moutain gorilla holidays PHOTOGRAPHY & WRITING BY IAN WOOD
Somewhere in the blurb for my orangutan holidays I mention that when they work best, they soon become like a group of friends sharing a special experience together. Thanks so much to Dave, Georgie, Roy, Christine, RoJean, Joe and Nell for making this trip an absolute pleasure and for helping raise nearly $4000 for the Orangutan Foundation. My internet access is very limited at the moment so I've quickly cobbled together a few random images from our time together as a memory of this trip ... more to follow. Or click here to see more orangutan photos.
My new book 'Swimming with dolphins, Tracking gorillas' shows where and how to see the world's iconic wildlife in the most ethical ways possible ... including orangutans and proboscis monkeys of course. I've just returned from the forest for a few days and there are now 27 five star reviews on Amazon ... click here to read the reviews .
I've just finished work on a magazine article about dolphins ... here's a random selection of some of the images. (Scroll down to see more)Dolphins are just one of 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 Amazon reviews ... or here for more info and a few sample pages to flick through.
To read the full dolphin article click here.
Proboscis monkeys are endemic to the low lying coastal swamps of Borneo. One of the most important population thrives in Tanjung Puting national park where you'll see so many that it's easy to forget quite how endangered these primates are. Every evening, small groups gather in the tree tops next to a river, so heading out by boat offers the best chance to get close. Although dusk is good, some of my favourite encounters have been in the very early morning, when the mist clings to the surface of the water. They are one of several primates featured in my new book 'Swimming with dolphins, Tracking gorillas' which shows how and where to see the world's iconic wildlife in the most ethical ways possible. Click here for more info ... or scroll down to see some photographs of this remarkable monkey.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending Art Wolfe's seminar in London ... an inspiring day with one of the greatest living photographers. I loved his technique of deliberately slowing the shutter speed down to such slow speeds that it can't freeze the action. For bird photography the tendency is go for very fast shutter speeds that produce crystal clear images of birds in flight. The photo I've taken below is using just 1/50th sec and panning as the Sparrow flies away ... which like it or not ... certainly produces unusual images.
Despite the word wide success of the academy award winning film 'The Cove' which documents the brutal slaughter of dolphins in Taji, Japan, the killing continues. There are currently 22 pilot whales trapped in Taji and the local authorities are planning to kill some for meat and use the remaining ones for a marine park. Every telephone call to the Japanese Embassy has to be logged so pick up the phone and call 020 7465 6500 (UK Japan Embassy). After the initial message press 2 for information in English ... this will give you 2 other options ... press 2 and you'll be transferred to a person. Politely state that you are shocked by Japan's murder of dolphins and whales and that you and your friends will now boycott all Japanese products. The person will listen to your complaint and then ask if you want your call logged. Say yes and you'll be transferred to an automatic recording where you can leave the same message again. I've visited Japan several times and have found Japanese people to be very polite and respectful ... if enough people call, the message that the world is opposed to this slaughter will get heard. Please don't be abusive ... just leave your message.
Or tweet the prime minister of Japan here : @JPN_PMO
Please spread this information by any means you can ... thanks !
Dare to be different. Brighton pier is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the UK and consequentially has been photographed from virtually every angle. (Just one stock photography agency who I sell images though has over 10,000 shots of this landmark.) I've had a commission to get some unusual shots of Brighton so this evening when an extremely low tide coincided with sunset ... that's where I was. Here's a few shots from tonight ... feedback always welcome ! @IanWoodPhotos (Scoll down to see some more pics)
One of the aims of this years International primate day is to highlight the suffering of primates in laboratories around the world. The first image below is a long tailed macaque - tens of thousands of these primates are still exported for use in experiments. Scroll down further for a random selection of my images to celebrate primate day. My new book 'Swimming with dolphins, Tracking gorillas' features several primates including orangutans, mountain & lowland gorillas, chimpanzees and proboscis monkeys. For more info and to flick through a few sample pages click here.
They say that the eyes are the window to the soul. Compare the 2 photos below ... the first is a wild orangutan in Borneo and the second is a young orangutan that was found in a palm oil plantation. She's now in a care centre in southern Borneo and the eyes say it all. But there is hope for her ... the Orangutan Foundation have a release site in the Lamandau reserve that covers 76,000 hectares of forest and every penny raised goes towards conservation. Click here for more info on their work. Or come to Borneo on one of my fundraising trips and see their work at first hand. Click here for trip info.
My recent article about whether people should swim with dolphins (click here for link) has caused quite a discussion and I've had several inquiries as to my views relating to Discovery Cove & Sea World, Florida and Dolphin Reef, Israel.
My personal views on these places are quite succinct – I detest them. I am against any dolphins in captivity … full stop. Federal law in the USA prohibits both swimming with wild dolphins and feeding them, but curiously condones these practices in captivity. A quick glance at Discovery Cove's website has appalling photos of people cuddling dolphins.
Until recently the arguments against such establishments were easy to make as they purchased dolphins from the wild. This leads to whole pods being rounded up in places such as Taiji, Japan and the Solomon islands. Ric O’barry’s incredible Oscar winning documentary The Cove exposed this practice in Taji, but despite the world outcry hasn’t succeeded in ending the slaughter. In fact more dolphins are being murdered NOW ... see this link for more info and to tell Japan how you feel about their appalling behaviour.
Dolphinarium owners such as Discovery Cove, Sea World and Dolphin Reef claim that they no longer buy any dolphins from the wild and have switched their focus to captive breeding and artificial insemination programmes. They make huge PR gains whenever a dolphin is born in captivity, whilst conveniently choosing to ignore the numbers that die in their care.
Even if we are to believe their statements about not purchasing dolphins from wild hunts (forgive my cynicism, but they've only changed their stance after pressure from activists – not out of respect for marine life), there are other issues.
Firstly, there is the example they are setting to people in terms of acceptable ways to interact with animals – using dolphins purely for financial gain.
But secondly they are still contributing to the demand for dolphins to be hunted in the wild. How I hear you cry, if they no longer buy dolphins via this route ? Again it comes down to setting examples. These are big businesses – the owners of SeaWorld turnover in excess of 900 million Euros each year. Other companies around the world want a piece of this action and end up buying dolphins from wild hunts to stock their dolphinariums. Developed countries like the USA and Israel should be ashamed of allowing any dolphins to be kept in captivity.
Dolphin Reef in Eilat, Israel, dares to use the word ‘ecological’ in its publicity. Even if the pen is a cordoned off area of sea as opposed to a marine park, the dolphins are kept in captivity and the only motivation behind this establishment is profit and greed. The website, Marine Connection, has a great article on the facts behind Dolphin Reef … click here for link.
Cheetah cubs have extremely high rates of mortality with only about 1 in 20 making it to adulthood. Most casualties fall victims to predators such as lions and hyenas with the mother's main defence strategy being to hide her cubs away and move them to a new den every five days or so. When prey is scarce the mother will sometimes be forced to leave them for up to two days and if she is unable to eat enough to meet the demands of lactation, her litter will be abandoned. But even if they defy the odds and reach adulthood they have other obstacles to overcome as it can take over two years for a cheetah to become a fully proficient hunter. Cheetahs are just one of numerous animals featured in my new book published in UK 15th August. Click here for more info.