A brief talk about Wild Philippines

A video to introduce Wild Philippines

My latest book, Wild Philippines, has been out for a little while now, but it has taken me a bit too long to finally getting around to doing this – making a little video talking about the book, and showing off a few of its pages.

First of all, as a quick reminder, below is Wild Philippines‘ front cover. I hope you like it. It shows a Samar Hornbill in rainforest on the Philippine island of Samar. It’s a rare bird, restricted to just a handful of islands in the country’s southeast. So I was very lucky to come across a group of them while motoring along the Ulot River in the heart of the Samar Island Natural Park.

Wild Philippines

Watching the Wild Philippines video

So anyway, here’s the video. It has been posted on You Tube, but you can see it here, linking through from that site. I hope you like it!

Nigel Hicks talking about his latest book, Wild Philippines.

Finding out more about Wild Philippines

You can find out more about Wild Philippines on the website, where you can see sample photos and pages by clicking on this link:

See Wild Philippines sample pages and photos

Wild Philippines is on sale worldwide, and you can buy it through most good book shops, even if they don’t have it in stock. It is also available from all Amazon website. In the Philippines, it is available through most branches of National Book Stores, as well as through there online store.

You can also buy it directly from us by clicking on the link below:

Browse and buy Wild Philippines here

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Confessions of a professional traveller

I have a confession to make: I love to travel. I’ve travelled professionally for most of my adult life, and I’ve loved every minute of it – well, almost every minute.

That may not seem like much of a confession. But with global warming and in particular the effects of air travel on the atmosphere such a hot topic these days, I can’t help but increasingly engage in a certain amount of guilty navel gazing, fretting about my own personal contribution to the growing environmental tragedy. I’m sure I’m not alone.

A globe-trotting life

But why should I feel more guilt than anyone else? Well, as a professional travel photographer over the years I have racked up quite a number of air miles, touring around the globe, photographing a host of the world’s great locations, from Mt Everest to Tower Bridge, from the casinos of Las Vegas to the volcanoes of Iceland and the Philippines.

Confessions of a professional traveller
That’s me many years ago, looking exhausted and sweaty, with my local guide, in rainforest on Mt Apo, the highest mountain in the Philippines; 1997.

Over the past 30 years my work has fuelled quite a number of very well known guide books and magazines, enticing readers to go see for themselves. It has all been hugely enjoyable and fulfilling, but now I’m left questioning my own contribution to a developing catastrophe. It’s not just my own mileage that’s of concern, but my own small part in enticing all those readers to start travelling.

Perhaps I’m just paranoid, suffering from an delusional opinion of my own possible impact. After all, I’m just one of many such photographers (really very, very many these days), and I have never forced anyone onto an airplane. At least, that’s how I console myself. Paranoid or not, in recent years I have taken a few steps to redress my own perceived imbalance, producing a number of books that showcase the beauty and interest that is right on our own doorstep here in southwest England (Wild Southwest, Beautiful Devon and Beautiful Cornwall), requiring no great travel effort to reach (at least not by us that live here anyway!), and I shall continue to make this my contribution to promoting the ‘staycation’.

Travel and broadening the mind

But even if we agree that international travel – at least by air – needs to be curtailed, there is another side to all this that mitigates hugely in favour of travel. It has long been said that travel broadens the mind, and in general it is absolutely true. Admittedly, the type of travel that limits movements to those between restaurant and poolside sunbed are likely to rather restrict the level of cultural experience. However, for anyone willing to throw themselves out into the local streets, cafes, transport and – dare I say it – language, the mind-broadening effects can be massive, meteoric and sometimes both slightly unsettling and spectacularly exciting. I speak from my own experience.

Confessions of a professional traveller
Hanging out with the Maasai, in the Maasai Mara, Kenya; 2007.

So, before we all give up travelling, just imagine the possible effects of us all retreating back into our borders. After all, it’s not that long ago that our ancestors rather believed that the people of certain countries had two heads and a forked tail. Travel and communication have gone a long way to integrating us all, showing us everyone’s humanity and equality no matter what corner of the globe we live in. A return to isolationism – by whatever cause – would be no friend to continuing that process, and could end up having some very negative consequences for mutual understanding, respect and peace.

Perhaps, then, we should continue travelling, though with more selectiveness and care, travelling in a way that makes the journey longer and itself every bit as much a part of the experience, rather than something to be endured and finished as quickly as possible. Easier said than done, I appreciate. We can’t all get on a yacht every time we want to travel abroad, not matter how much more environmentally friendly it might be.

Confessions of a professional traveller
Lying down on the job, in the Scillies, Cornwall; 2016.

Travelling into the future

As for myself and my photography, well with travel having been so central to much of my adult life, I suspect that only old age will eventually stop me. I shall continue to develop my local projects to help promote the joys of exploring one’s home area, but by the same token I won’t be giving up entirely on some of those long distance projects. My most recent was to produce a book that showcases the incredible biodiversity of the Philippines and the work that’s going on to protect it (Wild Philippines), a hugely under-reported and yet vital area of conservation.

Hopefully, I’ll get to do a few more of those. Meanwhile, I’m guiltily looking forward to an imminent holiday in …… the Maldives. Ah, yes, one of the countries at most immediate risk from global warming and rising sea levels. I can’t think of any excuses for this one, so I’ll just blame the wife. I’ll console myself with the photography I’ll get to do of the islands’ magnificent marine life, capturing it on my camera’s sensor before it all gets killed off. Someone has to do it. Greta Thunberg is going to have a fit.

Confessions of a professional traveller
In the bar reviewing a day’s shoot. Turks and Caicos; 2018.

To find out more about Nigel’s books click on the link below:

Nigel’s books

To take a look at Nigel’s international photo portfolios click on the link below:

See photo portfolios

To find out about Nigel’s photography workshops click on the link below:

Photography workshops

To find out about Nigel’s photography tours click on the link below:

Photography tours

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