NAB 2017 Las Vegas

I've had a great week at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. Great to meet new and old friends and to get hands on with some very cool new toys. Steve Winter and I also spoke on the Canon USA stand about our new jaguar project for National Geographic. 

Colombia National Parks Meeting

Steve and I headed to back to Colombia to meet the Colombian National Parks service to thank them for letting us into Chiribiquete National Park back in June. We also met up with the incredible expedition team that kept us safe on the ground! We're hoping to return to Chiribiquete soon to continue documenting the amazing discoveries this team is making. 

 

 

Jaguars - Nat Geo WILD

Steve and I spent 2 months in search of jaguars in the Pantanal, Brazil. This enormous wetland situated slap bang in the middle of South America is home to some of the biggest jaguars in the world. An adult male can weight up to 150kg! We spent the majority of our time in the northern Pantanal where during the dry season, the jaguars are very visible as they patrol the river banks where their prey is concentrated by the falling water levels. Our goal was to film and photograph jaguars hunting caiman, the south America equivalent of a crocodile. The 1-hour special for Nat Geo WILD and Steve's article for National Geographic Magazine will come out in late 2017. 

National Geographic Mexico Shoot

Scroll down to meet the biggest fish in the world, the whale shark. Despite being a shark that can grow over 12m long (40ft) and weigh over 20 tonnes, they don't have big teeth. Instead, they have about 3000 very very tiny teeth. Similarly to the baleen whales (e.g. humpbacks), they are filter feeders. Here you can see this huuuge individual sucking in a big mouthful of water to extract the plankton. I was lucky enough to film and photograph the largest known aggregation of whale sharks on the planet off the coast of Mexico over the weekend. Having a school bus sized animal swim towards you out of the blue is certainly a feeling I'll never forget!

Whale sharks weren't the only marine megafauna that we got up close and personal with though. Click next below to see  an absolute whopper of an oceanic manta ray with a wingspan of over 3m/12ft! It was fascinating to learn that the baitfish in this shot were using the manta's body as a shield from aerial predators. Just after I got out of the water, one fish strayed a little too far from the manta. The pelicans soaring overhead spotted it and lets just say that fish won't be making the same mistake again!

National Geographic Colombia Shoot

Steve Winter and I recently returned from what we both agree was the most incredible place we've ever been. Now me saying that, no big deal, I'm a whipper snapper in the grand scheme of National Geographic. Steve however has been on Nat Geo assignments all over the world for the last 25 years. We had the great honour of documenting the work of Fundación Herencia Ambiental Caribe as they undertook an expedition into Chiribiquete National Park, one of the world's last great unexplored places. We owe huge thanks also to Parks Colombia and the Colombian Ministry of Culture for their support. 

This place is so remote and rugged, the only way of getting around is by helicopter. On the last day of the expedition, we were gifted with some beautiful weather. Steve and I jumped at the opportunity. Our awesome pilot David very kindly took the doors of the helicopter- a brilliant idea until we were banked up on our side thousands of feet above the jungle! Alejo (the ropes expert) had tied us both in so we quickly got used to the rather large drop! I didn't think the scenes in Avatar existed- turns out they do.

Prior to the expedition into Chiribiquete, we met Tigger the jaguar (he was named after the tiger Winnie the Pooh). Seven years ago, when Tigger was a tiny cub, his mother was shot after killing a rancher's cow. Tigger was found and taken to a rescue centre, Cabildo Verde Sabana de Torres. Like the ocelot posted previously, Tigger didn't get the vital education from his mother necessary to survive and hunt in the wild. For this reason, he'll never be released into the wild. Whilst this is very sad, there is some positivity to his story. 

Jaguars are ghost cats, there are very few places in the wild where you can see them. This makes it very difficult to justify their importance in the ecosystem to the people that live with them and sometimes have their livestock taken. This is where Tigger comes in. Local people are brought to this rescue centre to learn about the role jaguars play in the wild. So Tigger is taking one for the team to help ensure the same thing doesn't happen to other wild jaguars.

National Geographic Mexico Shoot

I've spent the last 5 days with a 'flamboyance' of 15,000 flamingoes in Mexico. To find out what we were up to click here to watch a live broadcast we did for National Geographic... 

No matter how many times I saw it, a flamingo take off always made me chuckle. They're incredible goofy and clumsy as they desperately flap their wings and beat the water with their feet. I think this struggle to take to the air is also strangely beautiful! Check out the video to see if you agree!...

Canon 1DX mark II Roadshow

I’ve just finished two weeks speaking with legendary sports photographer, Eddie Keogh, on the Canon UK 1DX mark II roadshow. It’s been a lot of fun so thank you to all those that came to the events. It's a real game changer of a camera for both stills and DSLR video so I'd highly recommend checking it out if you get the chance. 

I should mention that the picture below was definitely not my idea. Andre Bernal, who came to the roadshow event in London, was adamant that I had to throw the new 1DX in the air for a photo. I threw it up once but apparently not high enough! .