Sitting in front of Adobe Lightroom and filtering all of my photos by year, I was surprised to see that 2013 was the least productive I have had in the last 8 years. Many years ago I would have been alarmed at that statistic, but when I think back to the 4 wonderful trips that I went on, I can say that it has been my most successful so far. Accompanied with the fact that I have been focusing on writing the trilogy that I hope to start publishing in 2014, I sit here with a smile on my face. This post is just a short summary of the wonderful places I visited, the great people I have met and the fantastic wildlife that has tolerated me.
Hope you enjoy the short photographic summary of 2013 and I wish everyone of you a fantastic 2014. May everything that you wish for yourself, appear at your door.
So, let us begin. In the early part of the year I joined some folks on a Northshots trip to Norway to walk, climb and fall in the snow covered mountains of the Dovrefjell National Park (Trip report). It had long been a dream to photograph these animals in the snow and we were lucky enough to find nine animals in a regular spot for the three days. I missed the second day with a buggered knee so had to sit in a warm cabin while the others got some great photos in a blizzard. That’s just how it goes on some trips.
After a wonderful 20 day USA road trip with my lovely wife (covering 4800 miles), I headed out to South Africa for a month of wildlife photography. First stop was a truly magical and unspoilt place that I was uber keen to get to. Mana Pools is one of the most pristine African parks that I have encountered to date. I joined a group of great guides and fantastic photographers to spend a few days walking with lions and elephant, an experience that I will never forget (sitting on the dusty floor only 40 meters away from resting lions is hard to beat).
Camping and dining in tents on the bank of the Zambezi while elephants walk past is one of those quintessential African experiences. (Trip report)
Thanks to Wildeye, Morkel, Marlon and Will of Africa for such a fantastic trip
I went straight from Mana Pools to the Kruger National Park for a 9 day trip and it is always nice to arrive with your photographic and creative brain already dialled in. I stayed at some of the more northern camps this trip as I wanted to do a post on the great Mopane tree and also was keen to stay away from the Jeep mayhem that can happen in the southern region. This trip was all about filling my stock library with more common birds and animals that call Kruger home and I was really happy to nail so many (see Animals and Bird trip reports for all the species) .
As I said in both trip reports, Kruger still remains the place for some of the best and easily accessible African biodiversity on the continent.
I arrived back in the UK as Autumn started with the usual Deer action around the countryside. I did try to get out into the deer rut this year but the photos that I had in my mind required some clear freezing days. This didn’t happen this year and accompanied with a deer cull which occurred, the chance never came. I only went out on two occasions and it was only this lone Fallow deer photo that I really liked.
And so we got to the end of November and I joined a great group of folks on a Chris Weston trip to the Bavarian Forest National Park (trip report). It is a quick and easy trip to Munich to get to see the animals which are in large open wild enclosures. We had a little snow on the second day which made for great photos of the Bear, Wolves and Lynx.
Oh and I think that the Eurasian Lynx in my new favourite wild cat.