Wildlife talk second part with Tracey Lund
Tracey started her talk with the good news that she has just been awarded first prize (Wildlife Golden Camera) in the wildlife section of the Federation of European Photographers Awards 2021 for her shots of underwater gannets, penguin and young and Dalmatian pelican.
Her talk was a follow up to a very popular talk she gave in December last year. She started this talk with photographs of a trip to Alaska to see bears catching salmon which were swimming upstream to spawn, the salmon not the bears. Sat on the embankment of a river she got remarkably close to the bears. The bears were focussed on catching as many fish as possible fish so that they could put on weight as they prepare for winter. The bears took no notice of a group of photographers clicking away. She had some very close-up shots of the bears’ claws and slowed her camera’s shutter speed down to get the movement of the water.
She then took us to Yellowstone in winter with shots of bison in a snow blizzard covered on frost and ice. Tracey always tries to have her camera set at the right exposure to catch any shot that might occur. She managed to catch an ermine appearing from under a thick blanket of pristine snow. It was a stunning shot. So was a shot of a cayote in the snow which has been a very successful image for her.
We were then off to Vancouver Island in Canada to see orcas and whales. Tracey struggled to get good shots as she was shooting from a boat and could not get ‘eye level’ with them. Earlier she said she always has her camera ready, but not on this boat. A humpback whale breached the water very close to boat where she was standing and drenched her completely. She didn’t get the shot but certainly got the experience. The trip also included opportunities to shoot sea otters and more bears catching salmon. In one area there were hardly any salmon and further north an abundance of them.
Leaving cold climes behind we were then off to India to the National Parks of Ranthambore and Bandhavgarh to see tigers and along the way numerous exotic birds, a mongoose, monkeys, deer and a sloth bear with cub. Her shots of tigers were special to Tracey, especially as she had ‘looked into the eyes of a tiger’.
It was then off to South Africa and a private game reserve called Zimanga north of Durban. This reserve has special hides designed and built by the photographer Bence Matte and the owners of the reserve. Tracey had impressive shots of the reserve’s wildlife from the bird hide, the lagoon hide – eye to eye with a crocodile, the scavengers hide and the pinnacle of hides, the luxurious overnight hides. These have beds, kitchen, toilet and a late-night bell to wake you when an animal is about to drink at the waterhole. She spent 17 hours in the hide photographing from the afternoon to the next morning. The shots were spectacular.
Finally she ended her talk with shots from UK hides: little owls, ospreys, pine martins, kingfishers, redstart, dippers (not from a hide but laid on pallet in the middle of a stream), sparrowhawks and a cuckoo. Not bad for someone who is ‘not a bird person’.
Besides her impressive imagery Tracey was very entertaining with her stories of how she got, or didn’t get, the shots and generous with her tips and advice. Part three of her wildlife talk is about her trip to the Falklands – bring it on.