Entries in the ‘Places Of Interest’

No Mans Land-Finland

Filed in Places Of Interest, Workshops on Jul.12, 2014

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


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Stunning Shetland Trip 2014

Filed in Places Of Interest, Workshops on Jun.27, 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


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Solitude

Filed in Articles, Places Of Interest on Jun.20, 2014

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


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Ranthambhore Live- What a Day

Filed in Articles, Places Of Interest on Apr.14, 2014

I didn’t sleep much on my first night in Ranthambhore even after the marathon journey to get here. So an hour before my alarm I was up, press-ups, sit ups,shower and dressed ready to go. I went downstairs and met the night watchman and grabbed a coffee. I headed out onto the road. A routine I have now done for five years, I like the noise, the sounds, smells of the place at that time of the day and the peace and quiet. The odd vehicle passing me as I drink my morning coffee fix.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife photography

I love the mornings there just beautiful. Its wasn’t long before my two jeeps I hire and guides turned up for my clients. I rotate myself each day through both jeeps to help, support and be there for all my clients throughout their trip with me. Salim, Raj came and we all took off for national park, heart racing. After signing in and been allocated our zones we were off. The is a zone system in place at Ranthambhore, where you are given a different zone every drive and you have to stick to strict guidelines and the path this is to ensure your safety and the well being of the Tigers first and foremost.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Both of my jeeps were given their zones and we headed off, past the many old gates left over from when the fort at Ranthambhore was a fortress. Its such an impressive place, now taken over by nature and the Tigers. Within ten minutes of driving we heard the word “Tiger,Tiger”, we looked to our right and there he was. T34, a dominate male Tiger passing through his kingdom. Heart racing, seconds to compose yourself then capture what you see before he’s gone. My client in the jeep hadn’t seen a Tiger ever and here she was photographing one on her first ever drive which was wonderful and I was over the moon as over the years I have had many clients turn up who’s greatest wish is always to see this amazing animal so when they see one for the first time it makes me happy.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

He was walking fast, on the hunt for Samba Deer, passing our path and then disappearing without a trace in a matter of minutes, what a welcome back seeing this shy male Tiger. After a pause to see if we could hear any alarm calls which lets you know his movements and often direction of travel we started out jeep and carried on further into our zone, still not believing what we’d just seen a few moments before.

Craig Jones Wildlfie Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

We soon picked up the track of another male T24 on one of the tracks the jeeps use. The Tigers often use these paths to travel through their our territories. Listening for alarm calls,parking up with the jeeps engine off we tired to just listen which is often the best way as other animals let you no whats happening  around you.

After driving around we saw a few other jeeps and a friend of our guide signalled to us a Tiger was there. Quickly we got into place and saw another male Tiger- T24 a massive dominate male sleeping on the forest floor in flecked light. Both my jeeps were there saw all clients where taking so amazing images. The following are what I captured alongside my clients.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

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Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

An amazing encounter yet again and two male Tigers on our first morning has been the best start to any of my trips in the five years I have ran them. We moved on as time was getting on and soon before we left the park that morning and returned to the Ranthambhore Bagh for our breakfast. Omelette porridge, mango juice and Yorkshire tea with toast is my breakfast of choice there and it never disappoints.

Then some rest before our afternoon safari which starts at 3pm sharp. The heat is harsh in the afternoon, and suncream, hats are a most but more often than not I sunscreen up and enjoy the rays on my head. Again we were given our zones and off we went in search of the Tigers once more. Having worked with these same guides now for five years we know each other and what my clients want so more often and not I leave them to it and their expertise.

It wasn’t long in that intense heat that we saw T24 again, we found him asleep inside a cave. Not moving or even bothering with us and the jeeps as he slept. The odd time his eyes would open to just let us no he was watching us.

Craig Jones Wildlife photography

Such an amazing moment when you see and spend time watching these truly beautiful animals in their own envoriment. My clients got some great images of him again before we set off further into our zone. There is so much wildlife other than Tigers though at Ranthambhore, so many birds, Deer and ground mammals it truly is the jungle book in many ways.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife photography

Craig Jones Wildlife photography

After a few hours and with the light fading we heard some alarm calls, Tiger..? I asked..? maybe Salim said. Then from the hidden grass a female appeared from nowhere. It was T22 who I’d last seen last year. She was passing through and walking with great purpose past a Spotted Deer kill that I saw on the ground. She walked straight past this and onto a wooded area where she scent marked a few trees before heading off into the dense forests all around us.

Such an amazing moment when you see and spend time watching these truly beautiful animals in their own envoriment. My clients got some great images of the Tigers. There is so much wildlife other than Tigers though at Ranthambhore, so many birds, Deer and ground mammals it truly is the jungle book in many ways. Some many different images also from wildlife to plants to just about anything. Here I took this image of some tree roots I really loved and the reflection in the water as the sun was setting providing there are images everywhere here.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

What an amazing first day for my clients, as I write this before I head to bed it still is unbelievably how lucky we all were today. Four sightings, three different Tigers lets hope our luck continues in the coming days and weeks. An amazing day and lets hope that luck carries on for my clients seeing this beautiful animal, so goodbye from India, I hope my images and words have taken you to this magical place so far and more updates as the week progresses all the best.

Craig Jones Wildlife photography

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Ranthambhore Live

Filed in Places Of Interest, Workshops on Apr.13, 2014

Ranthambhore Live.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Hello from India, after a long journey by train from my home, then plane then taxi to reach the Ranthambhore Bagh Im now in my room writing this first of many blogs. In my fifth year of visiting this amazing place and running my own photo tours here I wanted to do something different this year time allowing. Im just about to go to bed as we are four and a half hours ahead and after the last 24 hours I along with my clients are wrecked so an early night is needed.

Craig Jones Wildlife photography

After seeing the new dawn in as we flew towards our final destaion. The view below us was breatkaing. Once we got to the airport we were picked up and then we were driven to our home for the next two weeks, the Ranthambore bagh, owned and run by friends Poonam and Aditya Singh. Once unpacked we went outside to where you have your freshly cooked Indian cuisine which is the best I’ve ever had. While you eat your surrounded by the traditional India music played by the locals that are invited in to provide the background music which is brilliant

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

My clients loved the food and we had a nice relax before tomorrows events, 5am tomorrow morning we wake up with a lovely coffee and banana, I’m up earlier than that as I do my morning exercises then get dressed and stand on the road with my coffee as I love the sights and smell of the morning there. At 5.30am sharp we are picked up by the same guides I have been working with for those five years- Raj Kumar, Salim Ali, two of the best guides in India by none.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

We then enter the kingdom of the Tigers and it all starts. I have two weeks with clients, some 24 – 4 hour safaris in total and I’m so looking forward to showing my clients this amazing place and its Tigers fingers crossed. So this year I’m going to be writing my blog directly from India and not once I get home. Hopefully taking you on the same journey with my words and images almost as we experience it.

I wont sleep tonight I know I wont in readiness for the morning, my bags and cameras cleaned and packed, I’ve gone through the routine and gear with each of my clients so everyones ready. I cannot explain this place its magical. just like the jungle book by Rudyard Kipling. I love India and the Ranthambhore bagh is brilliant and almost home from home when I’m here as the staff look after me and my clients so well. Getting me coffee, ice cream and all sorts from the local market which is lovely.

Craig Jones Wildlife photography

Before I went to bed tonight Aditya’s and Poonams daughter Nyra Singh stopped me and I took her photo, she ran to the little shop there and picked up a tee-shirt she liked to show me as you can see. She has grown up so much over the last few years and is a lovely child. Most children when they see me either cry or just stare as I’m tall, bald and tower over them, but she shows me her favourite tee-shirt which i found really funny.

Right I’m off to bed, cannot wait until the morning and I hope to update the blog as often as I can during the coming two weeks, all the best back home everyone.

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Nikon Owner Magazine

Filed in Articles, Places Of Interest on Aug.16, 2013

Really proud to show you a wonderful article that has now been released in the world renowned Nikon Owner Magazine. The coverage of this magazine is worldwide and once more the plight of the Sumatran Orangutans will be seen on a global stage. My promise and continued mission for these apes is to give them a voice through my images and that’s what I have done tirelessly over the last 12 months since my visit to Sumatra.

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

For those of you on here that wont be able to see this magazine I have carefully placed all the pages from the PDF document the owner of the magazine has just sent me so you get to see this. The article is dedicated to those Sumatran Orangutans that are killed, trapped, slaughtered and sold as pets each and every week.

Nikon-Owner-XLIII-Close-Encounters-3-blog

Nikon-Owner-XLIII-Close-Encounters-5-blog

Nikon-Owner-XLIII-Close-Encounters-7BLOG

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

Nikon-Owner-XLIII-Close-Encounters-11BLOG

Nikon-Owner-XLIII-Close-Encounters-13BLOG

My images though speak for those Orangutans and all these images have been donated by myself to a wonderful charity SOS- Sumatran Orangutan Society headed up by Helen Buckland from their small office in Oxford. She works very hard for these apes and its been a pleasure to work and help SOS and Helen. I will be back there in the early part of next year and also later on in the year with my trip. In the meantime I hope you enjoy the article and thank you.

Issue-XLIII-Cover

Nikon owner Magazine can be seen by clicking here or you can see their facebook page here. Some of my prints from this trip can be brought from SOS”s website where 100% of the money goes to helping these great apes in their native country of Sumatra, click here to see and purchase them.

Sumatran Orangutan- Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Sumatran Orangutan- Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

If you would like to visit Sumatra and join me on an amazing adventure into the jungles there at the same time support the charities that work tirelessly to save these great apes then click here to see my 2014 photo tour to this amazing place. Its open to anyone and everyone not just photographers.

I will show you the amazing jungles and the unique wildlife that live there and you will get chance to see the work that’s been done to rebuild the rainforests there. Some of your money too will go directly to the Sumatran Orangutan Society- SOS, a charity set up to help these beautiful apes.

http://www.discoverwildlife.com/

A massive thank you to the team at Nikon Owner Magazine for publishing this article and helping me in spreading the word on what’s happening in Sumatra and extending the Orangutans voices to a wider audience, many thanks guys.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography


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Falkland Islands Photographic Tour 2014

Filed in Places Of Interest, Workshops on Aug.07, 2013

There are few places to compare with the Falkland Islands when it comes to photographic opportunities. I have joined forces with Island Holidays offering a photo-tour designed especially for photographers – amateur and professional. After the amazing success of this years trip I return in February 2014 and still have spaces available.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography http://www.islandholidays.co.uk/holidays/south-atlantic/falklands-photography.aspx

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Our 14-night holiday includes stays at Stanley, Darwin, Sea Lion Island, Carcass Island (with a day trip to West Point) and Saunders Island as well as a trip to Volunteer Point, home to the largest colony of King Penguins on the islands. We travel from the UK with the Royal Air Force out of RAF Brize Norton and, on the islands, by 8-seater Islander aircraft and LandRover.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Accommodation is in comfortable hotels or lodges except on Saunders Island where it is more basic – but worth it just for the location.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

FALKLAND ISLANDS Photo Tour 2014

A photographic extravaganza in the company of wildlife photographer, Craig Jones and operated by Falkland specialist, Island Holidays (ATOL 2725) 14 nights – departs Brize Norton Wednesday 5th February 2014. Fully inclusive cost £6,445 (single room supplement £600*) Deposit £800. Maximum number of clients: 8

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Interest in my 2014 trip is already very good so if I have wetted your appetite and you would like to join me then please click on this following link, to read a couple of reviews on my 2013 trip please click here, many thanks.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography


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Stunning Shetland

Filed in Places Of Interest, Workshops on Jul.02, 2013

I have just returned from the Shetland Islands, it is a wildlife photographer’s paradise with many opportunities to see and capture the amazing wildlife this island has on offer in beautiful light. I spent sometime on my own before my clients turned up to spend a week with me. Shetland’s 1200 mile long shoreline with its very varied habitat is the main reason why wildlife finds the islands so attractive.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Our photo-tour was timed to coincide with the height of summer where daylight lasts for almost 24 hrs.  Sea bird colonies will be frantically feeding their young, waders filling the air with their calls and Otters going about their lives all around us. I also loved the islands Shetland Ponies as captured in the image below.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

What makes these Shetland Island sea birds so special is not just the quantity and variety of birds but their spectacular setting. Nowhere else in Britain, and hardly anywhere in Europe, can you get so close, so easily, to so many sea birds in such awe-inspiring scenery. It’s one of the best places also to see Otters playing, feeding all along the shores of this incredible island. The Shetland islands remind me of the Falklands Islands with the open landscape and vast areas of rocky outcrops and high peaks leading to mountains. 

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Once I had picked up my clients we had a wonderful afternoon firstly at Sumburgh Head to photographing  the beautiful Puffins and other stunning sea birds that live on this south coast of the Shetland islands. Then it was on to our cottage and then straight out to encounter the amazing and varied wildlife Shetland has to offer. The pattern of each day was almost the same travelling to the well known areas for Otters, Waders and other amazing wildlife this island has to offer.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Each offering unrivalled views of some of the most amazing nesting colonies of Gannets, Razorbills and other seabirds all clinging to this vast cliffs at both of the places.  On the Monday we took the boat to Noss, a small island home to one of the biggest colonies of breeding gannets anywhere in the world.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Once you witness this place you feel dwarfed from your small craft, looking up at the vast cliffs and hearing the noises of these birds all communicating to each other. The smells too are very strong but the sheer size and scale of this place is unbelievable and my clients were completely blown away by it all. 

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

I had an amazing encounter with a female Otter during those first days on the island. She swam around then brought ashore a large fish and the key is to try and work out where and when she would come ashore. This time I got it right and she came ashore some twenty foot to my front. The wind direction was in my favour, blowing away my scent and the noise of the waves broke any shutter noise up. These images capture a magical fifteen minutes with her a really special encounter.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

On the Tuesday we took another boat trip, this time to ferries to reach Hermenss nature reserve. After the tough walk to the cliffs what awaits you is just stunning, truly stunning.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

You carry on for sometime, carrying your full kit, it does get you warm to say the least. Once you start to reach the cliffs to your front, the noise and pitch of the noise and calls begin to increase, its almost like your getting closer to a massive speaker system. The land to your front starts to level out and you see the sea at first. As you then start to double check where you put your feet as the ground starts to slope off in the direction of the sea. What then comes into view is one of if not the best and biggest breeding colonies of Gannets anywhere in the world and you cannot fail to just stand there and admire what you are now viewing, wondering is this place real.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

The sheer size is something you have to see to believe and I walked around the top of these cliffs and came across a lone female sitting on her egg, tucked right up inside a small ledge with the background in a shaded part of the cliff. By under-exposing I was able to throw out the background light and create this dark effect which features strongly in my work and always has done. I waited to see if she would move or change her position and I was rewarded with her grooming and looking around her captured with these images.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Iain who helped my with my trip and lives on the Shetland island took this image of me at the top of the cliffs looking down on this lone female and the view was just amazing.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Both days offered some amazing images for all clients and they duly filled many memory cards with brilliant images from both boat trips I had planned.The rest of the week we looked for Otters and at times the weather was often against us with pouring rain making looking for those Otters just that but more difficult with choppy sea conditions replacing those calm conditions that help you when looking for tale tell Otter signs. My clients did see Otters but getting them ashore proved harder that it looked.

While looking for Otters and laying in wait at several top sites there was an abundance of wildlife around us. This place is just amazing for its wildlife and dramatic coastlines of rugged cliffs and pounding seas. Each day was rounded off with a lovely, home-made three course meal made by Iains wife that was the perfect end to those long days.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Its hard to do this place and its wildlife justice with these few images but I have chosen a mixture of my favourite ones for you. from Otters, to waders, and Seals to the varied flowers/amazing orchids and fauna this island offers up. All my clients had some amazing images from the week and I would like to thank them all for their company and the many laughs we had along the way.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

The seas around the Shetland Islands support so much wildlife too the place is just amazing,

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

A massive thanks to Iain and his wife Anne who are good friends and live on this amazing island for their help in making my Stunning Shetland photo tour a great successes. I have put up next years dates now and interest has been amazing already from my updates on Facebook and Twitter I posted while I was there. If you would like to join me next year in July where I will show you some of the beautiful islands wildlife during the week long photo tour at the same time improve your own wildlife photography then click on this link for all the details and information, many thanks.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography


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