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Respect & Welfare first at all times...!!!
09th October 2014 - 0 comments
This article is the full article that i wrote for the East Riding Mail Newspaper.. What this is really about is RESPECTING your subject and putting the WELFARE of wildlife first before any image...!!!

The Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus) by MarieLianne Warwick..


Its 3.30am on a Sunday morning and I’m crawling out of bed, although I’ve been lying awake excitedly watching the minutes tick by for over an hour already..!! Who is this crazy to be getting out of bed early on a Sunday morning? Well for one, Wildlife Photographers & I happen to be one of them. Am I MAD? Well yes maybe, but I like to regard myself as a committed & dedicated photographer, but First and Foremost I’m passionate about my subjects and Wildlife in general, add a dash of craziness and you have the photographer personified.…

With my camera gear all packed, car loaded, I then set off to meet my fellow photographer and my good friend Tracey Lund (who is passionate about wildlife just as much as me), then its full steam ahead in the direction of the Lincolnshire Coast. With the environment that we were going into to photograph the Seals I had to be prepared for everything, sand in your camera equipment is the last thing I needed and it’s probably every photographer’s worse nightmare. The sound of your zoom lens grinding & crunching when you put it away is like scratching nails down a chalk board, it’s excruciatingly painful to listen to..!!

We arrived at 6.30am, a wee bit before sunrise, met up with our fellow photographers Neil and Dean then headed out on foot towards the mud flats where the Grey Seals were going to be and after a good 30 mins of a steady walking pace we start to hear the calls of Seals in the distance. The wind was picking up the further we walked out and the mud was turning to dry sand, we felt like we were being sandblasted. But later on that morning as the sands dried even more, it was quickly starting to resemble a desert scene rather than the Lincolnshire Coast..

Closing on the Seals we ditched our bags and prepared our camera equipment, mainly covering up the lenses to keep out as much sand as possible. Ready to go, we approached slowly and then retreated to the ground, lying flat and crawling literally a few inches at a time. You can’t approach them standing up you’ll just frighten them off; this is all about stealth and taking your time. Being down on the ground you are in a better position for photographing your subject as you are at eye level, the Seals still know you are there but you are less intimidating to them. Also having telephoto lenses there is no need to get too close, there have been incidents in the past of people taking compact cameras and getting too close to the seals or taking wide angle lenses which means you have to get extremely close them, this is totally unacceptable. I follow a very strict Nature photographer’s code of Practice; all my subjects come first before any image, (“The welfare of the subject is more important than the photograph.”) prize winning or not…. Others have also reported seeing people physically dragging or kicking young Seals into better positions or dragging pups away from their mothers, this makes me very angry and if I catch anyone acting in this manor they will be duly reported to the appropriate authorities.. Fortunately this does not happen often but it shouldn't happen at all, to me these people should be ashamed of themselves and in my book do not hold the right to call themselves wildlife photographers..!!!

Hundreds if not a few thousand seals line the Lincolnshire Coastline, but in a couple of weeks’ time until late December the cows (Female seals) will be heading inland to give birth to their Pups. The Pups are born with a beautiful soft and silky white/creamy thick fur and will be fully dependent on their mother’s rich fat milk for about a month, after this time they will start to moult and will then grow a water-proof adult fur. All the time the mothers are feeding their pups they don’t leave their sides (or at least are not too far away) and they do not feed themselves, they can drop about 40% of their body weight in this time. Whilst on shore the Cows also have to protect their pups from any mishaps, like Bull’s fighting as they come ashore to mate or other females that get too close to their pups, some pups get in the way and are sadly injured or killed. Seals will mate about 3 weeks or so after giving birth and then head back out to sea to feed as by this time they are starving..

The Seal you can see in my images is a youngster, one of last year’s pups. It was quite aware of our presence but was very relaxed and comfortable with us being there, I wasn't too close and I kept all movement to a minimum so I could study and watch this young seals natural behaviour. It’s such a special and wonderful feeling to be able to watch wildlife at close quarters like this, it’s a privilege really, to be allowed, to be, excepted by something that is so precious and trusting of you.
Whilst lying flat on the wet sands exposed to all the elements I was oblivious to what else was around me I lost myself in the moment, that’s what I do. I block out the outside world and immerse myself in the emotional moment between me and my subject, waiting for that magical connection, it could be a fleeting moment it could last minutes but when it hits you, you soak it up like a ray of sunshine flooding your whole being, your whole soul.. The Seal has acknowledged me, my reward for all the hard work and patience I put in to capture beautiful images.

The tide was on the turn the light was fading fast so it was time to pack up and leave these wonderful animals and make the long walk back to the car park. Trying to pack our cameras away into our bags with sand gusting around us was a bit of a laugh really, there was going to be some serious cleaning on our return to get rid of every grain of sand… But, the smiles on our faces, the state of our clothes, our aching muscles and several filled memory cards told the story of two very happy photographers that had a wonderful encounter with wildlife, which at the end of the day is what it is all about. We have some amazing wildlife in the UK and around the world, if I only get to witness half of it in my lifetime it would have been time well spent and I’ve lived a life worth living…!!
(Quote) “When I look into the eyes of an animal I do not see an animal. I see a living being, I see a friend. I feel a soul.”
A D Williams

Please feel free to leave your comments below, thank you for taking the time to read my blog.. X


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Wildlife....so precious..!!!
23rd July 2014 - 0 comments
Hello Everyone..

It’s been a very sad morning for me today. Most of you know me by now; you know how passionate I am about animals/birds, wildlife in general and what they mean to me..!! They are a part of my life; it’s something that is buried deep into my soul that will never be removed. I’m an emotional person, sensitive and always full of compassion for animals, being these things is what has made me who I am and without it I couldn't connect with wildlife or portray them the way I do...!!! My heart rules my head at the best of times.. As an animal lover foremost and a wildlife photographer we often see things at times that we’d rather we hadn't and today unfortunately was one of those days.

This morning my partner Brian left for work as normal, then not five minutes later I hear his car return and he rushes back in with a ball of fluff in his hands. It was a Little Owl chick, an Owlet, not far off from fledging by the looks of things.. Now, before anyone shouts out, whoa it should of been left where it was, Yes, we are both well aware of that and for the majority of the time we do, especially with birds, we leave well alone where necessary ..!! This Owlet was at the edge of the road flapping like crazy, unable to fly and had a broken leg.. The choices were to leave well alone and possibly for it to get run over or picked up by a predator, or pick it up with a cloth and leave it somewhere safe and hope its parents will come down and feed it..!! Neither of these solutions were acceptable on this occasion, both scenarios were going to leave the Owlet in danger and it was clearly suffering.. Little Owls are declining, we need to preserve and look after these wonderful birds, there was no way it was going to survive out there and especially with an injury.

I gently held the Owlet in my hands, it didn't flinch, it was quite alert, he looked up at me with those big yellow eyes and that was it, connection was made, I had to do something to help this little guy.

I popped him into my small carrier and got onto the phone to my Boss Michael; I explained everything and asked him to contact John Naylor who lives in the village where I work. He’s a naturalist, Falconer and Wildlife Artist, basically an all-round good guy and knowledge and judgement I trust. I was hoping this Little Owlet’s injury’s would be minor and John could nurse him back to health and we could release him in the area we found him..
I got in the car with him whilst all the time thinking he’s going to be okay..!!! (However naive, there is always hope) I drove carefully to work and when I arrived Michael was there waiting for me. He had been trying to get hold of John since I had called but no answer, so he jumped in my car and we took the Little Owlet up to John’s house. No one at home, but then as were going back to the car John pulled up and we walked solemnly over to him. John took the Owlet out of the carrier and he turned him over to look at his legs, my worst fears were confirmed, both legs were broken. John turned to me and said, “Sorry there’s nothing we can do”. Well, with that the floodgates opened and I just sobbed, I had failed.. (That’s what it felt like)

I left the Owlet in John’s hands and we left, he was saddened as much as I but he knew it was for the best. Michael and I got back in the car and I drove back to work with eyes full of tears.. Michael told me, it was a very brave thing what I had just done, (I didn't feel very brave) most people would have left it there and it would have suffered, he said…

How do I feel, I can’t begin to explain, I feel gutted that I couldn't save it, my heart feels heavy full of sadness. I held something so precious and fragile in my hands, a life that was just starting and I couldn't save it...!! I feel angry, angry at myself and at the world, I just feel a sense of loss and I’m mourning that loss. A beautiful little creature that has blessed this earth for such a short while..

However hard it may have been for me, I feel as though I did the right thing. I could of left it there and let nature take its course, let it suffer, prolong its agony.. Or just have walked away and kid myself that its parents found it and it flew off and it lived happily ever after... That wasn't going to happen however much I would love to think that way.. What I have to do is make something good come out of all this...
Owls, especially Barn Owls and Little Owls hold a very special place in my heart (Andy Rouse bless him, introduced me to Fotobuzz members as the Owl chick lol, I kinda liked that), they are precious things, there is just something very special about them, something spiritual, magical. Yet both of these Owls have suffered over the years, both have declined in numbers and that is not good. These beautiful Owls deserve and need to be in our Countryside.. The day I don’t see a Wild Barn Owl fly freely over the fields and our hedgerows and I don’t see the wonderful unique Little Owls that give me so much pleasure just to watch, with their funny little walks, will not only be a very sad day indeed but a devastating day for our countryside

What do I do now? Well, firstly I've done one thing, I've written about it, it helps at times like these to put my feelings onto paper as it were, it’s part of the healing process.. and writing about it will bring awareness to people that these Little Owls need our protection and help (more of that in a minute) Secondly, I know the area of the Little Owls, I will continue to research/observe them (always with respect and from a distance as they are my priority) and try to find out more about them and to catalogue/photograph when/if I can. I know Little Owls can have at least 2 to 4 chicks so I’m hoping the others are all well and safe, I will certainly be monitoring the situation. I can also stay in touch with the Hawk and Owl trust that monitor numbers etc.

To find out more about Little Owl Conservation and research here are some links to help you get more of an insight to their plight.. Andy Rouse has photographed and studied Little Owls extensively over the last few years and has teamed up with Emily Joachim of Reading University to aid her in her research.

http://www.andyrouse.co.uk/index.php?page_id=28
http://www.andyrouse.co.uk/index.php?page_id=65
http://www.discoverwildlife.com/blog/little-owl-video-blog

Nature I know can be cruel at times and for me it’s upsetting but I also know it’s just the way it is at times, doesn't mean it’s any easier for me or anyone else. I saw this quote on Facebook today and just summed me up and the day completely.

“I still get very high and very low in life, daily. But I've finally accepted the fact that sensitive is how I was made, that I don’t have to hide it and I don’t have to fix it. I’m not broken. “

I will also add to this what I said earlier, I am emotional and sensitive, that is who I am and I WILL NOT apologise for it either…!!!! Thank you for reading this blog, I will keep you updated with my findings.
Please feel free to comment and leave your thoughts if you wish.. But any rude comments will be deleted.. thank you

Marie x
InFocus Photography Insurance Interview
20th May 2014 - 0 comments
A couple of weeks ago I was called by the Guild to ask me If I would mind if they could pass my number and details to InFocus as they wanted to interview me about my IOM winning image.

What a great opportunity, a huge thank you to InFocus and Kayleigh for the fabulous write-up

Here's the link for their latest blog.
I would genuinely recommend InFocus Photography Insurance for any of your insurance requirements, from Professional Indemnity to equipment, they do the lot...

http://www.infocusinsurance.co.uk/image-of-the-month-may

MarieLianne Warwick QGPP
Qualified Status
25th February 2014 - 0 comments
Great start to 2014 with the Guild of Photographers
21st February 2014 - 0 comments
A new year and a new start to the Guild of photographers Image of the month competition.. After winning a top 10 place in the photographer of the year awards 2013 you do seem to think to yourself, "Where do I go from here" Well I can tell you other then my feet haven't really touched the floor since as I was so over the moon and humbled with that result, I've also been extremely busy ever since..!!
But I did nothing more then jump back in there and its been work as normal. really hard work..being professional and being consistent.. and of course being fresh and original, its sometimes exhausting, physically and mentally, but so so rewarding and I wouldn't change that for the world.. ;-)

But, I am really thrilled with my first set of results from the Guild. My first entries of the year, January Image of the Month competition..
I received two Silver Bar awards and one Bronze (missing a silver by one point) But what a start to the year and my birthday celebrations..!! :-)

Once again a huge thank you to you all for your wonderful and continuous support, you make the hard work all worth while.. To see that my images bring so much joy and bring smiles to your faces when they are framed and on your walls, well its a wonderful feeling ..!!! Thank you x

Silver Bar Award


Bronze Bar Award


Silver Bar Award
Photographer of the Year Awards
03rd February 2014 - 0 comments



I have to say the 31st of January was probably (for personal achievements) one of the best nights in my entire life..!!
I've been a member of the Guild of Photographers for just over a year and have entered images into their Image of the Month competitions all year.. Each one being judged expertly by the panel of judges and given marks out of 100 and those scoring over 71 points are awarded either a bronze, Silver, gold or platinum Bar. (no one so far has been awarded Platinum, so maybe something to work for) lol...

The Awards Ceremony took place at the stunning Crewe Hall, we had a wonderful meal and I got to meet many wonderful people that I've been chatting to these last few months but never had met..!!
Then the evening got very exciting as the awards were announced, it was the turn of the 'Open' category Photographer of the Year and there was 10 top places available..

I am absolutely thrilled, (shocked) and very proud (tbh words can't describe it) to have been awarded 4th place in the Photographer of the Year 2013 competition..!!!
It certainly has been a tough year one way or another but throughout it all, I have worked hard, been consistent and have been dedicated to my craft and I have now reaped the rewards..!!

But, the awards didn't stop there...!!! There was a new award for 2013, 'The Photographers bar' which I have also been awarded with..!!
Becoming a member of the Photographer’s Bar is a unique distinction awarded to those photographers who have successfully had images assessed by the Guild over the course of a year, and attained a score equating to an award for each entry made, thereby evidencing an exceptional level of professional skill and consistency – a distinction that is very difficult to achieve!! And I am very privileged to be one of only 26 members of the Guild that has achieved that in 2013...!!

I would like to say a huge thank you to all my family, friends and wonderful fans and followers on Facebook & Twitter for all your love, support and encouragement over the whole year, without it I would not have achieved so much...!!

I would also like to thank Steve, Lesley & team, All of the Judges of the Guild, because without all their hard work there would be no Guild. And their encouragement & help has been amazing. So to, goes my thanks to all the Guild members that have been great support, one of the things that you get from the Guild is a sense of community and family, which I have to say I feel a real part of..!!

And lastly, congratulations to everyone that came away with awards that night, they were very well deserved.. it really was an amazing night and its a huge huge achievement for everyone..!!
Thank you again,
MarieLianne