moutain gorilla holidays PHOTOGRAPHY & WRITING BY IAN WOOD
I'm back in Entebbe for a few days and it would be rude not to visit the nearby Mabamba swamp in search of the Shoebill and an array of other birdlife ... internet access is rather slow but here's a handful of photos from earlier this morning. There's more photos of the Shoebill and Mabamba swamp from my previous visit here or if you'd like more information on my future Uganda mountain gorilla holidays please follow that link. Webale nyo !
There are two species of ground hornbill as shown in the photos below - the first one is the Southern ground hornbill and the latter, the Northern ground hornbill - taken on my Tanzania and Uganda holidays respectively. Maybe I'm slightly biased as I do like a hornbill but you have to respect these incredible birds. They are monogamous, sometimes pairing for over 30 years but they have one of the slowest reproductive rates in the bird kingdom, producing just one chick every nine years or so. They are also the only species of hornbill which do not seal the entrance of their nests once their eggs are laid. Page under construction ... more info on these birds to follow when I find a better internet connection !
Below are a selection of photos taken on my Sussex photography courses and workshops this year (click on any image to view them larger) Each Spring and Summer I run a few of these along with one-on-one days that can be tailored to your exact needs. Click here to take you to my Sussex photography course section.
I've just made a 3 minute video showing a typical day on one of my Borneo orangutan fundraising trips ... can't figure out how to imbed it on this page but the direct link to the You Tube clip is here.
20 baby orangutan photos taken on my Borneo Orangutan fundraising holidays. (Click on any image to view them larger) Orangutans are one of the animals that humans can relate to so if we can't ensure a long term future for these peaceful vegetarians then I think there is little hope for the wider world. Although the overall picture is bleak in both Borneo and Sumatra with huge swathes of lowland forest already gone there are rays of hope. The Orangutan Foundation work on a number of projects including protecting Tanjung Puting National Park in Kalimantan where about 4000 wild orangutans and a huge array of other wildlife live.
Orangutans are one of over 40 species featured in my new book 'Swimming with dolphins, Tracking gorillas' which is a coffee table style paperback showing where and how to see the world's iconic wildlife in the most ethical ways possible. It's illustrated with beautiful photography and has been getting some lovely reviews. Available in all good book stores and on Amazon UK here or for the rest of world The Book Depository (direct link here) are now offering free delivery to anywhere on the planet. Or if you'd just like more info and a few sample pages to flick through including the chimpanzee section click here.
Thanks for all your feedback ... so far 12 people prefer the top photo and 9 the bottom one. The coventional way of photographing fast moving subjects such as flying birds is to use very fast shutter speeds to freeze the action. But there are times when this isn't possible and can even be used to your advantage to create more abstract kind of images. I took the first photo below of a Storkbilled Kingfisher last week during one of my Borneo photography holidays at dusk with a shutter speed of just 1/10th sec while panning the bird as it flew past. There's another kingfisher photo below taken in the more traditional style with a shutter speed of 1/2000th sec. So the question is ... which one do you prefer and why !? @Ianwoodphotos There's another example of a shot of a horse and dog running here that I also used this effect with.
I've been regularly visiting Borneo for many years now for my annual Orangutan Foundation fundraising trips which gives me the opportunity to see many of the baby orangutans grow up. I took the 2 photos below exactly 4 years apart (to the very day). The first is Tut Tut with her 2 day old baby in October 2009 ... she had twins then which is incredibly rare for orangutans but sadly her other baby died. Then last week I met her again with her baby now aged four and as you'll see still breast feeding. By this age they are eating plenty of other food so I suspect this is mainly comfort feeding now. For more photos from my recent Borneo orangutan trip please click here.
Borneo orangutan holiday trip 3 report (28th Oct to 5th Nov 2013) " This holiday totally exceeded my expectations from the beautiful scenery to the exceptional wildlife encounters. The Orangutan ecounters blew my mind ...I cried with sheer joy most days ! " Sonya Jenkins
I was slightly nervous about this Orangutan Foundation fundraising trip beforehand ... It was just that we'd had two such incredible trips there over the previous month and I wondered whether this one could match them. I shouldn't have worried of course - it not only lived up to expecatations but the group were wonderful people to share such wildlife encounters with. Somewhere in my pre trip info I state that usually these holidays soon become like a group of close friends travelling together and this happened so quickly on this holiday. Massive thanks to Sonya, Nell, Peter, Jennie, Jo, Christine and Barbara for being such good fun ... I shall look forward to meeting you all again at some point. You can find the two previous orangutan holiday trip reports here: TRIP 1 2013 and TRIP 2 2013
Borneo orangutan fundraising trip 2: 19th to 26th October 2013: "This week in Borneo was a great experience - the quality of the wildlife encounters were just amazing, a huge privilege to be able to share in their world. With your on-going easy to understand photo tuition the whole group were able to find a way to improve their camera skills, whether they were beginners or experts. I now feel confident about using my camera, flip my way through the menu efficiently and have progressed to a new level. Being greeted by the children in the village leaves lasting memories and the brilliant crew on the boat made this such a great time. This holiday would suit anyone who loves wildlife, birds and butterflies and wants to improve their photography skills, eat well, spend time gently chugging down rivers and meet a few like minded people to share the experience." Suzanne Lamb
Thanks to Suzanne, Adrian, Chris, Rob, Kaz, Jan and Jessica for sharing such a lovely week together. Only 2 days off before I return to Tanjung Puting for my 3rd annual orangutan fundraising trip but just managed to upload a few random photos from this trip below (click on any photo to view them larger). (For photos and trip report for previous trip click here). Between us we raised another few thousand dollars for the Orangutan Foundation from this trip whose work is ensuring that the 4000 wild orangutan and huge array of other wildlife have a long term future in this part of Borneo. My remaining orangutan holidays for this year have been fully booked for some time but there are some places available for my 2014 trips (click here for more info).
Orangutans & Proboscis monkeys are just two of the numerous animals featured in my new book 'Swimming with dolphins, Tracking gorillas' which is a coffee table paperback showing where and how to see the world's iconic wildlife in the most ethical ways possible. Click here for where to buy or here for a few sample pages to flick through incuding the Chimpanzee section
After a week off with the fishes in Sulawesi it's back to my commute to Borneo for my next orangutan fundrasing trip. Just made a 2 minute video with my iphone which is on Youtube here Quality is not perfect as my internet connection is terrible ... but if you don't view it full screen you get the idea !