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Djenne Mosque, Djenne, Mali © Larry Louie, Travel Photographer of the Year.

 

The Travel Photographer of the Year competition has signed a five-year deal with the Royal Geographical Society that will see the two organisations present a series of photography and travel-related events This year’s programme will open on the 06 May with a major exhibition featuring winning images from the 2010 International Travel Photographer of the Year awards, accompanied by a selection of images from the Society’s archive. Hosted by the Society in their glass-fronted Pavilion in Kensington, the free of charge show will be on display until the 10 June. A programme of workshops and talks taking place during the exhibition period will be revealed online shortly.
The two organisations are looking forward to joining their forces, says director of the Royal Geographical Society Rita Gardner. “I welcome this opportunity for the Society’s historic collection to be linked with some of the very best contemporary images from a diverse and international field of winners.”
Travel Photographer of the Year founder Chris Coe comments that “the combination of the very best contemporary travel photographs with images from the extraordinary wealth of material in the Society’s archive will be fascinating and make for a hugely rewarding visitor’s experience.”

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Dr David Fox keeps some odd and curious items in his museum of Natural History, bones, jars and pickled specimens. There are stuffed foxes, badgers and birds, bird’s nests, bees and months, spiders small and large but nothing as large as the ostrich skeleton which lurks in a cupboard, shelf’s full of cures from a witches cauldron but it’s the wizard within David that finds all of these items for the students at The School of Biology to photograph.

David’s vast knowledge cannot be encompassed within a book; it’s the living version of Google. Ask him a question like Jeeves and out pops the answer not wrapped in a scientific envelope of misunderstanding but with words that help you explore more into a world of Natural History.

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This DSLR Camera Bag is a 100% waterproof bag for use with DSLR camera. The bag is durable and tough protects an DSLR camera against dust, knocks and is good in quick submersion. The OverBoard SLR Camera Bag costs £21.49.

Press Statement

23rd February, Surrey, UK: OverBoard, a leading designer and manufacturer of waterproof travel and sports gear, and an official kit supplier to the RNLI, today announces an update to its camera case range – the waterproof SLR Camera Bag. A practical choice for an enthusiast or professional, this tough and durable bag is 100 per cent waterproof and protects an SLR camera against dust, knocks or even a quick submersion. Priced at £21.49, it is available now from http://www.overboard.com.

Ideal for every photographic expedition, OverBoard’s SLR Camera Bag has a roll-top fastening system and fully welded seams that are tough and durable enough to withstand the elements. It also includes internal lining to further protect the camera, and a useful elasticated mesh accessories pocket, perfect for storing small items such as memory cards and batteries.

Tailored for comfort, it comes with a fully adjustable shoulder strap and reflective front patch for security when out and about taking photographs in the failing light.

Overboard’s SLR Camera Bag is suitable for most SLR camera models.

Pricing and availability
The SLR Camera Bag is priced at £21.49.

See Website for full details

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Janne Parviainen uses a light painting technique in his personnal photography. The most common subjects are city environments and nature landscapes. All of the photography has been carried out within the camera – there is very little post production done to the image.

Painting with light

More images and information at Janne Parviainen’s web site.

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Softboxes to Go

Using diffuse flash outdoors

Unless I am working in a cave or at night, I don’t use flash outside as a prime light source.  Often  nothing beats natural light for taking flowers and other facets of the natural world; but there are times when shadows need to be in-filled. A big plus point gained by using a reflector is that you can see the effect before releasing the shutter, but on windy days, it can be a liability. I discovered the Honl Traveller 8 Softbox last year. It has an 8 inch (20 cm) diameter circular diffuser panel and having used it extensively in the UK, China and South Africa, I would never venture out without it. I use it to in-fill taller erect backlit flowers in a border where there are too many plants to use natural backlighting as the sole light source. Light from the Honl Softbox gives a much wider spread and softer light than the Sto-Fen Omni-bounce and hence casts softer shadows to inner parts of the flower; yet it also adds a certain crispness to floral parts compared to shooting in natural light, which perks up the definition of macro shots. It weighs a mere 3.7oz (105g) and folds flat in my camera photopack.

10 Species Back from the Brink

Animals that have escaped extinction

WWF have listed 10 animal species that were on the brink of extinction before habitat protection, hunting control and captive breeding programs helped to redress the balance. Photography plays an important part in public awareness of endangered species – both in their native countries and worldwide.

1 Amur tiger  2 Gray Whale  3 Southern White Rhinoceros  4 Black Rhinoceros  5 African Savannah Elephant  6 Mountain Gorilla  7 Saiga  8 Indian Rhinoceros  9 Golden Lion Tamarind  10 Przewalski’s Horse

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If you can make this seminar then make it, £20.00 to listen to a great photographer is cheap.

Landscape photographer Charlie Waite will be giving an exclusive evening seminar at Calumet’s Drummond Street store on Tuesday, 22nd February. Starting at 5pm, the seminar will cover two main topics – ‘Influences’, and ‘Small on Landscape’, a fully illustrated talk on photography using a compact camera. Tickets for the Calumet seminar are £20 and are now on sale at the website below.

Website: Light & Land

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Information shared by Dr Kate Durrant

If you have never seen the dazzling beauty of a starling (Sturnus vulgaris) flock circling over their roost in the evening, it’s one of nature’s mesmerising sights. There used to be a ‘Starling Hotline’ in Somerset that you could call and find out where they would appear that evening, but it is sadly defunct. The most impressive (and reliable) starling flocks are found in Rome, where the locals love the displays, but hate the mess from the droppings of thousands of birds. Once you see footage of this display you will immediately wonder: how do they do it? How do they bunch and scatter, wheel and turn in perfect synchrony? How do they avoid crashing into each other at high speed and plummeting to the pavement?

The complex social behaviour of animals, like that seen in starling flocks is studied in the field of ‘complexity science’. Researchers have shown that complexity arises from interactions of individuals with nearby neighbours only. So, for example, instead of coordinating with the whole flock, a starling only has to keep track of its three nearest neighbours, who keep track of theirs and so on. By combining theoretical models and empirical data, this approach has increased our understanding of animal societies but studies used mostly social insects, like locusts in a swarm. Birds fly very differently to insects, in particular their tendency to bank and roll on turns. Recently, these flocking manoeuvres have been studied by HD video-recording and stereo photography in Rome. These films of flocks were modelled mathematically by researchers to try and mimic the patterns found in the air, but they often did not produce the same complex, shifting patterns seen in the images. Recent work by Hildenbrandt et al. improved on previous models by using the usual rules for coordination with neighbours but added a number of specifics of starling behaviour, namely rules based on coordination with only very close-by neighbours, on simplified aerodynamics for their flight, including those banking turns, and on the fact that displaying starlings remain above their roosting area. The new model, called ‘StarDisplay’, produces patterns remarkably similar to the filmed flocks, and also produces individual flight patterns that match individuals tracked in flocks on HD films and in stereo photographs. It’s a beautiful combination of complex modelling and empirical evidence from imaging. This new model enhances our understanding of this complex behaviour and can now be applied to other flocking bird species to understand how they move en masse.

Hildenbrandt, H., Carere, C., and Hemelrijk, C.K. 2010. Self-organized aerial displays of thousands of starlings: a model. Behavioural Ecology 19: 10.1093/beheco/arq149

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