Well, another year has flown by and it has been a fantastic one for photography and travel. I thought it would be great to end off the year with my top 20 photographs for 2012.
The year started out with some cold, frosty days in February which generally means great misty and moody photographs taken at Bushy Park. Regular visitors to my blog will know that this is my local patch which also has a wonderful variety of British Wildlife to photograph. Below is one of my favourite minimalist photographs of one of those misty mornings.
In the first week of May, I flew to the island paradise of Sri Lanka. The main purpose of the visit was a trip to Yala National Park , renowned for its healthy populations of Asian Leopards and Asian Elephants. I had previously photographed quite a few Asian elephants in India, but it was always great to spend more time with them. The Asian Leopards are slightly larger than their African counterparts but proved just as elusive to photograph. Some older males did oblige with a few brief appearances so I didn’t come away empty handed.
The next trip I undertook was the big one for the year. I have long wanted to photograph Polar bears in the wild and in August I joined a Northshots tour to the island of Svalbard in the Arctic. It is really difficult to describe just how special the Arctic is in such a short blog so please follow the link to the Trip report for more details: Svalbard trip report.
The Arctic ice has receded back to the 81.4 degree mark this year and was the furthest on record which does not bode well for the animals and birdlife of the region. It doesn’t matter what your opinion is on the issue of climate change, seeing it in action and realising just how far the Polar bears have to travel to feed is a very sobering experience. I also got to photograph the diminutive Ivory Gull which was a lifer for me.
2012 was the year of equipment upgrades in the Marinovich household and a new 16-35mm zoom lens soon joined the kit bag. This was followed by a short period of deliberation and research before I bit the bullet and upgraded my old Canon 1D Mk4 to the new Canon 1Dx. I’ll post some views and opinions on this monster in the new year, but in short it is probably the best that Canon have produced to date. I did manage to sneak out for a quick post deer rut shoot with it in Bushy Park before I went off to South Africa to chase some rhinos. Below is my favourite photograph from Bushy Park.
My last trip for the year was to a great little reserve in South Africa renowned for its Rhino conservation work in the 1970’s. Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve was at the forefront of Operation Rhino when hundreds of healthy animals were shipped to other parks that had lost Rhinos due to rampant poaching. It is quite sad and ironic that I should return to the game reserve during 2012 to get more stock photos, the same year that the poaching numbers hit 633 animals.
I tried to forget that fact as I spent hours on end with these wonderful calm animals. I’ll share more photos in the new year from this reserve along with the obligatory trip report.