Keeping with the tradition of an annual highlights blog (even if it’s two weeks late), here are my highlights from 2015.
Most of my winter was spent in the London Royal Parks and photographing the local kestrels.
It was nice to hear that I’d been awarded Highly Honoured in the short film category in the Nature's Best Windland Smith Rice International Awards 2015 and was featured in the magazine. My film was among the names of Will-Burrard Lucas and other top wildlife photographers and was also shown at a couple film festivals including the Smithsonian exhibition in Washington.
I also managed to get in the final shortlist for the National Geographic Traveller Competition 2015 with this black and white.
In early April, I travelled to Skomer Island, off the coast of Wales where I volunteered for a week. This was pretty wicked – daily views of peregrines, winter migrants, and harbour porpoise! And of course the puffins. I spent most of my evenings skipping dinner and photographing the puffins.
Then the gap year adventure commenced; 10 weeks in Peru including eight in Amazonian Peru. I left in late April and had a truly epic few months. I went horse backing up to Salkantay point (4650 metres) whilst recovering from food poisoning and chundering throughout the night in a tent as the external temperature was way below freezing. I completed the Salkantay trek; 40 miles over 4 days with all my camera gear and saw Machu Picchu (which isn’t that epic – the surrounding landscape however, is). And I went on the highest zip line in South America over the forest canopy. Then I went to the Amazon; saw monkeys almost every day, got mauled by sandflies and mosquitoes, shared a bed with cockroaches (and made wine bottle traps for them- pest control). I swam in rivers and had a frog jump on my face. Many frogs jumped on my face actually, whilst showering, eating dinner and trying to white box them. I brushed my teeth in the close presence of a boa constrictor. I lost my sh*t when our Animal Mammal Transect team discovered four species of big cat within 2 metres squared. It was so cool. I took a huge jaguar print from deep in primary forest, all the way back to camp to make a cast. I didn’t work. I saw a phenomenal bush master. I also mothered a botfly I named Jaws, who returned to London with me, my mother was most impressed pulling him out from under my jaw. She also thought I became a crack addict as I’d brought a supply of coca leaf tea back home. Oh and I got peed on by a spider monkey: life goals.
After 8 weeks in the Amazon, I really didn’t want to leave but I had to. The summer consisted of catching up and travelling with friends and processing Peru photos. And since leaving Peru, I haven’t used my camera very much at all. I did head to Richmond Park with zoology bud Jack Barton.
In September, I moved to Cornwall and began studying Zoology at the University of Exeter. Now that I have completed my first semester exams, I have begun planning travel for the next big adventure. Oh and I’m going back to Skomer in April!
I'll hopefully have many new images to share in the next annual highlights blog. Till then, thanks for reading :)
Keywords: 2015, amazon, birds, blog, connor, danielle, deer, highlights, hummingbird, in, jungle, nature, peru, photography, rainforest, review, stag, wildlife, year
Truly awesome images Danielle! :)
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