1. Photography eBook

    The Backstory
    Creative Close-Ups

    19 pager. 15 high resolution images.
    To purchase a copy, please click here.

    I have, for some time, considered doing a book in the traditional printed form but have always felt that there was more than enough “How to” books already available to satisfy the demands of nature photographers with each,  pretty much, following the same format (advising on equipment, exposure, filtration and so on) when, in my experience of leading hundreds of workshops, the two things that most aspiring photographers want to know is – how and why did YOU take that photograph? For this reason and listening to the requests of many others, I have decided to put together a number of eBooks titled The Backstory with this being the first.

    It’s simple. With each image there is accompanying text describing, in detail, the story behind the photograph revealing both the technique and thought process that led up to it with the latter, I firmly believe, being the key ingredient in producing creative, evocative and memorable images.



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  2. Misty Moodiness

    There is, in my opinion, no better place to blow the cobwebs away and relieve you of the daily stresses and strains, than a walk in the woods. Couple this with completely still, misty, “golden” conditions and you have the perfect tonic. As a professional photographer, I am always on the look-out for exciting (commercial) images and occasionally lose touch with why I love nature photography so much. Those four hours I spent, a few days ago, wandering and losing myself in the intoxicating solitude, reminded me so and was one of the most rewarding forays I have ever had. Oh, and as I retraced my steps along that woodland path, a fox walked across it, right infront of me!

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  3. Stripped!

    The 2009 wildlife Photographer of the Year recipient, José Luis Rodríguez, has been stripped of his title.  Why?  Evidence has come to light that the wolf pictured jumping over a gate was in fact a ‘model.’  Much has already been written about this, with particularly interesting views on Niall Benvie’s 3-way blog with Andrew Parkinson and Paul Harcourt-Davies.  I won’t go into too much detail other than that the investigation first came to light in the Finnish magazine Suomen Luonto where they show striking similarities of the background between the winning image and that of the Cañada Real Center zoological park near Madrid and a tame wolf named Ossian.  It was in fact other Spanish photographers that brought it to attention as they didn’t want the reputation of others tarnished.

    The competition rules clearly state ”Images of captive animals must be declared. The judges will take preference to images taken in free and wild conditions.”  The photographer claimed it was a wild wolf and indeed still does.  Many had suspicions over the authenticity of the image, an overriding factor being that it was jumping over the gate as opposed to creeping through it, which would be much more normal behaviour for this notoriously shy species.

    It’s a great shame that this has happened in the most prestigious wildlife photography competition and to be honest I’m surprised this hasn’t happened sooner.   There seems to be an overwhelming desire these days by many wildlife photographers to succeed, whatever the cost.  Whether it be by digital manipulation, using wildlife models (passing them off as wild) or photographing schedule 1 species without a licence, such as a kingfisher at the nest.  Now, I’m not condemning the use of captive wildlife or falconers come to that.  Indeed it is common practise to use them and you could argue that by using a controlled animal such as a jaguar or golden eagle you don’t disturb it in the wild.  But it’s when it is passed off as being wild or when manipulation in the computer is such that it is no longer a true representation of what was seen that I feel the line has most definitely been crossed.  Ultimately we can only look to ourselves and reach deep inside to our own ethics and morals before even thinking about entering a ‘dodgy’ image into a competition in the hope that no-one will ever find out.  It absolutely baffles me.  I’ve been photographing wildlife since I was a boy because I love to be outdoors and experience nature’s wonders first hand.  If I happen to get anywhere in a competition then that is simply a bonus.  When it becomes the sole purpose of your work, then I feel its time you choose something else to photograph.

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