From time to time I write here about my photographic activities. If you would like to receive an e-mail if there is a new record, you can register or log off here.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Travel to the last primitive tribes in Africa

In southwestern Ethiopia, near the Rift Valley, the last primitive tribes are living in Africa. An arduous journey over bumpy, muddy tracks, with very simple accommodations. But also a journey into a fascinating, other world.

Along the Omo river live the Mursi, whose women are famous for their lip plates. The approximately 10,000 Mursi live as farmers and cattle breeders. They live largely isolated from Western influences, in simple straw huts in a world reminiscent of the Iron Age. Since they can be quite aggressive, we were accompanied by an armed escort.

Besides the exciting encounters with the forgotten tribes, there were also interesting subjects in a beautiful and lush landscape. The misery-image of Ethiopia, which is spread by the media, only affects a small area of the country. Throughout the journey I've seen poverty and simple conditions, but the people seemed well fed and happy.

Around Turmi live the Hamer people . The population is approximately 35,000 of these peaceful people. The meetings in the villages, on the roadside or at the weekly market will remain unforgettable. The women are mostly clothed with fur and leather. Their hair are shaped with ocher and butter into beautiful hairstyles. The men are often painted wild.

I was lucky, that a big ceremony was held on the day I was there. The transition from a boy's adolescence to adulthood is celebrated with the ceremony of "Bull-jumping". If the boy passes the test of courage to jump over a number of bulls, he is considered ready for marriage. Previously, the women and girls are dancing ecstatically around the cattle and ask the men to be lashed in order to get large scars on the back. With this, for us somewhat strange, custom the women express their affection for their families.

These images are just a small selection of this fascinating journey.

A photo book is in the works and will, I hope, be ready in January. Once it is finished, it can be browsed virtually on my website.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bear and wolverine in Finland.

Bear, wolf and wolverine in the autumn colours of Finland were my goal in September. I knew that a trip to Scandinavia in the fall is a great risk. If the weather is rather unstable even otherwise, the probability of autumn storms is very large - and so it was!

Despite the unfortunate weather conditions I could take some nice shots of brown bears (Ursus arctos) thanks to my Nikon D3s, which is able to take images at very high ISO setting. The wolves, unfortunately, did not show up.

Click for more images


The bears were sometimes quite close to the hide and so I could make some beautiful portraits.

In between the sun winked through the clouds for a few minutes - enough time for some landscape pictures.

Very difficult to photograph is the wolverine. The wolverine (Gulo gulo) is the largest terrestrial member of the weasel family. In Europe there are only about 500 of this shy animals, which is about ten times less than lynx. Near Lieksa there is a small population of wolverines, which can be photographed from a remote hide. That means sleeping in a sleeping bag on a cot, from dawn until dusk watching the area closely, only to see with a lot of luck, after eleven hours of waiting an animal for 10 minutes. And some with low light or even rain. A special kind of patience.

Next trip:

My next trip leads me to the Omo Valley in Ethiopia to photograph landscapes, animals and people. The probability of rain there should be rather small ....

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Photobooks of the Southwestern USA

Last April, I have, as already reported, traveled to the southwestern United States. From the impressive landscape pictures I've made ​​two photo books. Unlike the pictures in a gallery, the pictures in a book tell a story and with the composition often create a whole different effect. The text is in German, but the pictures will speak for themselves.

The Photo Books are now online and can be viewed on my website.

Simply click on an envelope and the book opens. With a mouse click in the corner you can then flip the pages. (needs Adobe Flash Player)

More Photobooks can be seen on my Homepage.  www.rudolf-hug.ch 

Monday, July 25, 2011


Those who travel to Shetland must expect rain! But only two of ten days some sunshine is little. The primary goal of my trip was puffin and otter photography. And also here nature was not "cooperative" - at least for the puffins. For, until now, unknown reasons, the breeding of this year was catastrophically bad and instead of some tens of thousands only a few birds were on land. On some days, not even one. The photography was a bit difficult. Nevertheless I could photograph some of these funny "clowns". The tour was well organized by Peter Cairns of Northshots.

What do you photograph, when the sky is white and the light is bad? Artic terns, for example against the white sky.

In the reserve Hermaness there is a large skua colony. Skuas are very fast fliers and defend their nest by daring attack maneuvers. Often they are so aggressive that they attack visitors on the signposted path.

Hermaness also houses a large colony of gannets. Well over 10,000 birds nest in the steep   cliffs along the coast.

For three days I have dedicated myself to the otter photography. This extremely shy animals can  only be found with the help of a guide. I was guided by Brydon Thomason, the best otter expert in Shetland. Hours of marches along the coast and with luck you can photograph this lovely animal or as here, a mother with her cub. A fascinating but very exhausting experience.

On the last day I had the luck to watch two killer whales directly off the coast. What a terrific end of a rainy, yet exciting stay in Shetland.

My next trip leads me to  to Finland to photograph brown bears, wolves and wolverine. Again, a difficult mission. Wolf and wolverine especially need lots of luck.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Colors in the Southwestern U.S.

After many business trips in the U.S., mostly without a camera, I have traveled in April for two weeks in the southwestern United States for landscape photography. And I've seen all sorts of weather from -15 to +30° C  (5 to 86° F) - from a snow storm in Bryce Canyon to a sand storm in Monument Valley. Where the sand storm was much much less fun.... On the ride to the Hunts Mesa we got stuck in the sand and our guides (Navajo Indians) needed about two hours to dig out  the vehicle. With the result that the exercise was blown off and the Hunts Mesa trip canceled.

Beginning of the trip was however the Petrified Forest. A fascinating park with petrified trees and rugged landscapes that inspire.

The vastness of the Grand Canyon will continue to fascinate. Especially the early morning and dusk have a magnetic effect on me. This means often, that the alarm goes off at four o'clock ...

My favorite is the Canyon Bryce Canyon. And even more, if he shows after a snow storm in white-orange colors.

Somewhat unknown, the Wahweep Hoodoos near Page. To get to these fragile structures, one has to do a 3 miles walk through the desert. The effort is worth it. The erosion figures present themselves in the best morning light.

Special colors are found in the slot canyons - eroded sandstone formations. Some of which are very narrow and only reachable via ladders and some acrobatics. Unfortunately, the Navajo marketing people of the "Upper Antelope Canyon" are very active and so it is more like a "Madhouse " than a source of inspiration. Fortunately, there are hidden jewels that are still largely unknown.

Another highlight is the Monument Valley, even if the visit of Hunts Mesa was obstructed by the sandstorm.

The conclusion of the trip is a stay at the Valley of Fire. A paint box in nature. Especially in the early morning hours, at sunset or in the "Blue Hour", which means about half an hour after sunset, the magical colors of the bizarre forms come really to the fore.

A photo book of this trip is in progress and will hopefully be announced in the next newsletter.

Travel to Shetland
My next trip in July will lead me to Shetland. There I will take pictures of landscapes, especially sea birds (puffins, gannets, etc) and otters. Above all, otters are very shy and therefore difficult to photograph. More of it soon.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Snow storm instead of Northern Lights

Five years ago I was photographing in Sweden with the aim of the Northern Lights. Although the weather was beautiful at that time, there was no activity. Fascinated by the northern lights, I made a new attempt and have been traveling for four days toTromsø in Norway. This time the activity of the sun was good but, unfortunately, there was extremely bad weather. Almost the whole time it snowed, sometimes with violent storms and the cloud cover has only partially opened for a few minutes. So again, nothing! Nevertheless, I could photograph some atmospheric landscapes. A click on the pictures brings you to the gallery.

click to see more pictures

For three minutes, the curtain opened and shared the view of the spectacle. And this was all for four days! I will definitely make another attempt to observe and photograph this spectacle for a longer time!
click to see more pictures

Photo Tour in the U.S.
In April I will fly for two weeks to the southwestern United States to photograph landscapes with Jess Lee. Main places will be Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley and Hunt's Mesa. I am confident that the weather will be better there.