Laurent Geslin – Lynx in the Jura Mountains

Laurent Geslin – Lynx in the Jura Mountains

Posted by on Jan 25, 2015 in Blog, Inspiration | 0 comments

Laurent Geslin is a photographer who works mainly on environmental issues and, like many, his passion for wildlife led him to the work of Stephen Dalton and Michael ‘Nick’ Nichols. After being a naturalist guide in France, South Africa and Namibia, Laurent moved to London where he became a professional photographer himself and from there, he began his project to photograph wildlife in cities. His original work has been published in numerous books, foreign magazines, is regularly exhibited in galleries and museums and has been recognised by competitions such as the 2014 BBC Wildlife Trap Camera Photo of the Year. Now, Laurent lives in the Jura mountains of Switzerland and has been working extensively with lynx for the last years. His new book ‘LYNX, regards croisés’ is the result of fours years chasing the elusive cat. Laurent has kindly shared some of his images with us below… What inspired you to get involved with camera trap work? I did not have the choice, when I started my project on european lynx, I knew it is a very elusive cat and hiding would not be enough. What do you specifically find are the advantages of using these techniques? I can search for clues or other places while my cameras are working… From a technical perspective on location, what are the greatest challenges you have had to overcome? Wood mice are a pain. They eat the cables even if I hang them in branches. The equipment used can get quite specialist, ranging from a simple remote system to complex lighting, trip-beams and flashes. How complex do your setups get or do you find keeping it simple is the best approach? I use from one to 4 flashes, depending on the setting and the time I have to set up the equipment. What has been your most successful trap-camera project to date and how long did it take from concept to first successful image? I have just publish my book on european lynx and it took me 4 years to get all the pictures. I don’t think I’ll spend so much time for my next project. What’s been your biggest failure, either technically or photographically? I set up a camera near a den after tagging the kittens with the biologists. I wanted a shot with the mother carrying the kittens, but when she came back, she did not come near the den, she called her cubs 5 meters away and the kittens moved towards her… she knew the camera trap was there. You can see more of Laurent’s work, as well as buy his latest book, on his website...

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Jonny Armstrong – Alaska’s Great Wilderness

Jonny Armstrong – Alaska’s Great Wilderness

Posted by on Jan 4, 2015 in Blog, Inspiration | 2 comments

Jonny Armstrong isn’t your typical photographer, as he is also a scientist who, through researching salmon in Alaska, turned his attention to the abundance of wildlife that lives there. His extraordinary work has recently seen him awarded as both runner up and commended in the 2014 BBC Camera Trap photo of the Year competition. What inspired you to get involved with camera trap work? I’ve been researching salmon in Alaska for nearly a decade, often working in close proximity to grizzly bears. In the region where I’ve spent most of my time, the bears are difficult to photograph. They are not human-habituated and they spend a lot of time feeding on salmon in small streams, where they are difficult to observe until you are too close for comfort. Folks I worked with used trail cameras to photograph bears, so that’s probably what planted the idea of camera trapping into my brain. However, I would have never pursued the idea had I not become interested in off-camera lighting. In 2011 I picked up a couple speedlights and began experimenting with flash photography. I quickly became obsessed with the creative process of adding light to a scene. This interest in lighting was what led me to build camera traps to photograph bears. I wanted to take lit portraits of wild animals and I knew camera traps were the best way to do this. What do you specifically find are the advantages of using these techniques? The key advantage for me is being able to slow down. Traditional nature photography is often rushed and frantic as you try to capitalize on a fleeting encounter with an animal. There’s often little time to think about anything except nailing the focus and exposure. I love that when I’m camera trapping, I can work slowly and really think about the image I’m trying to create. I also love that camera trapping can allow nature photography to be collaborative. For example, my friend Jason Ching and I have made dozens of camera trap sets together, both of us contributing to the final image. The more obvious advantage is being able to shoot elusive or nocturnal species that we as humans rarely get the opportunity to see. There are several species that I’ve never encountered in real life, but I’ve captured them on camera traps dozens of times. However, I think most iconic wildlife species are actually a lot easier to shoot in person than with a camera trap; for example wolves are extremely difficult to camera trap but fairly easy to shoot with a telephoto lens in certain National Parks. What are the disadvantages? The remote aspect of camera trapping is extremely challenging. Not being able to adjust settings in real time is a huge disadvantage, particularly when you don’t even know what species you will be photographing or under what lighting conditions. I recently made...

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