Due to the Pandemic my travel activities have been very limited. On the other hand this gave me time to review my archives. I played with black and white and after I discovered really beautiful images I decided to create a new page with just black and white photos. To view the new page, click here.
Today a new snake species was described, it was named “Inger’s Slug-eating Snake” (Asthenodipsas ingeri). Its habitat are the cool and wet mountain rainforests of Borneo and it feeds likely exclusively on snails. The exciting part of this story is, that I was able to see and photograph this snake last year in the Kinabalu National Park, while I was exploring the jungle of Borneo on a trip with Chien C. Lee. At that time we did not know that this was a new species, so it was a surprise when I learned today from Chien, that it was indeed a new species. You can find more photos here.
The new species: Inger’s Slug-eating snake (Asthenodipsas ingeri), Borneo
To have two total solar eclipses within a bit over one year in the same country does not occur very often. In July 2019 there was a total eclipse in the north Chile with excellent conditions (see my blog below). In December 2020 the second total eclipse was due. This time in the south of Chile with a much lower chance of good visibility. And Covid19 and the related travel restrictions made planning complicated. After rescheduling locations, reservations and travel dates 3 times and nearly giving up entirely, we actually made it there. Weather forecast was good for the day before the eclipse and the day after. But for the actual eclipse day it was horrible, clouds and rain all day. Around mid day before totality rain turned to drizzle and some small patches of thin clouds allowed short glimpses of the partially eclipsed sun. Till the last minute we did not know, if we would see totality. Then at the right moment it opened up a little bit, just enough to see the corona and beautiful solar prominence through very thin clouds!!! Had to wipe of some small rain drops off the camera lens though.
My new book “Tambopata – a rainforest experience” is now finished. It shows a selection of photos that I took during an expedition to the Tambopata Reserve in the tropical rain forest of Peru. Tambopata is one of the most bio diverse locations of South America and has an abundance of wildlife. You can preview the entire book here: Tambopata – a rainforest experience, view book It is also available as eBook. I hope you will enjoy the travel experience to the jungle of the Amazon Basin.
More than half a year has passed since I made it back from Antarctica with difficulties. Due to the lock down I was not able to travel since then. Now finally in October I had the opportunity to visit the northern Tarapacá Region of Chile to photograph ancient desert art. During 8 days we visited several sites with geoglyphs, petroglyphs and ancient ruins of settlements and prehispanic agricultural fields. One of the most impressive site is the Giant of Tarapacá, a more that 90 meter long anthropomorphic figure on a small hill in the middle of the Atacama. These figures date from 900 – 1400 AD and were landmarks and probably also ceremonial sites for the ancient lama caravans that crossed the desert between the Andes and the cost. The regional government of Tarapacá and the Chilean national park administration CONAF is now applying to UNESCO to declare some important sites (Cerros Pintados) a UNESCO World Heritage site.
You can see images of these amazing places and ancient desert art here and on Instagram @atacamaphoto
Last February I had the chance to participate in an incredible voyage to Antarctica, in particular to the Ross Sea and McMurdo Sound on MV Ortelius. Th trip started at the port of Bluff on the south island of New Zealand. We visited the sub-antarctic island of New Zealand (Auckland Island and Campbell Island), then stopped at Balleny Islands and finally explored McMurdo Sound including the emblematic Dry Valleys. Finally we navigated through thick ice in the Ross Sea towards the final destination of Ushuaia in Argentina – in theory. Then the Corona virus struck and we were not able to disembark in Argentina but instead had to continue for another 6 days to Montevideo, Uruguay, where we were escorted by police directly from the ship to the airport. It was like coming back from another planet back to a different earth. You can see images of this amazing trip here.
We had 3 helicopters on board the Ortelius. Due to unfavorable weather conditions we could only make very few flights in Antarctica. However one of them was so spectacular, that I decided to create a video. At Robertson Bay (near cape Adare) we flew partially very low over giant glaciers and incredible mountain scenery. I hope you enjoy the flight.
Last November I traveled for over 2 weeks to the tropical rainforest of Sarawak and Sabah in East Malaysia on the island of Borneo. Our group of 4 was guided by the very knowledgeable jungle and photography experts Chien C. Lee and Frank Pichardo. We visited many different locations from coastal mangrove forests at Bako National Park to higher elevation cooler rain forests at Kinabalu and finally to river wetlands at Kinabatang Wetland Reserve. We were very lucky and had many incredible wildlife sightings. Please have a look at the new Borneo photo gallery, where I will still add more photos in the next days.
On July 2nd there was a total solar eclipse in the Atacama Region of Chile. For me it was the first total eclipse to see and photograph. I did some thorough preparation and found a good spot near the small town of Condoriaco. The photos can be seen on the website and a short video on my Youtube Channel.
I am very happy about the publication of my photo of the Very Large Telescope with the 4 laser guide star beams in the March edition of the National Geographic magazine. The photo appears as part of the feature article about the search for extraterrestrial life “Who’s Out There”.
In July I visited Costa Rica for the first time. The trip included four National Parks: Tortuguero at the Caribbean coast, Braulio Carrillio National Park and Yatama private reserve, Savegre cloud forest and the wild Ossa Peninsula. To see and photograph tropical rain forests and its wildlife Costa Rica is one of the best places to go. Visit the new gallery, showing colorful frogs, snakes, monkeys, interesting insects, views of the dense rain forest and the emblematic resplendent Quetzal, one of the most beautiful birds.