had been working on. I will use this to show the beauty of the Tiger along with this beautiful music she has composed specially for me to go with my images. To have a unique piece of music to go with this amazing animal is perfect and very fitting I feel. My images hopefully reflect the beauty of this animal that I have captured through the lens during my time in India. Not a day goes by when I don’t think of my time there and how they are doing.
I was also informed this week that there is new life in Ranthambore with the recent birth of two cubs to one of the adult females, which is brilliant news. I am hoping to return in January where it would be amazing to see these little fellows with their mum, where I will be returning later on in the year in May 2011 with my Tigers Of India photo-tour that I will be running. I cannot wait to go back as I love India and its diverse and different wildlife.
I have composed the images along with this beautiful and powerful music now in a slide show, where the hairs on the back of my neck still stand up on edge everytime I watch it. I hope you enjoy the show and it will form part of my talks that I am doing in different parts of the country over the next several months.
A massive thank you to both Martyn, and Thao for your very kind offer of this piece of beautiful music and I wish you both all the very best, many thanks.
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Giving something back to nature is something that is very high on my agenda.Being a Wildlife Photographer,with a great passion for wildlife you have a duty to capture the beauty of the animal I feel to show others and this is the foundation to my work. I am pleased to say I am working with dakini Year Of The Tiger 2010 campaign.
dakini Books is an innovative London-based media company with a reputation based on creativity, originality and excellence. dakini’s not-for-profit company is now launching a major international campaign to help save the tiger from extinction. You can donate now to support the campaign here or join the campaign’s facebook group; Tigers
There will be two images from my Year Of The Tiger 2010 collection that will be exclusively sold by dakini- Year Of The Tiger 2010 campaign here is dakini .More details soon as their website is almost ready and their launch in London is soon where I will be attending with the two images I have donated to this project where 50% the profit from each sale goes to helping Tigers. I will keep you updated on their website,the launch and timing.I have been in talks with Lindsey for the last 8 days and things are almost ready fingers crossed.
The two images are Lady Of The Lake-A female Tigress that wonders around the different zones in Ranthambore,with no clear territory of her own as of yet,so is mostly seen around one of the beautiful lakes in Ranthambore hence her name.
The second image is called Machali Standing Proud- Its a photo of the Queen of Ranthambore,she is now 13 and mother to many of the cubs born there over the years.I spent 4 days looking for her with my guide Salim,hoping to see this famous Tigress and on the last day I spent nearly 30 minutes with her as she drink,washed and relaxed in an almost dry waterhole.This image is of her standing up from this riverbed.So there are the two images with only 100 copies.
dakini are bringing out an amazing book called Tigers,where you can pre-order at copy on the site where the money raised from this book and other projects,images etc will go towards helping the Tigers –Blog .So I’ll keep you posted on the details in the mean time visit their different sites on Twitter, Facebook And see if you can donate or help in anyway th helping this campaign then that would be great.I will update my blog letting you know when the launch in central London of the book,images etc is.I was asked to give a few words on what wildlife photography meant to me,the Tigers etc and below is hopefully a good account of how,where my amazing passion for wildlife started and the Tigers showing where my strong foundation and geniue love for nature and photography began.
“My journey to become a wildlife photographer was born out of a love and fascination of the natural world from a young age upon receiving my first Wildlife book called Animal World. This was an 8th birthday present from my Mum and started my love and fascination for the natural world. The front cover had a roaring Tiger picture which had such a powerful effect on me as a youngster, where I made this my personal dream to see this amazingly beautiful animal one day.
From those early days I spent so much time being at one with nature, close to and watching, hidden from view on the off chance I would see a certain animal. I distanced myself from children’s games and activities instead heading to a nearby stretch of wilderness within the mass housing estate I grew up in. Learning to get close without disturbing the animal almost forgetting the outside world and becoming part of the animal I was getting close to or watching. By doing this I could understand the animal better and this is still one of the main skills I use within wildlife photography today, one which in the absence of any real training in photography has enabled me to get close enough to capture the animals beauty with the images I frame through my view finder, where my creative and emotional attachment to nature is at the very heart of each photo, creating a unique and artistic refection of my time in the field. It is my intention to use these reflections of the natural world to bring people’s awareness of what beautiful wildlife we have on our doorstep and all around us and the importance of conservation and the need to preserve our national heritage.
This year my dream of seeing a wild Tiger was realised and the whole experience was one of the most beautiful times I have had in my 30 years of being at one with nature.
In the famous ‘Jungle Book’ Rudyard Kipling acknowledged the undisputed status of the mighty Bengal Tiger by introducing Shere Khan as the King of the Beasts. Although the cat family includes many impressive and attractive animals, there is an aura of power and majesty about the Tiger, where observing a male Tiger patrolling his territory in an Indian Reserve is to watch an unchallenged ruler strolling through his domain. Unfortunately for the Tiger, being the top predator has no protection against the activities of man, and a combination of habitat destruction and hunting pressures have reduced the Indian population from an estimated 40,000 to less than 1500.
Just setting off in search of a Tiger during my recent trip sent adrenalin coursing through my veins, whilst every movement in the undergrowth raises the expectation of a sudden appearance of this animal, striped body, footprints in the dust or the warning cries of deer all serving only to heighten the almost unbearable sense of excitement as you watch and listen for the first clue that a Tiger is around you. Upon seeing this animal for the first time Mother Nature made so beautiful, it renders you speechless.
After seeing these creatures in the wild for the first time in 2010, ‘The Year of the Tiger’ at Ranthambore, India, I wanted to do something to help these amazing animals. 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 Limited Editions prints where 50% of the profits from each image sold will go direct to helping these beautiful creatures survive in the wild. In turn I am hopefully helping to preserve them for future generations.
I am going back very soon and then next May 2011 I will be running my own Photo-Tour where I have an acute interest in conservation and the need to ensure the long-term protection of species and habitats being such an important part of my life. By staying and visiting the national park and wildlife regions on my Photo-Tour, we will be actively contributing and supporting a beautiful and locally-owned lodge/hotel, employing local people, local guides and other staff who have grown up in this region. With our preference for local naturalists rather than imported guides, being the key to a successful trip. Also ensuring employment opportunities to local communities, so important in developing the local areas, the perfect recipe for the survival of the Bengal Tiger! This kind of wildlife tourism supports rural communities in impoverished areas and supports them and their ability to preserve their natural and wildlife heritage for their future generations.
Being a Wildlife photographer I can now help to show others the beauty of these animals and hopefully raise awareness through my images and work that hopefully will help to keep these animals alive”.
The story continues…..
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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.
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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
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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 Royal Bengal 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.
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The days seemed to fly by with the routine of 05.00am start, finish at 10.00am, breakfast with my English teabags I brought to remind me of home, and then sleeping until 02.30pm, as it was just too hot to go anywhere, and then ready for my afternoon safari at 03.00pm finishing at 06.30pm. The days were passing to quick for me, as I eat, sleep, and lived Tigers and the other amazing wildlife that live in this beautiful area of India all day and everyday. Seeing the local people recycling everything, life is tough,and lets you know just how lucky we are back home, yet the people with the least have the most to give, love, happiness, a clear lesson to us all, where everyone has a smile and warm welcome for you, from the man on the street to the guests sitting at your table. I truly felt very welcome in India as the people are so friendly and courteous.
I and the ‘A team’, as I called Salim and Raj, had our photo taken with the scarf Salim had given to me to help with the dust and heat on the back of the neck,all in good spirits as we entered the park.
I was getting use to the intense heat now a little more, drinking litres of water some plain some mixed with a glucose/minerals to boost my own levels which were taking a battering due to sweating, heat etc and the physicality of holding on in an open-topped jeep whilst balancing a 600,with a 70-200 and 24-70mm lens with cameras attached, in the ready position should my continued streak of good luck continue and we see another Tiger.
An hour into our safari we noticed a few jeeps on the small dirt track ahead, Salim spoke to them and there was a female Tiger called T39 laying down cleaning herself, but at some distance away, so while the rest waited, hoping for her to come down close enough so we could all see her, I watched here through my viewfinder. I had to use manual focus due to the dense vegetation, it seemed ages before she’d look up, but eventually she did as she heard us. I captured the meanest of looks as she stopped licking her paws and looked up. I used the out of focus tree trunk to my left to frame her within the image below.
The sun pierced through the tree canopy with a few rays of light landing on her face. This highlighted her beautiful eyes and facial features. I watched her for some time as she cleaned her massive paws, after she stood up and started to walk away from us, to my left, Salim slowly drove the jeep along the only track their, a basic dirt track and we all looked back into the jungle to see if we could see her but the Tigers markings are some of the best camouflage I have witnessed in nature, she disappeared from view, yet we could here the alarm calls from monkeys and peacocks. I named the Tiger ‘The Ghost Of The Forest’, as literally they just vanished as you can see from the images below. As she sat down the markings blended so well with the habitat, how wonderful mother nature is!
She lay here for sometime then got to her feet with real purpose and started to stare at something that had caught her eye, it was Spotted Deer, one of the species of deer the Tiger hunts for here in Ranhanbhore. I watched as she took on the characterises of the cats we see back home stalking a bird on the lawn, low, slow and intense stare.
The Deer became jumpy and moved away quickly leaving this female Tiger a little deflated, so she continued to walk and we drove on the dirt track some 60 feet below here.
As she settled down she was joined by her brother T38 and for the very briefest of moments both Tigers sat alongside each other, to close for the 600 so I used the 24-70 lens and D300 to capture this moment.
After a few close ups of the male T38, he then decided to move off and was heading our way!!
My guide Salim had waited back a little and let the other jeeps head off as for a moment the Tigers seemed to have vanished again, we stayed put and waited as I changed cameras and lens to the 7-200 and wide angle, then with an almighty ringing of alarm calls from the Black face langur Monkeys we saw the male walking towards us, almost level to our jeep but some 20 feet higher up from the road we were on, I lay flat on my belly inside the jeep, held my camera and watched as the most beautiful of animals the natural world has,weighing in excess of 200KG walk towards us.
I used the wide -angle and captured him below just looking up at the Monkeys as the alarm calls rang out through the jungle, echoing for miles, my hairs were standing up on the back of my neck, my heart was beating so fast I not only felt the beats but could hear them in my head, as I captured the very moment he looked up, completely camouflaged in his habitat, with a few rays of sun light piercing down on him. Oh my god! was I lucky this day, and for me this has to be the best moment I have ever felt whilst watching/photographing nature, 20 feet away from a wild Tiger, who earlier had been hunting and was hungry, what a truly special moment I have on record now and also in my mind, just beautiful!!
He carried on walking but we stayed still and let him be and go off onto his travels. We headed back to our check point and again as they spoke and drove I was left in the back just in shock at what I’d seen,completely privileged and honoured with the experience of this day, which will be with me forever. 2010 The Year Of The Tiger, and I am 20-30 feet away from a wild, large male Tiger, it doesn’t get much better than that for me as a person who loves wildlife, and waited 30 years to get my chance to see one, Wow, wow!
As we headed back for my much needed cup of English tea,courtesy of my Yorkshire Teabags, I was still on the look out for images, as I’d seen the beautiful birds that live here. I managed to capture a Bee-eater,and a Ring-Necked Parakeet feeding in some lovely light and dream back grounds,another beautiful day, god was I glad I came!
Well its all go, as I’m off to Texel tomorrow for my ‘Texel Workshop’ co-hosted with my friend and fellow wildlife photographer Jeroen Stel for 4 days photographing the beautiful wildlife that lives in and around this part of northern Holland. I will continue with my RAW India when I am back as I carried on becoming luckier,bye for now!
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