Archive for the ‘wildlife’ Tag

“Argentinian Christmas Lights” – Ituzaingo, Argentina – Daniel Fox – Featured Photographer   29 comments



“Argentinian Christmas Lights” – Ituzaingo, Argentina – Daniel Fox – Featured Photographer

Today’s post is packed jam full with lots of really cool information about a really interesting photographer/scientist, Daniel Fox.  Many of our great photos come from scientists working in the field on a particular species, but Daniel seems to go everywhere, literally.  He is embarking on a six year journey travelling around the world on an extreme island expedition.  Let me be one of many to cast my name into the hat as a marine mammalogist/photographer if there are any legs with an opening.  Please read Daniel’s description below and then follow one of his many links.  I suggest the Expedition page at the end of the post

Enter Daniel:

This picture was taken on July 2nd 2010, at the Yacare Pora farm ( in Ituzaingo, a little village in the north of the province of Corrientes, in Argentina 

I was there with my partner Jasmine Rossi ( doing an interview ( for the Mate Expedition ( ( The trip was sponsored by Taragui, a famous Mate (tea) company. The trip was also for me to photograph representative animals from the north of Argentina.  I was having a show at the Consulate of Argentina in New York that coming October, called “Wildlife of Argentina”

Yacare Pora (owned by Grupoinsud, is a sustainable caiman farm.  The local indian community used to hunt the black and broad-snouted caimans. The black market was huge and the animals were in sharp decline. The farm started to hire the local community to find the eggs instead and take them back the farm and to be hatched. Half are returned to the wild and the other half is kept for the market. The black market has been dramatically reduced and the population of caimans in Argentina saved. They have created a sustainable economy based on live animals, not dead ones. You can watch the little documentary here

Caimans are separated by age and size. Interestingly enough, caimans will grow faster and eat more if there are many of them in the same place. So each little “pool” contains a specific number of caimans – enough to provoke them in eating more, but not too many so that it stays healthy and clean.

Jasmine and I knew exactly the kind of shot we were after. That doesn’t mean that it was a “piece of cake”!  The caiman eye at night not only produces an “Eyeshine” but it is also iridescent, meaning that the color changes with the angle of the light source. The challenge was to get a good composition, clarity, and many different colorful “eyeshine”.  And since I do not photoshop my images, I was hoping for a little bit of luck too!. Thank god caimans are good subjects to photograph – they don’t move much 😉 We must have taken at least 200 shots that night.  Trying various flash angles, exposition, aperture, etc. 

This shot was done with a Canon 5D, at ISO 200, Aperture f/16 open for to 2 minutes.  It is exactly what I was looking for. It is kind of abstract, you don’t really know what it is, until you look close enough to realize what it is. On the composition side, I am really happy. I always look to have a central element in the photo, from where the rest of the story evolves. Without even cropping the photo, I was able to get my focus on one caiman slightly off the middle to the right, looking at me.  

It is important for me to stick as much as possible to the essence of photography and value the challenge of capturing “THE” moment.  It is too easy today not to care and manipulate everything on the computer.

 As for the future, right now I am working on an expedition like none before – 6 years navigating the most hostile oceans on earth. Find out more here

You can find me on Facebook and Twitter


“Relaxing Monkeys” – Jigokudani Park, Japan – Jollice Tan – Featured Photographer   58 comments



“Relaxing Monkeys” – Jigokudani Park, Japan – Jollice Tan – Featured Photographer

I have seen monkeys all over the world, but I have never seen them in the snow.  I must say that these Japanese macaques (Macacafuscata) have found a little slice of monkey heaven in a park who’s name translates to Hell’s Valley.  This looks like a great place for a snowball fight.  Jollie  not only takes wonderful photographs, but she writes beautifully and  travels often.  Please keep up with her work in the following blogs. 

Take it over Jollice:

I went for a weekend break to the beautiful town of Yamanouchi, Nagano, Japan for some winter wonderland experience and to see the famous snow monkeys of Jigokudani Park.

A bit embarrassing to admit but I have bad experience with monkeys, particularly those naughty ones of Ulawatu Park in Bali. So I was thinking that maybe these snow monkeys will be as naughty as those in Bali too, but to my surprise, they are so used to visitors that they developed these  “ignore and don’t care” attitude. 

Look at the photo and it says one thing – Bored and Cold.  They are so cute and the snow covered land just makes one perfect shot.

Camera Used:  Olympus PEn E-PL2 Micro-four thirds series.

“Spirit Bear” – Coastal British Columbia, Canada – Iain Williams – Featured Photographer   50 comments



“Spirit Bear” – Coastal British Columbia, Canada – Iain Williams – Featured Photographer

I remember the first time I ever saw a photo of this beautiful bear was in National Geographic magazine several years ago.  This photograph would have blended in well with the article. I can’t help but think of this spirit bear as being a wise old elder at the sacred fishing grounds.  Iain does an amazing job of not only capturing the bear’s expression, but the fish as well.   Please read the story and then visit Ian’s just as spectacular blog and website!

Here is Iain:

The Kermode Bear (Ursus americanus kermodei) is a sub species of the American Black Bear.  It lives deep within the temperate rainforest in British Columbia, Canada and is often referred to as the Spirit Bear.  The creamy-white coloring of the bear’s coat is not caused by albinism, but a recessive allele.  It’s estimated that there are between 400-1000 individuals in the wild, the bear owing its survival to the indigenous people who featured the bear’s ghost-like appearance in their mythology and never hunted the bear or mentioned its existent to early fur trappers.

The photograph was taken along a creek line which is assessable only by live aboard boat and hiking.  I timed my visit with the salmon spawning season as the bears come out of the rainforest to fish for salmon as the fish make their way upstream to spawn.  It was raining heavily on the day I took this photograph and keeping the camera equipment dry was difficult.  I placed myself at the forest edge adjacent to the junction of two streams and waited until the bears made their way downstream to fish.  I used a sturdy tripod, Canon 500/f4.5 lens and a Canon EOS 1D MKIII camera.  The available light was minimal due to overcast skies and rain necessitating an ISO of 400 at 1/250th at f4.5.

Interestingly, bears with white coats have a greater chance of catching fish than black bears.   This is because the fish finds it difficult to see the bear’s white coloring.

A Year of Watching Wildlife by David Lukas – Book Review   3 comments



5 Reasons Why You NEED This Book “A Year of Watching Wildlife” – Lonely Planet Series – David Lukas

1)    Right Place at the Right Time

Have you ever looked at a spectacular photo and said that is a lucky shot.  Well, in the world of wildlife photography you make your own luck by being in the right place and waiting for the right time.  This book tells you on a week by week basis where the most interesting animal encounters are occurring around the world.

2)    Plan your next vacation

Want to go to Australia this week? Head on over to Ningaloo Reef and swim with the whale sharks.  Headed to Alaska? Wait until July and watch brown bears catching salmon at Katmai National Park. Live in California?  Make sure you go see the thousand pound bull elephant seals fight for territory at Ano Nuevo State Reserve in December.

3)    Determine the best times to see a certain species of animals

If you are a professional nature photographer or just a like to take snapshots this book is a valuable reference full of practical advice for not only knowing when to go, but finding out new species that are available to photograph. Also the book has a focus on environmentally responsible travel.

4)    Entertaining Read

Even if you don’t plan on leaving your house, this book is similar to a little National Geographic episode on each page.  Page 144 (Tibet), Page 72(Uganda), Page 135 (Russia).

5)    Excellent Photography

The book is filled with amazing nature photography fit for any coffee table.


I have owned this book for about 4 weeks now and pick it up every chance I get.  I have read it cover to cover and now I go back to see what potential trips are coming up.


Other books in the Lonely Planet series are:  A Year of Adventures and A Year of Festivals



Thanks for Reading!

-Charlie and Tom

(The PhotoBotos Brothers)

“Death From Above” – Tshukudu Game Reserve, South Africa – Graham King – Featured Photographer   59 comments



“Death From Above” – Tshukudu Game Reserve, South Africa – Graham King – Featured Photographer

Okay, maybe I am a bit dramatic with the title, but I think it is fitting when you have a 100 pound leopard over your head.    You can only imagine what this leopard sees and that is the fun of it.  Gazelle?  Zebra? One of Graham’s friends? No matter who is on the lunch menu, the beauty and agility of this big cat is well represented in Graham’s photograph. So please read the story below then check out the rest of Graham’s stunning portfolio at:

Take it away Graham:

The shot was taken back in 2007.  I went on a two week photographic safari to The Kruger and then onto Tshukudu Game Reserve on the edge of  it.  In the reserve you are able to get a bit closer to the animals than you can in Kruger.

One morning we watched this very active male leopard who spent most of his time in this tree looking out for a chance of a good meal. Something caught his eye and he came very close to where we were.  It was a very intense stare that will stay with me forever.

Unfortunately for the leopard, and lucky for his prey, he went hungry that morning.

I had been using my D200 with my long lens but had to scramble for my spare camera so I could get the big cat in the frame. It was taken on a D70 with a Nikkor 70-210 f4, 1/500 sec at f4.5, ISO 400.

Great Gray Owl – Dunrobin, Ontario, Canada – Jim Cumming – Featured Photographer   322 comments



Birthday Present

Great Gray Owl –  Dunrobin, Ontario, Canada – Jim Cumming – Featured Photographer

Today is our grandmother’s 81st birthday and she loves owls of all kinds.  So we thought today would be appropriate to feature Jim Cumming.  Jim is passionate about photographing wildlife in and around Ontario and it shows.  He has several great owl photographs and he truly is the deer whisperer.  Please check out his portfolios and after you read about his wonderful owl in flight  photo.

Take it away Jim:

I had heard there was a Great Gray Owl located in Dunrobin, Ontario, Canada and not far from my home in Kanata, Ontario so I ventured out one weekend morning to hopefully find and photograph it. Driving down a country road I noticed a handful of photographers in an open field so I stopped to inquire what was going on, upon meeting and greeting this group I was informed that they were baiting (releasing mice for owls to catch) this owl and was asked if I had any problems with that, I didn’t but then again I had no idea what they were talking about since I had never heard of this practice before. Within a few minutes I witnessed something I’ve never seen before in my life, a huge owl flying right towards me, so with camera in hand I took some shots I will never forget as long as I live.

Date taken: Feb 21, 2009
Location: Dunrobin, Ontario, Canada
Camera: Canon 40D
Lens: Canon 70-200 f4 IS
shutter speed: 1/1000
Aperture: f4
ISO: 100
Focal length: 192mm

To read more from Jim here are a couple articles from Canadian Nature Photographer by Jim

“Zottel is Back”- Alps, Switzerland – John Wilhelm – Featured Photographer   50 comments



“Zottel is Back”- Alps, Switzerland – John Wilhelm – Featured Photographer

As with many great photographs, John has not only created an emotion with his photo, but also leads the viewer into an imaginary story written in their own mind.

I hope this photo makes you smile.  I certainly did when I opened it.  At first, I thought “what a silly goat chewing on a flower”.  Then I realized this was only the beginning of the destruction.  I assume by now that entire field of daisies has been reduced to goat made fertilizer.  Please follow John below on how he painstakingly created Zottel.

Take it away John :

Hi there everyone.

Wonderful to be here on PhotoBotos with one of my shots. Wow!

The selected photo was very difficult to take. We had to keep track of this very rare and shy animal for months.  We chased it with helicopters, dogs and a team of 15 experienced Swiss goat-hunters till we caught it on this wonderful plane of flowers in the middle of the Swiss Alps.

No seriously… this goat lives just a hop outside my house.  I like simple photographs, untouched and straight out of the camera, but I LOVE  to combine all available techniques (camera equipment and software) to develop shots from me  into something special which reflects my imagination of how the the ideal picture should look.

Now the facts to the Goat Pic:

–    shot with Sony Nex 7 (great great cam!) and the new Zeiss 24 1.8 (great lens)

–    3 shots in a focus-stack (manually combined in PS)

–    sky is a separate Shot (Leica M9, 21 Distagon, Swiss Alps)

–    flowerplane and flower in mouth were generated with Terragen

–    everything edited and composed in Photoshop CS 5

–    duration to create this: approx. 10h

 If you like this goat you may like other photos by me too:

“Curious Dragon”- Komodo Island, Indonesia – Will & Matt Burrard – Lucas – Featured Photographers   52 comments



“Curious Dragon”- Komodo Island, Indonesia – Will & Matt Burrard – Lucas – Featured Photographers

When we saw this image by the Burrard-Lucas brothers the Photobotos brothers were blown away.  You don’t get inches away from 10 foot lizards with killer saliva so we had to know how they did it.  These guys as you will see are not only great photographers, but are very clever in how they obtain them.    You can find them at

After checking out their Komodo dragon photos, hop over to their Giant Panda Expedition at The photos are incredible.

Also here are some links to keep up with them on Facebook and Twitter!/willbl

Take it away guys!

We recently spent three days traveling around the Indonesian islands of Komodo and Rinca, photographing the legendary Komodo dragons.

Preparation for the trip commenced several weeks earlier, as I attempted to devise an effective and safe way of getting wide-angle, close-up shots of these notoriously dangerous creatures.  I would not have time to set-up camera traps, and I didn’t have enough room to take BeetleCam, so I came up with something a little more basic!

I mounted my camera on top of two wheels (generously donated by my computer chair) and then attached this to a monopod so that I could push the rig up to the dragons. I figured this would give me a 2 meter head-start if one of them decided I looked like lunch! I named my new contraption “KomodoCam”!

Reaching Komodo Island was an epic undertaking… I had to fly to Singapore, then Bali, then the island of Flores, before taking a boat to Komodo Island and Rinca Island. Komodo dragons only live on a few isolated islands in this part of Indonesia.

It is hard to describe the excitement and trepidation I felt as the foreboding volcanic peaks of Komodo Island loomed up in front of me. The island was shrouded in ominous dark clouds and even the sea seemed to have turned black. It really felt like a land lost in time.

Towards the end of the second day of my trip, an opportunity to use KomodoCam at last presented itself; I came across a large dragon in a flat, open clearing in the forest. I nervously set up the rig and pushed it towards the dragon. The dragon treated the camera with curiosity and obligingly flicked its tongue in and out to investigate the unfamiliar object.  To my relief, the beast decided that there was nothing edible and I was spared seeing a Komodo dragon eat my Canon 1Ds mkIII!

“At the Mercy of Men”- Lake Nakuru, Kenya – Mitchell Krog – Featured Photographer   38 comments



“At the Mercy of Men”- Lake Nakuru, Kenya – Mitchell Krog –  Featured Photographer

Happy Valentine’s Day! I absolutely love this image.  One of the hardest things to do in a wildlife photograph is to  create an image of an animal while still showing its environment.  Mitchell captures this perfectly.  It is no wonder this image took first place in the Fujifilm Getaway Wildlife and Environmental Awards 2011.  After you read his story slide on over to Mitchell’s Galleries, friend him on Facebook, and follow his tweets!

Web Site:
Twitter: @MitchellKrog

Take it away Mitchell:

I took this shot on a trip to Kenya in late 2009.  I was in Lake Nakurufor a few days primarily to focus on the vast populations of Flamingoes that flock to the Lake. One afternoon on my way down to the lake, there stood this single Rhino right out in the open with the most amazing backdrop that just screamed to me in black and white. I had my driver stop the vehicle and I grabbed my wide angle lens and just waited for the moment when he might look up directly at me. Light was already quite low so I cranked my ISO up to 800 and opened up my aperture to f/4 as I did not want to risk losing this shot. It did not take long and the Rhino lifted his head for a brief moment, stared directly at me, and that was the moment captured.

There has been such a plague of Rhino killings in South Africa over the past 2-3 years with well over 800 of these magnificent beasts having been slaughtered for their horns. This image is very close to my heart and was that way from the moment I captured it.  To me it portrays a vision that I hope to never see in my lifetime, the last Rhino standing out in an open field long after all the other Rhino’s have been slaughtered.  It would be a grim day if we ever see the headline “Last Rhino Killed”.  Luckily Kenya seems to be much more in control over controlling poaching in their country and hopefully with responsible management we will have these gentle beasts sharing our planet with us for many years to come.

I was honored to have this image take first place in the Fujifilm Getaway Wildlife and Environmental Awards 2011.

Camera: Nikon D3s
Lens: Nikkor 14-24mm
Focal Length: 24mm
Aperture: F/4
ISO: 800

Charlie Again:

Not only does this photograph inspire , but it also stimulates action. Please check out the International Rhino Foundation website for more information.


Feeding Lions in Zimbabwe, Africa – Shane Cleminson – Guest Photographer   30 comments



Feeding Lions in Zimbabwe, Africa – Shane Cleminson – Guest Photographer

I must say when I opened this photo it stopped me in my tracks.  I didn’t expect to see feeding lions from BELOW eye level.  Insane!  I love it.  I can’t believe he is right in the action.  Shane is an African transplant now living in Maryland as a wedding photographer.  His eye is very sharp and he has tons of talent that is apparent on his website  and blog

Shane… Take it from here!

I shot this image about six years ago.  It is still one of my favorite shots.  I was working on a wildlife video for a conservation project in Zimbabwe, Africa.  I shot this with an old Canon 20D and the kit 18-55mm lens.  It was a bright day and I used a polarizing filter to get a bit more color in the sky.  I was able to get so close as I spent a few months working with a group of about 50 lions for a video documentary in Zimbabwe.  I was lying on the ground next to these lions.  They were eating a Blesbok.  Blesbok are native to South Africa, but a few places in Zimbabwe have imported them.  There used to be over 100,000 lions in sub Saharan Africa.  Today there are less than 15,000.  Sadly, most governments in Africa make too much money off hunting to list the lion as endangered.  More controlled hunting and better conservation of wild spaces would save the King of Beasts.

Here is a direct link to his lion photos.


Best Friends? – Playa Carmen, MX   50 comments



Best Friends? – Playa Carmen, MX

Monkeys are pretty cool.  This spider monkey walked up to my soon on the hotel porch to ask for a peach.  He had stolen one earlier in the day and was back for more.  When he noticed we were fresh out he just stuck around for some friendly conversation.  Please feel free to send us any photos you have of interactions with wild animals.  We would love to see them!

Royal Albatross Chick (Diomedea epomophora) – Otago Peninsula, New Zealand   13 comments



Royal Albatross Chick (Diomedea epomophora) – Otago Peninsula, New Zealand

On the southern edge of New Zealand lies the wind swept Otago peninsula.  It is home to several species of penguins, sea lions, dolphins, whales, and sea birds.  On the very tip is Taiaroa Head, home to a Royal albatross colony.  The place is spectacular.  Rather than building a little birding platform they built an entire visitor center around the site  What makes this place so special is that they are nesting on the very large south island of New Zealand.  Normally, they will only nest on islands without rats.  I guess the locals have a good way of keeping the rats out of this highly protected area.  While this little guy was at home in the blustering wind, we were warm and dry trying to spot them like Easter eggs in the tall grass.  If you are ever in this part of the world, it is a must see for everyone.

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