This is the first post from our recent travel to Tasmania. Tasmania is well known for its natural qualities with excellent bushwalks in extensive areas of pristine temperate rainforests, mountains and highlands as well as wild and scenic coastal regions. The wildlife is however also both interesting and abundant and since I wanted to photograph some of these animals during our travel I decided to spend some time in the somewhat less known Narawntapu National Park. This is an area of long sandy beaches, dunes, hills, forest and savanna-like open grasslands and wetlands in northern Tasmania.
Although I knew that this is an excellent area for wildlife watching, I was surprised by the abundance of marsupials as we first reached the area just before sunset. Wombats were grazing on the open grassland and Tasmanian pademelons and Bennett’s wallabies where everywhere. The first night was however spent on setting up the camp and eating a late dinner, so I prepared my camera gear for the next morning instead.
As I went out around 5:30 in the cold and fresh morning the animals were gone. No wombats were in sight and I saw no wallabies grazing in the open areas, only a single pademelon passed by on the path from the camping area to the grasslands. I decided to walk further, crossed the first open grassy area and passed through some bushes and low trees to find that the grassland continued on the other side. About two hundred meters in front of me was a dense stand of ferns. This is where I first saw the forester kangaroos (or eastern grey kangaroo, Macropus giganteus) that are common in this area. A group of animals suddenly appeared in the ferns as they rose up and turned their heads towards me. This is the second largest species of Kangaroo and males grow to about two meters tall. Despite overcast conditions and dull light I took some shots hiding behind some low bushes, but the animals were shy and didn’t allow me to come much closer.
I soon learned that the evenings are much better with many more animals out grazing in the open. They are also less shy and more focused on grazing and fighting with each other than in the mornings.
This is also true for the wombats (this species is the common wombat Vombatus ursinus) that are solitary and territorial animals that hide in burrows during the days. Wombats are the closest living relatives to the Koala. Many of the wombats in Narawntapu are used to the presence of humans and can be watched and photographed from a short distance, but females with young are typically much shyer and photographing those demands more patience and caution in order not to disturb the animals.
One of the first nights a spotted at two females with young, but after that they were gone. However, persistence often pays off and after nearly a week with cloudy evenings and only solitary animals I was finally lucky to find two females with their young. By approaching them very carefully and staying low and quiet in the grass I got the shots I was looking for without scaring the animals. I was also lucky enough to finally have some great evenings with perfect golden sunlight.
There is also a variety of birds, snakes, frogs and other animals to see in Narawntapu so there is much more to discover in this exciting place, but after a while we had to leave in order to see more of Tasmania. More of my images of Tasmanian wildlife can be seen in this gallery.
Next post will be from the mountains of the wild Southwest National Park, an entirely different environment in Tasmania!
Winter is coming soon again. Here is some inspiration from Torö, one of my favourite places for coastal winter images in the Stockholm area. This place is located on the southern tip of this peninsula, which is one of the few places that you can reach from the mainland and is exposed to the open sea without the shelter of the islands of our archipelago.
The area is popular among surfers, who take advantage of the often large waves that build up here. I like it since you most years can sea the open sea all winter. It is a great feeling since all lakes in inner bays freeze and all you see is ice and snow. I mainly go there for the light and seascapes, but I often can’t resist the abundant birdlife. Therefore it is always difficult to choose which equipment to bring when I go there often resulting in that I carry too much while walking over the slippery icy rocks and stones.
In clear weather, the time around sunrise or sunset is usually, best but in cloudy or even snowy or rainy weather, all day can provide great mood.
I hope that this winter will be cold and snowy. If so I will go there as soon as a come back from Tasmania in the end of January.
I recently had the opportunity to take some studio shots of some small invertebrates collected at a field survey in the Baltic Sea. These weird and fascinating small creatures live anonymous lives on or in the bottom mud or sand. Some are just one or a few millimeters while the biggest reach lengths of several centimeters. However most of them are rarely seen by most people although they often occur in great numbers. At a first glance they may appear just like any small shrimp or worm, but as soon as you watch them through a microscope or viewfinder strange and fascinating shapes appear. Below are a few species.
Bylgides sarsi, an incredibly fragile little polychaete covered with thin flat scales.
Saduria entomon, a large isopod species. This specimen is about 3 cm in lenght, but the species grow considerably larger.
Hediste diversicolor, my favourite subject among those animals. As this species swims it bends its body in S-shapes like a chinese dragon. This of course made the photography more difficult and I used high speed flash technique was used in order to freeze the motion and get sharp images.
Diastylis rathkei, a small weird-looking arthropod.
Corophium volutator, a small amphipod.
A small amphipod, probably a Monoporeia species.
This time I present some images from a project that I have been working on the last years. The project documents Swedish amphibians, species that are threatened or have declined in Sweden due to landscape changes such as draining of natural wetlands and road constructions. In my images I try to picture these animals from their own perspective and include some environments and threats. Below are some common Swedish amphibians. Next post will show some of the rare species.
The european common toad Bufo bufo is a common species in Sweden but thounds are killed on roads each year, especially while migrating towards spawning areas in the spring.
A toad in the protective shade of a forest.
Europan common frogs Rana temporaria, gathering in a wetland for spawning in early spring.
A common frog tadpole with well delevoped legs. This one will leave the water soon.
A well camouflaged adult common frog.
European commons toads. The smaller male holds on to the larger female. Competition between males can sometimes be fierce.
A small toad soon after leaving the aquatic life as a tadpole. If it survives the first years it will return back for spawning each spring.
The common frog has strong legs and is a good jumper.
Another common frog.
The great crested new Triturus cristatus is till quite common in Sweden.
I like wild and harsh landscapes. Since such environments abound in Swedish Lapland, the northernmost part of our country, Tanja (my wife) and I hiked in the Lapland mountains last week. Of course I took the opportunity to take landscape shots, taking advantage of the ever shifting weather and midnight sun above the arctic circle. I have now finally received my new Nikon D800E and used it for the landscape shots during this hike. I am really amazed by the sharp and detailed results from this camera. Below are some of the images, enjoy!
The harsh but beautiful valley Singivaggi at about 1000 m above sea level is located close to Kebnekaise, the tallest mountain of Sweden.
Tanja returning to our camp in Laddjuvaggi.
Another one from Singivaggi. Since we stayed here for two days I had the opportunity to take images in different weathers and lights.
A calm morning in Laddjuvaggi.
I like using telelenses for isolating parts of a landscape. This time I used my 80-200/2.8 to isolate this delta in Tjäktavaggi. The sun contributes with some beuatiful rays of colour. About one hour before midnigth.
Camp site in Singivaggi
There was also some time for relaxation. I am already longing back…
På denna fotovandring i Tyresta går jag igenom vad man bör tänka på för att ta vackra och spännande bilder med sin digitalkamera. Fokus ligger på hur man framhäver motivet på ett effektfullt sätt med hjälp av den utrustning man har. Vi kommer att arbeta med några vanliga typer av naturmotiv och gå igenom hur man tar bra bilder av dessa motivtyper. Jag passar också på att dela med mig av några av alla mina favoritfotoplatser i Tyresta.
Alla deltagare har möjlighet att bidra med bilder till ett bildspel som kommer att visas i Naturum Nationalparkernas hus och på www.tyresta.se under några veckor.
Max 15 deltagare. Inga förkunskaper krävs!
Att ta med:
Pris och anmälan:
För mera bilder och information om mig, se: www.wijkmark.com
Parts of the Tyresta National Park exhibition can now be seen at Högdalen library in Stockholm during April.
Exhibition in Högdalen library, May 2012
Another upcoming activity this spring is a guided photo excursion in Tyresta National Park at Sunday May 13, where I will share some of the secrets behind taking great images as well as a few favorite spots in Tyresta. More information is available in the program at http://www.tyresta.se/pdf/tyresta_program_2012.pdf (Swedish only). For booking, call Tyresta National Park information Centre at: 08-745 33 94 (outside Sweden: +4687453394). I will come back with more information here soon!
Images from the project keep appearing in different magazines (mainly sold by the photo agency). The latest one is “Läkartidningen” (14/2012), the official journal of The Swedish Medical Association.
The project was first presented last year at exhibitions at the Stockholm Wilderness fair and in Tyresta National Park information centre:
Stockholm Wilderness Fair, March 2011
Tyresta National Park information Centre, summer 2011