Great News! One of my absolute favourite fine art wildlife images is a Winner of the Nature category in Malta International Photo Awards. Thousands of submissions from all over the world and this image from a special place in Africa is one of the winners. Contestants from over 90 countries took part.
If you follow my work on social media you know that this very same image together with one of my other black and white photography prints were awarded in another competition (International Photo Awards) not so long ago.
The image I’m talking about is my fine art photography prints of a Female Caracal from the Kalahari Desert somewhere on the border between South Africa and Botswana.
The Caracal is an elusive animal hard to capture on camera. Few people get to see it to start with, but if you are lucky it is very often seen in bushy or grassy habitats making it hard to photograph. After 4 long weeks in the desert and a few sightings of this lovely lady but no decent shots I went back for another 2 weeks the year after. On that trip and after a lot of perserverance I finally managed to capture this elusive Queen on photo. The Kalahari Queen…
Thanks to the judges of Malta International Photo Award for choosing my image as a winner and congratulations to all the other winners!
The Malta International Photography Award (MIPA) is a premier photo award that strives to share and promote the art and passion of photography at all levels from all across the world.
We aim to provide aspiring photographers from all around the globe with the chance to share their passion and world. We strive to connect the world through photography, and showcase the nature and cultures of different regions of the world to a global audience.
MIPA wants to provide international photographers with a deep insight into different approaches towards photography, and we hope to encourage people to push their personal and professional boundaries.
The ‘Malta’ element is an essential part of the conception of this international photo award. The country’s national language, Maltese, is rooted in Arabic but heavily influenced by Romance tongues. The modern people of Malta are descendent from countries in the Middle East, North Africa, the Mediterranean and Northern European. The islands’ history dates as far back as 3500 BC, bestowing them with an enormous breadth of cultural and artistic heritage. The country is an emerging cosmopolitan home to an ever growing population of expats that have travelled from all over the world to live and work there.
As such, the Malta International Photo Award wants to adopt the Maltese outlook on life – we look outside of the confines of a small island to the rest of the world, and we welcome everyone to join in.
This year I have decided to try to work more locally here in Malta. Presently we have the bird migration going on here in Malta. Birds migrating from Europe to Africa to spend the winter in a more pleasant climate (I don’t blame them…) A local bird watcher and photographer suggested I go to Buskett which is a semi-wild woodland in Malta. I had to squeeze in my visit between other family-related activities (as always… 🙂 and I knew I was going at a bad time of the day but I wanted to check it out to see if it was any good for photography so I gave it a shot. The spot was a beautiful elevated spot with excellent views. Not many birds unfortunately but that is probably more due to the time of day I visited than the actual location. I saw some Honey buzzards, a few bee-eaters and some other “less exotic” species. Unfortunately they were all too far away for any decent photography but at least I got a feel for the location and I will definitely go there again. I did get some decent shots though… Of a dragonfly 🙂 This very often happens here in Malta I have noticed. I go out for chameleons and come home with praying mantis, I go out for birds I get dragonflies etc etc.
As long as I come home with something useful I am happy!
I went out in the scorching heat to search for mating Chameleons in Il-Majjistral National Park here in Malta. But to no avail 🙁 No mating chameleons or any chameleons at all for that matter. But that is how wildlife photography is sometimes. It is just to soak it up and try again. I did find an interesting Mantis though which seemed to be comfortable in my presence and were willing to pose. I got some decent shots and I have also got indications that this is a very rare species in Malta. I’ll keep you posted…
Just saw a photo on Facebook of two Chameleons mating. The image was taken here in Malta not far from where I live. The photo itself wasn’t anything special but knowing that the mating season is on I need to get out. The chance is rather slim to find something of the sort but the chance is always slimmer if you stay inside 🙂
Tomorrow is Chameleon-day!
If you are interested in any of my chameleon workshops please don’t hesitate to contact me
Malta might not be well known for its wildlife except from the extensive migration of birds over the islands every year. We do have other subjects to photograph here such as the Mediterranean Chameleon. At this time of the year the island is teeming of little baby chameleons. Although very hard to find due to their camouflage and size they are there. Last week I was out looking for these small cuties and managed to find one. I tried photographing it but it looked quite stressed and changed to a dark colour so I left it alone. Chameleons change to a darker hue when feeling stressed or threatened.
Yesterday I tried going to the same spot again and managed to find what I believe to be the same individual. This time he felt more relaxed with me around and remained green. It was late in the day and the sun was high in the sky so not optimal for photography but I spent an hour or so with him. I got some decent shots for my project and most importantly a great hour of his company.
Today I had the opportunity to join a student from University of Malta on his ongoing study of the Maltese Weasel. The aim is to see what impact habitat fragmentation has on the weasel or Ballotra as it is called locally. (Mustela nivalis) population in Malta. Not many studies are available on this shy and elusive species here in Malta so this is kind of baseline.
I have had a wish to work with the weasel for a while now since not many great images are available in Malta, so when this opportunity was presented to me I was very excited. The aim is to catch some individuals and GPS trackers on them to be able to study them better. For me it means that I can improve my chances of being in the right place at the right time with my camera. For the student in question I hope to provide him with some good images and maybe some video of this creature’s behaviour.
The student has been trying to catch individuals for 2-3 months now but so far hasn’t been successful. The weasel, or ballotra, is shy, elusive and very intelligent so catching one will be hard so wish us luck 🙂
Photo By: Raymond Galea
On a recent trip to the public San Anton Gardens in Malta I came across 8-9 incredibly cute ducklings. The responsible parents where the resident pair of Muscovy Ducks. They were quite willing to pose for the cameras and they weren’t too afraid to come close either.
The Muscovy duck is actually native to Mexico and other parts of Central and South America. Inevitably, one has to ask himself how it ended up in a public garden on a tiny Mediterranean Island. But I leave that to someone else to answer 🙂
The public gardens of San Anton Palace have been open to the public since 1882 and owe their origin to the Knight Antoine de Paule, a French knight who was elected 54tth Grand Master of the Order of St. John in 1623. Since 1974 San Anton Palace is the Official residence of the President of Malta.
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