Entries Tagged ‘Tigers Of India Photo Tour’:

Global Tiger Day 2015

Filed in Articles on Jul.29, 2015

Global Tiger Day is celebrated across the world in recognition of the animal regularly voted the public’s favorite animal. Despite this, the tiger is endangered and under threat of extinction from habitat destruction and poaching. One hundred years ago there were 100,000 wild tigers, now there are less than 3,500 tigers left in the wild. In the last century Asia’s wild tiger range has shrunk by 93%. Shockingly, 40% of that decline has happened in the past ten years.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

21st Century Tiger, one of the many charities working hard to save the Tiger, based at ZSL London Zoo, are a unique funding coalition between Zoological Society of London and Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation in Australia which gives 100% of funds it raises, to carefully chosen conservation projects throughout Asia.  21st Century Tiger work with zoos around the world to raise money for wild tiger conservation and channels this money to conservation projects where it can make the most difference. Its sister organisation, Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance (ALTA) handles projects throughout the Russian Far East.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

21st Century Tiger currently funds the work of both international and local conservation organisations with a range of projects from education and anti-poaching, to monitoring of the tiger populations in Sumatra, India, Malaysia and through ALTA, in Russia. These important projects address the pressures the tiger faces in today’s world of trade, exploding human population and vanishing forests.

Global Tiger Day was established in 2010 at the St Petersburg Tiger Summit when tiger range countries declared their aim to double wild tiger numbers by 2022. This day is an opportunity to raise funds for wild tiger conservation with 21st Century Tiger and to build awareness of the issues effecting their survival.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Bengal Tiger

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

On this day please try and support all those that help to keep this beautiful animal alive and to preserve it for future generations. I have had a lifelong love of the Tiger and to think children growing up may in the future not have such love or passion for these animals through not being able to see them in the wild feels me full of great sadness.

Some of the many other charities trying to save these animals are –

Tiger Nation – See their work here.  TOFT Tigershere.  Save Wild Tigers here  Born Freehere  WPSI- here   Tiger Watch here  Tigers4Everhere

They are many charities that help these beautiful creatures; I donate 50% from the sales of my limited edition Tiger prints that go to 21 Century Tiger. Over the next month I will be adding more limited editions to this collection. We can all do something not matter how small that all goes to helping the survival of this species.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

http://tigerday.org/

If you’d like to photograph these amazing creatures in 2016 then I still have a few places free on my “Tigers of India” – 7 day photography tour. Its an action packed week with two safaris a day in one of the best please in the world to see wild Tigers. All the information and blog posts from many previous trips there can all be seen on this link. Its a magic place to see these Bengal Tigers and one place you will never forget.

Its amazing we have a day set aside for these majestic animals and one they really deserve and need. To all those that work tirelessly to save all Tigers I thank you and to everyone around the worlds that does their bit thank you also. Lets hope Tigers in the wild live on and have a viable future in the wild, many thanks.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography


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The Magic of Ranthambhore

Filed in Places Of Interest, Workshops on Apr.18, 2015

The Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve is the single largest expanse of Dry-Deciduous Forest left intact in India. Such forests were found all along the North and Central Aravalis but in the last few decades they have been badly degraded and right now this Tiger Reserve is one of their last strongholds.

craig jones wildlife photography

craig jones wildlife photography

craig jones wildlife photography

craig jones wildlife photography

Its an amazing place to see and spend time in and is one of the best places in India to see wild Bengal Tigers. An image of one of the forest guards on patrol in Ranthambhore National park is shown above.

Once we arrived and unpacked the following day we settled into our what our daily routine would be. An early rise at 5am, coffee before the two Jeeps I hire came to pick us all up and then we’d set off in search of the Tiger. This is always guaranteed to send adrenalin coursing through the veins as each day you just truly don’t no what to expect.

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.

craig jones wildlife photography

It had been raining on and off over the last several weeks so the forest was a lush green which made the whole place look and feel so much different from the previous several years of visiting at this time of year. Alot cooler too at times which made the place feel so much more pleasant temperature wise.

Ive always loved being in Ranthambhore National Park its full of wildlife, smells, noises and potential images everywhere. Its a place of great beauty, that once you visit you just know it wont be the last time. Its magic grabs hold of you in its grasp and you cant ever walk away.

Throughout the first week one set of clients saw very few Bengal Tigers, and my other clients had some of the best views and images ever. The national park has so much to photograph you’re often spoilt for choice and there is always an image to be had is my motto and something I try and convey and show to clients.

craig jones wildlife photography

craig jones wildlife photography

One jeep as in most years was luckier than the other with sighings almost daily, while the other jeep went days without seeing Tigers. When this happens I try and stay with those clients in order to use my own experience of this place for the better of them resulting in them getting images I always hope.

Nothing is ever promised as these are wild animals and with that comes its own set of conditions and you always need luck. Both jeeps and sets of clients saw Bengal Tigers on their first morning though and this was amazing. Im always happy when my clients see them and their own individuals reactions.

We came across a 15 month old female Bengal Tiger on that first day who was hidden away at first, sleeping. Soon after we stopped she came from cover and moved off. The following images shows her walking out and past where we were. Amazing to see this stunning tiger cub as she’s truly beautiful and such a great privilege to see her on our first day.

craig jones wildlife photography

craig jones wildlife photography

craig jones wildlife photography

craig jones wildlife photography

craig jones wildlife photography

craig jones wildlife photography

craig jones wildlife photography

craig jones wildlife photography

This was a beautiful morning above as we came across two cubs just sitting at the base of these trees as their mother was off hunting. The play of the natural light was stunning and we watched this male move, yawn and generally get bored before our eyes waiting for his mother to return. This was my last sightings for many days as previously mentioned above.

My other two clients though- Chris and his wife Lisa had some of the best sightings and images I’ve ever known in the many years I have been coming to Ranthambhore. While looking for the Bengal Tiger thought theres so much to photograph and the following images capture what we saw during those long days searching for the elusive Tiger.

A clear sign of the precarious nature of this area though, where the Tigers are completely wild and are free to go wherever they want. I have tired to put together a visual dairy to in order of days with the following photographs. Clearly making the best of changing light conditions and different photographic techniques.

craig jones wildlife photography

craig jones wildlife photography

craig jones wildlife photography

craig jones wildlife photography

craig jones wildlife photography

craig jones wildlife photography

craig jones wildlife photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Towards the end of the first weeks safaris my group that hadn’t really seen many Bengal Tigers had a great sighting with a female Bengal Tigress and the following images capture that amazing moment. To say I was pleased for them was an understatement.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

craig jones wildlife photography

craig jones wildlife photography

craig jones wildlife photography

While in India I have been using a number of products from a brilliant UK company called Sealskinz. I was invited to become one of their Ambassadors for their company. I have been using their products for many years now within my own wildlife photyogrpahy. I have to trust my kit, its a skill carried over from my days as a soldier in the British Army. Click here to see my recent blog and introduction to their team.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Fully breathable and waterproof their products are the best on the market for outdoor activities. In India I have been using their drysacks to keep my kit free of dust and grit and protected from the rains we’ve been having here.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

craig jones wildlife photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

I have also been using their trail hat to keep the sun and heat from my head, which has been brilliant and so comfortable to wear. I would fully recommend both of these products for your outdoor protection and I will be using these on all of my projects, trips and expeditions abroad.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Fingers crossed for the next seven days as I start a new week with new clients.  I will write another blog letting you know how we all get on at the end covering this next week, many thanks and goodbye from India.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography


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Rutting Season & Photo Tours 2015

Filed in Places Of Interest, Workshops on Sep.02, 2014

I will be running one day “Rutting Deer“ workshops in the month of October to coincide with the Autumn Rut where you will have the chance to photography both Red and Fallow Deer going through their rut. The day will last from dawn until dusk and they can be taken on a one to one basis or up to a group of 4 where the price comes down. Most of the locations are in the central area of England.

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

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

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

The autumn colours and the Deer’s make for an amazing backdrop and one I look forward to each year. The day will consist of fieldcraft, use of natural light, and learning about your subject and what to watch and look for, camera help and advice getting the most from your day and equipment and so on. The dates are as follows –

October 4th- 25th, some of those dates have gone so if you’d like to no more information email me on the following link.

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

Two images from my trip to India this year, we came across this male Tiger almost straight away as our morning drive began at 6am. We followed him from a safe distance as he traveled through the forest using this dirt track, occasionally stopping to scent mark. As he was walking I saw his paws and feet and angled my camera down from the small jeep we were driving in and I caught one of his paws and a bit of dirt flying up.

For me one of my favorite images of this year’s trip. In death the Indian people kiss the Tigers feet before they are cremated if this is possible out of a great respect and love for the animal. Through this image I pay my own respects to these beautiful animals.

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

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

I have a few places still available for my 2015 trip to Ranthambhore, one of the best places in India to see wild Tigers. During your week there you will have 12 safaris, 2 clients per jeep where I rotate myself through the two jeeps each day. One safari in the morning and one later on in the afternoon. If you’d like to join me then see the following link for all the information, trip reports from my previous tours there with clients, many thanks.

First Week – Sunday 12th April 2015 – Sunday 19th April 2015.

Second Week – Monday 20th April 2015 – Monday 27th April 2015

My 2015 trip details HERE.

https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/workshops/tiger-trip.php

https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/workshops/tiger-trip.php

It was Global Tiger day recently and several of my Bengal Tigers taken in India were used for 21 Century Tiger charity for their campaign. A charity I have donated images too and raised money through he sale of several limited prints since 2010. To see those images where 50% of the profits go directly to this charity that helps wild Tigers survive in the wild see the following link.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photogrpahy

Really excited to announce a brand new photo tour for 2015. Lekking Black Grouse and Capercaillie where the males fight with other males over their territory and the right to have all the ladies. Then Wolves, Bears and Wolverines plus Golden Eagles and more if we have the time set against the snowy background of Finland, a few miles from the Russian border.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photogrpahy

Those that follow my work will no what an amazing trip we all had to this special place in July of this year which you can see by clicking here. I will be returning to this amazing place in the first week of May 2015 so if you’d like to photograph this amazing event in natures calendar then see the following link

Lots of One to Ones booked in over the next several months and they kick off next week with two days. My Spring-Tide and Barn Owl one day workshops start this month where you can witness this amazing event in nature on the Norfolk coast, Then after lunch and a brew we head to one of several Barn Owls sites I visit and take clients to. If you’d like to see more information on these days and book then see the following link.

https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/workshops/spring-tides-and-barn-owls.php

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Norfolk Waders

Norfolk- Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

My Stunning Shetland photo tour dates are now up too and also for 2015. After the success of the last two years there with clients I’m running this again in June 2015. To see the trip and all the information see the following link.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

I am running a whole week on Shetland where we will be concentrating purely on Otters. Fieldcraft, use of light, tracking, looking for clues and signs of Otters and much more on this week long trip. To see this trip click on the following link.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

I have a few places for my 14 day photo tour to the Falkland’s in February 2015. We visit some of the best places there to see and photography the beautiful wildlife they chose to live on these spectacular islands for wildlife.  See this link for all trip details and booking.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Finally I’m catching up with lots of one to ones and here are a few images from recent one to ones with clients. Thank you for your company and I hope you all enjoyed you days. To see what One to Ones I offer or to book please see the following link .

https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/workshops/one-to-one-wildlife-photography-tution.php

https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/workshops/one-to-one-wildlife-photography-tution.php

https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/workshops/one-to-one-wildlife-photography-tution.php

https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/workshops/one-to-one-wildlife-photography-tution.php

https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/workshops/one-to-one-wildlife-photography-tution.php

I look forward to meeting all new and old clients over the next several months, thank you to everyone who has booked and your company. If you have anything you want more advice on then please send me a message here, many thanks.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography


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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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Autumn-A Mosaic Of Colours

Filed in Workshops on Oct.27, 2013

As the trees lose their leaves and the countryside is turned in to a mosaic of stunning colours, animals all around the country are feasting on the bounty of food that is plentiful now, from berries to horse chestnuts, the countryside is a wash with food.  Birds starting to migrate to and from the UK with lots going on.  Over the last two weeks I have been to several different places throughout the UK with clients covering the Deer Rut, Red Squirrels and Short-eared  Owl.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

One of the places I visit in the UK has a really good woodland area and when you walk through these woods with their well established and majestic trees there is always a lot of Deer activity around. With the Autumnal colours the Deer blend in so well within these habitats and their coats are beautiful to see, with clear markings throughout. All my clients got some amazing images from some great encounters over the last two weeks.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

We had a mixed fortune with the weather after one of the wettest periods in autumn so far, but there is always an image to be taken I say not matter what the weather throws at you. Also over the last week or so I have visited my Red Squirrel site in the North west coastal region of the UK with clients booked in on my One to Ones. This whole area is managed by the wildlife trust who keeps an eye on the population of Red Squirrels that were almost wiped out 4 years ago.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Numbers are slowly increasing with the hard work and dedication of the local trust and volunteers.  We visit this site in the morning and then head to one of my Short-eared owl sights in the afternoon as this is one of the many duel-One to Ones I run. The full list can be seen here. These places are all built off the back of my extensive knowledge on these areas and time served there.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Every living animal for me has their own spirit, their own character and I really try to capture that within my work and try and show and get clients who come with me to see differently and to engage in the bigger picture which in turns makes for better images I believe. Unplanned, unscripted in its truest form, watching wildlife and capturing those briefest of moments when you witness their unique behavior, this is priceless.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

These days have only just started so if you want to book on or see what I offer then please click on the following link. I have many other one to ones and workshops that carry on throughout the Winter offering a real encounter with nature.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

I do have a few spaces free due to a cancellation on my Tigers of India tour next April. I have been going to India since 2009 and working with the same guys year in and its an amazing trips where clients have some amazing images and times. To see this trip and past blog posts of what we got up to click on the following link and I hope you can join me next year, many thanks.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography


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Ranthambhore-The Real Life Jungle Book

Filed in Places Of Interest, Workshops on May.20, 2013

I have just returned from two weeks in Ranthambhore, India where I was leading two, one week photo tours with clients. I have been visiting this area now for several years and have enjoyed many safaris into this magical place each time the smell, the noises of this place truly leave you breathless. Both sets of clients from their separate weeks enjoyed good sightings as all had come to see this beautiful animal in one of the best settings in India.

This image below captures a female Tigress coming from nowhere, catching us out as we sat in a small Jeep waiting with the engine turned off. I took a couple of images and we moved as the situation could have become dangerous, this is one of those images captured.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography


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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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Tigers of India-Beauty Personified

Filed in Places Of Interest, Workshops on May.16, 2012

I have just come back from an amazing trip to Ranthambhore, in the magical country of India. I was there with my clients on my Tigers of India photo tour, where we spent 7 days hoping to see and photograph one of nature’s most beautiful of animals, the Bengal Tiger. It’s the third year in a row I’ve been lucky enough to visit this amazing place and see an animal that is one of nature’s truly beautiful creations.

Upon arriving in Delhi and having collected our baggage we passed through customs with no problems, then headed to the arrivals gate to look for our driver, it’s at that point the noise and heat of India hits you. Ahead of us was a 373km drive to Ranthambhore Bagh, passing through the real India with its locals and small villages, making best use of what they have and where everyone has a smile for you. The people who have the least have the most in the form of happiness, a lesson there for the western world I always say.

The Ranthambhore National Park, which is a part of the much larger Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, a Project Tiger reserve, lies in the Sawai Madhopur district of eastern Rajasthan. It is right now the only forest reserve in Rajasthan state and in the entire Aravali hill ranges where tigers exist. The Chambal River forms a natural boundary of the Park towards the east, and on the eastern shore of Chambal lies the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, this Project tiger reserve spans over 1334 sq. km of area, of which 282 sq. km is the Ranthambhore National Park.

Upon arriving at the Ranthambhore bagh, a lovely, warm welcome is always assured and after a quick freshen up we are served our lunch and we relax and unpack in readiness for the two safaris each day that begin the following morning. Never knowing whats in store and if you’ll see a Tiger.

The routine in the morning was an early start at 05.00am, the staff would make you an Indian coffee which was the perfect start to the day. The two jeeps I hire along with my guides arrive at 05.40 and we all set off to the park. I always tell clients to relax when trying to find nature as I have found if you put pressure on yourself then the nature just doesn’t show up. The mornings there are  beautiful, lovely sunrises, and the noises of the place are so different to that of the UK wildlife, so many different calls its just an amazing place. The light is just magical in Ranthambhore and I cannot explain just how beautiful the mornings there are.

There is also so much bird life in Ranthambhore, so many different species most of which I’ve only seen in books. Stunning, beautiful calls!  This place offers so much on every front. Alot of the animals and birds will let you know long before you realise a Tiger is around with their calls and sudden change of behaviour.  Like this Jackal below having seen and smelt a Tiger hidden away, he froze letting us know something wasn’t right.

The pitch and sound filling the whole area as you wait to see if and where the Tiger is. Then try to guess where he or she might show, then you have a few seconds to react, compose your camera and get the best angle you can for you photograph.

On every visit to Ranthambhore I have worked with two great guides, Ragh and Salim Ali. Salim has worked on many programmes filming Tigers in India and more so Ranthambhore. One of the best was Broken Tail, where he and followed a Tiger called Broken Tail for over a year. Working with the best guys on the ground always helps I believe and over the years now a lot of respect and trust has built up with these guys that help my clients see these amazing animals.

At the last count their was as few as 1700 Tigers left in India. In Ranthambhore there is as little as 38 now covering a massive area which is split into 5 zones. Each day you travel in one zone in the morning safari and then another zone in the afternoon safari, while sticking to a strict code of conduct. You cannot drive off the track your on, and you just pray that you get lucky and see a Tiger on that particular day.

Hearing those words from your guide “Tiger” you go into autopilot as you try to get the right angle for your clients in order to capture that fleeting glimpse of one if not the most beautiful creatures on this earth-the Tiger. Going through the planned settings and angles hoping and praying the Tiger stays still long enough for you to capture that moment.

You just don’t know where or when they will show up and this only adds to the excitement for me. My fieldcraft is very strong but its always amazing to see how Salim and Ragh read the tracks and tell tale signs of whats around and whats gone before us which are all key to tracking and finding your subject whichever country you are in.

On our first full morning safari, after our previous day of no sightings, we were photographing some Kingfisher’s when this Tigress came from our left.  Thousands of miles from home on a lone track among the beautiful jungles of Ranthambhore a lone female Tigress roams freely at dawn. The lady of the lake T17, I know her well, as several years ago when I made this journey alone, she was the first Tiger I’d ever seen in the wild. That moment rendering me speechless as I witnessed Mother Nature’s most beautiful of creations. So fitting for all my clients that she was the first Tiger encounter they’d had too. She is pregnant now, with only months to go before the birth.  I’d like to think she came to let me know she’s managed to become pregnant as there had been many unsuccessful attempts beforehand.

The power and grace of this animal is hard to put into words, beauty that’s truly amazing. I have seen many beautiful animals in my life from childhood to the present day but the Tiger really is beauty personified. We had an amazing close encounter with her on this particular morning.  She came from nowhere and walked her patch for around 20 minutes, scent marking, smelling the air and checking for other Tigers that may have entered her area.  What a welcome for my clients, witnessing this amazing Tigress so close.

Both jeeps had captured some amazing moments with her during that day, making everyone’s wish of seeing a wild Tiger come true very early on into the trip. Over the course of the week we were treated to some amazing views of this animal, but there were also times when we saw nothing which made those encounters just that bit more special upon reflection back at our lodge.

Each morning we’d all wait for our jeeps.  I’d go with one jeep in the morning safari then the other jeep in the afternoon. I’d be looking for angles, light and Tigers alongside my guide as we drove around looking for any clues that would tell us Tigers where around. I’m always on hand to offer help and support to my clients on all my trips, making sense of the smaller things in order for them to capture some amazing images to take home with them.

Once we got into our routine the time flied by, which always saddens me as I never want to leave this place once the week is up, such is the beauty and magic of the place.  It was great to see all the clients having some wonderful moments with the Tigers that live in this area. You are driven around and without warning you have seconds to compose yourself then start taking photos. Getting the right angle onto the Tiger is so important and our guides are brilliant at this.

T17 who we’d seen on our first mornings safari often traveled around at dawn and rewarded my group with some wonderful encounters throughout the week. The following images where taken of her hunting for food in the morning light. Such amazing behaviour to see and capture, just like you see at home when you watch a domestic cat trying to hunt birds on a lawned area.

We always visit the fort at Ranthambhore during the weeks photo tour, it’s a magic place taking you back to a bygone era. The Ranthambhore fort is believed to have been built in 944 A.D. by a Chauhan ruler. It is strategically located on the border of Rajasthan and the surrounding forests were used as an outer defence to the advantage of the fort, making it one of the strongest forts of Northern India.

The fort has many buildings inside of which only a few have survived the ravages of wars and time. Among the remaining ruins, the two pavilions, Badal Mahal and Hammirs court and parts of the royal palace gave you an idea of the old grandeur.

During the periods of waiting and hoping to find Tigers we all managed to photograph some of the stunning birds that live in Ranthambhore, some of my favourite I’ve included below. Starting with the handsome White-throated Kingfisher, a stunningly colourful bird that I captured in some nice light, and cleaning, composing the subject in his natural habitat.

The Black Drongo, with his beautiful fork tail and jet black plumage.

The stunningly beautiful Indian Golden Oriole, a shy bird which was really hard to photograph because any noise from the jeep and off they would fly. Here I got lucky and composed him among the branches singing away in the late afternoon sun.

And the Indian Peafowl or Peacock with its amazing colours and plumage.

The trip had been amazing for all my clients so far and with more Tigers to photograph and wildlife the time was flying past. In my next blog I’ll post some amazing images I managed to get along with one of my jeeps that witnessed the lone male Tiger looking after his two cubs as their mother had died. We had a brief encounter with one cub and her father drinking. This event has made the global news as it’s the first time it’s been reported happening with Tigers. You can view the story here and I’ll post some images and part two of the blog soon.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all my clients who came with me to India, thank you for your company everyone we had a really good time and many laughs along the way. I’m really glad you all saw and witnessed this beautiful animal in the wild and capturing some wonderful images. Many thanks to my guides, Salim and Rag who’s help and expertise really helped everyone in finding, photographing and seeing this amazing animal. The dates for my 2013 trip are now up on my website, click here to view them, many thanks.


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