Well, 2015 has been quite a year! I was fortunate to spend more than ten weeks in Zambia, plus I visited Namibia, Iceland and the USA. My wife, Nat, and I wrote a book – more on that below! Camtraptions and my range of devices for remote and camera trap photography have continued to develop nicely. I quietly set up a new website, www.wildlifephoto.com, which will become the central hub for all of my products, services and resources for photographers. However, all of the above has seemed rather trivial in comparison to the arrival of a certain small human being earlier in the year…
Yes, in February, Nat and I became parents! Our daughter, Primrose (Rosie for short), has just turned 10-months-old. Life as a father is wonderful, and combining that with my life as a wildlife photographer has been an enjoyable challenge!
Photography Projects in 2015
For obvious reasons, I didn’t travel much in the first half of the year and my photography exclusively focused on a small grub-like creature. It turns out that my skillset as a wildlife photographer was well suited to this new subject matter, as babies are impossible to control, unpredictable and most active at dawn and dusk! 😉
In May, I spent a week in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks in the USA (above) and I also briefly visited Liuwa Plain National Park in Zambia for the first time (below). Despite being short trips, both were very productive.
In July, it was time for Rosie’s first holiday! We took her to Iceland and spent 10 days driving around the island in a small 4×4 campervan, courtesy of MK Car Rental. In retrospect, living with a 4-month-old, in a confined space without bathroom facilities, in a country with nearly 24 hours of daylight, was an ambitious plan! However, after switching to a semi-nocturnal existence, we settled into a routine and the three of us had a fantastic time.
My next trip was an assignment for WWF in the KAZA region of Namibia. This was primarily a camera-trapping project focusing on the region’s carnivores. Update: You can now see the results of this project here: WWF Assignment to Capture Rare Camera Trap Images
In September, Nat and I returned to South Luangwa for the first time since our year in Zambia in 2012-13, with Rosie in tow for her first introduction to Africa. The three of us spent a week with my friends at Mfuwe Lodge. It was hot (40 degrees at least) but Rosie adapted well and loved watching animals such as Zebras, Giraffes, Elephants and squabbling Baboons. That week happened to coincide with the Supermoon eclipse so I spent a night trying to line up some lions with a small red dot in the sky. After that, I spent a week with my friends at Norman Carr Safaris before returning to The Bushcamp Company to lead a photographic safari for a brilliant group of guests.
In November, Nat, Rosie and I returned to Zambia, to spend five weeks in Liuwa Plain, one of my favourite National Parks in Africa! This project was a collaboration with African Parks and Norman Carr Safaris. Our trip coincided with the change of season as the rains arrived. I also spent lots of quality time with Cheetahs, Lions and Hyenas. I am still sorting and processing the photos from this trip but you can already see a few that I have started to post on Facebook and Instagram.
A New Book!
At the end of last year, a publisher approached me about writing a book. The subject was to be “Top Wildlife Sites of the World”. Nat is a brilliant writer (check out her blog from our year in Zambia) and we naively figured that she would have plenty of time to write the text during her maternity leave (ha ha ha)! We said yes.
Ok, so writing a book turned out to be more work than we expected, and looking after a baby is rather time consuming, but we managed to finish it and I am very proud of the book that we have created. It is a beautiful coffee table book featuring 32 wildlife sites from around the world. 85% of the photographs in the book are mine and I have filled the holes in my image library with some fantastic shots from my friends and colleagues. Best of all, the book is filtering into bookshops around the world at this very moment!
As soon as the book is available to purchase online, I will do an official launch, so stay tuned!
It has been a busy year for Camtraptions too. Many of you have been in contact with my sister, Megan, who has done a fantastic job of managing the business, particularly during my periods of travel.
We have continued to add new products that make camera trap photography easier and more accessible than ever before. It has also been very rewarding to see people around the world using our devices to create remarkable images. One of the highlights came towards the end of the year when my friend Richard Peters used his Camtraptions PIR sensor to take an image that saw him crowned European Wildlife Photographer of the Year and winner of a category in Wildlife Photographer of the Year – see his winning shot in this blog post!
We are currently working on some exciting new Camtraptions products that we can’t wait to share with you next year!
Happy New Year!
I would like to thank all of you who have followed my work and supported me in 2015. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all of your comments, likes, emails, orders and encouragement. Thank you!
Nat, Rosie and I wish you all the very best for the New Year.