Photography in the wild

The purpose of our project is simple, produce inspirational  images of Andean wildlife.

Paula sometimes uses a slider to give movement to an otherwise static video shot.


Paula with slider


Some of the techniques we use are unconventional. Photographing a fish needed to be done quickly so as not to distress the animal, so this meant working till late one the evening.  With one light behind the aquarium and the other to one side and a lot of patience I was successful.



photographing fish


As I worked I wondered if anyone had ever taken a photograph of this species before  ?





Along the way we meet other photographers, this is Valeria Cannata from Tucuman a member of the Concepcion Foto club.



Buenos Aires and a great national bird

Buenos Aires and a great national bird.

Arrived in Buenos Aires.  At last The Andean Wildlife Project in underway for real.  We stayed in the district of San Telmo, a rather old fashioned, dusty but chic part of the otherwise ‘striving to be modern’ capital of Argentina. Cobbled streets were lined with buildings dating back to the 1920s,  whose faded beauty lay in their tall wooden doors and shuttered windows faced with ornate wrought iron grills and balconies.  An area with a few pavement cafes, half hidden panaderias selling gorgeous and sumptuous cakes and shoe repair shops.  The latter no doubt because walking the streets was positively dangerous due to the crazy state of the pavements.  At regular intervals slabs had been ripped out leaving great holes, repairs were unguarded and that was compounded by the heaps of dog poo which were scattered at regular intervals along the chequered slabs as if it was some local game of street ‘poo-chess’.

San Telmo was pleasantly quiet, full of families going about their daily chores and the people we met were extremely friendly.  We stayed at the   Mundo Bolivar  apartments and cafe on the corner of Bolivar street, where on Wednesday nights in a deep cellar locals dance the Tango on a wonderful wooden floor worn smooth with the shuffling of feet.




Cobbled streets close to the Mundo Bolivar were lined with jacaranda trees and the leaves and seeds from these were starting to fill the gutters and tiny cracks between the smooth cobbles, havens for insects and so a sought after food supply by a small brown bird that we saw commonly only in the San Telmo district.  So ordinary is this dun coloured bird scurrying amid the detritus of the old and tired city streets, that it must go completely unnoticed by most passers by, however this gentle animal is the Rufous Hornero, an important bird and our first in South America.


Rufous Hornero


The great South American continent has within it a third of all the birds of the world, the biggest, the brightest and most prolific, so for the first bird on our great journey into this continent to be the Rufous Hornero, would be to some a disappointment, not to us, for like so many things in life, its ordinary and insignificant appearance belies its fascinating behaviour and cultural importance and bestowed upon it the title, not only of  National and revered bird of Argentina, but Paraguay and Uruguay as well !


Honero among leaves


Close up, the Rufous Hornero has the appearance of any city gent, smart, upright and proudly moving about with delicate and purposeful movements.  There were a pair of Honereos in Bolivar street, working together, like Dickensian pick-pockets, to flush out insects and locate seeds in the cracks and crevices of the cobbles and the autumnal leaves the gutter.  They seemed efficient, not surprisingly as these birds are strictly monogamous and mate for life, one of the enduring features that lend themselves to people.  Another feature is their amazing ability to construct a home, a little like the mud huts of Inca antiquity.  Their nest will be within the winding and secure interior of the mud walls which the birds will jointly defend with vigour and  along Bolivar street we found the home of ‘our pair’ beautifully positioned high up on the stucco façade of a building.


Honero nest on facade

Much more about the birds of Argentina can be found by contacting Aves Argentinas.




British Wildlife Photography Awards 2013

This is a Wildlife Photographic Competition exclusive to the British Isles & GREAT, this year – I’ve managed to get two Highly Commended awards.


So a trip down to London yesterday to the Mall galleries .

BWPC Mall Galleries

Lots of photographers, judges, sponsors and organisers.

BWPA peeting in the Mall galleries

Me inside the Mall Gallery

BWPC Me in the Mall Galleries

and an amazing evening chatting to other photographers & seeing the ‘Winning’ Images – WONDERFUL. Introduced and compered by Chris Packham

BWPC Chris Pack 1

& finally my two images –

HIDDEN BRITAIN - Lackey Moth caterpillars


Comma butterfly

Remote camera trapping

I have recently started to use camera traps in a local wood.

The point is not necessarily to get great photographs but to understand what animals are present and to understand their movements.

I have had one remote camera stolen so am now being very careful where I place my new ones. I do have permission to be in this otherwise private wood and to undertake photography and this is important if you are thinking of doing this sort of work. I have been reasonable happy with the results so far, here are a few of them.

I only position my remote camera close to the set entrance once a week, to avoid disturbance.

The vast majority of my successful pictures have been of a fox and they take the majority of the peanuts I put out.


This fox has stood still for a moment, usually they are on the move and the image quality is very poor.