Photography

South Africa 2017

Toad Grasshopper, Trachypterella species, poss. T. anderssonii, nymph, which mimics the quartz pebbles in the Knersvlakte Nature Reserve, Western Cape, South Africa.

In August 2017 I visited South Africa with a small group of nature photographers, with the object of photographing the flowers of Namaqualand (see the previous post).  This year happened to be one of the driest on record and so the fields of Namaqua Daisies were nowhere to be seen but, nevertheless, we managed to find […]


Monmouthshire moth magic

Dotted Chesnut Moth, Conistra rubiginea, Catbrook, Monmouthshire, March

Although I have had a fair bit of experience with moth traps over the years these have always involved other people’s traps, and usually when I have been leading tours to other parts of the world. Moving to a more isolated location in SE Wales, where we are not overlooked by neighbours, gave me a […]


On the move…..

Country lane, Wye Valley

Two grabshots to give me an excuse to announce my move from Sheffield to the Wye Valley, Wales, designated an “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty”, which it surely is.  Unfortunately, we missed the best of the autumn colour this year but these photos will give some idea of its potential. Once we are settled in I […]


Drumnadrochit, Inverness

And a fern abstract to end with: Male Fern,  Dryopteris filix-mas, erness, Scotland

We took a short break to Drumnadrochit, on the north-western shore of Loch Ness.  Although this was supposed to be a family holiday, I did manage to sneak a few photo sessions, mainly of the moths and other insects that visited a light that was conveniently fixed above the door of our accommodation. Divach Falls […]


Mull tour completed

Highland cow, Mull

The Mull tour has been and gone and we had another successful tour.  I will add details of any future tours, to Mull or elsewhere, as the occasion arises.  Thanks for your interest!  


Frogs from The Algarve

Western Spadefoot Toad, Pelobates cultripes

November is the time of year when, like most sensible people, my thoughts turn to warmer places.  This year I had toyed with the idea of several tropical destinations but, for various reasons, decided in the end to try southern Portugal, the region known as the Algarve, inspired by the variety of reptiles and amphibians […]


A miscellany of beetles

Violet ground beetle, Carabus problematicus, Derbyshire

During our wanderings this year we have been fortunate to run into a few interesting beetles, including a couple I hadn’t seen before.  Here is a small sample. The “beetle year” started in April with the usual swarm of Green Tiger Beetles, Cicindela campestris. These are the commonest of the UK’s tiger beetles and the one most likely […]


The Sierra Baguales, Patagonia

Shearing shed, Estancia Rio de los Chinas, Patagonia, Chile, with a backdrop of freshly-fallen snow, the first of the year.

In March 2015 we made a second visit to Chilean Patagonia.  For two weeks we toured the region from the coast at Puerto Natales to the Argentinian border.  Our daughter Victoria had organised accommodation at some of the more remote estancias, and we were privileged to visit some areas that are rarely seen.  The Sierra […]


Goodbye to 2014

Patterns formed by the layers of a bracket fungus.

Four shots to finish the year with, all taken today – December 31st – within a couple of hundred metres of where I parked my car, near the Longshaw Estate, in the Peak District.  I had set out with the intention of photographing icicles along a small brook but they had already disappeared when I […]


A Log Blog

Fruiting bodies of a slime mould, Trichia decipiens

It’s amazing what you can find on, in or under a log.  I have a small pile of rotting wood at the bottom of my garden and, together with a few excursions to a nearby wood, I have found enough material here to keep me happily taking photographs for the last week or so.  Fungi […]


Three Days in Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree, Yucca brevifolia, at sunset

Named for the distinctive Joshua Trees, Yucca brevifolia, that grow in the northern part of the park, Joshua Tree National Park covers the transition between the Colorado Desert to the south and the Mojave Desert to the north. The northern half is best known, with its forests of Joshua Trees and unusual rock formations. This a photographer’s paradise, […]


Midwife Toads re-visited

Male plus eggs

Since posting the original version of this blog we have been back to the colony and found two males carrying eggs in their late stages of development.  I have added a couple of new photos towards the end of the blog.  The Midwife Toad, Alytes obstetricans, gets its English and scientific names from its breeding […]


En-crustaceans: Another Place for barnacles

Barnacles, Austrominius modestus, an invasive species, growing on one of the statues

After spending an enjoyable but unproductive day at the Ainsdale Nature Reserve on the Merseyside coast looking for signs that the natterjack toads had started breeding (they hadn’t) we decided to use the last couple of hours of the day to re-visit Antony Gormley’s installation on the beach at Crosby, a few miles south.  Named […]


A couple of good eggs

Hatchling number two puts in an appearance.

A new arrival gets his (or her) first view of the world.  60 days previously he was one of four eggs laid by a female leopard snake.  With very few exceptions, notably the pythons, snakes do not display any parental care.  Once the female has laid her eggs, in a moist, secluded place such as […]


Breighton Bucker-fest and fly-in, 2013

Long-time resident Jungmeister looking good.

Note: This post has been moved. I have decided to restrict this blog to wildlife photography and similar subjects. I have set up a new blog here that will covers other interests, including aviation.  


Mull report

Basalt rock formations, Staffa

This year our workshop on Mull had mixed weather – two glorious days, two rather wet and windy days and two days with a bit of each, but we found plenty to photograph, as usual, and on days when photography was not possible we held Photoshop and Lightroom tutorials, largely thanks to Alex Hyde, who […]


American West Coast gallery added

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Hall of Mosses, Hoh Rain Forest on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington state, USA. I have just added a new gallery “American West Coast“ to display some of the photographs taken on a trip to this interesting and varied region back in 2008.  Sorry it’s taken so long!


Mull and the Treshnish Isles workshop confirmed

White-tailed sea eagle

Nick Garbutt and I are pleased to confirm that the annual one-week workshop on the Isle of Mull is guaranteed to run now that we have the minimum number of participants.  This will be the tenth year we have visited Mull to photograph its spectacular scenery and wildlife and Nick and I are both looking […]


The Road to Rosh Pinah

Aloe gariepensis

It may sound like something out of one of Edward Lear’s nonsense poems, but there really is a place called Rosh Pinah.  It’s a small mining town in southern Namibia, along the C13, a road that runs from near the South African border at Noordoewer to the small town of Aus.  For about 100km, between […]


Nature Photography at Manchester Museum

Bell's horned frog, Ceratophrys ornata, South America

Our second photography workshop at Manchester Museum on November 24 and 25th, had 10 participants, all of whom had an opportunity to photograph a selection of the frogs from the museum’s collection and, as a bonus, a brightly coloured panther chameleon.  The weekend appeared to go well and everybody went home with some excellent images […]


Camouflaged lizards

Desert horned lizard, Phrynosoma platyrhinos, North America

A short piece to get some new photos on the front page.  Three lizards from different parts of the world that demonstrate exceptional camouflage.  Photographing camouflaged subjects is always a balancing act – on the one hand, the image should show how effective the camouflage is but, on the other hand, if it shows it […]


Air-to-air Photography – a first attempt

Cessna 152 in flight

Last week I finally managed to achieve some air-to-air photography, something I have been trying to organise for some time.  The aircraft in the photos, and the one I was flying in, is a Cessna 152, a variant of the hugely popular Cessna 150 with a slightly more powerful engine.  Cessna built over 7,500 152s […]


New book – “Chameleons”

Namaqua Chameleon, Chamaeleo namaquensis

My new book, “Chameleons” has just been published (please see the Publications page for details).  Here’s the Introduction. Of all the lizards, the chameleons are the most charismatic.  Although they are objects of fear and superstition in some of the places where they live, to Western eyes they are amusing curiosities even among the many […]


Stacking up plants

Sun pitcher plant

Some time ago I started photographing unusual plants – succulents, insectivorous plants, and other weirdies – with a view to doing a small book on them.  This hasn’t happened and probably never will, but it gave me an incentive to try out different techniques.  One of these was focus stacking. I find that it has […]