Lessons in Fieldcraft

In August’s issue of the Wild Planet magazine I have an article covering fieldcraft, something I have always applied and feel is one of,  if not the most important tool in your box as a wildlife photographer. From my start right up until the present day fieldcraft has and will always be so very important to me. When working with wild animals not use to humans the wildlife photographer must use his own skills and Technics in order to get close to a chosen subject, which in turn make for more informative images and a better understanding of their lives I believe.

http://wildplanetphotomagazine.com/2014/lessons-in-fieldcraft/

http://wildplanetphotomagazine.com/2014/lessons-in-fieldcraft/

As Wildlife photographers we have a duty of care not only to the subject but also to the public and those that view our images to show them as seen on the ground. To explain and tell what went into that image, how it was taken and then and only then can they judge your skill as a wildlife photographer. Transporting them to that moment in time that the photographer was lucky enough to see and witness and later record with his camera.

The photographer must use his own skills, experience and subject knowledge to achieve this and for me this starts with fieldcraft. In an age where the skill base for this is dying I feel with the ever ready images and all you have to do is turn up kind of images out there taking over. I truly feel as Wildlife photographer we have to take it right back to the beginning, work alongside wildlife, capture what you saw using you own skills. In a time where wildlife is really under pressure the best thing we can do is learn about those subjects, watch those subjects and become part of their lives without impacting on them.

http://wildplanetphotomagazine.com/2014/lessons-in-fieldcraft/

http://wildplanetphotomagazine.com/2014/lessons-in-fieldcraft/

I’m feel so strongly about fieldcraft and ethics and since turning pro I have always worked in this way and my images for me represent that special moment in time I was prevailed to witness and later record with my camera.We really do have a duty of care and by working in a manner like this the rewards are far greatly than just an image, educating many through those images and yourself at the sametime.

We never stop learning about the natural world but in a time where its under the most pressure as in now I feel will can all play a part and as a wildlife photographer this starts with real moments from the wild captured by you, with your camera using simple fieldcraft and becoming aware of your environment, your subject and the habitat they live in.

http://wildplanetphotomagazine.com/2014/lessons-in-fieldcraft/

http://wildplanetphotomagazine.com/2014/lessons-in-fieldcraft/

To read my fieldcraft article click here and download the August issue where I go through everything I use and apply while among the countryside. I hope it helps you and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email me here. Its the second time now I have had an article in this prestigious magazine dedicated to wildlife photography. The first being my moving story about saving the Sumatran Orangutans that can be see by clicking here.

http://wildplanetphotomagazine.com/2014/saving-sumatras-orangutans/

Thank you to the staff at the magazine for publishing this second article and I hope it helps your readers to understand wildlife photography is not something you can turn up, pay your money, take the shot and go home, its about learning and minimizing your impact on the wildlife and the countryside. A better understanding of what your watching and photographing starts and ends with fieldcraft for me, and something I show and teach on my One to Ones and workshops,  good luck.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Comment

No Mans Land-Finland

The term “no man’s land” can conjure up all sorts of meanings, from barren land, unclaimed land or more commonly known as the area between two opposing armies over which no control has been established.  The very fact in some cases that these areas are so barren is the sole reason things are left to grow, nobody wants to either live there or have anything to do with that place. The very reason then, that not far from the Russian border Brown Bears, Wolves, Wolverines and other such predators should find a place to live and in most cases be free to roam and live as they please.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

I have just spent a week with my clients in one such area, devoid of humans, the distant deep throaty calls of Ravens breaking the silence, interrupted with roars from Bears and Wolves all letting each other know they are still there and this is their patch. The stillness of such a place is beautiful, it reaches deep inside you and puts you in a place you rarely find yourself today. Free from humans and the ever glaze of urban living, with all its noise and disturbance.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

As soon as our flight touched down, we were picked up and driven to our base camp, a former forest workers residence close to the border with Russia. Surrounded by the lake of Kuikka as well as by boreal forest.  A few miles separating us from no mans land where one of the most charismatic mammals and one of the most misunderstood ones finds a little solace and is able to live out their lives without the one-side cruel and unfounded persecution against them, the Wolf.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

After a quick stop off at the local supermarket we headed to our remote home, unpacked and had a quick bit to eat and refresh then headed straight to the hides. A routine we were going to get use to as its almost always light there 24 hours a day. I had five clients plus myself and we split ourselves up through the hides and then the routine is to wait, make no noise and observe the areas to your front while you’re sitting in well protected hides that have been there and been accepted by the wildlife for years.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife photography

That first night we saw Brown Bears and Wolves which was a wonderful start to the trip. The Wolves were a little far away but the male Brown Bear came quite close to our hide as he passed their the swamp area to our fronts.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Our pattern was to be the same as that first night throughout the week, staying all night until the following morning in the hides,where we would be picked up by our host and driven back for breakfast and then to rest throughout the day. This was to maximize everyone’s chances of seeing these elusive mammals. It was a hard pace but one so important to give everyone the very best chance of seeing these shy animals.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Almost from the off there were images to be taken, my belief has always been there’s always an image to be taken no matter what and while we waited for the main actors (so to speak) to turn up the warm up acts were just as beautiful. We took turns on look out as the others slept in the hide and rotated ourselves throughout the night once again giving everyone the best chance to see what they had come to see, mainly the Wolves.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

The smell of the pine needles, the crisp air and pure silence was beautiful and something I can’t find the words to explain, I hope the following images go someway to showing you just how beautiful this place is. We saw Wolves most evenings and its hard to post all those images so I have chosen a few of my favourites.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Wolves are shy, yet so clever, seeing and witnessing their interactions with other animals and their own type taught me a lot. Incredible, beautiful, ong-legged, athletic body built for speed and movement over large areas and at the same time ruthless in their execution of prey. I witnessed caring and kindness too and a deep sense that they are “the boss” with a leave me alone attitude which I admired.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

While waiting for the Wolves we carried on having some amazing sightings of Brown Bears as they both share the same habitat and land with each other; often coming into contact with one another over food and key territories.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

The last but one night we all spilt up and I along with two of my clients headed to the Wolverine hide. This animal is very shy and there are only around 150 of them in the whole of Finland, five of which live in No Mans Land. The ones we saw hadn’t been seen for a while so it was on my mind as I got into place. Shortly at 10.30pm that night though that worry was crushed with the first of two Wolverines.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

A truly beautiful animal and one I was so keen to see for the first time; as there are only around one-hunderd and fifty of these animals in the whole of Finland and just five in this whole area we were very lucky to see two at all let alone on one night. Strong, powerful and so unusual, Wolverines are just so unique and the encounter will live long in the memory.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

In between going to the hides we rested as much as possible and then went back into the hides each evening at around 5.30pm. There was always lots of bear activity, the Wolves too and the whole place really delivered for all my clients in every aspect which was great for them and also for myself.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Lassi, our Finnish host has pioneered the putting out of food (bait) for Brown Bears, Wolves and Wolverines many years ago in order to photograph them, without bait it is impossible to observe these wild animals in Finland or in any other area where these animals are hunted and thus extremely shy.

His aim is to impart, through wildlife photography and observation, to get a general understanding of Finnish wildlife and of Wolves and Bears in particular. Moreover, it is a proven fact that the presence of wildlife tourism and wildlife photography in this area helps deter poachers from clandestine killing, while also bringing greater acceptance of wildlife among the local people.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

The Bears, Wolves and Wolverines spend most of their time in Russia. The majority of the photo hides were located only a few hundred meters away from the Russian border.  Decades of work has been put into this place by our Finnish host Lassi, and without this the images my clients and I got wouldn’t have been possible. Twinned with a bit of luck and long hours of waiting the balance of success is always unpredictable though because these are wild and truly shy animals.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

My last night was the best for me, as I sit here and type I still can’t believe how lucky I have been and also my clients.  Going last so to speak, I have all week had the hide left over because I give my clients first choice on where they want to go. This though has turned lucky for me because I have had some amazing sightings and moments. All my clients have had some great images and moments too.

The last night I witnessed two Alpha Wolves – the male and female working together against one bear in order to pinch the food. Working as a team works for the Wolves against these massive bears. Above you will see three wonderful bears we saw on the last night and also a sleeping Raven I really loved.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

The following images happened so fast I had little time to compose and I got what I was given, luckily enough they tell the story. In some beautiful light there was a lone Brown Bear feeding on a animal carcass when suddenly he was almost “rushed” by two Wolves. His response was to chase one, the female drew him away from the food, moving really slowly, the bear coming really close, risking her own life in order for the Alpha male to go to the food behind him.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Phohotgraphy

Once she was away she stood and watched as the bear returned and walked back to the food and there was a short stand off between bear and wolf. But to be fair to the Alpha male didn’t really back off and stood his ground showing his teeth. The bear returned to the food and the male wolf just watched, he then heard my camera and gave me a look to say ” did you catch all of that?”

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Watching them work together, letting one feed as the other played decoy was amazing to see and what Wolves do best. So clever, so intelligent and beautiful in the process. I have tired to capture and show the sequences the best I can.

All my clients have had a great time, thank you all for your company. I’d personally like to thank Lassi and his son Sami for all their help, guidance and running a wonderful place in the middle of nowhere. Thank you too for caring for these misunderstood animals and giving them some hope that we as humans can understand them more before just shooting them. Once these animals roamed free all over Europe and even the UK, to think they are hanging onto life in small pockets now scattered over a massive area is really sad and something thats given me lots to think about and how cruel and vile humans are.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

I hope you’ve enjoyed all the images, it’s been an amazing week and we have all been very lucky.  I will be back here in May 2015 (2nd-9th) running a new trip for Capercaillie & Black Grouse lekking, White-tailed Eagles,Wolves and Bears and then in July for my Wolves, Bears and Wolverines trip. Photo above is of my group and Im so tired Im a sleep already.

My July trip has only three spaces left so if you’d like to join me see the trip on my website. I hope my images have shown you what a wonderful place this is, how nature is hanging on, what some are doing about it. Thank you to all my clients for your time and hard work throughout the work as its been long days and night with little time for anything else, many thanks.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Tags: , ,

Leave a Comment

Stunning Shetland Trip 2014

After a week on my own on the Shetland Isles which can be seen on my blog post below called Solitude my photo tour kicked off with some amazing weather and sightings. After picking my clients up from the airport and ferry port of Lerwick we headed to Sumburgh Head, the most southernly tip of Shetland. We spent the day with the Puffins there and they are just stunning and so beautiful and comical to watch and spend time with.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

All my clients got some wonderful images of these stunning seabirds which are so funny to be around and spend time with. It was then back to our cottage and settle in for the week. Each night we have a home cooked three course meal cooked for us made from local ingredients made by my friend Anne, the wife of a good friend Iain who loves on Shetland.

The next day it was a return to one of my favourite places , Hermeness, the most northernly point of the UK and a remote and wild place. Its home to thousands of nesting Gannets and other seabirds, including one of my favourite the Puffin.  After the walk out there we spent most of the day there with stunning weather, then it was two ferries and home once again.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photgraphy

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Phoptography

We had an amazing day at Hermeness and all my clients got some great moments and loved the place. Our routine each night was the same so it was back for our home cooked meal after a full day out. The next day we had a trip to Noss again where I chartered a boat with my friend and D-day veteran Geordie.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

A year ago this month I met a wonderful man who touched me with his life greatly. Over the last 12 months his wife has become ill and is now house bound he told me on this day. He doesn’t run his boat trips much now because of his wife who he has been married too for over 60 years. It was a very touching moment to no he put his trip on for me once more and my clients, leaving his wife for the day to run this trip. I was moved very moved and couldn’t wait to see him and gave him a hug.

Twelve months ago he told me about his time in the second world war, he drove the gun boats onto the beaches at D-Day, leaving dying soldiers as he reversed off the beeches to pick more soldiers on as the push to calm the beeches had to go on. On the last day I presented him with some images of him, his craft and the seals he feeds and looks after. We had an amazing day and all my clients got some great images and were blown away with the trip and Geordie.

During the trip I got time to sit with him and we had a chat and he told me his framed image from last year of him at the helm of his boat is pride of place in his home and the others he has but his daughter had pinched one.He’s 90 on the 31 July and I couldn’t believe he still drives his boat. Very humbling, very emotional as this man for me stands for everything that is great in life and his wisdom and kindness is just beautiful. If I had a dad or grandfather he’d be the best I could have ever wished for.

He was too busy to go to the 70th Annervesary of D-Day because his wife is ill but he was interviewed for the papers giving his account of the war. he fought through all the war and survived. He sat down and told me more about that day, a day my mum was born so June the 6th for me is a special day already. Collecting floating bodies a week on after the landings and more really moved me, I never asked , he just trusted me enough to tell me and I was moved very moved.

We had a great chat and I was sorry to leave him I will be sending him a photo and card for his 90th birthday next month. What a man, what a person and a lesson to us all in humility, Humbleness, respect, kindness and much more. he’s touched me and I feel blessed to have met him.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

All my clients got some great images from this trip to the small island of Noss, below are a few of my own favourite from this amazing trip.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

The rest of the week we really concentrated on finding and seeing Otters as most clients had come to Shetland with a real wish to see this amazing mammal. I know of many places on Shetland for Otters but the tide times are key along with luck. We got some nice images, and had some amazing encounters. I show real fieldcraft and how to stalk, move and find Otters so all clients put these skills to use over their time with me.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

While we were going around the Shetland isles there is so much other wildlife and the following few images are some of those moments I captured alone with my clients too, Otters,Arctic Terns, Red-Throated Diver, Fulmars.

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

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Our last day on Shetland turned out to be the very best for my clients with a male Otter coming close and all clients finishing a wonderful week with the best moments. The following images are some of my favourites showing him coming ashore, eating his fish, then smelling his scat or poo and then remarking his territory before heading back out to sea.

Otters are one of the hardest mammals to get near, they mark their territory often and always at the highest point so the tides dont remove their scat or poo. Look for this, build a picture, learn, watch, look, smell, and sit and with a pinch of luck things will happen.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photogfraphy

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Its been an amazing two weeks for me on Shetland, my first week alone camping at various places and seeing some beautiful wildlife.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

The second week really followed the same path as I showed my clients the amazing wildlife these islands have to offer. I showed them all fieldcraft, photography and many other skills they will be able to take home with them and use within their own photography.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

I’d like to thank all my clients for their company over the last week and to my good friends Anne and Iain Sloane who have helped me with my trip also. The dates and information for my 2015 trip to Shetland are now up on my website. Click here to see all these details and to book, should you have any questions or queries don’t hesitate to contact me many thanks.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments (1)

Solitude

I write to you from the amazing islands that lay off the North Coast of Scotland, closer to the arctic circle than to mainland Britain- The Shetland Isles. A place during this time of year where the sun rarely sets and lights the whole day which can really throw your body clock out. I’m spending a week alone here before my clients on my Stunning Shetland photography photo-tour arrive to enjoy their week with me and this islands wildlife.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

There are few places left in the UK where you can be alone and find that solitude we are crave at times, Shetland though is one such place where you can be and see very few people. I’ve had a wonderful week, seeing some beautiful places and wildlife and I hope my clients see the same during their time with me over the next seven days.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

One of my favourite places is the most remote point of the UK- Hermness a wonderful and remote places and home to thousands of nesting seabirds. After two ferries I got there and spent two days there camping, photographing the Gannets, Puffins and other seabirds that live there. The cliffs are truly beautiful and they are a picture within themselves. I used them to frame some of my images along with the natural light to create some nice images from my time there.

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

After a great few days on Hermeness, I then headed to Noss an island that has some of the most spectacular colonies of breeding seabirds anywhere in the world. I took the boat trip from Lerwick and headed to this amazing little island.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Once there the skipper slowed down the boat and for the best part of an hour we slowly drifted around the cliffs there and its an amazing place, the smells, the noises and sites are truly stunning. The following images I hope convey what I saw and the sheer size of this place and the birds.

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

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Its an amazing place and I’m returning there next week with my clients.  I spent the next few days just sitting and watching for any wildlife and being at one with nature and the solitude is truly beautiful and something we all seek from time to time. I count myself very lucky to have the great outdoors as my garden as I call it.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Just a few of the wonderful moments I’ve had with nature over the last seven days. I’m hoping the weather holds and the wildlife sightings continue over the next seven days. My photo tour starts tomorrow, and we then head out to Hermness on Sunday, a boat trip with my friend and D-Day veteran Geordie on Tuesday to the island of Noss and in between we’ll visit many sites and places to see the amazing wildlife these islands have to offer.

So goodbye from Shetland and I will post a short blog covering our week. dates and all the information for my 2015 trip are now up on my website, click on my Stunning Shetland trip and its all there, many thanks.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Tags: , , ,

Comments (1)

Being At One With Nature

Images reflecting the true beauty of nature and those times I have captured being among it..

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Tags: , ,

Leave a Comment

Spotlight Sumatra Short Film

A short film about the Spotlight Sumatra exhibition in London which I’m part of can be seen below, covering the opening ceremony. Those involved talk about their own thoughts about this beautiful island and the plight of those crucially endangered specie of wildlife that live there.  It’s something that I’m very passionate about and have been to Sumatra twice in as many years on my self-funded trips to capture with my camera the beauty and the not so beautiful things that are happening there.

SOS have some of the fantastic Spotlight Sumatra panel photographs for sale once the exhibition is finished at the end of May 2014. If you’d like to buy a piece of history at the same time help the cause to save Sumatra and its wildlife then click here to see all the details.

http://wildplanetphotomagazine.com/2014/saving-sumatras-orangutans/

http://orangutans-sos.org/spotlightsumatra/art_sale

Craig Jones Wildlife Photographer- Spotlight Sumatra

I hope all those that have visited so far have really enjoyed the displays and to those visiting between now and the end you’re in for a visual treat, many thanks for all the support for SOS and those other people and Chartres involved.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Here is another slideshow I did once I came back from Sumatra. It shows me trekking through the jungles of Sumatra on the trail of the Sumatran orangutans, a magical time, tough but magical enjoy.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Spotlight Sumatra Exhibition

Sumatra comes to London with a month long exhibition showing the wonderful wildlife this island has and what is happening there. Many of my images from that trip are being used for this exhibition which I’m very proud of. It’s called Spotlight Sumatra a name derived from my first trip there.  The Spotlight Sumatra exhibition opened on May 1st and runs throughout the month of May 2014 at More London Riverside, SE1 2DB. The nearest station (tube and overground) is London Bridge. You can find out how to get there here.The exhibition site is next door to the Scoop on the map, which is right beside City Hall.

http://wildplanetphotomagazine.com/2014/saving-sumatras-orangutans/

http://wildplanetphotomagazine.com/2014/saving-sumatras-orangutans/

http://wildplanetphotomagazine.com/2014/saving-sumatras-orangutans/

The exhibition is outdoor and free and you can visit any time of day or in the evening, when it is lit up.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

To accompany this amazing exhibition the prestigious  Wild Planet Magazine are running an article I wrote covering one of my visits there and also I have the front cover with one of my images called “Hope”. Some of my images are available to buy here with all proceeds going to SOS. I write about my trip in this article and t took me weeks to write and to read this go online here and download.

http://wildplanetphotomagazine.com/2014/saving-sumatras-orangutans/

http://wildplanetphotomagazine.com/2014/saving-sumatras-orangutans/

My words, my images, my thoughts put together for an article for the latest edition of Wild Planet Magazine covering my self-funded trip to Sumatra for SOS/OIC.

Small steps lead to big things, small doors open into large rooms two saying I was taught by my late mum growing up. Things are changing, interest is growing, people want to no more, and the Tigers, Orangutans, Rhinos, Elephants through the hard work by amazing people here, around the world and on Sumatra are giving those animals a voice. I hope all those involved come together, work together to save these animals and this island because what the alternative is doesn’t bear thinking about. Thank you to the editor Keith Wilson for your help and publishing this article you don’t know how hard it was to write not having the best take on writing.

http://wildplanetphotomagazine.com/2014/saving-sumatras-orangutans/

http://wildplanetphotomagazine.com/2014/saving-sumatras-orangutans/

Thank to you Ian Singleton Panut Hadisiswoyo who over the last two years I have had the pleasure of working with your teams in Sumatra and to the many, many people on Sumatra who are standing up against those massive companies that are intent on flattering Sumatra before anyone knows of its plight, often at their own risk as the Indonesian government are all about saving face and these guys on the ground continue to rattle that face and expose the corruption there to help these animals.

One of the many slideshows I did when I came back from Sumatra this one conveys my thoughts and honors those Sumatran Orangutans I left behind.

When you’re stopping rich companies making money things get dangerous, when you expose whats happening behind closed doors those with the most to hide become a threat. Knowledge, photography, fund rasing, court cases, world-wide exposure is bringing those companies to book and in time..small steps, and small doors are and do work.

Just over four weeks ago I was in Sumatra and not a moment has passed since that I haven’t thought of those Orangutans. Watching and photographing the amazing Bengal Tiger recently in India, hanging onto dear life just unlines just how many animals are in danger and suffering at the hands of man and by doing little things the big things happen. Time Out review here

http://wildplanetphotomagazine.com/2014/saving-sumatras-orangutans/

I hope you take the time to read this article and enjoy it, and manage to visit this wonderful exhibition I’m proud to be part of and head up the lead image its great those Orangutans voices are being heard around the world and the fight goes on and will never stop until they are all safe, many thanks.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Ranthambhore Live-The Final Hour

Just typing those  words there at the end of my two week title brings a sad smile to my face, yes is home time nearly and 24 jeep safaris and countless Tigers and other wildlife sightings sadly have come to an end. In five years of running this trip it has been the best so far for overall Tiger sightings with both my jeeps and different sets of clients all seeing Tigers at least once a day and capturing some beautiful images of this beautiful cat.

_CMJ2157

Three days have passed since my last blog and it will be so hard for me to display all the amazing moments both of my jeeps have caught during that time. So the following images will appear in day order as our routine has always stayed the same so I don’t want to repeat this as I have in previous blogs. I will start with a wonderful Leopard sighitng my jeep had, the other jeep was in another area so we had a few moments with this amazing big cat.

They aren’t the dominate big cat in Ranthambhore , the Tiger is. So they are very jumpy as the Tiger will hunt them down and kill them if they get wind of them. This make the Leopard very nervous and the following image really does capture that. We were very lucky to even see him let alone get a few images of that chance meeting.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Soon after we carried on searching for the Tigers there but my jeep wasn’t lucky that day, but my other jeep with clients in came back that evening with more Tigers sightings. Not a single day in two weeks had yet passed where one or both of my jeeps didn’t see a Tiger which I was totally over the moon for all my clients on both weeks. The jeep I was in late that day had some wonderful moments with a Black-tailed Mongoose.

I love these animals, they take on anything and aren’t scared of nothing.Here seen relaxing and cooling off on the cool stone, his pose really was a picture with his legs, arms and paws flat out. He then moved on and went hunting where I was luckier enough to capture him almost catching a large fly in the late evening light.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

An incredibly time we had with this normally very shy animal, all the images where shot from my jeep with the engine turned off. We headed back that evening and once again all clients had seen some wonderful Tigers and other animals and birds that day.

The following day started as it always had, an early morning start, my morning exercises, shower and coffee then we all head to the Ranthambhore National park and both jeeps were in the same zone on this morning. We followed each other into the zone, and not long after we heard alarm calls from Samba Deer, a Tiger was around. As we turned a sharp bend there he was, the Sultan of Ranthambhore, a male Tiger named after a famous ruler in Ranthambhore.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Smelling the trees and the scent marks of other Tigers. We followed him on that small dirt track, keeping a safe distance from him. I could see his massive feet and pads under each paw and took the following image which I love. Capturing a bit of dirt being thrown u, adding movement, the most beautiful feet in the world.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

We then followed him over the next twenty minutes while he hunted and just smelt, listened and watched for anything. Both jeeps got some amazing images as he walked, hunted, watched and passed by our jeep. The following images capture that amazing encounter with this the future ruler of Ramthabhore.

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

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Another truly breathtaking encounter with a Tiger called Sultan, young male that will rule this place one day. Both of my jeeps couldn’t get their thoughts that morning at how close we’d all came and what we’d seen. The rest of the day yielded not much,one jeep seeing and the other not but our luck just carried on and on and it was like- ” is this really happening..?”

The following day was our last day in the national park, two weeks had passed, almost twenty-four, four hour duration safaris had come to an end. Same routine as it never changes and both of my jeeps headed to the national park as the sun was just starting to rise. The jeep I was in was given one zone and my other jeep had another. We got our permits and off we went. Once again we bumped into the Sultan that morning really early. The morning light just illuminating the rocks and his head as he sunned himself in that light.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Soon after he moved out of view and we couldn’t see him. We waited in hope that he would show but he wasn’t to be seen again that day. The time in between searching for the Tigers though is always put to good use photography wise as I always impress to clients there is always an image to be captured around you and the wildlife in Ranthambhore is far more than just the Tiger.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

The final hour on our final day blew me and my client away. I always change jeeps during each day, I go with one jeep in the morning and then the other in the afternoon. Im on hand to help and to get the angles alongside my guides. That last afternoon though I chose through luck the right jeep to be in as that final hour was the best I’ve ever known during my whole time in Raanthambhore.

The first hour is always tough the temperature was touching 42 degrees and its hot, dusty and very challenging with your heavy camera gear. We then headed to a nearby watering hole and heard a Samba Deer alarm, and from nowhere a female Tigress came from cover and headed to the watering hole. Right time, right place it really was.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

She sat there, bathing in the late evening light, it was amazing to see. You are only allowed a certain time limit during each visit to Ranthambhore Natianl park and that evening we were reaching our cut off time and we had to leave this beautiful Tigress where she was soaking. It was around a forty-five minute drive back to our check point driving fast on very tough and small dirt tracks. We set off, looking over my shoulder to say goodbye to my last Tiger for this year I thought.

Thirty minutes or so had passed as we were covered in dust as the temperature that last drive had dried every bit of moisture in the air and the dust was thrown up from the front wheels as we almost flew to our check point in time. As we turned a tight corner, a small pool of water was to our left..”Tiger” Salim my guide said. We looked over and there was Noor, a female Tigress just sitting in the water very calmly.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Salim my guide said we have to leave to make the time, otherwise you get into real trouble by the guards there. She got up and walked past us as we slowly drove of, another unbelievably moment. We held our heavy cameras tight and headed to the main gate, driving like a rally car would. Stones flying everywhere from the wheels, pinging noises rang out as I just dipped my head to avoid the dry dust kicked up.

We carried on along a small dirt track, “Tiger..Tiger” Salim said at first I thought it was a joke as we often joke around with each other, I slowly looked up and there was indeed another Tiger to our front walking quietly on a small, lonely dirt track. I could’nt believe it, in the space of less than an hour we had seen and photographed three adult Tigers out of Ranthambhore on our very last safari for 2014. The following images capture that amazing moment when we bumped into T28 a massive dominate male Tiger, we just managed to make it to the gate.

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

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

He vanished over the top of this small raised hill, we had no time to even think about what we had just witnessed as we heading home. Once back in my room, I finally let go of my heavy lens, as I looked at the palm of my hand, the lens handle embedded into my skin I just couldn’t believe what had just happened during that last hour. I collapsed into the chair, covered in dust with a big smile on my face.

I still, as I write truly haven’t had chance to put all that into context and digest it. We head home very soon and our adventure has come to an end for another year. Each year gets better and offers so much more and you just dont no what you will encounter. The place, the sights, the smells just never fail to knock you off your feet. I’d like to thank every client from the first and second week for your company, I hope you all enjoyed it and I no you all have some wonderful images to take home with you. Ranthambhore never fails to deliver, a truly wild place taken over by nature that offers the best place in India to see wild Royal Bengal Tigers.

I hope you have enjoyed my blog post,I have tired to take you here to this magical place with my words and images. Most days I have worked between eighteen and twenty hours and I’m completely exhausted, with editing images, writing my blogs and making sure my trip, jeeps and guides are all as good as they can be. My aim was too show everyone that reads my blog this place I love so dearly and those Tigers. I hope I have achieved this at the same time showing the true beauty of Ranthambhore, its Tigers and other wildlife that choose to live in this magical place.

My 2015 has a few places already sold, so if you’d like to join me on my trip there next year then please click here to be taken to the Tigers Of India photo tour 2015. Many thanks for reading my blogs and I wish you all the best from India.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments (1)