Wild Focus Blog
Recently you may have seen an increase in the promotion of pure Antarctica Krill Oil as the ultimate source of Omega-3. It is said to be the ideal alternative to Fish Oil tablets because it comes without a fishy taste. But did you know that krill are the magicians of the Southern Oceans? In fact they are so special, that when commercial krill fishing in Antarctica got out of hand in the late 1970s, a unique international fishing treat was signed – the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctica Marine Living Resources 19811. So before you leap onto the Krill Oil bandwagon, take a moment to consider why this little creature is so special, and how the collapse of this species could cause the decline of Antarctica’s wildlife, and your ability to capture amazing photographs, such as this one from our last Wild Focus Antactica photography adventure.
Krill is a generic term use to describe around 85 different species of crustaceans living in open oceans. Antarctic krill are one of the most abundant species on the planet, with scientist estimating there may be about 500 million tonnes in the Southern Ocean2. They are strong little survivors that endure the dark cold winter months and sometimes survive more than 200 days of starvation2. Their strength is important, because this tiny little create is vital to the entire Antarctic food web, and critical to sustaining the beautiful pristine Antarctic ecosystem. Many amazing creatures such as blue, humpback and fin whales and baleen whales consume tones of krill per day. Other species that consume these tiny crustaceans include penguins, seals, seabirds, fish and squid. However, it is the whales are most dependent on this one food source, and therefore most susceptible to changes in the krill population3. In addition to being a key species in Antarctica, they are also important to ecosystems around the world and the US even pre-emptively banned krill fishing in the coastal regions of the Pacific Ocean3.
Part of the reason Antarctic krill are so numerous is because krill feed on phytoplankton and algae, and the Southern Ocean is rich in these food sources as they grow under sea ice4. The problem is that as the sea ice declines due to climate change, krill populations are also declining. For example, the West Antarctic Peninsula has experienced measurable ice loss, and populations of krill in the area (and krill dependent Adelie penguins) are declining4. In addition to declining phytoplankton and algae, it is also believed that krill are also threatened by the higher levels of ultraviolet light penetrating the Antarctic waters through the thinning ozone layers3. In addition to these two serious threats, humans are aggravating the situation by increasing krill fishing to obtain valuable kill oils for nutritional supplements and as feed for aquaculture5.
So rather than purchasing “super krill oil vitamins”, do something good for the planet and yourself by supporting the Antarctic Krill Conservation Project6. They may be super tiny, but they are super important. If you hope to visit (or return to Antarctica) on a photography adventure, you will want the krill to stick around. Because with krill comes wildlife, and where there is wildlife, there is unforgettable photography moments in the amazing frozen continent of Antarctica.
For young photography explorers out there, be sure to check out www.krillfacts.org for more information on this ting but might species. You can also visit National Geographic Kids for a video. They really are the foundation of the Antarctic food chain.
If your interested in seeing the white continent for yourself, please sign up for one of our Antarctic photography expeditions. This December we’re exploring the Antarctic Peninsula, and you could be there capturing amazing photographs and memories that will last a lifetime: Wild Focus Antarctic Peninsula Expedition December 2012
If you hope to someday photograph a wild grizzly bear, or experience the very rare thrill of photographing the great white Spirit bear, then you need to know that these amazing experiences are under serious threat. Imagine discovering a peaceful landscape scene with a grizzly wandering along the banks of a lush inlet in coastal British Columbia; and then put a big old dirty crude oil tanker in the background. Sadly we’ve all heard this story before; human activity rapidly destroys and pollutes ecological habitat. But this time we need to say no! Before you switch off and think this is just another environmentalist’s plea for wildlife preservation over economic progress, please take a moment to think again. This is simply a message to let you know there is something truly magical out here. A natural wonder that is yours to explore and discover. This is a message of hope. A hope that by the time you do uncover all the treasures of this land, it’s not beyond repair.
So take a moment…and then tell someone else to take a moment. Share this story with everyone you know and tell the world that the pristine coastline and wildlife rich waterways and estuaries of BC are to be transformed into a toxic international port for oil and gas shipping. Without intervention, this heavenly piece of earth will soon be exposed to potential ecological disasters the likes of the BP oil spill. Ask yourself and ask your family and friends to consider the immense loss of life that would occur should a massive oil spill flood this fragile environment. The irreparable ecological damage will be the destruction of a rare paradise. A piece of our world we will never see again.
The delicate food web of Northern BC means that any water contamination will not only damage areas adjacent to the spill, but will also destroy the wild salmon run, which is a source of life for grizzly bears, Spirit bears, whales, birds, and the entire temperate rainforest. This salmon run is one of the world’s great ecologic events and the BC waterways allow the salmon to leap upstream, where their bodies eventually nourish the largest remaining intact temperate rainforest zone in the world. A number of species, including several endangered populations, are threatened by the potential construction of the Northern Gateway pipeline. According to recently released government records, some of these threated populations include species listed in the Canadian Species At Risk Act such as woodland caribou, and rare types of birds and frogs. The pipleline is also set to run underneath waterways (such as the channel between Burns Lake and Decker Lake) that are used as sources of drinking water.
So how can this be happening?!?! Well Canada is not only rich in natural beauty, it is also rich in natural resources, and the country’s primary export is oil. The industry supports a large portion of Canada’s economy, and just like many other companies, these businesses are seeking ways to improve profits for their shareholders by exploring international export opportunities. However, money in the pockets of shareholders is just money. It could be spent on cars, clothes, and a variety of other material things. But it will never be able to restore the Pacific Coast of BC should oil leach into the waters. Nor will that money be able to encourage the whales, salmon and seals to return, after their playgrounds are turned into heavily trafficked shipping routes.
The two companies at the centre of this mess in British Columbia: Enbridge and TransCanada. These companies are seeking new export opportunities to Asian markets, and their plan is to use beautiful British Columbia as the primary port for distributing oil and gas to Asia. This need to seek out and develop new markets is being stimulated by various factors. Two major forces on Canadian companies such as Enbridge include an increasing international oil demand, and a decreasing level of US oil importation. The International Energy Agency’s 2011 World Energy Outlook predicts that world oil demand will increase to “99 million barrels per day by 2035 from 87 million barrels per day in 2010”. Therefore, whilst Canada is already well positioned to service the increased needs of the US, reports by the U.S. Energy Information Administration indicate that U.S. oil import requirements are likely to diminish in coming years as domestic production of crude oil and equivalent products grows and demand for transportation fuels decreases.
Fuelling the project are political claims that Canada needs to stand up against US bullying. With Prime Minister Harper talking about being “held hostage by US interests”, and US news sources describing Canada’s recent push for the pipeline as “uncharacteristic defiance”, the environmental implications are taking a backseat to a North American ego contest. Yes oil trade to the US is a critical component to the Canadian economy, but to take reckless actions in the name of demonstrating defiance is widely irresponsible.
Under this pressure to expand to exportation to foreign markets, the oil companies are looking for a Canadian coastal location as close as possible to the Pacific shipping routes. Sadly the rare, untouched and stunning rainforests of Northern BC are the target. Whilst these companies may have explored other options for shipping their resources to foreign markets, we have to believe that there must be a better solution than invading the biologically diverse environment of the Pacific Northwest. Yes the oil needs to be sold, yes it needs to be transported to buyers, but there must be a solution that does not involve the great rainforests of BC.
Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline will have an enormous impact on the local environment with around 525,000 barrels of crude oil and bitumen (both raw and upgraded) being pumped out per day. “At a cost of about $7 billion, the Northern Gateway Pipeline would be nearly 1,200 km in length from Edmonton to Kitimat on the west coast of British Columbia. It would carry an average of 525,000 barrels of petroleum per day to the west, and an average of 193,000 barrels of condensate, used to thin petroleum products for pipeline transport, per day to the east.”
A two-agency review panel in the US that convened for hearings on the Northern Gateway pointedly described the project as a pipeline that won’t deliver much oil to the U.S. For the US market, the Northern Gateway is merely a companion project to TransCanada’s highly criticised Keystone Pipeline. Environmental protests and political attention in the US has swelled around this Alberta to Texas pipeline that is being described a climate change catastrophe. However, whilst the Keystone Pipeline will deliver oil to the US, the Northern Gateway is simple seen by many in the US as a means for Canada to end its sole dependence on American buyers as its most important export by opening up markets in Asia, and allowing it to attract the badly needed foreign investment to develop the sands.
However in addition to Enbridge’s oil pipeline, TransCanada is also planning to extend its network of natural gas pipelines to the B.C. coast within a decade, as producers seek to profit from potential export markets. Premiums on the super-cooled resource in Japan, Korea and China compared to low prices in North America have seen shippers propose a number of LNG export terminal projects along B.C.’s northern coast. So if the crude oil fails to obliterate beautiful British Columbia, then liquid natural gas shipping operations will surely complete the destruction.
In recent developments, opponents of the Keystone Pipeline staged a website blackout in protest of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s efforts to forge ahead with that pipeline. In relation to the Northern Gateway, there has been renewed criticism of Enbridge’s inadequate oil spill response plans, and in response to another substantial Enbridge oil spill in Alberta, the Yinka Dene Alliance (one of the leading First Nations opponents of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline), stated that Enbridge’s track record “demonstrates why the proposed project will never be permitted in their lands”. In British Columbia, federal hearings on the Northern Gateway pipeline continue.
The uniquely pristine and breathtaking wilderness of BC is something that stays with you. It is an extraordinary land of stunning rainforests and fresh waterways rich with magnificent species. This paradise on earth will refresh your spirit. It is pure and peaceful, with an unsurpassed wealth of captivating wildlife. It is an enchanting land where love is found, and perfect photographs of our natural world swirl all around you.
 Calgary Herald
 Vancouver Sun
 Times Colonist
 Market Watch
Other Sources: The Province (1), Scientific American, LA Times (1), LA Times (2), Vancouver Sun, The Province (2), Calgary Herald
Scientists have documented incidents of dolphins using exhaled air to form bubbles, rings, or torus formations, which they can “play” with, either alone or in groups. The dolphins also appeared to monitor the quality of their rings, with the practice of evaluation a critical skill, as it is necessary to have a solid single ring in order to produce the even more intricate double ring formations. These demonstrations of planning and assessment of performance are fascinating demonstrations of the cognitive capabilities of these animals, which have an encephalization quotient (EQ)—an estimation of intelligence based on the size of the brain in relation to total body size—surpassing those of many other mammals, including chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans.
Wild dolphins also use bubbles for hunting purposes in the form of bubble net fishing. Several other wild cetaceans—including humpback whales, orcas and Atlantic spotted and bottlenose dolphins—have also been observed producing bubble formations. Much more research is needed, however, before we can fully understand the mechanics and strategies involved in the development of this amazing skill in multiple marine mammal species.
If you are fortunate enough to swim with dolphins and have the necessary underwater photography equipment, these intelligent and playful creatures offer amazing photographic opportunities. In order to catch underwater bubbles in optimal lighting, consider moving as close as possible to your subject and having the light positioned behind your subject. To capture bubbles flosting to the surface, position yourself at a horizontal angle and then tilt your lens slightly towards the surface to ensure the light is behind the bubbles. Remember to use a fast shutter setting as the bubbles will be moving quickly and if you are in clear waters, try to use a low ISO of about 100.
Always remember that light and colour get absorbed underwater. Possible solutions include a colour correction filter, a strobe, or adjusting the white balance. Some cameras have predefined scene presets and one of those settings might be for an underwater scene. While on this preset, the camera compensates for the bluish-greenish hues underwater by adding reds to the image in order to achieve more natural tones.
Of course if you are watching dolphins create bubbles underwater, the most important thing is to enjoy the moment. These intelligent marine mammals have lots to teach us. Presemtly some aspects of cetaceans’ manufacture and use of bubbles remain enigmatic. For example, bubble bursts and formations should, in theory, disrupt sonar/echolocation transmission. As cetaceans use echolocation to “see” underwater, this disruption would essentially blind the animals to what is going on behind the bubbles that they emit—presumably obscuring their perception of the prey that they are pursuing. This issue has fascinated engineers, as the answer to the question of how dolphins “see” through their bubbles could have profound implications for improving the effectiveness of sonar technology in turbid conditions.
Source: Ecology Global Network
How can you photograph a seal that is no longer willing to linger close to the surface? What sort of image can you capture if the albatross is speeding through the air faster than ever? If you’re a wildlife photographer, you need to be aware that climate change may in some cases make wildlife photography even more challenging.
The effects of climate change are not something we tend to observe on a daily basis, however for wildlife photographers we need to be aware that climate change is varying animal behaviour. There have been a number of reports lately regarding how climate change is altering animal behaviour. First up, the wandering albatross. These birds spend most of their lives in flight, often landing only to find food or to breed. Given these flight patterns and the large wing span of these amazing creatures, it’s already challenging to capture the perfect albatross shot. And now, thanks to climate change, the challenge is only going to increase.
Scientists have recently confirmed that the wind speeds over the Southern Ocean have been increasing due to climate change. A trend that has continued over the past three decades, the stronger winds are boosting birds in the Antarctic region to faster flying speeds. This acceleration may be great for the birds as it shortens the length of their foraging efforts and improves breeding success, however for wildlife photographers and naturalist, increased flight speeds makes wildlife observations and photography extremely challenging. Could we in fact be nearing the end of great photographs of albatross in flight? If you are thinking about heading south to observe Antarctic bird life, you might want to plan your voyage sooner rather than later.
Scientists have even identified that the faster flying birds are gaining more than two pounds in weight. Able to forage and feed at faster rates, the albatross has improved its breeding success, allowing the species to grow even larger. The accelerated winds are allowing the albatrosses to experience greater wing loading , giving this species with the worlds largest wingspan, even more opportunities to grow. Bigger and faster, the albatross has been the focus of the research, however scientists also believe that other birds, such as petrels, are feeling the boost of the faster wind speeds.
Over the past few decades, the westerly winds in the Southern Ocean have increased by 15%. From 1990 to 2010, the accelerated winds have translated into an additional 124 miles per day for the albatross. However speed is not the only alteration caused by climate change, the westerly winds in the Southern Ocean are also gradually moving toward the pole. Whilst the albatross and other birds in the region are currently enjoying the benefits of the increased wind speeds, as the poleward shift continues, flights will become more challenging. Eventually the birds may need to make major changes to their migratory movements, possibly causing significant impacts to the food web in the Southern Ocean.
Another animal feeling the effects of climate change is the elephant seal. As its prey moves down to the cooler depths of the ocean, the elephant seals are following deeper into the darkness. Researchers believe that the warmer water temperatures are causing the prey to move down to greater depths, similarly forcing the elephant seals to dive deeper. For wildlife photographers this means fewer chances to locate and photograph these enormous seals. However more importantly, this behavioural change is giving the seals less time to feed, as they can only hold their breath for a limited period of time. If the trend continues and the elephant seals can no longer effectively nourish themselves in their current habitats, they may be forced to relocate to cooler waters to feed.
As wildlife photographers we all appreciate the importance of understanding animal behaviour, therefore as climate change alters the world around us, we need to watch for changes in animal behaviour that may change our photography. Stay tuned to Wild Focus for further wildlife information and join one of our photography adventure tours to put your skills to the test.
New sources: Huffington Post and Discovery.
It’s really wonderful news when mankind takes affirmative action to protect an endangered species. Last Friday we did just that for the leatherback sea turtle. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has declared a nearly 42,000 square mile area along the West Coast of the US as a new protected marine habitat. This is the largest protect area ever established in US waters.
First listed as an endangered species in 1970, leatherbacks are the largest sea turtles in the world. Measuring up to 7 feet (2 meters) long and more than 2000 pounds (900 kilograms), they are believed to live at least 40 years and possibly up to 100 years. Truly the old giants of the sea turtle family, the worldwide numbers of this magnificent creature have dropped by 95% since 1980 due to commercial fishing, disease, changing ocean conditions, egg poaching and destruction of their nesting and foraging habitats.
The leatherback is also the great explorer of the sea turtle family. They have the widest global distribution of all reptile species and can be located in the waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, and the Mediterranean Sea. Prior to their population decline, the leatherback sea turtle could be photographed in every ocean except the polar regions. The adult leatherbacks still travel as far north as Canada and Norway and as far south as New Zealand and South America. These global trotters also have the longest migrations of any sea turtle, venturing around 3700 miles (6000 kilometres) between breeding and feeding.
After leaving their nesting grounds in Australia, Indonesia and Mexico, the leatherbacks can now take refuge in the West Coast waters where they feast on jellyfish. As one of the best feeding areas, the turtles have been drawn to this area for many years despite the high levels of ship traffic, long nets and fishing hooks. Now a designated safe haven, the turtles will now have a better chance of survival. However some say the Federal regulators have not gone far enough, as the protected zone does not include the migration routes that the turtles typically take to get to the feeding grounds. Whilst the decision is a step in the right direction, many believe that the species should have received the extra 28,686 square miles of habitat as originally proposed.
If you are ever fortunate enough to encounter these ancient creatures as they feed in the waters off the Pacific Northwest, then follow these underwater photography tips to make the most of this rare experience:
> Under the water the light spectrum is very different to that on land. So the best advice is to get close to your subject, turn off auto flash and use a manual flash or strobe light. That said, you should always maintain a safe distance so as to not disturb or harm the wildlife. This is especially true with endangered species such as the leatherback sea turtle.
> If your subject is flooded in natural light, then to avoid the natural light wiping out your colours, you should consider using a small aperture or fast shutter speed to reduce the amount of natural light.
> On land we always say to shoot with the sun behind you, however when taking wide-angle shots underwater, it can be a good idea to shoot with the sun behind the subject. This will make the subject dark and give you a bright blue water colour. You will then need to use your flash or strobe to light the subject.
> For horizontal shots, position your strobe lights either side of your camera. For vertical shots, position your strobe lights with one above and one to the side.
> Shoot at around 100 ISO and aperture F5.6 – F11 (higher if shooting into the sun).
> Wide-angle and macro lenses are great for underwater photography. If you’re looking for a unique shot, then try a fisheye lens.
Image courtesy of ZME Science. News sources: Care2, National Geographic, The Seattle Times, and San Francisco Chronicle.
Could there be an economic solution to stop the whale wars? An economist and two marine biologists have suggested that a market-based trading system may be the answer. Something that would “be economically, ecologically and socially viable for whalers and whales alike.” Whilst this is not a new proposal, it is gaining the interest of the Obama administration and a number of environmentalists. For those passionate about the protection of whales, it is difficult to think of these magnificent creatures in the form of economic units. At Wild Focus, we have had the pleasure of working with so many wonderful species of whales in Antarctica and British Columbia, including orca, minke, fin, and humpbacks. When you meet these incredible whales in person, it really is hard to fathom why anyone would want to destroy them. These animals are such a gift to our planet. On each Wild Focus photography adventure, we look forward to the thrill of seeing a guest overwhelmed with emotions when a humpback surfaces just meters away.
The Obama and Bush administrations previously attempted to form an international arrangement that would allow the whaling nations to continue their hunting activities if quantities were reduced. However the deal failed in 2010 and so today Sea Shepherd ships are once again attempting to patrol the Antarctic waters and put an end to whaling. With the international political storm that has erupted over the three Australians that recently boarded one of the Japanese whaling vessels, people are again asking what it will take for this issue to be resolved. If you have ever watched an episode of Whale Wars on Animal Planet, you know the extreme risks faced by the Sea Shepherds and the whalers. So what are we to do??? Leave things as they are and await the horrible news that someone has finally died as a result of the whale wars?
So perhaps this concept of a “whale-conservation market” needs to be given more attention. The primary author behind the theory recently published in the journal Nature on Wednesday is Christopher Costello. He has criticised the current system as totally ineffective because “everyone thinks they either have a right to whale or let whales live.” Considering the extreme actions taking place in Antarctica each whaling season, and the deeply passionate manner in which both sides argue their case, it seems unlikely these two vicious adversaries will ever see eye-to-eye.
Costello suggested, “somehow you have to come up with a way to allocate whales between the two visions”, where “both sides have something to gain, and fewer whales will be killed.” So Costello and his team propose an arrangement similar to the carbon-trading scheme. Countries that are IWC members would receive allowances to hunt whales at sustainable levels. Each year the IWC member can elect to harvest its quotas, hold onto the quota for a year, or permanently retire them. Applying this theory to the current market, we would likely see the anti-whaling nations such as Australia retiring their quota, and whaling nations such as Japan harvesting their quota and then seeking to purchase additional shares.
This is where the market-trading system becomes ugly. Unlike carbon trading where the units being auctioned off are cubic tones of pollution, the trading units would be living creatures. The whales would effectively be auctioned off, and the highest bidder would win the right to slaughter them. Whilst the economists suggest this dismal scenario is lightened by the sale proceeds going to conservation efforts, one has to wonder whether this sort of commoditisation of a wild, and in many cases endangered, species is right. Who are we to determine their value?
Many environmentalists have already criticised the plan as undermining the current whaling ban. One major concern raised by Greenpeace is that it would become difficult to distinguish between legal and illegal hunting if whaling were legalized again. Given the deceptive techniques used by the Japanese in characterizing their commercial whaling as research, it is easy to see how illegal whaling would again flourish if a legal whaling trade was implemented. Just imagine you are the captain of a Japanese whaling vessel, you’ve reached your legal quota for the season and then suddenly two beautiful humpbacks surface at your bow. Surrounded by hundreds of miles of ocean, the whaling vessel is completed isolated. With financial incentives tied to each whale, why would the captain hesitate to slaughter just a few more?
Some suggest that given the dollar figures involved in this battled and the uncompromising character of the opposing views, calls for an economic solution were inevitable. It is estimated that total global profits from whaling are around $31 million, and the amount of money currently raised by conservationist reaches a similar figure. However even more disturbing than the financial data is the kill numbers. In just the last three years the three whaling nations of Japan, Norway and Iceland have slaughtered around 5000 whales. With annual kill figures that have doubled since the 1990’s, something needs to be done.
Individuals on either side of the whaling debate can make very passionate arguments, however both sides agree that a solution is needed. Ultimately we all know that the Japanese are not vicious murderers and the Sea Shepherds are not terrorists. But if a viable solution cannot be found, then eventually someone will be fatally injured in Antarctica. So what do you think about the proposed market-trading system?
Image by Jamie Scarrow and news sourced from The Seattle Times, The News Tribune and ABC Online.
At only 7mm long, this tiny little frog and sit on a dime or even the tip of your pinkie with room to spare. The team at the Louisiana State University even had to enlarge a close-up photo of the frog in order to describe it. The species was first discovered in Papua New Guinea in August 2009, and is now claimed to be the world’s smallest vertebrate species. On the same expedition in Papua New Guinea, environmental biologist Chris Austin also found second small frog species, however the Paedophryne amauensis species has been declared as the world’s smallest animal with a spine.
The two new species of frogs are a significant discovery in light of the high rate of amphibian extinction. Steven J. Beaupre, a University of Arkansas scientist, has stated that “these tiny vertebrates provide a window on the principles that constrain animal design.” Austin has also said that since the frogs do not hatch out as tadpoles and start hopping around on the ground right from birth, their existence may contradict the hypothesis that evolution is linked to life in water.
If you find yourself in Papua New Guinea this year, be sure to take your Marco lens and keep your eyes open for these tiny little creatures. As with all Macro photography, you’ll need to be patient, but with a steady hand you’ll be able to capture some amazing images. Adventures in the wild can be so exciting, but whilst the large wildlife and epic landscapes usually capture our attention, remember the magic that can be found under even the smallest leaf.
Image and story courtesy of BBC News.
Did you know that there are monkeys that sneeze when it rains? Well researches have finally captured photographs of the elusive Myanmar snub-nosed monkey and it seems as though this little money gets the sniffles. Known to locals as the “monkey with an upturned face”, researches identified this as a new species in 2012 from a carcass killed by a local hunter.
Myanmar has one of the world’s highest deforestation rates and the monkeys that live amongst the little-explored forest of northern Myanmar are under threat from hunting and logging. After setting up camera traps last April, the research team has finally capture the first images of this new species.
Image courtesy of MSN.co.nz.
So you’re big into travel and your laptop is overloaded with photos of your adventures. You’ve put you foot on just about every continent on earth, and each year you cross off another country or world wonder from your bucket list. You work to live and for money to explore, you’ve experienced many exotic cultures and you’ve seen lots of rare wildlife. But guess what, there’s still so much to see! That’s one of the most amazing things about our planet, we’re still discovering the world around us. If you’ve already achieved your goals of seeing many unique destinations, why not make 2012 the year you start a new challenge.
Rather than just exploring new locations, make it your goal to discover all the amazing creatures that inhabit our planet. See them with your own eyes out in the wild. Take the time to know them and see if you can capture photographs that tell their story. There are so many amazing creatures out there and each has its own fascinating existence. Challenge yourself to give them the attention they deserve and discover how they can make you smile. See if you have what it takes to capture a great photograph of a wild subject. It’s so much more challenging that simply taking landscapes all the time. They move, they play, they hunt, they hide and sometimes they even look right down your lens. In that incredible moment when you finally get eye contact…take a breath and enjoy the rush of adrenaline.
If you’ve already started your collection of images of rare species, then why not add some big ticket items to your list:
1. Photograph Africa’s Big Five…better yet, get them all in the one photo.
2. Capture an action shot of a Sea Leopard on an iceberg in Antarctica, or if you’ve already been there done that, then go back and see if you can capture a Sea Leopard making a massive kill.
3. Get your self one of the very few photographs of a Spirit Bear…most of your friends won’t even know what they’re looking at.
4. Show them how to safari but getting shots from in amongst the Great Migration across the Serengeti.
5. Don’t just photograph a polar bear in the Arctic, see if you can capture two males polar bear battling it out for the affections of a female.
6. Look beyond the stereotypical vicious character of grizzly bear and find a shot that shows their gentle nature.
7. Work for that perfect shot of a Killer Whale leaping from sea to sky.
8. Be patient and take a picture of a penguin that is sitting on your legs.
9. Got all the big animals, then go Macro and try to keep a steady hand and capture some of the forgotten insects of the Great Bear Rainforest.
10. NEVER settle for anything less than the “money shot”.
You may never be able to see everything and meet all of the wildlife that share our planet, but if you’ve got the spirit and love a good challenge, then we can make it happen. Wild Focus can take you to those perfect shooting locations and your Wild Focus adventure expert and photography guide will help you achieve your photography goals. If you want to design your own adventure, Wild Focus can do that. If you only want to travel with your buddies, Wild Focus can set up a small group tour customised just for your group. Don’t have the time to come up with your own trip, then just sign up for one of our adventure tours. Explore, discover and capture Antarctica, the Arctic, the Great Bear Rainforest, the Great Migration, Zambia, Tanzania, and beautiful British Columbia with an energised, enthusiastic and outgoing group of world explorers and adventure photographers. You don’t have to be an expert, just bring along any old camera and be ready to experience the best.
At Wild Focus we understand you want to make the most of your travel experience, so there’s no holding back. Your Wild Focus adventure will be relaxed, fun, informative, inspiring, exciting and full of like-minded explorers. Don’t just travel….GO WILD!!! Join the journey and EXPLORE, DISCOVER and CAPTURE the world!
This is the ultimate African safari experience – the Great Migration. Recommended by numerous international travel magazines as one of the best travel experiences on earth, and beautifully documented by the BBC and the Discovery Channel as one of Nature’s Great Events, the annual Serengeti migration is the greatest concentration of grazing animals on the planet. Photograph the feasting from every angle as the grazing animals and predators engage in violent encounters across the Serengeti. One moment you will be capturing the calm of the grazing animals including wildebeests, zebras, gazelles and antelope, munching on grass. Then suddenly your heart will start racing as the lions, hyenas and other predators attack and the vultures swoop in for the leftovers.
Each year the grazing animals cross hundreds of miles, from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya and back again, to enjoy the fresh vegetation that has flourished from the rains. It is a very primal ritual and something that has been seen by very few humans. Be one of the few to marvel at the spectacular African sunsets and feel the ground rumble as herds of animals stampede across the Serengeti. The vertiginous immensity of the event is overwhelming, numbers so large that they are hard to visualize. Migrants can include around 1,300,000 Wildebeest, 360,000 Thomson’s Gazelle, 191,000 Zebra, and 12,000 Eland. These migrants join the already large resident populations of herbivores, that feature 95,000 Topi, 76,000 Impala, 46,000 African Buffalo, 26,000 Grant’s Gazelle, 14,000 Kongoni, 9,000 Giraffe, 6,000 Warthog, 2,000 Waterbuck, and 2,000 Elephant.
For those that have never experienced an African safari, this truly is your best choice. For those photographers looking to return to Africa for another visit, then this will likely be your greatest African photography experience. The sheer volume of animals offers photographers of all levels an enormously rich and rewarding photography experience. You are guaranteed to return home with many awe-inspiring images and a renewed appreciation of the wild. This brilliant natural spectacle is a must see and with your Wild Focus guide there to help with every shot, you will be sure to capture truly meaningful memories of this experience. Your Wild Focus guide can offer you a wealth of knowledge about the migration and will guide you through how to photograph the dynamic African wildlife. With a Wild Focus African photography safari you will take home photographs that truly capture the emotions of this wild event.