Monkey busines

Japanese Macaque Nagano, Japan

Japanese Macaque baby (Macaca fuscata) in hot spring covering its face, Jigokudani National Park, Japan

Japanese Macaques, or Snow Monkey (Macaca fuscata) is a species native to Japan. It is the most northern-living non-human primate. During my two-year stay in Japan I had several opportunities to meet these lovely creatures. The most rewarding, in term of photography, was the one in Jigokudani Monkey Park in the Japan Alps where the following photographs were made.

 

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Vulture and elephant

Vulture feeding on elephant body South Luangwa, Zambia

White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) feeding on elephant body (Loxodonta africana), South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

An elephant died without any obvious reason near to my camp in South Luangwa National Park. It was interesting to inspect the place frequently and see the process of the body disappearance. Lions, hyenas, vultures and marabous took turns in silently destroying remnants of the creature that used to be invincible.

Leopard hiding in the bush, Kruger National Park, South Africa

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Leopard (Panthera pardus) hiding in the bush of Pafuri, Kruger National Park, South Africa

Thanks to great tracking skills of my guide from Pafuri Kamp, I was able to spot this wonderful creature shortly after sunset. I managed to take only one single shot before it disappeared in the dark.

Feeling safe in Japan

Japanese Macaque Nagano, Japan

Japanese Macaque (Macaca fuscata) soaks in hot spring while carrying her baby, Jigokudani National Park, Japan

I have photographed Japanese Macaques all around Japan during the past ten years, but the ones living in the proximity of hot baths were by far the most photogenic. I spent a few days with these cute creatures in Jigokudani National Park of the Japan Alps, Nagano, and was lucky to have several babies around. This little one, sitting on its mother’s back in the middle of water pool shows eyes full of fear, yet symbolizes maternal security.

Photography in Southern Africa

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Leopard (Panthera pardus) hiding in the bush of Pafuri, Kruger National Park, South Africa

During a four-week trip throughout South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia, I was lucky to photograph the wildlife of six National Parks. A great part of the trip was bigheartedly sponsored by Wilderness Safaris who were generous enough to host me in their Kalamu, Lunga, Pafuri, Shumba, and Toka Leya lodges. Thanks to their well-trained, knowledgeable, experienced and patient guides, I was privileged to photograph a variety of African wildlife up close and personal. Actually, too close, sometimes 🙂

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Close up portrait of African elephant (Loxodonta africana), Kruger National Park, South Africa

This expedition included altogether 16 plane/helicopter takeoffs (and fortunately as many happy landings 🙂 – aerial photography was, therefore, an inevitable part of my daily routine. Helicopter flights over the Victoria Falls and the plains of northern part of the Kafue National Park (Zambia) were especially rewarding.

Aerial photograph of Victoria Falls, Zambia

Aerial view of the Victoria Falls, Zambia

Contrary to my other journeys, people photography was not a priority during this trip; however, I managed to bag a few pictures of Zambian children in the local villages.

 

In this carousel slideshow,  I am leaving all the exif data here for you – so that you can learn some details.

 

Swaziland

The Kingdom of Swaziland is a landlocked country bordered by South Africa and Mozambique. It features several National Parks and Game Reserves – heaven for the wildlife photographer. I was privileged to visit Hlane National Park and Mkaya Game Reserve.

Lions of Hlane National Park, Swaziland

Lioness with two cubs (Panthera leo), Hlane Royal National Park, Swaziland

Hlane means “wilderness” in Swati and Hlane Royal National Park is Swaziland’s largest protected area. With 30 000 hectares of Swazi bushveld, Hlane is home to an abundant and diverse wildlife. Together with Mkhaya Game Reserve, these are the best places in Africa for tracking and photographing elephant and rhino on foot.

Namibia

Namibia was one of my first photo assignments. I travelled the obvious photo locations such as Sossusvlei or Etosha National Park, but also visited off-the beaten track areas such as Bushmanland. The highlight of the journey was renting a Cessna (without doors) and taking photographs of the Namib Desert at sunset from above.

It was back in the era of analog cameras and Fuji films. All these pictures were taken by my bellowed Nikon FM2 camera and Nikkor prime lenses. I carried two plastic bags of films – Fuji Velvia 50 and Fuji Provia 100 – about 120 rolls altogether. And then I spent days and days, actually nights and nights, of scanning.