woensdag 25 april 2012

Another Big Update....

Yes i am truely sorry but time and health have not been on my side over the past year and therefor another "Big Update"..
It has been a while and several projects have passed the revue over the previous months and one of the major projects for me was my trip to Australia. Australia is a wonderful continent for nature and wildlife photography and it has been a true joy to have been "down under" again. The variety of species is enormous and it seemed like no day went by without spotting and photographing new species.
I had been to Australie and Tasmania in 2007 and knew what to expect but each time i walk trough the fields i am surprised by the beauty of the countryside and it's animals. The unfortunate thing wich happened to me though was that i lost all of my files from that trip due to a crash of both my external hard drives after a power surge...It took me a couple of weeks to get over that one let me tell you... Luckily in November 2011 i was able to get back to the land "Down Under" and had another go at it's precious wildlife..
I remember well one of the first mornings when i was out to photograph some wetland birds at a small river when i noticed a pair of eyes popping out of the water. Experience told me it was a Turtle but i had no idea what kind and it was hard to photograp as it was mostly submerged in the river. I then decided to imitate the late notorious Australian wildlife specialist Steve Irwin and jumped into the river to grab the Turtle and place him on the shallower side of the river bed. It only then appeared to me that the neck of the Turle seemed very long and kept growing longer and longer...As it turned out this was a "Snake-necked-Turtle" wich explained this behaviour..
Furthermore the colors of the wildlife and Parrots in particular in Australia are just stunning. Some people ask me how theses beautiful Parrots are camouflaged with these bright colors but when you see them amongst the bright and vivid flowers they blend in like no other. There are over 50 species of Parrots in Australia and though i have not photographed them all i was particularly happy to get some very scarse ones but also eager on photographing the everyday ones in a good manner.
Besides during the day i also went out at night. There are several species wich only come out at night and it takes quite a bit of patience and certainly skills to be able to photograph them well. One of the species wich was highest on my wishlist was the Flying Fox and i knew a place close to where i was staying where around 3000 of them where hanging out. It was a matter of waiting for them to start stretching in the late afternoon and then as darkness set in they started flying. Another species wich happened to hang out in the same area was the Brush-tailed Possom. A beautiful marsupial and very curious by nature. On another occasion i went out to look for Tawny Frogmouths wich are birds that can best be described as a mixture of Owls and Nightjars. Very hard to find and only after two hours of searching with a small torch light i found one..
Ofcourse you can not go to Australia and not photograph it's iconic Kangeroos. Most of the Kangeroos you see are Grey ones and especially in late afternoon it was not hard to find them on the edge of forest areas. I was also able to photograph some Red Kangeroos wich are a bit larger and have a specific shape of head wich reminded me a bit of a mule.
Another icon of the Australian wilderness is ofcourse the Laughing Kookaburra. The largest Kingfisher in the world and for that feature alone it was on my wishlist during this trip. It also has a very loud laughing sound wich reaches far beond it's territory and early morning it was a joy to listen to all the sounds of the wilderness but especially that of Laughing Kookkaburras calling out to eachother.
I will place some more random images from the Australia trip down here to give you an impression of Australia and it's fantastic landscape and animals. I will be hosting a workshop down there from the 1st to the 20th of November 2012 so for those of you who might be interested to join me for this amazing trip just send me an e-mail for more information at: info@jeroenstel.com
Besides Australia i have also been back to the UK for some more Grey Seals and Red Deer photography during my annual workshop. As the Grey Seal situation is a bit precarious at the moment i decided to go there early January when the pupping season had been over. We had some beautifull weather and had a great time down there on both days of the workshop. Here are some images from the trip in January 2012.
And some of the Red Deer we photographed during the workshop..
Back home i decided to spend some time on wintering Duck species and host some of my annual "DuckShop" Workshops wich turned out quite well this year with many interesting species staying in our wetlands and streams. I just love those Ducks and during this time of year most of them are easier to apporach so here's a few images from several DuckShop workshops i hosted last winter.
A trip down to the Bayerische Wald in Southern Bavaria (Germany) in February gave me an opportunity to set up a new workshop for that time of year next year and it was time well spent.. Had a great time down there and was able to get some stunning shots of Wolves, Lynx, Capercaillie, Marter and several other species. Here are some images i took during that trip and if you are interested to join me for next year just send me an e-mail: info@jeroenstel.com
Then all of a sudden we got winter down here after a relatively warm winter period in end of January/early February we got cold, frost and snow out of nowhere..This ofcourse triggered my senses as a wildlife photographer to look for our true winter species and here are some images from that period of time.
So.... I hope you enjoyed the BIGGGGGGGG....update..:)- and i hope i will be able to update the blog on a more regular base in the near future... See you out in the field and catch the light when it's out there!

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