Entries in the ‘In the Press’

Puffin Behaviour

Filed in In the Press, Workshops on May.09, 2011

Puffins have to be one of those birds you never tier of seeing, their enduring faces made up like a clown have a place in everyone’s hearts.  They have been a firm favourite of mine from childhood where I’d go on organised field trips from school and the YOC –  Young Ornithologists Club, setting off on what seemed a real adventure at the time, to places were they live and nest during those few short months that they are a shore.

Animal behaviour has always fascinated me, I still have my first book covering the subject which I was brought as a Christmas present, such was my interest- The Animal World by Maurice & Robert Burton.  I was not the greatest reader at that age but I was glued to this book, as getting close to nature and watching it was a major thing I did when growing up. I can remember those first encounters with the Puffins I had, armed with a massive pair of binoculars and my faithful bird guide called “Birds” – by John Andrews, a book that forms part of my profile images, matching the birds to the photographs was something I found great pleasure in.

By learning to get close to wildlife without disturbing the life of the animal, almost forgetting the outside world, and becoming part of the animal I was getting close to or watching, I could understand the animal better, gaining many skills by observing their behaviours at the same time giving the subject complete respect which allowed me a private window into their personal and private lives.

Skomer is a firm favourite of mine and having already spent several days there this year, the clowns of the sea are back in great numbers once more returning back to their old burrows.  Their colourful beak and orange legs catch your eye upon first seeing these comical birds that seem very clumsy on land.  The island is riddled with holes that are home to tens of thousands of Rabbits, Manx shearwaters and Puffins.  What is truly amazing about this beautiful bird is that the birds live all winter out in the Atlantic ocean, out of sight of land, but every spring they return ashore to breed and raise their young before heading back out to sea in late July, August, so behind the gentle looking faces hides a tough and hardy bird that has to be respected for the way it lives its unique life.

Their affection towards each other is beautiful to witness, bonding, kissing bills all affirming their bond with each other. I watched as several males would gather,calling and stretching their necks in an display towards the female also warning other males. Parading around,showing off and watching each other,waiting for the first movement from an opposing male, seconds later two males would be locked together,twisting and turning, forcing the other to submit his advances towards the female. I managed to capture that behaviour by watching, looking and feeling the tensoin grow between these males.

Within my own wildlife photography I spend alot of time watching nature, listening and watching for signs,trying to build a picture of whats happening the best way I can.  The art of Photography for me is a means to capturing those special encounters I have worked hard to achieve or see , which in turn make for a more well balanced image and account of that subjects behaviour and mannerisms within the wild.

So while I was away in Texel a few of my images made the press and different papers either online in a physical capacity last week, the Sun and the Scottish Sun,the Independent and the Mail. I received many emails on my Blackberry and it seemed to be going crazy while on vibrate mode as I was in Texel, people wishing me will and letting me know that the Puffins had made the papers. 

All of which was really good.  Its great to see your work in print so that people from all backgrounds can see the beautiful world of nature that’s everywhere and in this case it was the ‘clowns of the seas’ as I call them- Puffins.  A few images have even made the picture library of Getty images which is one of the best picture libraries in the world, so big thank you to all the guys involved in making this happen.

The image of two adult Puffins “kissing” or bonding has also made it to the June issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine.  A full page which looks amazing, so thank you guys. I run one to one days or Spectacular Skomer trips up until the end of July where you can photograph and witness these amazing birds, for more info click on the links 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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Halcyon River Diaries on BBC One.

Filed in Articles, In the Press, Wildlife on May.17, 2010

The first series of Halcyon River diaries started last night and I thoroughly enjoyed the programme,watching Charlie alongside his wife,Philippa introduce us to the beautiful wildlife that live on the river just outside their home.Charlie is concentrating on a one mile stretch for the programme,with the trails and tribulations of many different species of wildlife that live on this lovely stretch of water played out before the cameras and their aim is to try and inspire people about the wildlife that lives all around them and prove that it can be just as interesting as wildlife anywhere else in the world .

There are 3 more brilliant programmes and for all the latest on the series and to see when the other programmes are on click on their Halcyon River Diaries website/blog,with up to date news on this amazing series where I hope it can inspire the future generations into loving nature that’s all around them.

There is a brilliant book that accompanies this BBC programme,of which I was really proud to have been asked by Charlie to provide some of my Watervoles images and some text regarding one of my Dipper sites,with a great link to my website, where people have got in touch and attended my Dipper Of The Dales  and Watervoles Workshops with great success,getting some really nice photographs and lovely views of these two beautiful animals,that are run at several different sites,depending on the time of year within the Derbyshire Peak District.

Below is one of my Watervole images they picked for the book,this Watervole had climbed up the riverbank and started to smell,then eat lthis Dandelion,a really lovely moment for me to have seen and capture as these animals have a real character about them

Watervole

 

I wish Charlie and his family all the best with the new programme,with the second programme being on Sunday 23rd of May then the others the following Sundays.

CJWP

 

 

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What A Difference A Week Makes

Filed in In the Press, Workshops on Apr.20, 2010

Over the last week British airports have been plunged into chaos due to Iceland’s ‘Eyjafjallajokull’ Volcano having erupted,with the further eruptions daily its causing havoc around the world with British and European airspace at a stand still.I’ve been glued to the TV watching for a small window of opportunity that may arise and get everyone moving again included myself as I wait to see if I can fly to India to photography the Tigers Of RANTHAMBHORE under the guidance of the brilliant Tiger man; Aditya Singh.Three months in the planning,visa,injections,saving, everything right down the the socks I’ll be wearing each day balances now on the decisions of officials whether or not British airspace will open.Proposed plans of opening are being banded about all the time and I just hope I can re-book as my flight was this morning so the clock is ticking,I must add British Airways have been fantisic and I will never travel with anyone else again even if I have to pay more,their customer service,help has been second to none,fingers crossed for another flight.

While this was going on I enjoyed a brilliant 3 days on my Spring Waders workshop,the weather was really kind to us all,the group was a mixture of different people,from all walks of life and varying degrees of wildlife photographic knowledge.Most,if not all of the species of birds showed up which was brilliant as I take great pride in my work and knowledge of the various areas I know and try when and where possible to deliver exactly what it says on the tin eg ‘Spring Waders At Norfolk’ and that’s what they all got and more so I was over the moon.

Avocet

Avocet Feeding

The Avocets were at Norfolk in good numbers,each year the population seems to increase which is great news for this most elegant of  birds.Bar-Tailed Godwits and here to in very good numbers,competing for the same rich habitat and feeding grounds as the Avocets.Each morning started with a dawn trek to a number of different places some for Barn Owls,others for Avocets,and other Waders feeding as the new day broke,after a couple of hours it was back for a good hearty breakfast in our beautiful Norfolk Hotel situated in one of the many tranquil little villages on the North Norfolk Coastline.Then collect our packed lunches and out for the whole day traveling to the many different and devise habitats Norfolk has to offer.

Bar-tailed Godwit

In the evenings after the sunset which we where really lucky happened on most evenings it was back for our evening meal,followed by a sideshow of images from the guests ,where all my help and advice on how,why they took the images was on offer,for me it was great to show simply ideas I implement in my own work,by showing examples of the photographs I take to the group and the reasoning behind each image, people learned alot I feel in a relaxed environment,a perfect place in which to learn from others in my eyes.A gentlemen called Steve Harford wrote a lovely few words below I thought I’d post them,not to show off or to gain from it but just to show people small changes+help can turn someones photography around, by passing on your knowledge to others and seeing their own improvements is the reason I run workshops, as one of my strongest assets is to show,help others in taking better images, at the same time taking in nature around you,where you can take home what I teach and show,applying the tips,advice into your everyday photography once back home,its that simply.

“I spent a wonderful time with Craig in Norfolk. Craig was really inspirational and made me think much more, particularly about my photographic composition. His love of wildlife and the countryside around us was infectious. In the past, like so many others, I had concentrated on what I would call “bird portraits”. They can be beautiful and I will continue with them to some extent but Craig made me realise that there is so much more. Photographs where birds and their behaviour are an important part of the overall image but are captured in their natural environment. The day was so important in making me reassess the fundamentals of the photographic image and I feel he has helped to equip me to becoming a better photographer as a result of it”..Steve Harford,Oakham,April 2010

Barn Owl

Hiding Barn Owl

The Barn Owls at several locations where out in force,hunting,quartering looking for small rodents,we all watched this female above,when she became tired she went to ground to to gain a small rest,I captured her doing just this above at the same time keeping an eye on us all even through we where will camouflaged and hidden.We had some beautiful views and I was chuffed to bits the group got some great images not only from this day but all through the workshop.I’d like to thank everyone that came for your company,I hope I have helped you see nature in a different light at the same time helping with your own composition,fieldcraft and connection with nature.A great trip and looking forward to next year where I will have to increase the numbers such was the interest in this trip.

Oystercatcher

Avocets Courtship

Between now and my Winter Waders workshop in December I will be running’ One Day’ trips to Norfolk where the day starts at Dawn at a Barn Owl site,then onto the Waders and the many other birds and wildlife that choose to live in Norfolk,rounding the day off in the evening light again at one of the many Barn Owl sites.From August onwards the famous High Tides at Norfolk will be really good and these One day trips have been planned to coincide with these dates to make it a spectacular day for your wildlife photography,for more information and dates please send me a message on my Contact form or alternatively fill in the booking form on my One To One workshop.

Reed Bunting

I continue to hope and prey I can fly to India to photograph the Tigers,if not it will be a cruel end to a much planned  trip,and at the same time I canceled my trip to Sweden for this trip, where I was going to photograph Capercaillie,at this rate I won’t have neither.Things happen for a reason I believe and I hope everyone who is away from home/loved ones can get back asap.

CJWP


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Halcyon River Diaries

Filed in In the Press on Apr.15, 2010

‘Halcyon River Diaries’ is the story of one family’s year living by a West Country river and its written by award-winning wildlife writers and photographers Charlie Hamilton James and Philippa Forrester.The book is their chance to share the passion and to inspire other families to get out there and enjoy our rivers and the wildlife the live in and around them.Charile – ‘We where invited by the BBC to make a series of programmes about a year in the life of a river we love and live beside,this book accompanies the series’

I was contacted by Charile back in January of this year with a view to selling them a few of my images alongside a brief write up on one of my Dipper sites in Derbyshire of which I agreed.I am really proud to have Watervoles,Dipper images /text in this new book,also a link to my website.The book is a great read and has only just come on sale.It follows the life of many animals in and around this river as well as giving great advice on how,where to enjoy wildlife with a few of Charlies fieldcraft skills and techniques thrown in.They both share their love of this place with their 3 boys who feature greatly in the book which is really great to see and very positive.

Charlie has photographed Kingfishers since he was a young boy and the understanding and love he has for these birds is brilliant and evident to see in his breathtaking images of them,he alongside his family view the river as your street,with all the animals on it being your neighbours,where they/we are not just observers but are part of the system and over the period of a year experience life on this beautiful river,following the same group of animal characters as they navigate the seasons,as well as seeing how Philippa and Charlies passion for the river extends into every part of their family life.

This book is to accompany the series ‘Halcyon River Diaries’ which is coming to BBC1 in May,so check the Radio Times for details,there will be 4 episodes to watch the wildlife along this beautiful stretch of river along with lots of information shared in which Charlie describes what he’s filming,where the stories will keep you glued to the TV

Watervole

Watervoles are my favourite mammal with their enduring character and cuteness, making them a lovely subject to photograph,I run workshops,‘Watervoles’ where you can photograph these little creatures alongside one of my favorite British birds the Dipper,‘Dippers Of The Dales’ which are becoming more and more popular.

Charile and Philippa I wish you well with the book and thank you for asking me to help out where I could .

CJWP


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Reservoir Birds-Article

Filed in Events, In the Press on Feb.23, 2010

In this months Birdwatching Magazine my images from a great day I’d previously mentioned on my blog called ‘Birdwatching For Beginner’s Walk’  have now been printed in the March issue of the magazine,I have printed the pages below aptly named‘Reservoir Birds’  I accompanied Matt Merritt/Features Editor as we visited Carsington Water in Derbyshire for this event which has been running now for 4 years on the first sunday morning of the month and run by volunteer ranger David Bennett,whose knowledge of the wildlife at this place is breathtaking.Each month enthusiastic groups of birdwatchers meet and are shown around this beautful setting hoping to learn more about birdwatching/birds while walking around Carsington Water, one of the largest reservoirs in the UK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had perfect viewing conditions as the sun shined,with a thick blanket of snow on the ground adding to a real winter feel to the day.A good number of people turned up and I captured them using almost the same composition as I do when photographing wildlife,and I must say is a lot easier!.A good day was had by all,great to help beginners to see the beauty of birds and other wildlife around this mighty impressive site,so for the full story pick up a copy of the March issue.These walks run on the first Sunday of every month,they also do more advanced walks so for further information,or to book on the free Carsington Water Walk,call 01629 540696


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“The Owl” By Gorden J.L.Ramel

Filed in In the Press on Nov.08, 2009

 

I was contacted my a gentleman called ‘Paul Haeing’  :

 
    Dear CraigMy name is Paul Haemig. I live in Sweden and run a free website at www.ecology.infoI am writing to request your permission to use one of your photos (Barn Owl with Breakfast) to illustrate a new nature poem that will be published on http://www.ecology.info/. The poem is titled “The Owl” and is written by Gordon J.L. Ramel.We selected your photo because it best fits the poem written by Gorden J.L.Ramel

 I agreeded as I love to help out where I can and especially with projects that help/highlight the natural world.To view the photo click on http://www.ecology.info/ and click on ‘Poems’ then ‘Owl’ and you will see my image and the lovely poem,the image is one of my favorites and very pleased to help with their cause  and I hope it goes from strength to strength.

 Hunting Barn Owl

 

Here is another photo I took of a Barn Owl hunting in the very last light of the day and here he is seen ‘Lifting’ off with something he had caught.

 

 


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“Dippers Of The Dale” Workshops

Filed in In the Press, Workshops on Oct.28, 2009

My ‘Dippers Of The Dales’ workshops have started and I had a brillant time showing Tom and Ken around my site as they love the Dipper, I met Ken through my  ‘Flickr’ site.Both Tom and Ken are very keen wildlife photographers who where keen on seeing the Dipper  having read my article in October issue ‘Birdwatching Magazine’.

WORKSHOP

The picture above shows us altogether with a mini-waterfall as the backdrop,it was taken by remote trigger (Ken,Tom,Me) in that order,and it was a real joy to show them around and teach them about the Dipper, a bird that has amazed me from a small boy. Knowing where to go and how to appoach the Dipper makes all the difference for me and as I have been coming to this site from a small boy it would be nice to think the Dippers know me quite well now!. We had the whole day there,before Tom and Ken departed for home and a  sample of Ken’s work from the day can be seen here ‘Ken’ and Tom’s work from the day  ‘Tom’.

Very nice to meet you both and so glad I was able to show you around and share my love of the Dipper with you both and since have become good freinds. My next workshop is planned for ‘Monday 16th November’ see my workshop pdf below for details or drop me a line on my contact page if you would like to go.

Details on my “Dippers of the Dale” Workshop
You will need Adobe PDF to view this attachment.  This can be downloaded for free at Adobe’s website.

Dipper portrait

A Dipper in the setting sun I took at the same site.


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