With the UAE having the largest continuous sand dune desert in the world, a vast portion of the country is inaccessible unless the appropriate and expensive equipment is purchased. Living in a country and not having a 4WD makes wildlife photography a challenge for me to undertake. Having said that I figured that I might as well give it a go and see what could be achieved.
Fortunately, my job as a wildlife ecologist has allowed me to gain access to some locations where the wildlife is a little more accessible. A hard days walking in soft sand and sweating so much it feels like you went swimming in your clothes is a step in the right direction to getting some decent shots.
Socotra Cormorants returning home
Heron stalking prey
Crab keeping two close eyes on me
Socotra Cormorant portrait
Only gecko I have found on the islands
Beautiful underside of spider
Osprey with lunch
Red compound eyes are mesmerizing
I was only able to undertake one desert trip and therefore the amazing shots of snakes in sand dunes and the myriad of interesting desert creatures awaits me. Having said that my first experience of the desert was not disappointing. In the coming year I plan on taking numerous more journeys into the "lifeless" sand dunes of the UAE and discovering what they truly have to offer.
With no four wheel drive and extreme temperatures working against me, the next avenue was urban wildlife photography. I initially found it difficult to find creatures living in the cities. After a while they presented themselves and I realized that the cities are more diverse than I previously thought. Even though some of the species are exotics, they are part of the overall urban landscape and provide photo opportunities.
Not wild but walking around the streets
It wouldn't be a city without a cockroach
Sunrise with pigeon
White eared bulbul
Urban fox RIP
Dusk hunting tern
Overall, the wildlife challenge was somewhat successful in my mind and the amount of urban wildlife still surprises me. Given the short focal length of my lens I was happy with the results. I look forward to adding to my collection and encourage everyone to take some time and really enjoy the company of our urban and wild neighbours.