Wildlife Photography


Commercial Photography was what ”paid the rent” as JH said, and it paid it very well (and financed his hobby at that time, collecting oldtimer cars). Nude Photography made him world famous (and was mostly paid very well, too). Fetish Photography was paid lousy but became a real obsession for him and made him the godfather of those who are really into this passion and this art. 
Researching and photographing sometimes very unusual Reports & Features was also traditionally poorly paid and was always a sideline for JH, although one he liked to do on the side.
But in all these areas of photography, JH was a professional.

As for wildlife photography, however, JH readily admits that "this is an elaborate, time-consuming and costly activity for specialized professionals, even for the obsessed, for the incredibly patient, who not uncommonly spend years chasing a subject. The results of these people, however, are often amazing and unique. Compared to them, I'm a beginner."

JH has always enjoyed wildlife photography on suitable occasions, and again and again he took the time or used his travels to dedicate himself to this field of activity.

But he never got close to the idea of doing it full-time. However, occasionally he did bring home some nice results.

So let's look at this chapter with a broad smile - on his jungle tours, which he loved so very much, JH was usually accompanied by beautiful women, and instead of "Wildlife Photography", the photographic results were often enough "Wild Life Photography", documents of the wild life of a "girl photographer”.

But, of course, especially on his jungle tours there were always surprising and sometimes very dangerous situations with people and nature.
The dramatic nocturnal encounter in a Borneo jungle camp with Panthera tigris jacksoni, the Malaiian tiger, which cost a human life.
The attack of an army of Dorylus Laevigatus, the Asian driving ant that destroys everything on its way.
The bite of a poisonous snake, which the model survived only by immediate help with a snake bite kit.
Some engine failures of the off-road vehicle, of which the final one meant a three-weeks walk through the jungle, for a lot of days almost without any food.
A horrific typhoon, destroying the landscape, roads and bridges.
A bus full of Buddhist monks that crashed and burst into flames right in front of JH and his team.
And occasional attempts of robbery on the camps, but none of them succeeded. This was largely thanks to Karen, a close friend to JH who accompanied him on many of his jungle tours in Asia, a vigilant, fearless and battle-hardened lieutenant in the Malaysian army.
She was the only one allowed to carry firearms on the tours in MALAYSIA (there not least because of the terrorists in the northern border area to THAILAND) and in BORNEO, a heavy army automatic and, for worst cases, a Kalashnikov. Which sometimes proved to be quite helpful.

But the most dramatic accident happened in the CHINA SEA, far off the coast of the PHILLIPINES.
Together with a model and a woman skipper, in a motorboat JH had been on his way to a beautiful island that he had been told about, when they were caught in a heavy storm. They were thrown onto a reef, the boat sprung a leak and they managed to escape to a tiny mushroom-shaped coral island.
With only a few gallons of water and some small fish to catch, they survived there for 17 days until they were accidentally rescued by a fisherman who had seen the towel used as an S.O.S. flag.

Compared to all this, the surprising rendezvous with Ursus Malayanus, the Malaysian bear or Big Honey Bear, was rather funny in retrospect. He was at least as shocked by this "very close encounter" as his visitors were when they suddenly ran into him.

Jungle rivers are often full of crocodiles, but fortunately there has never been a really dangerous situation. Although some opportunities, in retrospect, were almost inviting...

There are many animals in the rainforest that can always be heard, but almost never seen, such as the numerous gibbons that wake up the jungle every morning with a wonderful concert, and many other monkey species.
And it is even more difficult to photograph them in the dense dark crowns of the jungle trees.

Or perfectly camouflaged creatures that have completely adapted to their surroundings, like the praying mantis or this green lizard (you found it on the pic right below?).

Although JH always saw himself as an amateur in the field of wildlife photography, he was able to commit himself to a project. For example, he decided to photograph Anax Imperator, the King Dragonfly freehand in flight. No tools, no photo trap, the cameras were analogue at that time, and the lenses had no autofocus.
He succeeded, with a lot of trial and error and patience.

The "photo of his life", as JH puts it, was taken during a nude photo production with his Indian model Annie in the rainforest of MALAYSIA.

When Annie and Karen returned from the laundry in a creek, Karen burst with pride:
"I have found the perfect place for a photo set with Annie! A bathtub in the jungle!"
Yeah, right. A bathtub in the jungle. probably including a shower, shower gel and a beautiful masseuse.
But she wasn't exaggerating. A strange geological formation that actually had the shape of a bathtub!

A beautiful woman, a dreamlike atmosphere, as if created for an unusual nude pictorial. JH made unique erotic pictures with a unique erotic model.

But suddenly, out of nowhere, Panthera Pardus Delacouri, the Malaiian leopard, stood in the picture and hissed at the model. Annie froze with astonishment and shock, and JH probably unknowingly pressed the shutter twice. He was about to scream to distract the predator from his naked model, but the spook was already over. Panthera Pardus Delacouri had disappeared into the jungle by one big leap.
The picture didn't become completely sharp (autofocus didn't exist at that time) - but what a motive!


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