May 07, 2016

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Red and Black Grouse

March 30, 2014

The Red Grouse (lagopus, Lagopus Scotica)  is not an unfamiliar game bird species to me and I used to hunt them many years ago as a teenager. They are endemic to the British Isles and now my motivation to spend some time with them is to photograph them and they have been on my Photography "Bucket list" for several years now. This past March I made the effort to fly over briefly to the UK to do so...

The Al Ain Air show

February 05, 2014

I've never photographed an air show before but it has been something i'd wanted to try when the opportunity arose. This opportunity happened to arise early this year and i spent an enjoyable afternoon capturing images of the various aircraft in flight. It's great fun to do and certainly something I'd recommend. 

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque constitutes as one of the most prominent and beautiful architectural monuments in the world and certainly one of the more opulent religious buildings I have ever visited. Standing very distinctive on the Abu Dhabi skyline, this magnificent building is named after the UAE's first President and visionary leader, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who passed away in November 2004 and is buried at the site. He was known for his patience, insightfulness and optimism but it is generally accepted that the central trait of his personality was his great wisdom. 

Camel Racing In The UAE

January 16, 2014

 There are three main recreational activities that pre-occupy the local people and these being Horse racing, falcon racing and Camel racing. originally the camel jockeys were young children but the injuries (and deaths) caused became socially unacceptable and now the use of robotic jockeys is commonplace and widely adopted with few exceptions. 

The Houbara bustard of the arabian gulf has long synonymously been associated with the arabian falconry tradition but in recent years their numbers have dwindled significantly due to unsustainable hunting practices and the rapid human population growth of their native lands and oil and gas exploration. 

Falconry in the UAE

December 18, 2013

The art of falconry can trace it's routes to some 4 thousand years to the asian and arabian cultures where falconry was once practiced as a source of gathering food long before the advent of gunpowder and guns. Brought back to Europe in the middle ages with the numerous Christian crusades, falconry soon became the sport of the kings and queens and the very wealthy. At the turn of the 20th century it made its way to the Americas and now is practiced as a largely recreational pastime throughout the world but it's routes have not been forgotten and even today the sport of falconry is woven into the very tapestry of arabian life.  

Falcon Races

December 18, 2013

The falcon races are a new thing for most westerners (falconers) and the nearest thing we have to this in North America are the sky trails where falconers and their falcons are competing against each other in attaining a great pitch and drastic stoop and chase of the fastest of pigeons released beneath them. Here in the gulf (GCC) countries the ability to find and hunt wildlife is very hard and combined with the lack of natural wild quarry and strict laws pertaining to hunting, it was somewhat inevitable that the countries leadership, set on maintaining and if not enhancing cultural heritage, had the foresight and vision to create the falcon races. 

UAE Wildlife

November 18, 2013

When one thinks of the Arabian desert you tend to think of vast tracts of sand dunes and little or no wildlife to be seen except for perhaps the odd camel. Nothing could be farther from the truth as I soon learned.....

An Arabian Adventure

October 14, 2013

As mentioned in a previous blog I have taken a job move that brings my wife and I to the UAE (United Arab Emirates), initially for a two year contract that already looks to be extending into a much longer stay.  I also find myself in a photo rich environment with much more to it than meets the eye and I will look forward to building a portfolio of images over time. 

Kingfishers have long since fascinated me and I try to photograph them whenever the opportunity arises. In this case I made a special point of trying to go photograph the european kingfisher during a visit to the UK en route to the UAE. 

I am about to embark on a career change that takes me away from the pristine wilderness of the Canadian Rockies and into the Arabian Desert scene of the UAE for a 2 year initial contract. As a result I had a few things on my photography bucket list on this side of the world that I was keen to do as it would likely be some time before an opportunity arose to photograph scenery or wildlife like this again. So en Route to the Arabian Gulf I touched base with a few friends and detoured through Arizona, Utah and the UK... 

Summer storms rolled across the sky barking loud claps of thunder while intermittently dispersed with a few bright flashes of lightening now and then as I sat beside a pond in a treed depression out west. I was photographing Cedar and Bohemian Waxwings taking advantage of the insect hatch that was occurring. They'd fly out across the open water grab an insect and fly back to a fence wire or twig to eat or rest. Waxwings are my favourite "LBJ" and I never cease to be impressed by their feather detail although they are uncommon at this time of year. I knew I was going to get wet or worse still risk being a lightening conductor as I sat holding this big metal lens but I knew I had a small window of opportunity to get some images and I was going to make the most of it.  

Red Necked Grebes

July 06, 2013

As spring evening settles over the small Alberta pond i'm sitting at, the enthusiastic laughing calls of the red necked grebes add a wonderful dimension to the still evening air as they mix with the songs of red winged blackbirds and the croaking of frogs. So it was, my spring and summer would be taken up studying a couple of pairs of this fascinating bird....

The Netherlands

July 06, 2013

Having lived in the UK for the first 30 years of my life I did get to travel to several European countries, sometimes several times over the years but the Netherlands was never one of those countries I managed to get to visit until now....  

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Recent News

  • Here's a few from the other day May 15, 2013
    Here's a few from the other day

    It's been a long winter and no trips photographing abroad the first 4 months of this year so I made up for it recently with a visit to Dubai and a 10 day tour of the UAE. 

  • New Website & other changes... July 22, 2012

    As you can see my website and for that matter my domain named has completely changed. Why is that ?