COLLECTIONS

Welcome to the photo gallery section of my website, which I've duly named 'collections' to emphasise the fact that it includes a number of individually themed albums featuring a varied selection of wildlife images from a particular location or region.  

 

Keeping the 'collections' to a manageable size was an important factor when choosing the photos to include, which is why many destinations have been grouped together into regions rather than having separate albums for every place I’ve visited.  

 

Galleries normally showcase one's higher-quality images - photos that purists would interpret as being compositionally-pleasing,

taken in good light, with perfect focus and exposure, and without distracting backgrounds.  Well, in my opinion, that’s simply not possible with the majority of wildlife subjects, unless the shots are staged.  Of course there are exceptions, but generally the overall look and feel of an image is largely determined by the species you're photographing, its habitat and the conditions on the day.

 

I regard myself as an opportunist nature photographer rather than someone who truly specialises in a particular species or location.  If I could spend more time in Africa, for example, I would definitely concentrate on just a few subjects.  I’d really enjoy that, but we don’t have the means to travel any more than we currently do.  We go as often as we can to enjoy the experience and, from a personal point of view, I’m happy to photograph the species that present themselves.  I also get a thrill out of visiting new places and seeing new species, which I suppose was the motivator for creating this website.  That ‘happy to snap whatever comes along’ comment doesn’t mean that I’m not constantly striving to get better photos, because I am, but opportunities are limited.  The problem with photographing wildlife is that most of the time it doesn’t actually do much other than rest and feed, so you have to try to put yourself in a position to capture something different when it does happen.  Generally that means ‘action’ or behavioural activity of some sort, but there are also times when you’re just waiting for better light or for the subject to get in a certain position. Obviously the more time you can spend getting to know the animal or bird you’re trying to photograph the more chance you’ll stand of capturing the shots you want.  I also believe that the more you get to understand wildlife in general, the more you’ll value the time that you spend in the field and the more you’ll get to appreciate the importance of natural habitat for species survival.  

 

The following albums contain some of my favourite images.  They’re my memory shots - photos of a specific bird or animal,

a situation, or a particular experience.  They all mean something special to me as I can remember taking every single picture. 

 

If you enjoy looking through these ‘collections’, but would like to see more photos from any given location then please

remember my associated Flickr albums, which are referenced at the bottom of each related ‘places’ article.

AFRICA

Although not obvious from the title, this collection of images is restricted to animal photos only.  The album covers all of the safari destinations we’ve visited, namely the RuahaSelous & Katavi regions of Tanzania, the Masai Mara in Kenya, and South Luangwa & Lower Zambezi in Zambia, even though Zambia is generally regarded as a southern rather than an East African country.

Complementing the East African animals set, this album only features photos of birds.  It includes all the aforementioned safari destinations as well as the Gambia in West Africa.  It does not include Bird Island as that destination warrants its own dedicated album.  Obviously with the bird life in Africa being so diverse, this relatively small collection of images barely scratches the surface of what I’ve seen and photographed.

TROPICAL ISLANDS

Given the shear number of times we’ve visited Bird Island over the past twenty or so years, it seemed only appropriate to feature some of the thousands of photos I’ve taken there in a specific location-based ‘collections’ album of its own.  Apart from a couple of turtle and giant tortoise photos, this set is all about the birds that make this tiny Indian Ocean island their home.   Some are resident species and others are migratory, only dropping in for a few weeks each year. 

The Galápagos Islands are generally regarded as the most unique and scientifically important wildlife destination on the planet due to their remote location and numbers of endemic species.  We had a ten-day tour of the islands at the beginning of 2015.

It was a truly unforgettable experience, albeit a photographically challenging one, as the wild and often rugged habitat, coupled with the necessary access restrictions, made compositionally pleasing photos quite difficult.  This ‘collections’ set includes some of the better and 'cleaner' images - my associated Flickr album contains a more comprehensive selection.   

AMERICAS

Unlike my two Africa photo albums, this collection of images from Latin America includes animals and birds.  At present the featured destinations are the Tandayapa Valley in Ecuador, Southern Pantanal in Brazil, and the Peruvian Andes and Amazon rainforest.  I’d originally intended to incorporate a few images from Costa Rica but, for the reasons noted below, they were excluded.

Our first trip to Costa Rica was in 2011. When I looked back at the photos I took I was quite disappointed, so decided not to include any in the previous album knowing that we were going to return.  We did, in 2019, and the images from that visit were, I'm pleased to say, significantly better to the point that I couldn't resist incorporating them here in their own dedicated album.

All of the photos in this ‘collections’ album were taken during an amazing two-week trip in September 2018 to the aptly named Great Bear Rainforest; a remote and wild region of Canada's northwest Pacific coastline, that extends some 400km or so from the top of Vancouver Island along the Inside Passage to Alaska.  This was a special trip to photograph bears, so understandingly bear images dominate the set.

EUROPE

As the title suggests, this album contains a selection of wildlife images from some of our trips to Europe, visiting such places as Kuusamo in northern Finland, Iceland, the Danube Delta in Romania, the Marais Poitevin marshlands region of western France, plus Extremadura and Andalucia in Spain, and northwest Mallorca.  As with the following collection, this album primarily features bird photos.

This penultimate ‘collections’ album features images from various locations around the British Isles, including the Farne Islands, Scottish Highlands and Isle of Mull, as well as quite a few of the local places on my home patch.  Not surprisingly the majority of the photos are of birds, simply because there are far more opportunities to photograph birds in the UK than there are of seeing animals in the wild.  There are a few exceptions of course, but to be able to go out and photograph foxes for example is exceptionally difficult, unless you’re fortunate with where you live or have access to private land.  Picking a relatively small number of photos from the thousands I have on the hard drive was a rather difficult job.

Due to the shear number of photos I've taken in the UK, and the fact that so many bird species, or indeed complete families such as gulls, have not been featured at all in the previous 'Around the British Isles' album, I've included this final set just for passerines.  Photographing small birds is always something of a challenge, which invariably puts them at the bottom of the pecking order, but that doesn't mean that they should be ignored.

Background images (top to bottom)

Princess Royal Channel, Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia

Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

Post Office Bay, Floreana (Charles) Island, Galapagos

Mid-elevation Cloud Forest, Peruvian Andes

Three Lochs, Glen More, Isle of Mull, Scotland

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