Great spotted woodpecker on tombstone and flowers

Great tit, 15 February 2015

This photo shows a great tit, this afternoon at the cemetery.

It was a sunny, but coldish day.

Nuthatch sounds.

Great spotted woodpecker, 15 February 2015

A female great spotted woodpecker on a tombstone. Usually, these birds sit on trees, not on tombstones, even at this cemetery.

Jay, 15 February 2015

On another tombstone, a jay. A less unusual sight.

Blackbird male, 15 February 2015

Between the graves, a male blackbird.

Chaffinch male, 15 February 2015

And a male chaffinch.

Crocus flowers , cemetery, 15 February 2015

Crocus flowers on, and between graves.

Snowdrops, 15 February 2015

A bit further, snowdrops.

While a dunnock sang.

Burrowing owls dancing, video

This video from the USA says about itself:

7 February 2015

Wildlife photographer Megan Lopez captures a curious pair of burrowing owls.

Shot 100% on the HERO3+® camera from

British Wildlife Photography Awards 2015 starts

This video shows photos of the British Wildlife Photography Awards 2014.

From Wildlife Extra:

British Wildlife Photography Awards 2015 is now open for entries

The prestigious photography competition, the British Wildlife Photography Awards 2015, is now open for entries.

This is your chance to win a prestigious award, with a cash prize of £5,000, and reach millions through national exposure. Help raise awareness about British wildlife and celebrate our natural heritage.

Winners and commended entrants will have their work showcased in a touring exhibition and stunning book, and will be invited to an exclusive Awards ceremony in London.

The competition is open until 2 May 2015. There are 16 categories including animal behaviour, urban wildlife, habitat, animal portraits, marine life, the hidden secret world that lies in the undergrowth and a special award for wildlife in HD Video (sponsored by Sky).

There are also two junior categories and a school award – to encourage young people to connect with nature through photography.

The Wildlife Trusts, which sponsor the ‘habitats’ category, are encouraging photographers to capture the magic of the UK’s habitats and the wildlife within.

Paul Wilkinson, Head of Living Landscape for The Wildlife Trusts, said: “Protecting and restoring habitats, and inspiring people to take action for wildlife, is what The Wildlife Trusts are all about so we’re delighted to be part of the British Wildlife Photography Awards, which celebrates this. The habitats category – and the competition – offers an opportunity to celebrate some of the UK’s most special places and the wide range of habitats our islands support. We hope everyone who is inspired by the nature around them will share their inspiration by entering this year’s awards.”

For more information about the awards click here.

Pro-shark pioneer diver Lotte Hass dies

This video is called Lotte Hass snorkeling, vintage film.

From Wildlife Extra:

Lotte Hass, one of the world’s first female divers, has died

The Hans Hass Institute in Germany recently announced the death of Lotte Hass, one of the world’s first female scuba divers.

She passed away at the age of 86 on Wednesday, 14th January 2015 after a happy and multi-faceted life.

The first woman to dive with autonomous diving equipment, Lotte Hass entered a formerly male dominated field in 1949 and opened up a whole new world for women.

Against strong opposition she first starred as underwater photo model before moving behind the camera to become an underwater photographer.

Spectacular scenes that showed her diving with sharks certainly contributed to the success of her husband Hans Hass’ films in the 1950s, and a greater understanding of sharks with the public.

The importance of her extraordinary lifetime achievements were highlighted by the 2011 screen adaption of her autobiography A Girl on the Ocean Floor.

The Institute has asked those who want to acknowledge the accomplishments of Lotte Hass as a diving pioneer to support SHARKPROJECT, an organisation that is dedicated to preventing the destruction of the oceans and the extinction of sharks.

Botswana wildlife from the air, video

This video says about itself:

Safari from the sky! Amazing drone footage of Botswana park

19 January 2015

Amazing drone footage captures the wonders of Chobe National Park in Botswana.

You looking at me? Drone captures amazing aerial images of Botswana‘s wildlife peering up at camera.

American photographer Paul Souders captured the stunning pictures in Chobe National Park in Botswana.

The 53-year-old has been a photographer for more than 30 years.

The photographer used his DJI Phantom Vision 2+drone which he operated via a hand-held remote control.

After more than 30 years behind the lens, award-winning wildlife photographer Paul Souders decided to let someone – or rather something – else do most of the hard work for him.

The 53-year-old American snapper has traveled to every conceivable corner of the world in his quest to capture animals in their natural habitat, but for his latest shoot Paul put decided to put his feet up and put his trust in a drone.

Paul traveled 10,000 miles from his home in Seattle to Chobe National Park in Botswana for the shoot, which he took using his DJI Phantom Vision 2+drone operated via a hand-held remote control.

Wildebeest, elephants, lions, and giraffes are among some of the species captured on film during the unusual shoot, with mesmerising results.

A heard of wildebeest can be seen fleeing the scene as the drone hovers overhead, while in another shot, a lone giraffe appears fascinated by the device.

In 2013, Paul was the Grand Prize and Nature winner of the National Geographic Photography Contest with a stunning photograph of a polar bear peering up from beneath the melting sea ice on Hudson Bay.

Speaking to the magazine, Paul explained that he fell into wildlife photography almost by accident: ‘I never set out to be a nature photographer, I wanted to be a news shooter, and I started my first job at a small daily paper in Rockville with dreams of journalistic glory.

‘I covered a lot of high school sports, portrait assignments and weather features. It felt like telling the story of my community, one day at a time. At some point, I decided a change of scene was in order.

‘Never one for half measures, I packed up everything I owned and drove 4300 miles to Anchorage, Alaska, to take a job at the state’s biggest newspaper. It was 27 below zero the day I arrived, but it was entirely new and magical. There was a moose in my backyard and I could see bald eagles on my morning commute.’

Arrested photographer’s video about Ferguson, USA

This 19 January 2015 video from the USA is called Scott Olson on covering the civil unrest in Ferguson, USA.

Police in Ferguson arrest Getty photographer Scott Olson. Arrest marks the second time that police have arrested journalists covering the Ferguson protests: here. In pictures: Scott Olson’s photographs from Ferguson: here.

By Gannon Burgett in the USA:

Getty photographer shares his account of covering unrest, protests in Ferguson, MO

Monday, January 19, 2015 at 1:12 PM EST

One of the most high-profile news stories of 2014 was the shooting and killing of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Brown. Shrouded in controversy, protests and police presence, the case immediately brought Ferguson, Missouri – a small suburb of St. Louis – to the forefront of national news.

As crowds gathered, both to mourn and protest, news agencies quickly sent out photographers to capture the emotions, tensions and friction of the case. One of those photographers was Scott Olson, a Staff News Photographer for Getty Images. In the above video, presented on behalf of Getty Images’ In Focus segment, Olson recounts the mission that was covering the growing unrest in Ferguson.

As shared by Olson in the video, the assignment was expected to be just a couple of days long. But, as tensions grew, police presence increased and protests took a turn for the worst – on both sides – Olson and other photojournalists were kept in Ferguson for two weeks. In that two weeks, Olson captured some of the most iconic images of the protests, demonstrations and events that surrounded the case.

The video comes in at just over four minutes long. In addition to Olson’s retelling, the video overlays a extensive collection of images captured by him throughout his coverage of Ferguson. It’s not often we get this kind of inside look at such a high profile case, so do yourself a favor and press play.

BLACK US politicians stepped into a church pulpit in Ferguson, Missouri, on Sunday to link slain civil-rights leader Martin Luther King’s legacy to the fight for justice reform: here.

Last November, police shot and killed Akai Gurley, an unarmed 28-year-old African American man, while he walking down a flight of stairs in Brooklyn’s Louis Pink public housing projects. Gurley’s death has exposed the deadly and authoritarian police presence faced by some of the poorest sections of the working class who live in housing complexes run by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA): here.


Photo exhibition about wars in London

This video is called Gallery: Conflict, Time, Photography Tate Modern London 26 Nov 2014 to 15 Mar 2015.

By Mike Quille in England:

Timely terrors

Wednesday 14th January 2015

Mike Quille recommends a photography exhibition depicting the years of suffering following global conflicts from the 1850s to today

Conflict, Time, Photography at the Tate Modern, London SE1


What happens to memories of devastation and war over time? How do we deal with the pain, loss and scars such conflicts leave behind?

The exhibition Conflict, Time, Photography currently showing at Tate Modern addresses these questions through an original and highly effective approach. Instead of simply displaying chronologically photographs of the many dreadful wars, massacres and other destructive attacks on people and property that have happened over the last 150 years, it is ordered through the act of looking backwards at those events.

Near the beginning, there’s a blown-up print of Don McCullin’s famous image of a shell-shocked US soldier in Vietnam taken straight after battle. Then come images made a few days after battles, including used cannonballs scattered across empty roads in the Crimea from the 1850s and the Paris communards from 1871 — the latter probably the first but certainly not the last time when photographs were used to help victorious reactionary powers identify and execute defeated revolutionaries.

They’re followed by images made weeks and months later, such as the series of photographs of the bombed-out buildings and cathedral of Reims and other documents of the damage inflicted during the first world war. These are echoed and extended by the 1949 photographs depicting the results of the saturation bombing of Dresden.

Gradually, the exhibition becomes richer and more complex, making us aware both of the cumulative growth of destruction and damage across the world as history moved forward in the 20th century, alongside the persistence of grief and loss from looking back at those conflicts.

There are images by photographers and artists made long after the events they depict — the mass graves of Spanish republicans, discovered 50 years after the civil war, and of Holocaust survivors in the Ukraine taken in the last few years. Like so many of the photographs in the exhibition, the survivors’ smiling faces say more about what is not in the image than what is there.

And there are some eerie landscape photographs, taken in 2013, of the places in France where shellshocked British soldiers — including many teenagers — were executed for desertion and cowardice in 1915. These men, you realise, were just like Don McCullin’s traumatised US marine.

For some events, like the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, there are images spanning time. They range from the billowing, mushrooming clouds in photos taken 20 minutes after the bomb was dropped, to haunting photographs of blinded and deformed children taken in the 1950s or of a watch that stopped at the moment of impact, found and photographed in the ’70s.

In some parts of the world, conflicts seem to be relentlessly present. One series of photographs from Afghanistan shows the historical layer upon layer of ruin and death inflicted by various invaders at different times, like different strata of rock.

Thus the device of looking backwards works brilliantly, not only evoke the horror of the original event, but to show the years of trauma and suffering that follow such conflicts and the ongoing absences, wounds and scars in landscapes, minds and memories. In doing so, the exhibition overcomes one of the limitations of photography which, for all its potential power, is often time-bound, freezing history into particular images with no past or future.

It also works as a powerful reminder of the extraordinary destructiveness which the richer nations have unleashed on peoples and landscapes globally over the last 150 years.

In many of the images there is a subtle but constant and nagging sense of human loss and emotional pain, a ghostly ache from all the torments, scars and wounds left by conflicts and atrocities.

The sombre and meditative tone is only interrupted by a kind of sideshow in one of the galleries, which is overcrowded with irrelevant military curios and memorabilia, presented with little or no artistic purpose by the Archive of Modern Conflict.

Apart from that distraction, this provocative, moving and brilliantly presented exhibition lingers long in the mind as an honest and human remembrance of conflict, a perspective sadly lacking last year during the WWI commemorations.

Walking along the banks of the Thames afterwards, then crossing the river to Whitehall and Trafalgar Square through one of the most militaristic collections of public artworks in the world, I was struck by the statues, busts and plaques everywhere, all singing the same hymn of glory and praise to the “valour” and “heroism” of the bloodthirsty generals and admirals who led British suppressions of rebellion, ordered imperialistic adventures and organised global conflict.

It provides an unsettling and striking contrast between the art in the exhibition, produced freely by photographers and artists responding compassionately to the terrible suffering resulting from human conflict and the public art commissioned by the rich and powerful to glorify the carnage they have caused.

Runs until March 15, box office: