Firstly, a very Happy New Year to all my friends, clients and those that follow my blog, thank you for your continued support and friendship, I hope 2013 is a good year for you all. To kick off the new year it gives me great pleasure to share that one of my Sumatran Orangutan images graces January’s issue of the much respected BBC Wildlife Magazine. The image has such a special meaning to me and it’s very fitting that it’s published in the 50th Birthday special too. I have copies of this magazine dating back to the early eighties.
The image shows the vet and the rest of the team from the HOCRU- Human Orangutan Conflict Rescue Unit from OIC , SOS’s partner in Sumatra working on a female Sumatran orangutan while she is sedated. I spent a couple of days with this team, witnessing firsthand the amazing work they do in rescuing stranded Sumatran Orangutans that become trapped and encircled by the palm oil plantations that are killing the jungles of Sumatran. Mother and baby were later moved back into the jungle and the team named the baby Craig, after myself and I often wonder how he’s doing there now.
I will be heading back out to Sumatra this year, where hopefully I will be spending more time actually deep inside the jungles, following and photographing these amazing animals. Since my last visit it has felt as though I left a bit of myself back in those jungles and not a week goes by that an image, a moment or an encounter from my two week trip revisits my thoughts.
It’s hard to explain but when I was in Sumatra photographing these most beautiful of animals I promised them that I would try and give them a voice and to show what’s happening to them and their forests. And with every image shown I believe I am doing that in my own way.
Thank you to Sophie Stafford, the editor of BBC Wildlife Magazine, for publishing this image in your January issue, and also James Fair the Environment editor for your help. It’s amazing the coverage my images have had so far and I want to thank everyone involved. I’m just the guy with the camera, the experts have to fight to keep Sumatra and its wildlife alive. Powerful photographs can help and it’s my aim to carry on giving these animals a voice around the world in anyway I can.
In the same issue and for the fourth year running BBC Wildlife has published my workshops and trips that I offer along with one of my favorite images from 2012 a jumping Humpback Whale of the coast of Madagascar. In a time where photographic holidays and workshops seem as popular as ever it’s wonderful for me to have had the support of the magazine in promoting my trips, so again thank you to the team there.
Before I go a massive thank you to all those of you that have helped the Sumatran Orangutan Society this year in raising much needed funds and helping with their many projects. Click here and you will see the wonderful achievements, many thanks.