Half way in my second year of University I thought why not join in with these photos of 2013 so here is my year, twelve amazing experiences, maybe more photos then I should of included.
I kick off this sequence with one of my favourite images of the year, this set up with a captive owl was staged to represent it’s natural urban habitat the dark, rustic surroundings really contrast with the lumonus and angelic barn own.
My amazing experience with my class in the Caingorms provided me with the opetunities for my two favourite photos so far, both exceptional experiences but my mountain hare shoot in the snow had to be number one even topping my one on one interaction with the capercallie, one which took a lot to beat. These hares were so docile hiding under the heather from the snow drifts but after being spooked I managed to capture this shot of it bounding across the mountain.
As for the red squirrel, very timid and very scarce, a shoot I could not wait to perform. I had never seen one before and after many issues with lenses and people I thought I would not get an image but luckily I borrowed a Mark II and a 400mm and stayed behind at the site with one other, missing the crested tits but getting the shot I desired. That night before I had camped in a hide waiting for Black Grouse with no luck but after getting the natural image of a red squirrel I would say it was worth it.
Emerging crab from a shallow pool, one from a personal project studying shore crabs. These species are well known and photographed but we still don’t know very much about these species, can’t wait to study them further.
After entering a very small online magazine competition I ended up wining and after being thrilled my work was being displayed in a London exhibition it went horribly wrong as a lot does in this business, luckily after fighting my case as an apology I was sent to Tenerife to photograph with the Atlantic Whale Foundation and I fell in love. Id never seen a whale before, let alone so close and so many, it’s so breathtaking and beautiful I only wish to see more and get more photos of these majestic creatures.
Not one of my best photographs but one of my favourite experiences. As I sat in a small boat with my friends in tenerife we spotted one of the turtles and soon threw ourseles in the water to photograph it using my Gopro hero 3, swimming together for over ten minutes I have never felt so alive, swimming together and under me it was so beautiful yet felt like a dream, I advise everyone to swim in the water or just see one of these amazing species in the wild, it will change your life and aspect on the world.
I study Marine and Natural History Photography at Falmouth University and as much as I wanted to I could not shake my panic attacks underwater so diving was a no go but this year I faced my fear and learned to snorkel, even now I still panic underwater but I have learnt to cope better. After facing this I did a series of mini projects over the summer with my go pro until my friend taught me basics on underwater photography with a D7000 housing and strobes and managed to capture my first proper underwater image which I have to say I am pretty chuffed with as an amateur.
As seen in my previous blog this image has to be my favourite of my Chinese mantis who I sadly lost a few weeks ago. Anyone who’s ever watched a mantis for long enough will know they have such a beautiful nature and mine especially, this was one of the many times I managed to get her still enough to photograph in a spot that was actually reachable. Beautiful and really highlighting her unique qualities as a mantis with her spiked legs and obscure shape.
One of my favourite subjects recently is luna the captive fox, as I caught her drinking out of the pond in her enclosure. May have been less testing but just as beautiful creature and hopefully will photograph some wild species soon.
Between project ideas I took a visit to a dairy farm where the cows were being milked in bulk, differing in actual behaviour I set out to capture the cows in a dramatic and depressing light through the means of the flash. I meant nothing against the corporation or dairy farming but to nearly experiment with the atmosphere I could create and for image use on the commercial dairy farming that is in my opinion wrong.
Through the experimentation with my Gopro as stated before I have been exploring rock pools including the hidden landscapes under the water, this is my favourite underwater landscape so far with a valley of seaweed running through.
Although this is a captive harvest mouse, these are incredibly tricky to capture, so fast and small but so cute and amazing subjects. I won my magazine entry with a previous harvest mouse image but went back and photographed them again and I have to say I much prefer this image, the vibrant greens make it stand out with all its twists and turns of both the vine and tail as it grasps on.
Who knows what next year will bring but hopefully it includes a lot of time with my camera, March hares and much more time underwater.