will

Photography Blog

Over the last few years, I have developed an interest in photography, in particular wildlife photography.

I have a list of 100 animals I want to photograph before I die. I'll be posting them here, and other articles on photography.

Background: Sunset in Flores, Indonesia

Wildlife photography can require great hardship on the part of the photographer; days of trekking, battling the elements, biting insects, etc. — all while carrying 20 kilos of camera gear.

This was not the case for my recent trip to Costa Rica, which was as close to luxury you can get in the Rainforest, if you don't mind the lack of air-conditioning and occasional oversize bug in your cabin.

My girlfriend and I stayed in El Romanso, an eco-lodge on the Osa Peninsula. Located in primary rainforest overlooking the Pacific ocean, it is an beautiful place, abundant with wildlife. Most of which I photographed from the lodge restaurant, which had been constructed on stilts to put you at eye level with monkeys and toucans. continue reading…

This year, Ellen and I took a trip, roughly following the North Coast 500 route.

The West coast of Scotland is stunning. As a Glasgow cabbie observed, if it wasn't for the weather and the midges of the Scottish West Coast, Brits wouldn't bother leaving the UK for their holiday. I can't comment on the weather (which was beautiful), but he may have a point about the midges.

Here are some photos from that trip.

Thistles at sunrise. Taken at around 5.30am. Worth getting up for?

This image is part of a much larger panorama that I would like to print for my wall in three parts.

The iconic Highland Cow, or Highland Coo as we call them in Scotland.

If you aren't familiar with midges, they are tiny biting flies. Their vileness is brilliantly illustrated with the following video...

I've always been intrigued by HDR, but some of my earlier attempts have been pretty horrific (like someone ate a pack of crayons and vomited on the screen).

Sunsets are one of the few subjects where HDR really works. Without merging a range of exposures you can never expose for both the sun and the foreground. So I was quite pleased to get the following shot (in Flores, Indonesia).

The trick in processing an HDR photo is to make it look like it is not HDR. At least not obviously HDR...

In addition to Orangutans, my Indonesia trip was to photograph Komodo dragons. These are absolutely remarkable animals, and as close to a living dinosaur you can see today.

As excited as I was to see these animals, the experience was a little disappointing. The rangers lead us around a short trek through the forrest before returning to the beach where there a dragon was basking. It was all clearly staged.

Komodo Dragons are actually venomous, contrary to the popular belief that their bites kill with toxic bacteria in their mouths.

This was a juvenile dragon. We saw it meandering through the forrest, occasionally chewing on dry bones, trying to find sustenance. The urge to hug him, and squeeze him, and call him George was strong! continue reading…

The Isle of May is an island just off the East coast of Scotland. Although tiny (less than 1km2), it is home to a remarkable amount of wildlife, birds in particular. I was lucky enough to visit with the Glasgow Photography Meetup group.

Here's a few shots from that day.

I think this is a juvenile gull. Post a comment if I'm wrong!

Photographing a bird in flight is a challenge, so I'm please I got this at all, but the plain background this doesn't make for a memorable photo.

There were some fantastic vantage points on the island where I could get eye-level shots like this one.

These photos were all taken with a Canon 500mm, which is an absolutely fantastic lens for bird photography and a good upper body workout.

My first wildlife trip this year was to Indonesia to shoot orangutans and Komodo dragons. This post is about the former, I'll save the dragons for another post.

These photos were taken in Bukit Lawang, North Sumatra, which has a sanctuary for Sumatran Orangutans (there is another species in Borneo). They offer guided treks to see the animals, which are mostly rescue animals that have been re-introduced to the wild.

I think this is my favourite shot of the trip. It seems almost posed. continue reading…

My entry for /r/WildlifePhotography competition

Male Atlas Beetle

I climbed to the top of Arthur's Seat today. Alas, the clouds came in and I didn't get any decent shots.

Of course, by time time I got back down again, the skies cleared and there was beautiful golden hour sun. So I had to settle for this shot of Salisbury Crags.

A photo of Salisbury Crags, in Edinburgh Scotland.

Tony Northrup does a great job of picking apart various myths and misconceptions regarding photography. His channel is full of other great stuff on photography.

This year I spent my birthday in a Forest in Finland with no company other than about dozen (wild)! Eurasian brown bears and more mosquitoes that I care to count.

I stayed at Martinselkosen wilderness centre, in the North of the country. Comfortable enough, plenty of rustic food, and surprisingly decent coffee.

After a night in the Wilderness centre we were to stay in the Forest hide, which is regularly visited by a dozen or so bears and cubs. On the way to the hide, one of the other photographers suggested that my 500mm lens was too long. She was right, the large communal hide was directly in front of a clearing where food was left to attract the bears . At times the bears were so close all I could shoot was a patch of blurry fur. continue reading…