Welcome to the temporary site for timhearnwildlife.com.

I'll be posting a few shots here while working on the main site, which is currently under construction...

Timhearnwildlife has been a long term passion and project of mine which is now reaching fruition. It is (or strictly speaking, will be) a commercial resource for wildlife and natural history photography and writing.

Over the last 10 years, I've been fortunate enough to travel extensively to all 7 continents, taking photographs and notes, and the site will showcase the results.

Please feel free to browse....

Thursday, 7 March 2013

We did.

It's been a while. And that's because I've had other things on my mind. Like tying the knot with long-suffering Dilly. We got engaged sailing out of the Falkland Islands en route to South Georgia, and almost exactly a year later, on December 8th 2012, we were married at beautiful Hedsor House in Buckinghamshire. If you've seen the movie Quartet, then you'll know where I mean. Dilly looked wonderful as ever, and I scrubbed up for the occasion too. Check out the schmutter, courtesy of my best 'man' Kate Stanners!

In the time 'twixt the first and second rings going on, there was plenty of photography in various spots around the globe, some of which I'll be sharing in the near future.

Friday, 16 September 2011


Way back on one of my early '70s birthdays,  I was given a book called 'Borne on the Wind' by a photographer named Stephen Dalton. He was one of the pioneers in photographing insects in flight. But his images, while stunning, seldom looked natural, many being taken in a studio. 

I loved the book, and the way that the camera revealed views of insect behaviour that were impossible to see with the naked eye. 

This summer, I spent a lot of time photographing butterflies, and while the results were respectable, they didn't really excite me. There was nothing there that I hadn't seen a thousand times before. Which got me thinking about Dalton's images, and wondering whether todays digital cameras could capture something similarly unusual. 

On the plus side, technology was in a different league and using cards rather than film, I had a limitless number of frames with which to make an attempt. 

On the downside, I wanted to work fluidly under natural conditions, which meant no strobes, wind tunnels or controlling of natural behaviour. 

Oh, and to minimize the sitting around waiting and maximise the opportunities for shooting, I decided no tripod either. 

So I was going to be shooting macro, handheld images of movement too fast for the eye to see and too unpredictable to anticipate, using only natural light. 

I have to admit, I thought it was unlikely to work.

But the thought wouldn't go away, and eventually, I worked out a technique to do it. I call it the 'bloodyminded persistence and luck' method.

And these are some of the results to date. 

Brimstone butterfly

Spotted Longhorn beetle (Rutpela maculata) vs. Silver washed fritillary

Brimstone vs. Large skipper

Thursday, 15 September 2011


Broadly speaking, I loath shots that are digitally altered. I like my natural history as nature intended, not with twee faux-atmospheric sepia tones, or bits cloned out and comp'd in. You can call it enhancement as much as you like but that don't make it so. It's kind of a moral guideline for me. Sad, but true.

In a cruel and ironic twist of fate, though, years spent working in advertising have had the unfortunate effect of making me go all gooey at the knees when I see a really striking graphic image. And sometimes, late on a Friday night when long suffering Dilly is out with the girls, I give in to my urges, open up photoshop and fiddle with my Jpegs. There. I've said it. I've outed myself.

Nothing heavy, you understand- I just like to experiment occasionally. And only when the image isn't degraded by it. A heavy vignette here, grayscale there. A tweak of the contrast slider. An irregular crop. It's still the exactly the same scene that I shot. It's just...well, enhanced, dammit.

But if I ever post a sepia shot, even late on a Friday night, you have my permission to shoot me. And not with a camera. 

It may be Art. But I'm not convinced it's Fine.

Marbled White butterfly

Beetle on Daisy

Tropical swallowtail (captive)

African Monarch against sand dune

Beautiful Demoiselle

Small Tortoiseshell 

Tuesday, 28 June 2011


Fortress Balham has been quiet for the last month, as long-suffering-Dilly has been jetting around the peripheries of Africa in her guise as consultant-of-choice to safari types and I divide my time between the wonderful world of retail advertising and the considerably more wonderful world of photographing the British butterflies.

So far this year, I've nailed several new species (to me) including Duke of Burgundy, English Swallowtail, Adonis Blue, Black Hairstreak and the ultra-rare Large Blue. So it's been a good summer up to now.

Photographs and stories will appear in the near future, but at present I'm looking forward to the return of the Dillster, who has been for a fortnight's sojourn with the lemurs in Madagascar. I've asked her to look out for, and photograph, my all time favourite insect- the giraffe necked weevil (!) and now I'm on tenterhooks to see whether she's pulled it off. I'm guessing not, but the long suffering one seldom fails to surprise me.

Mind you, I may have to think of a new name, as Mauritius and Madagascar don't really lend themselves to the suffering tag. Still, fortress Balham will soon be back to its old self, with the sound of dishes being washed and hoovers being, er.. hooved, echoing round the lush valleys and open prairies.

She'll be surprised by the amount that our vegetable patch has grown, too, in her absence. I'm particularly looking forward to showing her my courgette.

Oh, please.....

Thursday, 19 May 2011


To the rear of fortress Balham lies a railway, on top of a bank. Not the kind that has money in (or doesn't, in my case). This bank has foxes in it, making their den amongst the Japanese Knotweed. At night they sound like people getting murdered in some heinous fashion. Or maybe there are people getting murdered in some heinous fashion, and foxes just happen to live there. I'm not entirely sure, but I'd like to think it's the foxes making all the racket.

Lots of people hate foxes, long suffering Dilly included. But then she's of the huntin' shootin' fishin' persuasion, and they have some funny ideas. Personally, I like them (the foxes, not the hunting brigade). I like the fact that there is wildlife in the middle of London. I like the fact that I can see a rather beautiful large mammal going about its business from the kitchen window. I like the fact that sometimes they sunbathe on my sun lounger. And I like the fact that the cubs sometimes come right up to the back door and try to look inside.

In fact, the only thing I don't like about them is having to get up at the crack of sparrow's on bin day to put the rubbish out. Because if I do it the night before, the little b*ggers rip open the bin bags and spread the contents all over the street.

We talk a lot about human activity affecting the behaviour of animals. But what about the other way round, eh? To me, the biggest problem with urban foxes is that they make me get up early on Wednesdays.

And that seems like a small price to pay.