Once again through the magic of Zoom, we were able to welcome Tracey Lund to our club meeting, who gave an exceptional presentation on her Wildlife Photography accompanied by outstanding images. Tracey joined us from her home, in Hull, East Yorkshire, and is in possession of a number of awards relating to her wildlife photographs. Her latest achievement is her QEP award, Qualified European Photographer. Tracey is an engineer for her local telecommunications company and about 5 years ago they offered her a career change based on her photography. To Tracey the offer was a welcoming win win scenario. She has always loved photography and has always loved wildlife therefore she tries to share her passion for wildlife with others through her photography. Tracey went on to explain why she loves wildlife photography so much, the main points being how happy it makes her and the adrenaline rush of not knowing what images she will be able to capture. She could go out, early in the morning, and be out for 36 hours, sitting in a “hide” and not capturing anything. She is prepared to be out in all weathers rain, hail and shine; however, Tracey has encountered experiences that she would never have dreamed of due to those adverse weather conditions and has been rewarded with some beautiful images.
The first set of images that Tracey showed us were from Japan, taken in the winter. There were stunning images of snow monkeys which slept high up in the hills at night and made their way down, through the snow, to the thermal pools during in the morning. There were also images of red crowned cranes, Hooper swans, Eagles, Enzo Deers and Hokkaido red foxes. It was fascinating to listen to Tracey as she accompanied each image with a background story. She made it clear that it is important for her to get down to the animals' eye level for that strong “eye contact” from her subject.
The next set of images were from Finland, another winter location. Black grouse lek were first up and to get these images Tracey had to get up at 3am in the pitch black. She then had to climb into an individual “hide” in the ground and hold tealights up against the glass to stop the it fogging up, then wait. There were also amazing images of Goshawk, Waxwings, Golden Eagles and Capercaillies. From that location they went on to another to photograph the Brown bear. They had been told that there had been no recent sightings but on arrival they spotted a mother and two cubs emerge from the forest. They
had to dive into a purpose-built hide (one hide per person) and once in there they had to stay there for approximately 17 hours at a time. At one stage she came face to face with the mother bear when it stuck it’s head in through the window, however she remained calm and followed the advice the guides had given her and the bear left. One of the species that Tracey had hoped to photograph whilst in Finland was the wolverine, which she did much to her delight.
The third set of wildlife images where from Lake Kerkini in Greece. She was hoping to find the Dalmatian pelicans, being her favourite bird. They all have their own individual “hair styles” and in the winter they find it harder to find food because the fish they eat, swim lower in the lake, so they will follow the fishing boats. Fishermen will throw fish from the boat, so the images Tracey was able to capture were amazing. At one stage she lay on a platform, with one fish which she placed on the end of the platform and managed to get the shot she had envisaged getting before her arrival. On the back of this image, it was commended in a competition which in turn was printed in a newspaper and Tracey was interviewed by the BBC, who had picked up on the image, and her photographic journey snowballed from then.
The next section was Iceland to photograph the Northern Lights which Tracey, in her own admission, was harder for her to photograph as she was constantly looking for what wildlife she could photograph, that being her forte. She was there to photograph one type of species, which took her two plane flights and a boat journey to the Northern most peninsula in Iceland. She and her group would be isolated here for a week, yet she compares it to her idea of heaven. That is so because after just a short while, appeared the Blue Morph artic fox that Tracey was ecstatic to photograph. They are now a protected species so have no real fear from humans.
Leaving the cold weather behind, the next set of photos were from Camargue. Camargue is well known to photographers for its white horses. Early morning or early afternoon has the best light to capture images of them. Tracey showed us some lovely action shots of them running through the water that she had managed to capture, she also told us she prefers these photos in black and white as it shows so much more detail. We were treated to many other photos taken in captivity and more taken locally in the UK. She ended her talk with an underwater photo of Gannets and she expressed this type of photography is something she says she would love to do again.
Bangor and North Down camera club would like to thank Tracey so much for sharing so many stunning wildlife images. There was a great variety of species shown and every one of the photos was perfectly shot. Each image had a background story which was both enjoyable and fascinating to hear. It has to be added that the passion and commitment you put into getting your images is astounding and you deserve every success. Thank you again for a superb evening.
Tracey’s website can be found at this address https://traceylundphotography.co.uk/