Ginny Scholes Photography: Blog en-us (C) Ginny Scholes Photography (Ginny Scholes Photography) Sun, 11 Oct 2020 10:14:00 GMT Sun, 11 Oct 2020 10:14:00 GMT Ginny Scholes Photography: Blog 120 72 Memorable Wildlife Moments  


"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." MAYA ANGELOU


My photography journey so far, has given me many breathtaking moments that I will cherish forever  ...


"Olive" - Kenya June 2010

A well known leopard in Kenya's Masai Mara provided me with my first leopard sighting during my first Kenyan safari. It was during an early morning game drive from Kicheche Bush Camp in June 2010 when the grass was long and lush after the rains.  As we passed close to the Ol Kiombo airstrip and stopped the vehicle, we noticed a movement in the grass and then hushed tones from the guide and "here she comes!". A flick of the tail and then there she was ...  a beautiful leopard in her prime, blinking in the early morning sunlight and behaving like a catwalk model, sashaying to within a foot of the vehicle.  She stood obligingly amid a rattle of camera shutters.  I held my breath.  She was so close that I could have reached out and stroked her like a domestic cat!  I saw her on many more occasions but the Ol Kiombo morning will always be special.







"Midnight Bear", Svalbard 2011 

As the title suggests, it was shortly before midnight and I had returned to my cabin onboard the Academic Sergey Vavilov ready to go to bed, when an announcement came over the ships radio "Polar bear, starboard side!".  My room mate Sue said she was too tired to get up and would sit this one out.  Hastily putting all my layers back on and grabbing my camera bag and tripod, I hurried out to the deck to find a good vantage point.  Everyone was there, both crew and guests alike and it was like trying to find a spot on a crowded beach! I was just attaching my rocket launcher 500mm lens to the camera when I glanced over the side saw a huge male polar bear climbing out of the water onto the nearby ice flow.  He was so close so no need for the big guns, unless I wanted a close up of his nostril! I grabbed my wide angle lens while the bear walked towards the ship.  With my heart pounding, I pressed the shutter just as he stood up on his hind legs and looked at all the assembled ships crew and photographers. I knew I had the shot. I watched enthralled as the bear explored the ice flow before slipping silently into the water, taking one last look back at the ship and swimming away.  Time just stood still. I returned to my cabin and Sue said "Was it worth it?" ... "Definitely" I replied, "You made the wrong choice!".


"The other Salisbury Plain" A morning spent on Salisbury Plain, South Georgia during a snow storm, made me feel like a real wildlife photographer! I had so many layers on to keep out the cold and was hunkered down behind my 500m lens. I know it maybe not everyones idea of heaven but I loved every minute! As I focused on the adult King penguins returning to the wooly coated chicks in the rookery, with the mountains as a backdrop, for a brief few moments the sun came out and flooded the scene and gave me one of my favourite shots of the trip.  To me the photo just screams "SOUTH GEORGIA". I can't wait to return!







(Ginny Scholes Photography) Academic Sergey Vavilov adventure Africa Antarctica bear expedition Georgia ice Kenya penguin photography polar South Svalbard wildlife Zimbabwe Sun, 11 Oct 2020 10:12:57 GMT


KilimanjaroThe summit at last!

APRIL 2012

... "On your right side, you can see Kilimanjaro", came the instruction from the pilot.  Instinctively looking down I couldn't see anything but when I followed the wing tip, there was the mountain and just visible ABOVE the clouds. That is when it dawned on me just how high 5895m really is!


A few days later at the summit, the realisation that we'd climbed Kili didn't sink in at first. Our minds were focused on retracing our steps to Gilman's Point and then the long trek down to Kibo Huts.  The blizzard was worsening and with hoods pulled around our sunburnt faces and and poles tightly gripped, we began our descent down the mountain. It was hard to see with sunglasses constantly fogging up and trudging with leaden feet through deep powder snow but I tried to take a last look at the glaciers an the crater rim and remember the summit experience.  Rest stops weren't so frequent but now the hunger pangs began to bite ... dinner seemed a  long way off.


At Gilman's Point, the scree slope where we'd clambered back and forth amongst the boulders, zig zagging in tortuous switchbacks, was now covered in a thick blanket of snow.  Gingerly we picked our way through, trying to prod the snow with a pole to check if there was rock beneath each step. Sliding on your backside was inevitable and there were a few pile ups!  Finally we could slide in long turns getting into a rhythm before you lost your balance and got a boot full of snow.  The path seemed to go on forever, with Kibo Huts a mere speck in the distance, a bit like a cruel snowy mirage.  Each big boulder on the horizon looked like it could be a tent shape with a dusting of snow on the top.  I was hungry, thirsty, exhausted and frustrated beyond belief.  It was the hardest part of the trip, stumbling over small rocks, head pounding and dry mouth, just wishing it would end.  I pushed myself to the limit of my reserves, sighing at every phantom tent and not wanting to be last or left behind.  


Finally, Kibo Huts were in sight!  I stumbled into the familiar warmth of the mess tent, taking off my hat and scarf and as I sat down felt like my head was going to explode. I promptly burst into tears with sheer relief at getting this far.  I tried to eat the soup brought in by the guides but suddenly lost my appetite.  After a few moments sitting outside in the snow  to collect my thoughts, I found an empty bunk in one of the huts and slept for half an hour.  Exhausted, I dragged myself up to meet the others and continue the slog down the mountain to Horombo Huts.  It was dangerous to remain at this altitude for too long.


Mercifully, the terrain was flat, walking across the famous Kibo Saddle that I had heard so much about.  My feet were on autopilot for the first hour but as darkness began to fall and the stars came out I felt much more positive. It was a new experience to walk along with just the light of my head torch, gulping in the now oxygen rich mountain air, gazing at the myriad of stars above and my headache finally dissipating.  Crossing streams and following increasingly rocky paths downwards, we could finally make out the lights of camp.  Hurriedly shown to our tents and then ushered into the mess tent, dinner was a quick affair and finally bed!  I don't think I've ever slept so soundly!


Jambo!  Sunrise and coffee with the porters and a moment that I will remember forever ... gazing up at Kilimanjaro covered in snow.  I couldn't stop smiling and the grin spread across my face like a cheshire cat.  I just wanted to shout "I climbed Kili!".  Looking around at the battered sunburnt faces of the group, everyone was thinking the same thing "I CLIMBED KILIMANJARO".


We still had a long walk down to the Marangu Gate and the waiting bus but with the oxygen rich air it was a whole different experience.  With aching limbs and sunburnt lips we followed the paths between the strange looking vegetation and across the wooden bridges.  As we came to the forest, the heavens opened and it poured with rain.  But it didn't matter, we were on the homeward strait.


Yes it was physically and emotionally exhausting, but would I do it again ... ABSOLUTELY!




























(Ginny Scholes Photography) adventure Africa altitude challenge climbing David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephants expedition Kilimanjaro Roof of Africa Tanzania Wed, 26 Jun 2019 11:13:36 GMT