onsdag 4. mars 2020

20 PICS OF DEEP WINTER GREAT GREY OWL


Picture shot towards a deep, cold shadow with owl flying into sharp, warm backlight
Nikon D5, 70-200 2,8 / 200 mm, f/5,6, 1/2500, ISO 900

It was late February in Kuusamo district, north eastern part of Finland close to Russian border. We followed one single Great Grey Owl (Lappugle) from early morning to late afternoon for 7 full days. There was an abundance of voles this year and the owl was picking up new prey with little effort. We had rain, new snow, soft light, hard light, deep cold (down to 23 below) and deep snow (1,2 m on flat ground) ! The bird was incredibly confident picking up wild voles only 2 m away from our feet. Some of the pictures have also been shot with backup mice from the deep freezer,

I have picked out 20 pictures. It could have been 20 others !

A warm thank you to Minna Lindroth & Markus Varesvuo.

Also thanks to Heikki Nikki, Jarmo Manninen, Olli Lamminsalo & Lassi Rautuainen.  


Attack on a local vole
Nikon D5, 70-200 2,8 / 165 mm, f/4,5, 1/2000, ISO 4500


Nikon D5, 70-200 2,8 / 200 mm, f/3,5, 1/2000, ISO 2500


Nikon D5, 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/2000, ISO 5600


Nikon D5, 600 4,0, f/5,0, 1/2000, ISO 5600


Nikon D5, 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv. = 850 mm, f/6,3, 1/6400, ISO 2000


A very cold day with 20 below
Nikon D5, 70-200 2,8 / 135 mm, f/7,1, 1/2500, ISO 4000


Like a silent missile through the cold air
Nikon D5, 70-200 2,8 / 200 mm, f/4,5, 1/2000, ISO 1100


Nikon D5, 70-200 2,8 / 200 mm, f/4,5, 1/2000, ISO 1250


Nikon D5, 70-200 2,8 / 175 mm, f/5,6, 1/2500, ISO 2200


Grabbing a mouse in the soft snow
Nikon D5, 70-200 2,8 / 190 mm, f/4,5, 1/2000, ISO 1100


A rainy afternoon
Nikon D5, 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/800, ISO 3600


Late afternoon
Nikon D5, 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/800, ISO 3600


Nikon D5, 70-200 2,8 / 70 mm, f/5,6, 1/2500, ISO 280


Nikon D5, 400 2,8, f/4,0, 1/2500, ISO 500


Golden morning light
 Nikon D5, 70-200 2,8 / 160 mm, f/5,6, 1/2000, ISO 900


Nikon D5, 70-200 2,8 / 150 mm, f/4,5, 1/2000, ISO 1800


Nikon D5, 70-200 2,8 / 110 mm, f/4,5, 1/2000, ISO 2800


Nikon D5, 70-200 2,8 / 200 mm, f/5,6, 1/2000, ISO 3200


Nikon D5, 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/800, ISO 5000

lørdag 25. januar 2020

NORTHERN FINLAND, JANUARY 2020


Hazelgrouse / Jerpe
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv = 850 mm, f/5,6, 1/160, ISO 2800

Once again northern Finland, 2 weeks, mid January ... trying to capture the arctic winter magic. Short days & arctic twilights, usually deadly cold ... however not so deadly this time. Climate disaster !
Still : I love Finland, great wildlife, amazing taiga nature and great people !
Pictures shot in Kuusamo, Utsjoki & Kuhmo.

A warm thank you to Markus Varesvuo, Jame Helander & Ville Heikinen !  


Hazelgrouse / Jerpe
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/5,0, 1/320, ISO 5000


Hazelgrouse / Jerpe
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv = 850 mm, f/5,6, 1/160, ISO 800


Ptarmigan / Fjellrype ... not so easy target with arctic twilights and pretty shy birds
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv = 850 mm, f/5,6, 1/640, ISO 6400


Ptarmigan / Fjellrype
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv = 850 mm, f/5,6, 1/250, ISO 3200


Ptarmigan / Fjellrype
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv = 850 mm, f/5,6, 1/250, ISO 2200


Arctic twilight with moon in high alpine region Utsjoki Finland, close to Tana, Finnmark. 
Snowscooter was legally used for transportation, not for finding birds ! 


Very short days with sun not visible below horizon, VERY long nights !


Any wildlife photographers wet dream is a cooperative hawk owl in white winterly conditions.
The owl is typically perched in outlook position to monitor small prey below.
Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/4,5, 1/640, ISO 2200


Hawkowls are relatively small birds with a fast and unsteady flight. A strong and unsteady wind makes the flight even more unpredictable. A great challenge to any autofocus system ... and any photographer !
Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/2,8, 1/2500, ISO 12800


Hawkowl / haukugle
Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/2,8, 1/2500, ISO 2800

 Eye contact with hawkowl / haukugle !
Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/2,8, 1/2500, ISO 2800



Hawkowl / haukugle ... low flight
Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/2,8, 1/2500, ISO 5000


Hawkowl / haukugle take off
Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/2,8, 1/4000, ISO 4500


Hawkowl / haukugle
Nikon D5, Nikkor 70-200 / 200 mm 2,8, f/2,8, 1/3200, ISO 3600


Hawkowl / haukugle
Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/3,5, 1/3200, ISO 5000


Hawkowl / haukugle
Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/2,8, 1/2500, ISO 4500

Hawkowl / haukugle
Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/2,8, 1/2500, ISO 2000


Hawkowl / haukugle
Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/2,8, 1/4000, ISO 4500


Hawkowl / haukugle
Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/4,5, 1/3200, ISO 9000


Black grouse / orrfugl
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter = 850 mm, f/5,6, 1/160, ISO 2800

torsdag 2. januar 2020

IMPRESSIONS FROM MAASAI MARA, KENYA, NOV - DEC 2019


Impala sunrise
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/640, ISO 1400

I've had many stays at the Oltepesi Tented Safari Camp in Maasai Mara Kenya lately. My latest project was 2 weeks in Nov / December 2019. This is the beginning of wet season in the Mara, everything is lushy, lushy green .... and extremely wet ! Too wet in a way .... since streams grew to uncrossable barriers and rivers grew to roaring monsters and limiting our action a bit. The good thing about the wet season apart from the incredible lushy green is soft light and colourful clouds.

One of the dramas that I witnessed in the Mara this time was the buffalos fighting their life & death battle. These pictures have been presented on my previous blogpost and are not shown in this post.  

This was my project no 31 in Eastern & Southern Africa, so apparently I have become addicted !! I have 3 upcoming African adventures in 2020, of which the Maasai Mara project in Oct still have a couple of vacant seats. Fyi.

Thanks to Oltepesi Tented Safari Camp & John Siololo. Also thanks to Dario Mesonero Romanos & Jokin Uriarte for inspiration and great company.


Impala Sunset
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/5,0, 1/1600, ISO 220


Cheetah Mom with 7 cubs .. must be world record !! I was lucky as the female came walking towards us and layed down on the overgrown mound right in front of us. Cubs walking behind came up ... one by one ... and finally they all posed with their mother for some magic minutes. Out of 500 picture only ONE had all 7 cubs` faces visible and mother looking my way !! One cub is later reported killed by leopard. This is inevitable in Maasai Mara. 6 cubs still alive and well (to my information).
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/800, ISO 800


Cheetah Mum & cub
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/500, ISO 720


Cubs has been eating from a Thompson gazelle kill ... in the rain ... and mother is cleaning up the mess afterwards
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/7,2, 1/1000, ISO 1100


A patient ... but tired ... mother !!
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/1000, ISO 450


Cheetah cub playing and practizing running and hunting skills. Cub approx 2months old.
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/1600, ISO 640


I told her a joke ... and she laughed her heart out !!
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/1000, ISO 450


Semi adult cheetah in hunting position
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/1600, ISO 560


I love doing this kind of shot : A simple composition with 2 interacting elements : Hyena & buffalo skeleton, of course a bit glouish & macabre ,,, and with an endless green blur around with no disturbing elements.
 D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/4,0, 1/1000, ISO 360


Many animals die as they try to cross Mara River in the rainy season, and become food for scavengers like this hyena & the Monitor Lizard. The hyena had more respect for the lizard than opposite. The zebra was probably a smelly dish !!
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter = 850 mm, f/7,1, 1/1000, ISO 640


Hooded vulure
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/640, ISO 900


Bateleur Eagle, a beautiful eagle with the characteristic red beak & short tail
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/640, ISO 2500


A common bird on the savannah : Blackbellied Bustard (male)  ... in light rain
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/160, ISO 160


Saddlebilled stok portrait
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/1250, ISO 1600


Secretary Bird portrait
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter = 850 mm, f/6,3, 1/800, ISO 450


The very smallest of all gazelle species on the savannah : Kirks Dikdik
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/640, ISO 320


A newborn Grants Gazelle`s first unstable steps 
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/800, ISO 2000


The two male Topis had a wild fight .... for a long time
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter = 850 mm, f/5,6, 1/1600, ISO 560


... and at some stage there was a winner ... and a looser !
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter = 850 mm,  f/5,6, 1/1600, ISO 640


The lioness was leading her small family across the meadow from one bush to the other. One of the cubs were too small to make on foot. I took many pictures in this situation, but only once did she meet my eyes.
 D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/1250, ISO 450


Flirting lions
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/640, ISO 2000


Nature can be totally unsentimental, ... but I see a certain beauty in the un-sentimentality ... 
and love to work with this as a photographer
D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/5,6, 1/800, ISO 3200


... once again the unsentimental beauty (?) ... with the young male lion working on the carcass, buffalo skeleton with the glow of morning sun through the red ribs and the skinned skull ... almost smiling.
 D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/2,8, 1/640, ISO 640


... and more of the glouish / macabre aspect
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/640, ISO 2200


The lion pride had taken down a buffalo in the dark, it was raining and the lions had just managed to chew a hole in the buffalos stomach. The wild growling sounds, the smell and the atmosphere in the dark ... was special. Picture shot from the light of a headlamp.
D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/2,8, 1/250, ISO 10 000


Pride of lions chewing a zebra
D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/3,2, 1/800, ISO 2500


A group of young male lions with zebra kill
D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/5,6, 1/800, ISO 2000


Two buffalos fighting a life & death battle !! 
Many pics fro this drama is presented in my previous blogpost. This picture not shown before
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/1250, ISO 1100


... and finally : A group of Maasai cows on the way to spend a safe night in the village enclosure ... with a vanishing thunderstorm above.
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/640, ISO 1000