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04
Apr
2014
Malta Massacre, a Chris Packham story
Malta Massacre, a Chris Packham story

29
Mar
2014

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04
Apr
2014
Malta Massacre, a Chris Packham story


The annual slaughter of migrating birds across Malta is something that always sickened everyone with any common sense and love for nature. It’s just barbaric and continues on unabated in this modern world.

My friend Chris Packham (yes the TV bloke, a passionate conservationist) is putting his reputation, and his personal safety, on the line to bring you a completely self funded day by day account of what will be done this year to try to stop this senseless slaughter. Starting 21st of April he will broadcast nightly on YouTube and I will be linking to it from here and my Facebook Fan Page.

For more information on this problem, and Chris’s involvement, please click here.

Please share this link to his page widely as far as you can.

We can make a difference but only if we act, well done Chris and the team for this brilliant effort.

29
Mar
2014
Hello Everyone

Well it has been a very difficult time for me over the past few months as my father has been very ill, which has taken all of my time from the business. A few days ago he passed away, which is a blessing as he is suffering no more. I know that some of you knew of his passing so many thanks for the messages of goodwill received.

Anyway life goes on and we have a lot of things to tell you that are happenning, plus I will show you some of my latest work too!



Latest Work

I have been using the time spent with my Dad to do some local photography. I will be writing a full story, with videos, for the FotoBuzz community (see below) but in the meantimne here are a few images shot in the past few days for you to enjoy.....








Just a small selection for you, many more on FotoBuzz!



FotoBuzz

FotoBuzz continues to go from strength to strength. We now have several hundred members and it is a really growing community. Last month we had our first meetup at Chester Zoo, here’s the mob!



We had a great day as everyone got the chance to shoot and mix with like minded people. I also helped out a lot of members setting up their 1DX and 5D MK3’s whilst Andrew was busy giving lots of composition advice. We are busy working on a few meetups now for the Summer.

The first FotoMission, entitled "50 Shades of Winter" was a great success. All participants had to shoot one image for this theme and upload it to FotoBuzz with their reasoning behind the shot. Then everyone got to vote, anonymously (as judging should be) for their favourite images. It was a massively popular task and the Lounge was buzzing when we announced the results. Andrew and I gave positive critiques on the Top 10 images and chose our FotoBuzz Hero of the month. It was Andrew Stephenson for this superb image:



A great job and you can read a full interview with him by clicking here.

There is lots of new content this month and more to come in the next two weeks. We have just announced our 2nd FotoMission, Reflections, and the prize is a One2One workshop with myself and Andrew photographing wild Barn Owl, Little Owl and Hares. A great prize.

So click here to have a look around the FotoBuzz free site and see a few free articles. You can then join from there and kick start your photography for 2014!

Come and join us, you will never regret it I promise!
It’s a great, fun community for all!



Gorilla Explorer 2014 with Andrew James

As many of you know Andrew James, apart from being my partner in FotoBuzz, has been running all of my Owl Workshops at the BWC. And very successfully too! He is also joint leader on Antarctica and now I have pleasure in announcing that he is running his own gorilla trip in late May 2014, yes in 7 weeks time! Andrew is very experienced with the Gorillas as he co-led a 5 day trek with me when we did a Practical Photography winners trip there. He’s a great mentor and will guide you to the trip of a lifetime.




The tour will have a maximum of 7 participants and will cost £3610 per person. This will include 3 days of trekking permits, a visit to a cultural village, a visit to the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, a visit to the Genocide Memorial, all your food, accomodation in Rwanda and services of Andrew James and local guides. It does not include your international air fare, drinks, tips and guide fees (approx $50 per day). The tour is being run in partnership with Natural World Safaris Ltd who will handle all bookings and flights.

A full online brochure is available by clicking here.

In Andrew’s words, "The sheer enjoyment of being in the rainforests of the Virunga Mountains and watching the gorillas in their natural habitat, is something that will live with you forever. It�€�s a wonderful experience and the images you return with will be a treasured memento for the rest of your life. The Mountain Gorilla is truly one of the most awe-inspiring creatures on the planet.�€�



Antarctica 2014

Ok we have the last few cabins remaining now for Antarctica, this is the current list of availability:

Category C - 1 Female Share
Category B - Semi Private - 1 Male Share
Category B - Semi Private - 3 Cabins
Category A - 1 Cabin

It’s going to be an awesome trip so if you suddenly have an urge to come here’s the link.



CVP Giveaway

Internet retailer CVP Group are offering a great free giveaway of a Canon 70D, a Pixma Pro 1 printer and a G1x. Wow! All you have to do is to like their Facebook page to be eligible. Just click here to access the facebook page as you gotta be in it to win it!!!



Japan 2015


Working on this, announced in the next two weeks!




13
12
2013
Fun Free Competition!!!

FREE COMPETITION!!!

Yes you read it right! It’s free! Now you don’t get much for free these days, even air costs money in my local garage, but this is 100% totally for free. You can send us money and we will return it, you can send us a truck of gold bullion and we will drive it back, you can send us a Ferrari and.....well there is a limit!

This competition is being run by myself and Andrew James, the creative team behind the soon to launch FotoBuzz!

What’s the catch? Well everyone has small print and here is ours. In order to win you need to be a bald Orangutan that owns a Ford Focus, can speak French and German and whose middle name is Eric. See, it’s open to everyone!

Seriously ANYONE can enter and ANYONE can win. We do not care what camera you use or anything, we are interested in your photography and how you interpret the brief! The prizes will be signed books, free FotoBuzz membership for a year plus anything else we can find in the loft! The top 10 images will also get a free critique from Andrew and myself, get some useful tips from the experts!

It’s a fun competition for all levels of photographer around the world and we would like to state the judges are completely corrupt and open to any bribery you can think of!

Time to Celebrate!

In the words of the immortal disco kings Kool & the Gang, Cellllllllllebrate Good Times, C’Mon let’s celebrate!!!!!

So why are we doing it? Well, to celebrate three big milestones:

  1. FotoBuzz - the most exclusive 21st Century online photographic club is getting very near to being launched. Every month we will have a unique FotoMission for you, very similar to this free competition here, so we are getting you into the swing of things! For more info on FotoBuzz and the status of it, see Andrew’s post below....

  2. Facebook 50,000 Fans - wowsers, my Facebook fan page has gone crazy and now we have over 50,000 followers which is a great testament to my photography and approach to the world of commercial photography.

  3. CanonExplorer - in case you have not heard the news I have just had the honour of being made a Canon Explorer and join a very select group of professionals. It’s a wonderful achievement and worth shouting about!!

The Competition Brief!

Ok as a professional I am often given a brief to work to, which leaves me scratching the remaining hairs on my head (which doesn’t take long to be fair!). So Andrew and I have thought long and hard and wanted to give a simple, fun brief that any of my fans worldwide will be able to enter. So here is the brief:

Animals do the Funniest Things!

Simple huh? The idea is that we would like you to upload your best picture that has an animal doing something funny. It could be pulling a very funny expression, caught in a very funny pose or doing something that will make us laugh out loud. The picture must celebrate animals, not ridicule them, and they can be wild, domesticated (sheep, cows, pigs) or pets. Here are a few examples.....








Easy, fun and open to everyone! The subject must be doing something, just walking at the camera or staring at it will not do.

So come on, find out how to enter below......

The Rules...

Here are the rules:

  1. You can take the picture with any camera, including a camera phone. All we care about is the final picture. Images that are out of focus though will be deleted.
  2. The subjects can be wild or captive, domesticated animals or pets (like the jumping Higgins above), again we don’t care.
  3. You can only enter once. You can only enter one picture. If you try to enter twice then BOTH entries will be deleted!
  4. If you intend to enter a "selfie" please do it with clothes on, really we’d like to keep our dinners down.
  5. The judges decision, whilst highly controversial, is FINAL and that’s that. We are completely open to bribery and corruption of all sorts, please be creative.
  6. Images that ridicule animals or that show naughty parts will be deleted immediately. This is a competition that is open to all ages, even Spurs defenders, so please be mindful of this. Of course you can show mating animals, as that is nature, but try to be creative and hide the bits that parents will have to spend hours explaining to their children about!
  7. If you manipulate any image, i.e. you add something to it that was not there, then you will be called a nasty cheating little so and so and will be disqualified immediately.
  8. Once you enter your image then that entry is final and may not be changed, so think about it carefully!!!!
  9. Should the standard of entries fall below par then the judges reserve the right to holiday in the Bahamas for the whole of January.
  10. Spurs fans may only enter with the phrase - West Ham are the kings of London. And send money too.
  11. By entering this competition you agree that the image is your copyright and that we may publish it on the BLOG and Facebook in connection with this competition. If you are successful and one of the 10 critique winners you agree to have a very positive public critique of your work so that others may learn from the expert judging panel.
The Prizes....

1st Prize will be a personally signed Tiger Collectors Edition Book with a limited edition print, numbered 50/100 (to celebrate the FB fan milestone!) When you purchase this book I will donate £25 to the 21st Century Tiger organisation to help with their tiger projects.

2nd and 3rd prizes will be free FotoBuzz membership for 1 year (subject to our terms and conditions) valid from the launch day. You will be one of the first 100 allowed entry onto the site, as we intend to stagger all membership over the first few months.

Andrew and I will also pick our favourite 10 images and will write a short critique on each one. It will not be the usual kind of negative slagging undertaken on the web. It will be positive, inspirational and you will learn from it. The critiques will be published on this BLOG once we have counted all the bribery money, holiday vouchers etc.

No matter where you live in the world you will receive your prize and it’s completely free (if you happen to be a rich arab sheikh then we’d appreciate it if you could send the jet to pick up the book as it’s quite a walk to the post office!)

How to Enter....

Entry will be via my Facebook Fan Page, Andy Rouse Wildlife Photography, as we do not have the FotoBuzz upload page ready yet. So simply do the following:
  1. Click here to go to my fan page

  2. You must LIKE the page if you are not already a follower otherwise step 3) will be impossible

  3. Send me a Message from the page and inside it attach the image that you want to enter. Important - please resize the image to 1024 pixels on the longest side, any full sized images will be deleted to save space. Also equally important - please only enter via my facebook fan page, I am not able to accept entries from Twitter or to my email, no matter how many pictures you threaten me with of my 80’s perm.

  4. That’s it! Once you have done that you can sit back and relax!
Closing Date....

The competition is open frommmmmmmmmmmmm NOW!

The closing date is next Friday, December 20th at midnight (GMT).

Judging will take place over the weekend and the results / critiques will be posted on this BLOG shortly after!

That’s it, both Andrew and I wish you the best of luck!!!!

FotoBuzz Update

Many of you have been asking about FotoBuzz and when it will be launched. Here is Andrew to give you an update...

After several months of fevered behind-the-scenes activity the FotoBuzz team – me, Rousey, and ace developer ‘Welsh’ Keith are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. But there’s still work to be done before we can launch and let you all in. It has taken a little longer than anticipated, mainly because we keep improving functionality and content to make it even better and we have to let Keith sleep once in awhile. We’re currently deep into creating the regular FotoMissions, where you’ll get to take part in special themed competitions and, hopefully, get feedback from us on your photos.

We’re also increasing the planned content of FotoSkool. I’ve told Rousey he has to write a new series of Wildlife Lessons for all you budding nature snappers; while we have top landscaper David Clapp teaching you everything on that key subject. I’ll be covering the essential generic skills required to master your camera too so nothing is left to chance. On top of these, there’ll be lots of quick, useful lessons added.

FotoBuzz  really has been a labour of love for us. Creating a new, exclusive community for keen photographers of all levels will only work if you support us. The more members we get, the more we can commit to growing and developing

Remember you can buy a FotoBuzz Gift Voucher for Xmas. At £70 we guarantee that even if we set the membership at £80 (note we have not decided this yet) you will get full membership for the price you paid.

Click here for a Gift Voucher.





01
12
2013
BLOG Update 1st December 2013
Hello Everyone, well it has been a while since my last update and I wanted to get in touch before the silly season starts and you are bombarded with emails!

Wild About Animals Theatre Shows

The Wild About Animals theatre shows have gone quite well, some venues have been more suppoorted than others, but overall it was great to have a theatre tour. So next year I will have a tour again, with a completely new show, and right now we know that we will be returning to Cheltenham, Exeter, Andover and Stafford (of course). We will also add at least half a dozen more dates to include Hull / Newcastle, Brighton, Dorchester, Cambridge / Peterborough and somewhere Liverpool / Manchester. Perhaps even Ireland again in Drogheda, that would be great.

This tour I have three Wild About Animals shows left so please do come and see the show:


Abergavenny Borough Theatre December 17th 2013 - click here for tickets

The Royal Geographical Society London January 31st 2014 - click here for tickets

Theatre Severn Shrewsbury March 3rd 2014 - tickets available soon

I am also hoping to arrange a couple of extra shows in March, details soon!


New Andrew James Mentored Owl Workshops

I am pleased to announce that following the success of his previous workshops, Andrew James has now scheduled three more for 2014 - January 24th, February 28th and March 11th. All of his clients have been really happy with his owl workshops and the style in which he runs them and I am sure that you will have a great time on them. You will get to photograph 5 species of UK owls up close and personal, in natural settings, with Andrew using his wealth of photographic experience

To book your workshops please
click here

At present I have no Owl Workshops planned for myself due to other projects.


FotoBuzz Update and Gift Vouchers

For the past few weeks we have been working every hour getting the FotoBuzz website ready for it’s launch in a couple of weeks time. We had intended to launch earlier but we have been adding some cool new stuff to the FotoStories and ImageTalk section and also bringing on board professional landscape photographer and Photoshop expert David Clapp plus highly talented wildlife photographer Rich Steel. Yes it is taking time but we want to get it all right and working as we need it to, since we expect to get a lot of members quite quickly! All will be revealed soon! Remember we are focussed on the everyday hobby photographer than simply wants to improve their photography and have fun. Geeks and boring wannabees can stick to the forums, we are targeting a very different kind of photographer.

Anyway one thing we have done is to get our Gift Vouchers ready for Xmas. If you need a special present for that
difficult-to-buy-for photographer in your life then look no further than our
FotoBuzz gift vouchers....




Very cool huh!!!! They are written in the same irreverant tone as the main website is! Each voucher gives 12 months membership of FotoBuzz, enough to really help your photography mad partner / friend / colleague to unleash their inner passion!

Click here to purchase your voucher today!


And if you are reading about FotoBuzz for the first time then here is our latest short and sweet info about what we are all about........

Welcome to FotoBuzz

Your exclusive 21st century camera club!


At
FotoBuzz we’re fresh and a little bit different



So what can you expect from FotoBuzz?


…to learn new skills
Improve your photography with tuition from our leading experts
- Andy Rouse - David Clapp - Andrew James

…to see amazing images & read in-depth stories
Wildlife adventures & insight with award-winning professional Andy Rouse

…to experience real passion
Ignite your photo enthusiasm in a lively and active community

…to take part in fun activities
Enjoy meet-ups with our experts and members

…to do exciting challenges
Develop your skills with inspiring photo projects



FotoBuzz is for anyone who has a passion for photography and wants to learn more. It’s an exclusive club for people who love to get out and about using their cameras, rather than just talking about it! We don’t care about what kit you have, or how experienced you are or aren’t, all we care about is helping you find your direction and confidence to take better pictures and enjoy your photography to the max!

And there you have it, more updates in the next week or so about this and many other things!





09
11
2013
Nature's Best win!
Blog Update November 9th

It’s been a busy few weeks with big presentations at PhotoLive & WildPhotos, a couple of seminars in Ireland for Mahers Photographic plus the start of my Wild About Animals theatre tours at Cheltenham and Monmouth. Behind the scenes it is hectic with most of my time being spent working with Andrew James on FotoBuzz, it’s getting there! Oh yes and there is the small matter of my long awaited Little Owl book being released!!! So I thought I would group it all together in one BLOG update, here you go.....

Competitions and more competitions

Ah competitions, can’t live with them and can’t live without them! Over the past few years I have tried to wean myself off competitions as it’s hard not to take rejection personally. Certainly in the early days of my career I did take it all too personally, but these days I have a different philosophy. As long as I like my pictures, and my clients do too, then I’ve stopped caring about it if some judge rejects my image in favour of something else. Competitions are always such a lottery, and we all know that when we enter. All that I and everyone asks for though is a level playing field with the judging. I used to get very annoyed when I did not do well in competitions, now I don’t expect to get anywhere and enter for fun so it’s a lovely surprise when I do. This year I have entered all competitions with the same attitude and I have done quite well in some. In fact for the past few weeks I have been sitting on some news that I have been itching to tell you all about so here goes!

Nature’s Best winner!!


I was told at the weekend that I had won the African section of the Nature’s Best Windland Smith Rice Awards 2013. I guess it’s the US equivalent of the WPOTY, certainly it’s the main nature photography competition across the pond. Nature’s Best magazine is a beautiful collection of wildlife imagery, stunningly produced and a magazine that I have been a subscriber of for years.

I have had good success in this competition in the past, but to win the Africa category means a helluva lot to me. I get a lot of Highly Commended images in the big competitions, and you will see some of those received this year (7 in total) here but to win a category is just brilliant.

Anyway wanna see the image, well here it is....it’s called A Light from Heaven.....




A beautiful moment in the Masai Mara, proof that a big lens is never the key to good safari photography. Many of you that follow my work will know this image and you will know that I always thought that it was something special. I am sooo glad that the judges at Nature’s Best believed in it and I am sooo pleased to get the award. It will be exhibited at the Smithsonian Institute next Autumn and I am planning to go Stateside to see it. I may even run a couple of US based seminars and shows too if I can find the right sponsor to help me along.

I have had a few requests for prints for this image so have added it to my online store as a Giclee or Canvas open edition. I kept it as an open edition to keep the price down. So click here to see it on the online store.

This image is actually one of a pair that I shot and I have always had a problem deciding which one I love more.....




It’s wider angle yes and the giraffe is smaller, but I like the way that the giraffe is dominated by the clouds. Since I could not decide I have made this into an open edition too! Click here to see it on the online store.

As well as the category win I achieved Highly Honoured with the following two images:



You can buy the print for this one by clicking here



You can buy the print for this one by clicking here. I have called it Whack!!!!!

Now you don’t have to be Andy Rouse to do well in this competition, you just have to have belief and good shots. Next year’s competition opens in January 2014 so make damn sure you enter! At FotoBuzz we will be having regular competitions too but with a twist!

BWPA


Earlier this Summer I achieved four highly commended awards in the British Wildlife Photographer of the Year. A lot of people that follow me think that I just travel abroad and never photograph our native wildlife in the UK, well you are wrong! I love working in the UK, the challenge is getting away from everyone else! I also love supporting the BWPA, it’s great to have a competition that focusses solely on British wildlife and gives a fair chance for any of us to do well. In fact when you look at the prize winners over the past few years there have been mostly amateur photographers winning the awards, which is great for the competition and for everyone who thinks they are not good enough to enter. You are and you gotta be in it to win it! Congrats to everyone this year who did well and for Maggie for doing such a good job of organising it all again.

So here is my favourite of the 4 images, which I have entitled Big Ears!!



I just love the combination of the light and the expression, the composition works pretty well too! As with all the others I have made an open edition print for you, so once again click here to see it.

European Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition

I have always loved this competition but its sooooo tough to get anything through. My wildlife didn’t win anything this year despite getting in the finals but incredibly it was one of my landscapes that did!!!




A beautiful evening at Austfonna on Svalbard, greatly enhanced by Lee ND Grad and Polariser filters. Hand-held, no tripods, no hours of setup waiting for light, just purely a picture that was there for just a moment. I was in the right place at the right time. Proof that no matter what your chosen genre, if you understand the basics of photography then you can take anything. But don’t worry I will not become a "Two rocks in focus five miles apart" merchant!!!!!

As always this print is now added to the online store too, click here to see it!

Little Owl Prints

As part of the promotion for the Little Owl book several newspapers have been running portfolios of my Little Owl pictures and one seems very popular indeed....



In fact several of the newspapers likened it to the John Cleese Ministry of Silly Walks! Now unfortunately I cannot show the images here as it would breach the photographer’s copyright, but click here to see the Daily Mail page.

Now it has sparked quite a few requests for prints so I have added it to the online store, click here as usual to see it. It’s a special gift canvas so prices are very very reasonable as it would make a fun gift for anyone!!

Little Owl Book

The Little Owl book is selling very well and I have had some lovely comments about it, especially the final atmospheric portfolio. Seems that most of you have a soft spot for these lovely owls and I am so glad to have struck a chord with this book.

Some people have written to me asking why the book is not available from their local bookstore or Amazon? Well the main reason is that I like to personally sign all books to make them that extra special. It’s so nice to receive a sign book from the author isn’t it?

So signed Little Owl books are available from my online store, currently shipping time is less than a week so get your XMAS present ordered early! Click here to purchase your copy....

Wild About Animals Theatre Show

The first few Wild About Animals theatre shows have gone very well indeed, comments from all attending have been great and I have been feeling very relaxed on stage with all the audiences. The questions have been really superb too and this week this will take on an additional edge as Andrew James will be on stage with me at Lichfield and Stafford to ask me some very searching questions about my life as a professional photographer. Anyway tickets are going fast for all venues so please support me and book early - click here for the main ticketing page.

Antarctica 2014 and Svalbard 2015

Our exclusive Antarctica cruise for October 2014 has now reached 70 bookings, so we only have 5 cabins left. Please do get in touch here if you’d like to see more details about this amazing adventure.

I am about to complete the brochure for the Svalbard 2015 season, with an early season departure for our mini cruise ship M/S Quest and a slightly later one for the expedition ship M/S Stockholm. I expect details to be announced first to my Explorers Club within a week then to the general mailing list around 5 days later.

Gorillas 2014

There is a good chance that we will be running some Gorilla treks in April 2014. These are a little last minute yes but we ave managed to get some permit availability to do it. Likely Andrew James will be running a 3 day trek (he has shared 5 gorilla treks with me already so is very experienced) and I may be running a 4 day trek. Please don’t ask us for details yet as we don’t have them but there is a good chance that we will do this so watch this space!

And Finally

We are working hard on FotoBuzz and the website is shaping up well. I am not going to reveal any more news yet in this, when we are ready to launch we will. Andrew and I are working on a seminar for early February which will be open for all and aims to inspire you to achieve more with your photography. More news soon, I will now go and celebrate my Nature’s Best win with a few beers!



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