2016 website rebirth – new photos, reviews and more

Heading out with Laki Tours in Iceland to photograph orca!
Heading out with Laki Tours in Iceland to photograph orca!

After two years of neglect, I’ve finally injected some life into this website, and to start the process it’s been completely re-designed. Working out the kinks in the coding behind the scenes has freed up a lot of server space, so that means not only do we have a brand new look, but we have space to share many more photos on the site! All the old galleries have been re-formatted so it’s easier to find what you want, for example the ‘Wildlife’ and ‘Zoo’ photography is now completely separate, and both have tons of new shots in them. I’m also working on a grouping system so that it’s easy to find your favourite animal species in each of the pages. There has been room to make new galleries too, like the ‘Landscape’ and ‘Pet & Farm’ galleries, so you can see the amazing places I have visited (I’m no landscape photographer, but it’s hard to go wrong with some scenery!) and all the lovely, cheeky pets I’ve got to meet and photograph for my friends.

All this has come about for two reasons. Firstly, my post doctoral research was keeping me so busy I had very little time to get out and take shots like I used to, so my photography has been somewhat neglected for the last few years. This year however, my love for taking pictures was rekindled with an incredible trip to Iceland with my husband, and unsurprisingly I had the time of my life shooting the incredible scenery and wildlife on that amazing island (see more of the whales, birds, horses and landscape photos in the galleries). If you can’t get excited about photographing wildlife in amongst a super pod of wild orca then you may as well sell your camera gear! Secondly, I got to go on a training course at my university so that I could make an academic website and start blogging about my work in science (which is here if you are interested). It wasn’t really anything that I didn’t already know, but it got me back on wordpress and reminded me how easy it is to use, so it gave me the kick up the arse to come back to this website and invest some time in it.

Orca Family
Orca family off the Snaefellsness Peninsular in Western Iceland!

Writing blogs on my science site has also inspired me to write more articles on this site about photography and the places I visit. I started writing about my photography adventures over on good old deviantart 6 years ago and have always had a lot of interest in the places I go and the techniques I use to get the best out of both captive settings in zoos and the frequently wet and wild places I shoot at on the coast. I’m going to start writing blogs about any experiences I have in the photography world, the little things I do to protect my gear and the tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way to avoid disturbing the animals I’m shooting and to get the best results in what are often challenging conditions.

I’m also going to write some reviews from a photographer’s perspective of all the places I’ve visited to take photographs, ranging from zoos to the various wildlife tours I have been on worldwide, as I know these have been helpful to other people over on DA. Hopefully this means I will post an update twice a month, one mid month reviewing a place I’ve previously been to photograph animals and another at the end of the month discussing photography subjects. For example, I was very fortunate to be able to upgrade my camera after 9 wonderful years shooting with my beloved Nikon D200. My new Nikon will hopefully be everything and more that the D200 was, but to make sure I get the best of it I’m going to go on my first training course with the Nikon school in London this month, and I’ll use the ‘mid month’ blog for October to write about my experiences there (NEW: read the blog here or the review of the course here). My ‘end of month’ update for September, aside from this blog, will be a review and what better way to start than to review my favourite wildlife watching company, Ecoventures of Cromarty in Scotland! To read the review click here or just go to the ‘Reviews’ section of the top menu, look under ‘Wildlife Tour Reviews’ and choose ‘Ecoventures, Scotland’. If you click the ‘Wildlife Tour Reviews’ page itself, there will eventually be a list of the completed reviews divided by country and by animal species so that when I’ve written several, it’s still easy to find the review you’re interested in.

Bottlenose Dolphins Breaching
Bottlenose Dolphins breaching in the glare, taken from the Ecoventrues boat

So hopefully there will be plenty to look out for on the site in the coming months, and fingers crossed years if I can keep it up! I have also fixed the coding linking this site to my facebook so any updates on this website are posted on my page there. All that remains is to say thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the new site. Summer may be over now, and with it the good light is vanishing here in the north for photographing wild beasties, but I still have some exciting opportunities to take pictures before the end of the year. I’ve just come back from a holiday in Ibiza and had a fantastic time photographing the endemic lizards (Ibiza Wall Lizard, Podarcis pityusensis) that live there, so beautiful and very approachable; they’ll even climb up your arm to sun themselves if you sit still enough! I will squeeze in a trip to the lovely Cotswold Wildlife Park while I’m in the south for Nikon school, hopefully to see one of my photos on display there along with their new lion cubs. Finally, I will be lucky enough to spend two months with the breeding grey seals on the Isle of May in Scotland as part of my work for the Sea Mammal Research Unit (for more details, go here). It will be my 7th field season with the Scottish seals and even though I’ve worked with these creatures for 8 years now, every trip brings new experiences and sights with the wildlife on these isolated islands. If 2 months shooting on the island doesn’t get me used to my new camera then I’m not sure what will! Hopefully I’ll have lots of new shots of the seals and birds to share over the last months of the year.

Ibiza Wall Lizard
Ibiza Wall Lizard, near Port de Sant Miguel, Ibiza

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