Khao Yai: Rolling Jungle Thunder
Trekking though tropical jungle is one of my favourite activities. The ‘trial by sweat’ is well rewarded as you can observe such a high number of different species peacefully going about their business. Previously, I’ve seen this jungle in extremes - both flood and drought, and I couldn’t wait to get back in there. My guide and I covered a lot of ground and we had some really intense experiences with the fauna who were rejoicing in the first of the late rains.
Yala: Like No Other
The wildlands of Yala National Park hold the highest population density of leopard in the world. It is a huge, old, coastal reserve whose dense bush tapers down to fresh, unspoilt Indian Ocean beach. The biggest draw was the Ceylon Leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya), an endangered subspecies found only in Sri Lanka. As the heartless Easter Sunday bombings happened in Colombo, the South emptied of tourists leaving just me, my guides… and the animals, who were noticeably more relaxed; unaware of the carnage in the North.
Himalaya: abode of snow
In Ancient Sanscrit, Himalaya literally means ‘(Alaya) Abode of (Hima) Snow… For all my opinion is worth; these tremendous peaks did not disappoint. Despite warming temperatures and receding glaciers, their majesty was undeniable. The effort it took me to carry (and use) full photography kit in low oxygen and at altitudes over 17,500ft was harrowing. Full blog/album to follow soon. Expect the word ‘Majestic’ to be used a lot.
Royal Chitwan: Roving for Rhino
At 950 square kilometres in size, the prospect of exploring this vast sub-tropical broadleaf jungle had me chomping at the bit. The protected zone is a magical place, full of noise, colour and - perhaps most importantly: life. The main attraction was the oft-secluded greater one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) in its natural habitat of swampy grasslands. Aside from that however, there was a huge diversity of other animals to observe on foot, in jeep or in handmade dugout canoe. Exciting times for sure. I can’t wait to go back there.
ANDES: Trekking for condor
By far my most taxing expedition so far, a 65km mountain hike through the Eastern Andes up to Glacier Grey looking for the Andean Condor. Full camping kit, camera gear, crazy weather conditions and some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world.
Due to demand from some seemingly deranged individuals I have started to write blogs of my travels.
Read about the full expedition, including packing, equipment and a full photo album HERE.
Nordkapp: Mountains At Midsummer
A 7,000 mile road trip, from London up to the Northern tip of Norway for the midnight sun. The festivals and the insane beauty of places like the Lofoten islands were a big draw, but mostly it was my love affair with mountains. Sweden and Norway both have rough camping law, meaning you can camp anywhere in the wild, and the 24 hour sunshine in June made wildlife photography a constant, if somewhat surreal possibility.
Road Trip: Way Out West
The archetypal Great American Road Trip, roaming around The West from Utah to Montana. Mountains, canyons and huge tracts of wilderness in between. I spent some of my formative years living in the states when I was a wee bairn, so going back is exciting every time for me. Although i’m taller now, the landscapes never seem any smaller by comparison.
Khao Yai: Rainforest in Drought
Thailand recently had one of the longest, most severe droughts in their history; quite the time to take my Olympus gear trekking through Khao Yai National Park. I arranged for a wildlife guide and park ranger escorts that led us out into the restricted areas and into the deep jungle. We slept under the stars and trekked down bone dry river beds looking for animals. We spent long days sweating and even longer nights safariing through the bush. Sun bear sow with cubs, dhole, hornbill, jungle elephant, gibbon and plethora of deer and macaque!
Ailsa Craig: Cruising The Clyde
The Ailsa Craig is a standalone volcanic island, home to 36,000 breeding gannets, this alone is enough to tempt me to sea. Lucky to be onboard a newly-repurposed trawler with my family, we cruised the Firth of Clyde for some days until we got to explore the 99 hectare island. It is also home to black guillemots, razorbills and of course: the puffins. The weather (and light) were spectacular for Scotland in April, and made the trip that much more special.
Rajasthan: Trip through Time
It really was like stepping into the past. Some aspects of the great state of Rajasthan are roaringly modern, and the pace of life ever-quickens. In others facets are left, steeped in the history that makes the area such a romantic fantasy. I had buckets of vibrant experiences, some good, some bad. As most people will tell you with a trip to India, it is pretty overwhelming. Highly recommended if you can stomach it.
Venezia: silhouettes and sunsets
Venice has a a reputation as one of the prettiest cities in the world, and I have been before, but always in the summer. If you are lucky with the weather, and you can brave the cold, the sun in November sets in the most beautiful place in the skyline and the air is far cooler and clearer. The streets are less busy and the smell of the canals is far less obtrusive during your stay, plus the cold lets you regularly load up on food to keep warm...
MARRAKESH: HEAT AND NOISE
Even a short trip to Marrakesh (if properly planned), proves to be a sandblaster on the senses. The noise in the markets, the colours of their everyday life mixing with that of the tourists, the flavours of the street food, the dusty yellow light - and above all the relentless heat; all form a barrage of stimulation. Exploring each aspect of the city before taking a short trip outside the walls into the high desert to decompress is advised.
Hebrides: LIGHT AND FLIGHT
This was an incredible day, lucky enough to be up in a helicopter going over The Highlands, out to the Hebrides. I have a great affinity for Scotland so it is really a pleasure to photograph Her, from any angle. From the sky however you really get an idea of the level of beauty we are dealing with here. Thankfully, the flight conditions and weather were ideal for capturing both the amazing depth and vibrant colour in these remote landscapes.
NAPLES: WET AND DIRTY
The bare minimum requirements for any seaside, are that it should be simultaneously wet and dirty. However, this is one of the prettiest places (with both water and dirt) that I've ever seen. If you are yet to go: the food alone is worth the trip - but the light? Magnifico! Full moon is certainly something to behold over the Bay of Naples, just be somewhat careful of the taxi drivers who will all tend to have differing opinions about costs.
BRUGGE: COBBLES AND SPIRES
To quote a fine film: “It's a fairytale f***ing town”. The medieval street 'plan,' the constant bustle and the variety of architecture makes for a great destination for the wide range of photography that interests me. As with most cities, some bits are best enjoyed after dark, while the cold, misty morning light in the winter is well worth facing the freezing cobbles for. I can't wait to go back and discover everything I missed.
skye: Ancient anD Eldritch
The Isle of Skye (in Gaelic: An t-Eilean Sgitheanach - The Winged Isle) has been said to be conclusive proof that even God likes showing off. The inescapable feeling that you are at the end of the earth is reinforced wherever you look. From the primeval stone outcrops along The Quiraing, to the eventful weather patterns, it really has to be seen to be believed. I was lucky to be able to stay with my friend during my time there- and she lives in the northernmost house!
TETONS: PRIMAL IN NATURE
The Grand Teton NP holds the youngest range in the Rocky Mountains, and this iconic protected area is well-deserving of the appellation. The crisp air, the comfortability of the surrounding townships, and the graceful meandering of the Snake River all make it one of my favourite parks in North America. No matter your camera, it is hard to capture the scale of such a place; so try and let the light do all the hard work.