Entries in the ‘Charities’

Barn Owl Population 2014

Filed in Charities, In the Press on Feb.09, 2015

The Barn Owl trusts 2014 population report has just been published and it was a much better year for one of my favorite birds, the Barn Owl. After the disastrous previous year in 2013 one of the worst on record for Barn Owls 2014 was much better. In most county’s of the UK the breeding populations where up and all reported successfully rearing young which is wonderful news.

http://www.barnowltrust.org.uk/infopage.html?Id=346 - Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

I donate my images to this trust because simply I love Barn Owls and have done all of my life. Proud to say the trust has used my image on the front page of the report which is lovely to see. Making a difference and helping those subjects you love is something my photography enables me to do of which it gives me great satisfaction. We can all do something to help wildlife I feel and I have done since the moment I turned professional.

http://wildplanetphotomagazine.com/2015/the-silent-winged-hunter-of-winters-half-light/

To see the full report click on the following link. This month also see’s my article on these amazing birds in the wonderful Wild Planet photographic magazine. click here to see this. I hope the population carries on growing and good luck to everyone that helps these wonderful birds.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography


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Happy New Year 2015

Filed in Charities, Workshops on Jan.01, 2015

Happy New Year to all my followers and clients past and present, 2014 is now gone and we begin a new year. This year at Christmas I wanted to do something for my local community so with two good friends we managed to raised just over £1800 pounds to give local children something to open on the big day. I sold off 4 limited edition Tiger prints, someone donated a signed football shirt and locals donated what they could to our online donating page.

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

In the end we managed to buy lots of toys for this local charity that cares for women and children that purely replies on donations. The Arch charity have four refuges for women and children who have experienced, or are at risk of, domestic abuse. They offer accommodation and a place of safety where customers can rebuild their lives before moving on to independence.

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

Once we had brought everything the next day we dropped everything off and it was a humbling and moving day in many ways, tinted with sadness these places are full to the brim with children hurt and abused along with their mums. When you see people trying to help it restores your faith in mankind. A big thank you to everyone who donated and helped, the toys were divided up between the many safe places this charity runs and all the children had lots to open on Christmas day which was our aim.

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

After such a moving few days and eating lots over the Christmas period it was back to what I love, being among nature with my camera, working on forthcoming projects that I hope to really spend alot of time on this year. Here are a few of my favorites before the colder weather closed in and the snow came down

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

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

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

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

So with a weather warning in place, roads closed and quite alot of snow fall on the higher grounds I set off for the Peak District. Extreme weather tests you and your resolve, the wildlife still comes out to feed and carry on their daily life. With a blanket of fresh snow and no tracks walking up to 600m in the dark with a small head torch can be quite strange as everything is covered and you can get very disoriented.Using a compass bearing on your small map and stopping every 100m to get a new bearing you can’t really go wrong when everything around you looks the same and its pitch black.

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

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

Once up at the top, I sat down in a small ditch and listened and watched the best I could. You suddenly hear calls, rustling and so forth and in the absence of clear vision your other senses work overtime to compensate you can build up a picture of what’s happening around you and who is around you.

Soon the Red Grouse were calling, seeing each other off with calls all varying in their loudness and pitch. I often feel as though I’m intruding into their world as they wake around me, unaware I’m hiding in the snow. The key to wildlife photography for me is fieldcraft, something I have said, used and applied from the very first image I took years back.

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

Every living animal knows your there so no matter what you dress as or look like they will have seen you and heard you well before you ever see them. Its how you as the person deals with that level of distribution that’s key and the foundation to your own fieldcraft. Red Grouse are mainly low to the ground, often out of sight, they do two things when they first see you – Fly off, exploding out of the heather and making you jump as you never saw them, or second they see you, put their heads above the heather and call, the sound, pitch and notes they call will depict how concerned they are about your presence.

Go to ground, make yourself small, offer no threat and their calls will slowly start to slow down, fading into a small chuckle and their heads go back down level with the heather as they start feeding once more. The key then is how you get up, get your gear ready and transverse the landscape between you and them without impacting on them and that takes time and skills you can only really learn on the ground yourself.

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

Those of you that have been with me to the Peak District will know what I mean and I have shown you on the ground how to move and work with these Red grouse and often with a bit of luck you can get really lucky once you apply those fieldcraft skills.

Fieldcraft is a word rarely used today in wildlife photography, many wildlife photographers have never used it now embrace it and talk as though they know it well and it’s their skill. For me it’s the most important element to your wildlife photography and from day one it’s the word I have always used and gone on about. I have written many articles and run many workshops and one to ones covering this topic from the very first day of turning professional.

The following images are all as a result of fieldcraft, subject knowledge, luck and a few elements coming together from today. Many Red Grouse males were calling today and its wonderful to see them outstretched when they are calling, their red wattles above their eyes full with testosterone as they call for the females and mark out their patch. One image is of the female who is a brown colour as she sits on the eggs more than the male and she is captured looking at me head on with a surprised look. All the other images are of males and one is bathing in the fresh snow, cleaning his feathers which was funny to watch.

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

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

Craig Jones wildlife photography

Fieldcraft can be different from one animal to another. Real fieldcraft is where you arrive somewhere and through your own skills and ethics work out what’s around you, you find tracks, prints, poo and wait and watch and it’s something I have done most of my life. You cant buy this skill, you cant just turn up and the wildlife will be there you can learn it though in its simplest form and then apply it to your photography.

The rewards are massive in the end as you see the animal in its true form and see and witness things you never would see normally. Learning a great deal more about the subject which benefits you and the animal as you can see and watch you subject and learn from them. Fieldcraft and ethics go together for me and its good more and more people are becoming aware of this now and talking about it.

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

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

Workshop news and I have a few places for my Wolves trip in July, a few miles from the Russia border. The trip details are here if you’d like to join me. A real highlight for me in 2014 was seeing and spending time watching this family of Wolves, they are so beautiful and intelligent its beyond words. The following slideshow covers my 2014 trip there and a bit of what my clients and I saw.

To see all the other trips, One to Ones and photo tours I run then please click here.

A massive thanks once more to everyone that donated to our toys appeal, thank you to everyone I met in 2014 and for your business and I look forward to meeting new and old clients in 2015. The last twelve months have been really busy for me and this year will be the same, with lots of trips planned alongside my own projects closer to home that I look forward to posting here on my blog. All the very best to you all and thanks again.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography


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Sustainability, Lisbon 2014

Filed in Articles, Charities on Nov.21, 2014

I have just come back from two days in Lisbon, Portugal having attended a conference on sustainability presented by the Jeronimo Martins group.  I was invited along with many others to give their presentations and talk about their respected views on this. I was chosen because of  my work in Sumatra on my self-funded trips their showing through powerful imagery the effect palm oil and timber manufacturing- mostly all illegal is having on this beautiful island.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

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

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

Jeronimo Martin is a Portuguese corporate group that operates in food distribution and consumer products manufacturing. It operates around 2,800 stores in Portugal, Poland, and Colombia. The group is a world leader in food distribution operating throughout Europe from their main strong holds in Portugal and Poland. With operations in Colombia too. their influence on this sector is massive.

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

After a short flight from Manchester I was met at Lisbon airport and driven to my hotel, then later onto the venue where I went through some tests and set up my talk.  When I got into my room a birthday card and chocolates were waiting for me as a welcome gift which was lovely as it had been my birthday the days earlier.  Later I was taken to the venue where I went through some tests and set up my talk up for the following day.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

My plan was to show through images taken on my trips to Sumatra the beauty of this country, its wildlife more so those crucially endangered Sumatran Orangutans and the destruction of this country at the hands of palm oil plantations and timber manufactures.

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 was careful not to come over as an expert there as these guys knew their stuff, it was my aim through my photography to show what I know and have seen. I got to the venue early, got use to the layout and had a coffee and then the people started to arrive. I was introduced to many people including the CEO of the whole group. I had around 30 minutes in which to show the beauty, horror and suffering from what Id seen fro myself in Sumatra and get over my message to this distinguished audience.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

I was on in the afternoon which gave me time to settle in and watch the others.I never really plan a talk so much as in the images go together and speak for me at times. I just talk from my own passion, knowledge and understanding of that situation I’m showing at the time.  I have a basic framework I work too but on the whole I can remember every moment and every image once I look at an image and the story behind that.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

My talk went well, it was my aim to take them on a journey to Sumatra through powerful images and emotive music, you could hear a pin drop as they watched and saw those images of what is happening there and those beautiful Sumatran orangutans I spent time with and have left behind. My aim to show, shock and reveal the truth of the palm oil industry, and the illegal logging I think really hit home to everyone there. I dont think there was one person in that room that will never forget the words- Sumatran, Palm oil and Orangutans.

I was really impressed with everyone’s talks and the powerful message to this well established company’s mission statement where they are  substituting palm oil for vegetable oil.  The opening speech from the CEO was very powerful and set the tone for the whole day for me.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Since my first trip to Sumatra I made a promise to those Orangutans I spent time with in the jungles there that I would do my best in order that their voices would be heard and their plight. To this day I have kept to this promise and below are a few of the talks, articles and presentations I have done since that first visit to Sumatra.

I return to Sumatra next year also to carry on my work and passion for these beautiful apes I have been fascinated with since childhood and I hope my images will always remind people of just how beautiful they are and that we are them and they are us as I say. Click on each image below and it will take you to the place that image was taken or article/photo published.

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

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

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

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

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

Nikon-Owner-XLIII-Close-Encounters-2-blog

Nikon-Owner-XLIII-Close-Encounters-9-BLOG

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

I was invited to talk about the Orangutans as part of the Sebastiao Salgado “Genesis” exhibition NHM 2013.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

http://www.discoverwildlife.com/issue/january-2013

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gomobile.nikon&hl=en_GB

Spotlight Sumatra

Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo

I flew home full of pride and joy having seen and heard the amazing work being done by committed people there which is having  a massive effect on an industry that drives the need for such high demand for palm oil. I was there as a wildlife photographer and I have seen the end result to whats happening in Sumatra, to be around those powerful people that can possible change what I have seen on the frontline there was wonderful. I became a wildlife photographer to place a frame around something I had seen in the wild, to then show to people what beauty we have around us. In the case of Sumatra not only the beauty but also the devastation that is happening there.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

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To use my images for the good of a creature I have loved since a small child is a dream and as a wildlife photographer I have a duty of care not only to my peers who view my work and want to know how I took that image and the skills used but mostly importantly to those animals I see and spend time with in the wild. This for me is truly the greatest thing about being a wildlife photographer.

Being real to myself and more importantly my work is key and has been since I first picked up a DSLR. My love for wildlife stretches over three decades and it was an honor to attain this conference and talk about these great apes. Thank you to all the staff at Jeronimo Martins for looking after me and booking everything and taking care of my stay there in Lisbon. I met some wonderful people and contacts and I hope to be doing more of this to help those Sumatran Orangutans in the coming months.

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

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

Ask yourselves what you can do for wildlife, not what wildlife can do for you.  The three charities I have worked with in Sumatra that were mentioned in my powerful talk can be seen on the following links – Sumatran Orangutan Society- SOS , Orangutan Information Center – OIC  Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme –  SOCP  Please help and support their work its a massive battle out there in Sumatra and there aren’t many charities on the ground there, these guys are on the coalface, the cutting edge and in some parts hell on earth once you see what humans can do to their planet and the animals.

To see more of my talks or book one please see the following link, many thanks.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography


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SOCP Sumatra Visit -Part 1

Filed in Articles, Charities on Apr.04, 2014

I have just returned for a two week trip to the amazing island of Sumatra in Indonesia. Its my second trip there in as many years and I had the privilege of working alongside and shadowing the work of the Sumatran Orangutan Conversation Program – SOCP. This charity that helps Sumatran Orangutans  and their rainforest homes was set up by Dr Ian Singleton originally from the UK in 1999. Their vision is to prevent the extinction of the Sumatran Orangutan and safeguard their habitat.

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

http://www.sumatranorangutan.org/

After a journey of over 10,000 kilometers I landed in Medan and straight away that heat hit me, you never forget the heat and humility in Sumatra. After waiting for my bag I was picked up by SOCP‘s driver and driven to their office in downtown Medan.

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

A busy place far removed from the jungles there. I met all the team from Ian downwards and had my first Sumatran coffee. Its the best in the world I believe and I love coffee. After going through my timetable for the first time I headed to the mess building just around the corner and settled in to rest for a couple of days and in readiness for my trip which was to begin on the Monday with an internal flight to Banda Aceh, the  most northern tip of Sumatra.

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

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

After a pleasant flight we were picked up at the airport and we drove north stopping off for some lunch. We were heading to a place called Jantho, a beautiful wildness in Aceh saved from the palm oil and logging companies and now a heaven for a very successful reintroduction programme by SOCP. The place can only be reached by off road vehicles so the last bit of the trip was done on these massive wheel-based jeeps of testing terrain. Lucky for us Sumatra hadnt had much rain in the last 3 months, their driest on record another sign if it were needed to the continuing changing patterns to the weather and environment through globe warming.

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

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

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

The site is a protected area of exceptionally rich lowland forest, with an unusual high density of fig trees, one of the orangutan’s staple foods. There is also a river which is at the foot of the forest, which can be crossed by people, but cannot be crossed by orangutans making it an natural barrier. Its a reintroduction site for SOCP’s rescued Orangutans taken from their lives as pets or trophies by locals. Once in quarantine they are given a full health check and looked after and monitored before they come to Jantho. There they are given further monitoring before that gate opens and they taste freedom for the very first time in the forests there.

Once we arrived there we settled in and unpacked and met the dedicated team that all work to help those critically endangered Sumatran Orangutans live out the rest of their lives in a safe environment.  Jantho was to be my home for the next three days, I wanted to find and photograph the wild Sumatran Orangutans that live there too along with those released from their torment for the very first time. I quickly unpacked and chose to sleep outside, the river in the background and the noise of the forest all around me.

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

There are a series of small huts there, with a generator that comes on for a few hours in the evening, The place is right in the middle of one of the most beautiful places I have ever been in. It truly blew my away with its beauty. We had two nice ladies that did the cooking, they must have thought I’m mad not liking chill as Indonesian people have chill with everything. So I just asked for simpleness please, eggs, rice, fish all plain and they looked after my food needs very well.

Craig Jones Wildlife photography

That first night I didn’t really sleep, new noises, new smells, new places, new stuff always keep me awake. I could wait to get amongst it as I say. I found out what time sunrise was and I was detailed who I would be going out with. The researchers, trackers go out everyday to find, watch and monitor the orangutans there. I met my guides and got my gear ready before the generator turned off at 10pm sharp. I was laying in my make shift bed listening to the river in the background and hearing every noise it was amazing, I couldn’t sleep a mixture of emotions, what was ahead and so on. I got up way before my 5 am alarm, I think it was 4am, the ladies get up early too to prepare your breakfasts and packed lunches to take out for the day.

I couldn’t speak a word of Indonesian but the word. ” Coffee” is universally spoke and understood I feel.  Aceh coffee is the best in the world trust me, its from the province of Aceh in Northern Sumatra. I had a few cups that first morning, grabbed some eggs and rice and I was packed ready, bursting with energy in readiness for what awaited me. Even though I was there to capture photographs that will help SOCP in many ways I never have any per-conserved images in my head. I take what I see and work with what I have this approach never puts pressure on myself and more often or not works for me.

craig jones wildlife photography

With a thumbs up to my guides, we were off to the tiny boat to firstly cross the river the moon lighting our way. I had trackers and researchers with me. As I got into the boat, heavy mist covered the river and I had to go alone due to the size and weight of myself and camera gear on my back. In total darkness the boat slowly crossed the river its was amazing as I hung onto the sides of the boat for dear life. Once we got to the other end anything could turn up so I was ready.

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

I went last in the line of trackers as I always like to be the guy at the end of the line. I had around an hour or so before first light and in darkness I cannot explain unless you have been in a dense rainforest we climbed up, vertically for an hour. Head torches lighting our way, the noises and sounds of the jungle all around me. The going was tough, grabbing tree roots to pull myself up as we tired to reach the top of this ridge in time for the dawn.

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

Once we reached the top, my legs returned back to their normal state and weren’t burning intensely as they were with a one hour climb. The path ahead was flat and I soon noticed we were almost level with the tops of the massive trees there. Soon the trackers had found a nest and there was a female sleeping inside. I slowly took my camera bag off and got my kit ready working with two camera systems with two different focal lengths.

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

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

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

Craig Jones Wildlife photography

I sat down and the sun lit the place up as the female climbed out of her nest, the morning mist hanging heavy in the air it was a wonderful and very moving experience to watch and see her. The rays of light penetrating the dense jungle canopy where I under-exposed a lot to give me this amazing effect of light and her shape.

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

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

To watch a wild Sumatran Orangutan wake up, come from her nest and have the sun shining on her through the dense jungle canopy has to be the most special moment I have ever had the privilege of seeing while among nature, it truly does. For the next 20 minutes or so I watched her feed, drink the water from the leaves before disappearing into the dense jungle. These images capture that moment that I was so lucky to see on that first morning in Jantho.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Once she had gone, I sat down and reviewed some of the images on the back of the camera and I had manged to capture some wonderful moment showing how the light fell.  Once the guys were ready we headed off deeper into the jungle in search of further Sumatran Orangutans. Sadly apart from a few Orangutans around the release cages my luck on that first day didn’t continue and we didn’t get close to another wild Sumatran Orangutan that day but I was so happy what I had witnessed in the morning I think I was still high on the moment if I’m honest.

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

When headed back to camp in the last rays of light, crossing the river once more to reach our camp and our evening meal made for us by the two ladies that live there and do all the cooking in very limited conditions.

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

That first day was amazing and just as the day was coming to an end and I was off for a shower then bed I saw one of the staff bring in a young female Sumatran Orangutan that had come from the forest and just collapsed. The vets and dedicated staff there worked hard to help her. At first I watched them from a safe distance without my camera, letting them do their magic with drips, blood and other checks they were doing. I went and got my camera and just sat outside this room and watched, routing for the orangutan to pull through.

All the time in the background I could here the steady bleep of the heart rate monitor indicating life and a pulse. It was a truly haunting sound, breaking the still of the night. My heart almost kept up with it as I desperately willed her to fight, fight I was saying inside and live as I watched taking photos of a very private and moving moment. I feel these images though need to be shown to show the passion, love and sheer dedication to keep every single Sumatran Orangutan alive there. I had a massive amount of respect for the vet and the staff, respect is earned, not something you give or buy, having never met these fine people before they had my respect straight away as they fought so tirelessly to save this young female.

craig jones wildlife photography

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

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

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

On a day that had given me a rare moment in wonderful light it now offered me a sight I wished Id never seen as it was harrowing to watch this young Orangutan hang on and fight for life. Its hard not to be angry to, witnessing such things as humans, their vile role in the destruction of Sumatra are to blame for this apes suffering and the countless others that have gone before her and after. The constant bleep of her heart ringing out in the silence of the night, troubled me, haunting as if you looked away the noise could still be heard, I couldn’t escape it the more I tired the louder it got. The vet, a wonderful lady soon had things under control and they closed the door of this makeshift theater and turned out the light so the little one could sleep.

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

I took those images to bed with my that night, they canceled out those in the morning I was so excited to see. Welcome to Sumatra Craig I said to myself as this is the front line in helping these critically endangered great apes.  I didn’t sleep well that first night as the mosquito’s rained down on me I just didn’t sleep thinking of that harrowing scene and for a few moments I hated mankind and wanted to do something but I couldn’t. I found out in the morning she had made it through and had been transferred to SOCP’s quarantine in Medan. I was to visit there the following week so I was keen to see her fingers crossed.

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

The following morning we were up early and I was going to explore  Jantho so more and see some of the work they do there reintroducing those orangutans that have had a shocking life so far back into the wild.   Once the Sumatran Orangutans have spent time in quarantine they are moved to one of SOCP’s release sites.

Here they are put into cages for a number of weeks where they are watched and monitored. contact is minimal so the Orangutans never come into contact again once released into the wild.  Many have stories so bad you couldn’t even imagine in your worst nightmares, the following images are of those almost ready for release and testament to the love, care and handwork of the SOCP staff at Jantho. All the Orangutans there have had shocking starts in life, a world you couldn’t even imagine, the remains of that start still bare fruit in their eyes I felt as I sat and watched and photographed them all.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Its a long long road back to the wild for the Sumatran Orangutans without their mums but from what I saw every single person involved from the top to the bottom has a passion to return these great apes to their natural homes and this is very enduring to witness. Once released the trackers and researchers monitor them for as long as they can to just make sure they are doing ok. No contact nothing like that and in time they go off and find their own place within the magical place that is Jantho.

craig jones wildlife photography

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

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

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

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

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

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

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

On my last day in the amazing Jantho I went for a walk with one of the forest rangers that accompany you here. We walked through rivers, through the rainforest and it was amazing to see the different species that live here just a spectacular place.

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

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

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

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

craig jones wildlife photography

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

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

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

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

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

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

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

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

I was truly sad to leave Jantho, in three days I feel I’d only just scratched the surface of the place and its wildlife, my guides tell me there are Sumatran Tigers there two. I have to go back, I just have too for weeks perhaps next time.

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

As we left Jantho the sun started to set. A head of us was around an 8 hour maybe more drive to Tripa to try and photograph the burning of the forests there but it was going to be hard to get into through security etc. But we all got our heads down in the car as we drove south.

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

As the night passed and we where in sight of Trip and the amazing Leuser Ecosystem the sun was just started to rise, filling the air with the most wonderful colours that I have ever witnessed . This place is one of the few remaining in Sumatra and is under grave danger of being flattered and there are many campaigns to save it.

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

As we approached nearer the sun was coming up and I could see so many images in my head. we stopped the car many times but the area is very sensitive and a tall, westerner with a camera is not welcome in these parts so I took a few images and then the blacked out windows had to stay up as we entered the blacked-mailed area in which Tripa is. Most of the population there have been brought off and are involved in someway with the palm oil industry. There are many spies and people that will inform the companies of your presence so it was like working behind enemy lines it wasn’t nice to see the hold these massive companies has on this area in order to control it and its forest for their own gain.

The beauty of Jantho was soon replaced by an aggressive feel in the air, I could feel my own anger already building as I sat in the car and drove to meet our contacts there. I was told it wasn’t certain if we could even get into Tripa such was the tight security after the worlds press and many campaigns had highlighted the vileness that’s happening there.  The news came back to us that three days of rain had put out most of the new fires so any images of burning wouldn’t be possible.

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

Once we met our contacts on bikes they drove us past lots of checks and onto a part of the Tripa swamp forest that had been set alight three days earlier but the rain had given the area a small reprieve. I have had experience in the past in Sumatra of visiting the wastelands killed by the mindless greed, local people doing the large companies dirty work for a few dollars. Once we arrived and got out the vast waste land of Tripa greeted me. Its hard to put into words as I walked among the burned remains of a once proud and beautiful rainforest. The following images I hope convey my thoughts at the time of seeing this shocking, truly shocking site.

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After the beauty of Jantho it was really upsetting and greatly moving to be walking among where once stood some of the worlds finest rainforest. The earth still warm beneath my feet as though I had gatecrashed at illegal party I had no invite too. While the world debates whats happening here I was standing on land that 3 days ago was burning the only saving grace was the rains. Three days of rain had put out all the fires almost a last shout for help to the world before the whole area was to be burnt. As we were there a guy drove up on a motorbike and through our translator he’d said to move as the whole area was to be fired later.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

A few pockets of green life had hung on, escaping the first wave of fire. As I knelt down I saw a splash of red..” no way it cant be..?” I said, it was, a lone Ladybird among the burnt reminds of its home. I love Ladybirds, their colours and markings are just beautiful and here among this tattered wasteland one had hung onto life. A last stance against those destroying this place, as I took this image I should have put in in my pocket and took him with me to release into a better environment but I didn’t. I hope he used his wings to escape the coming fires I thought and walked away.

Words, memories and my photographs are all I can use to describe this scene from hell, this is happening at such an alarming rate there will be nothing left soon. When its too late for those in power to be stopped. Without the handful and I mean handful of dedicated charities on the ground fighting a massive war, often at times putting themselves at risk if they don’t play ball with the government. two steps forward four back. The last remaining pockets of rainforest are in the hands of people being pulled in all directions with the common aim to bleed the riches of the land, make their money then retire leaving Sumatra. The whole are is releasing so much greenhouse gases, heat and population into the air at such an alarming rate that now we have so called experts telling us what we all knew all along. That the earth is warming, the seas are getting warmer and the world is under attack from what we are doing in a nutshell.

As I stood on the fresh burnt land, birds sung in a last act of defiance, with nowhere to go, nowhere to nest it was greatly upsetting to here their song at what should be a beautiful moment when you hear birdsong. There was nothing for those birds, their calls weren’t returned by their would be mates, they’d moved on to a better place leaving those males stuck there singing for a mate in a soleless territory. heartbreaking. This was a crime scene I stood among, soleless, completely soleless and to here a local say you better move I wanted to stay and say move me, I wanted to protect what still stood but silly I no. All sorts of emotions go through your mind those working in this hell must get use to it a little. Those that visit like me are moved behold words. I wanted somewhere to sit and take it all in but we had to move on. We were lucky not to have been moved on already such is the paranoia of the firms and locals that work for them.

We left Tripa, and I sat in the car, undid my window and took a last look back at what would be gone in 24 hours, that feeling of helplessness stayed with me throughout the trip as the person I am I try to do all I can. To have no choice, to be able to nothing is a feeling I dislike. Sumatra is a place full of beauty and the local people are very kind but it has a side that grinds you down once you see the total destruction of the place around you.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

I cannot cover my whole trip in one blog , so there will be two more where I will cover my second week in Suaq Balimbing, a peat swamp area and then my time in quarantine. A place where the Orangutans learn to heel their hurt with love, care and dedication from the staff there. It was a very moving place for me, full of stories of abuse and hurt you couldn’t even make up, but those Orangutans are the lucky one. 50 babies are there, meaning 50 mothers were killed by those that took their babies. A sentence I have trouble getting out let alone understanding. I will pay my own respects to those mothers and babies in my future blog posts and slideshows that I have planned.

I would like to thank Dr Ian Singleton, the head of SOCP for inviting me over, thank you to all his staff for looking after me during my time there and on a personal note I was very proud to be alongside you all, seeing the incredible work they do to save this critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan and their forest home which is also home to Tigers, Elephants, Rhinos all hanging onto dear life. They are fighting at this very moment to save large areas of the Tripa swamp lands that form part of the Leuser Ecosystem. To help the ongoing fight then click here to sign their petition.

I hope my images, my work and what I will show will help you guys in turn the Sumatran Orangutans many thanks.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography


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Sumatran Orangutans Last Call

Filed in Charities on Jun.02, 2011

Last chance to sign up for a place on our Sumatran photography and conservation adventure please view the trip here. This itinerary is in association with the Sumatran Orangutan Society (SOS) and a proportion of the cost will be donated to the charity to allow it to continue its vital conservation work with the Orangutans and their habitat in Sumatra. This trip is designed to give you a taste of life in the jungle: trekking and camping in the forest, taking part in an elephant trek, and with the highlight being the chance to see the beautiful Orangutans in their forest home.

This charity is dedicated to the conservation of Sumatran Orangutans and their forest home, where each person on this photo-tour will directly be helping the Orangutan and their habitat, with money from each person booked onto this trip going to the Sumatran Orangutan Society, whose work is to help protect and conserve this area for the future of our closest relative. The principal focus of this photo tour will be the Orangutan, capturing them within their natural habitat, looking for behaviours to capture and so on, as we visit some of the most magnificent forests on Earth, which are also the domain of many other beautiful and stunning animals and birds, where some only live in this part of the world and nowhere else on the planet.

Across the Orangutans entire range, conversion of forests to oil palm plantations is occurring on a massive scale, logging continues even within protected areas, and planned road networks threaten to fragment the habitat of the last viable populations. These factors are responsible for the loss of over 80% of Orangutan habitat over the last 20 years. We have to save this amazing animal and during this tour I will also be photographing the story of the local people, the palm plants and conveying with moving and powerful photography what is happening to these amazing forests where I will be reporting back for SOS.For any further information in the trip then please email me here, for the detailed itinerary then click here or visit Different Travels website many thanks.


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Sumatran Orangutan Expedition

Filed in Charities, In the Press, Wildlife on Apr.27, 2011

In the May issue of the Outdoor Photography magazine there is a full page advert for a wonderful trip I am leading to the amazing jungles of Sumatra. The aim of this trip is to highlight the cause of maybe the first great ape to become extinct should current trends continue. At the same time raise money for the charity SOS- Sumatran Orangutan Society.

This charity is dedicated to the conservation of Sumatran Orangutans and their forest home, where each person on this photo-tour will directly be helping the Orangutan and their habitat, with money from each person booked onto this trip going to the Sumatran Orangutan Society, whose work is to help protect and conserve this area for the future of our closest relative. The principal focus of this photo tour will be the Orangutan, capturing them within their natural habitat, looking for behaviours to capture and so on, as we visit some of the most magnificent forests on Earth, which are also the domain of many other beautiful and stunning animals and birds, where some only live in this part of the world and nowhere else on the planet.

Sadly the ‘Old Man of the forest’ has been subjected to relentless pressures which has reduced the world’s population by as much as 50% during the last 10 years. Hunting for meat and the demands of the pet trade have been contributory factors but the more significant issue has been the large-scale clearance of rain forest throughout this region leaving very few habitats left for these apes.

There are surely few more enduring creatures in the world than the gentle giant of the rainforests, the Orangutan. With around 97% of an Orangutans genetic makeup being the same as a human and where such a close affinity to Homo sapiens is obvious upon gazing into their beautiful faces and watching their behaviour and how they conduct their lives. The evolutionary links with mankind are plain to see after such encounters with this amazing ape that now only live wild in two places in the world, Borneo and Northern Sumatra.

The charity also works in restoring degraded areas inside the border of the Gunung Leuser National Park, working with local government and local communities to restore vital Orangutan habitat that has been damaged by illegal oil palm plantations established within the protected area. So much brilliant work is going on out there to save these animals.  This trip as you can see by the Itinerary will be truly amazing, covering different areas, sleeping in the jungle with its amazing noises and uniqueness all of its own.

There is an amazing film called “Green” the film is an emotional journey following Greens’ final days, a powerful film that has won many awards. The sounds of the jungle are amazing, this trailer transports you there with those amazing jungle noises you will here every morning on this trip.  There are thousands of Orangutans in need of real help in this part of the world, another animal on the very brink of disappearing from our plant.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQn9-GPHZIY

Helen the UK Director of SOS has done an amazing job and she has had amazing support for this trip from many people, Paramo, the clothing company are offering 10% discount on their range for people going onto this trip. Greys Of Westminster, Practical Photography/Photo Answers, Outdoor photographyAction for Apes and many more have got behind SOS in turn helping this great ape.

So on behalf of the Sumatran Orangutan I’d like to thank all those involved and who have helped.  There are places still available on this trip, so for more details please contact Helen at SOS, or contact Different Travel directly. I look forward to meeting you all in September, many thanks.


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Sumatran Orangutan Expedition

Filed in Charities, Places Of Interest, Workshops on Dec.22, 2010

Months of planning have finally all come together now in the form of this unique and bespoke photo tour to the amazing wilderness that is Sumatra. I will be leading this amazing Photo-Tour alongside expert trackers on the ground in Sumatra, working with the brilliant Charity- Sumatran Orangutan Society.

This charity is dedicated to the conservation of Sumatran Orangutans and their forest home, where each person on this photo-tour will directly be helping the Orangutan and their habitat, with money from each person booked onto this trip going to the Sumatran Orangutan Society, whose work is to help protect and conserve this area for the future of our closest relative.

I have always been fascinated with these Great Apes for as long as I can remember and upon first seeing one of these amazing animals back in 2000 in a rehabilitation centre in Thailand I have always wanted to help them when and where I could.  I had a close encounter with a male Orangutan, an experience that touched deep into my sole, as I watched and looked into the eyes of these beautiful animals, it was something I have never forgot as I sat on the ground, mimicking their behaviour of picking up ants with a small stem.  A powerful male with pronounced cheeks denoting his age, was slowly moving towards me, closer and closer until I could hear him breathing.  He slowly and gently took the stem off me, his hand almost perfectly formed the same as a human, with dark nails, he then just slowly moved away and out of site, a moment I can see as I type these words.  

I was lost for words, an amazing moment that I can still see as if it was yesterday, such is the beauty, grace of this animal.  The principal focus of this photo tour will be the Orangutan, capturing them within their natural habitat, looking for behaviours to capture and so on, as we visit some of the most magnificent forests on Earth, which are also the domain of many other beautiful and stunning animals and birds, where some only live in this part of the world and nowhere else on the planet. Sadly the ‘Old Man of the forest’ has been subjected to relentless pressures which has reduced the world’s population by as much as 50% during the last 10 years. Hunting for meat and the demands of the pet trade have been contributory factors but the more significant issue has been the large-scale clearance of rain forest throughout this region leaving very few habitats left for these apes

There are surely few more enduring creatures in the world than the gentle giant of the rainforest’s, the Orangutan. With around 97% of an Orangutans genetic makeup being the same as a human and where such a close affinity to Homo sapiens is obvious upon gazing into their beautiful faces and watching their behaviour and how they conduct their lives. The evolutionary links with mankind are plain to see after such encounters with this amazing ape that now only live wild in two places in the world, Borneo and Northern Sumatra.

Across the Orangutans entire range, conversion of forests to oil palm plantations is occurring on a massive scale, logging continues even within protected areas, and planned road networks threaten to fragment the habitat of the last viable populations. These factors are responsible for the loss of over 80% of Orangutan habitat over the last 20 years. We have to save this amazing animal and during this tour I will also be photographing the story of the local people, the palm plants and conveying with moving and powerful photography what is happening to these amazing forests where I will be reporting back for SOS and updating their Blog alongside my own as and when I have wifi access out there.

We will also be planting new trees in areas that have been safeguarded and protected for the Orangutans and all the other wildlife that live here. With projects concentrating on teaching local communities about the benefits of reforestation and developing alternative livelihoods. SOS  distribute seedlings and have established organic forestry centres near degraded forest areas, providing training so that communities can produce their own seedlings for future replanting.

They have established a number of nursery and replanting sites in Aceh and North Sumatra, and have now planted over 570,000 seedlings an area we will visit so guests can have the chance to plant their own trees here, we will also work in the deforested regions around and within the Leuser Ecosystem, which is the most important remaining habitat for the Sumatran Orangutan.

The charity also works in restoring degraded areas inside the border of the Gunung Leuser National Park, working with local government and local communities to restore vital Orangutan habitat that has been damaged by illegal oil palm plantations established within the protected area. So much brilliant work is going on out there to save these animals.  This trip as you can see by the Itinerary will be truly amazing, covering different areas, sleeping in the jungle with its amazing noises and uniqueness all of its own. 

Along with the guides I will also be showing some interesting and key skills and survival techniques derived from my own experiences of working in these jungle habitats on different continents over the years while serving in HM armed forces.  The trip has it all and I am so passionate about helping these animals so if you would like to book or want more information then email me or contact SOS. And you can view the trip on the BBC Wildlife Magazine Website here

A big thank you to Helen- the  UK Director of the Sumatran Orangutan Society for all your help in making this trip happen, thank you to Different Travel for their help also, and lastly thank you to those who book on behalf of the Sumatran Orangutan, I look forward to seeing you all in Sumatra next September.


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Year Of The Tiger 2010

Filed in Charities, Exhibitions on Jul.30, 2010

Giving something back to nature is something that is very high on my agenda.Being a Wildlife Photographer,with a great passion for wildlife you have a duty to capture the beauty of the animal I feel to show others and this is the foundation to my work. I am pleased to say I am working with dakini Year Of The Tiger 2010 campaign.

dakini Books is an innovative London-based media company with a reputation based on creativity, originality and excellence. dakini’s not-for-profit company is now launching a major international campaign to help save the tiger from extinction. You can donate now to support the campaign here or join the campaign’s facebook group; Tigers

There will be two images from my Year Of The Tiger 2010 collection that will be exclusively sold by dakini- Year Of The Tiger 2010 campaign here is dakini .More details soon as their website is almost ready and their launch in London is soon where I will be attending with the two images I have donated to this project where 50% the profit from each sale goes to helping Tigers. I will keep you updated on their website,the launch and timing.I have been in talks with Lindsey for the last 8 days and things are almost ready fingers crossed.

The two images are Lady Of The Lake-A female Tigress that wonders around the different zones in Ranthambore,with no clear territory of her own as of yet,so is mostly seen around one of the beautiful lakes in Ranthambore hence her name.

The second image is called Machali Standing Proud- Its a photo of the Queen of Ranthambore,she is now 13 and mother to many of the cubs born there over the years.I spent 4 days looking for her with my guide Salim,hoping to see this famous Tigress and on the last day I spent nearly 30 minutes with her as she drink,washed and relaxed in an almost dry waterhole.This image is of her standing up from this riverbed.So there are the two images with only 100 copies.

dakini are bringing out an amazing book called Tigers,where you can pre-order at copy on the site where the money raised from this book and other projects,images etc will go towards helping the Tigers –Blog .So I’ll keep you posted on the details in the mean time visit their different sites on Twitter, Facebook  And see if you can donate or help in anyway th helping this campaign then that would be great.I will update my blog letting you know when the launch in central London of the book,images etc is.I was asked to give a few words on what wildlife photography meant to me,the Tigers etc and below is hopefully a good account of how,where my amazing passion for wildlife started and the Tigers showing where my strong foundation and geniue love for nature and photography began.

My journey to become a wildlife photographer was born out of a love and fascination of the natural world from a young age upon receiving my first Wildlife book called Animal World. This was an 8th birthday present from my Mum and started my love and fascination for the natural world. The front cover had a roaring Tiger picture which had such a powerful effect on me as a youngster, where I made this my personal dream to see this amazingly beautiful animal one day.

From those early days I spent so much time being at one with nature, close to and watching, hidden from view on the off chance I would see a certain animal. I distanced myself from children’s games and activities instead heading to a nearby stretch of wilderness within the mass housing estate I grew up in. Learning to get close without disturbing the animal almost forgetting the outside world and becoming part of the animal I was getting close to or watching. By doing this I could understand the animal better and this is still one of the main skills I use within wildlife photography today, one which in the absence of any real training in photography has enabled me to get close enough to capture the animals beauty with the images I frame through my view finder, where my creative and emotional attachment to nature is at the very heart of each photo, creating a unique and artistic refection of my time in the field. It is my intention to use these reflections of the natural world to bring people’s awareness of what beautiful wildlife we have on our doorstep and all around us and the importance of conservation and the need to preserve our national heritage.

This year my dream of seeing a wild Tiger was realised and the whole experience was one of the most beautiful times I have had in my 30 years of being at one with nature.

 In the famous ‘Jungle Book’ Rudyard Kipling acknowledged the undisputed status of the mighty Bengal Tiger by introducing Shere Khan as the King of the Beasts. Although the cat family includes many impressive and attractive animals, there is an aura of power and majesty about the Tiger, where observing a male Tiger patrolling his territory in an Indian Reserve is to watch an unchallenged ruler strolling through his domain. Unfortunately for the Tiger, being the top predator has no protection against the activities of man, and a combination of habitat destruction and hunting pressures have reduced the Indian population from an estimated 40,000 to less than 1500.

Just setting off in search of a Tiger during my recent trip sent adrenalin coursing through my veins, whilst every movement in the undergrowth raises the expectation of a sudden appearance of this animal, striped body, footprints in the dust or the warning cries of deer all serving only to heighten the almost unbearable sense of excitement as you watch and listen for the first clue that a Tiger is around you. Upon seeing this animal for the first time Mother Nature made so beautiful, it renders you speechless.

After seeing these creatures in the wild for the first time in 2010, ‘The Year of the Tiger’ at Ranthambore, India, I wanted to do something to help these amazing animals.  I was greatly moved by their beauty and character, with an aura of power and majesty when you see them patrolling their territory. The tigers whole existence in our world today is down to humans, with the real threat of Wild Tigers being extinct ever present, so after seeing these animals in the wild, doing nothing is just not an option for me.

I was empowered and moved by my visit to Ranthambore to do something to help, so by offering these Limited Editions prints where 50% of the profits from each image sold will go direct to helping these beautiful creatures survive in the wild.  In turn I am hopefully helping to preserve them for future generations.

I am going back very soon and then next May 2011 I will be running my own Photo-Tour where I have an acute interest in conservation and the need to ensure the long-term protection of species and habitats being such an important part of my life. By staying and visiting the national park and wildlife regions on my Photo-Tour, we will be actively contributing and supporting a beautiful and locally-owned lodge/hotel, employing local people, local guides and other staff who have grown up in this region. With our preference for local naturalists rather than imported guides, being the key to a successful trip. Also ensuring employment opportunities to local communities, so important in developing the local areas, the perfect recipe for the survival of the Bengal Tiger! This kind of wildlife tourism supports rural communities in impoverished areas and supports them and their ability to preserve their natural and wildlife heritage for their future generations.

Being a Wildlife photographer I can now help to show others the beauty of these animals and hopefully raise awareness through my images and work that hopefully will help to keep these animals alive”.

The story continues…..

Many Thanks


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