Monday, 10 August 2015

Late summer and still together

Each year working on otters here in Shetland I get to know many families, their routines and the ranges they use. Its crucial to the trips we run that I keep up to date with each of the sites I use and each family in those ranges around the isles.
This particular mum and two cubs, one of three families along one particular stretch of shore I work, have stayed together well over a year now. One of these families the cubs are now actually coming up on 16 months old and not surprisingly spending long periods away from mum but these guys are slightly younger, still under a year old.
Spent a few hours with them throughout which enjoyed an insight to their daily routine; foraging, , grooming, resting and for the cubs, some play. Unfortunately they were always quite a distance away so the images I managed needed quite a crop- that's often just how it is with photographing otters, the terrain can sometimes offer opportunity to stalk or crawl closer but this open shore constrains that. Beautiful to watch.
 Mum lands a sea scorpian with one of cubs in hot pursuit. Interestingly this family in particular seem to specialize in this particular prey with mum catching several good sized every time Iv'e been with them this summer.
A good old rough and tumble after foraging and feeding, minutes after this, they were fast asleep, which was my time to retreat.

I then continued along the shore to the far end of the range where I suspected one of the other families would be and found them just starting to snuggle down to sleep off a foraging session.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

A long awaited 'fix'....

Its a strange concept to get used to for any photographer; making photographs happen but not actually taking any! This is of course a small price to pay of course, being out in the field on a weekly basis, very often daily even, in an environment you love and with a species you adore. But that's just how it is when you lead photographers and make a living around leading tours.
Its a feeling anyone in a similar position will know well- the desperation that builds and builds to get out with your own camera again and man what a buzz when you do. This is how I felt to get out on my own  recently after several weeks leading and enjoying some superlative otter photo opportunities for guests- what its all about of course and I'm luck to be so busy doing so.
Here's a sequence from one of several families I have been working on this summer. It was so good to spend a couple of hours with them.