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....

Friday, 31 December 2010


After a brief Christmas break, it's time to post again. The trouble is, of course, that as usual, I have achieved nothing over the holiday except to increase my mass. All my good intentions of daily dawn outings with a camera went straight out of the window as I immersed myself in the thunder down under, watching our brave boys (the ones with bats, pads and cricket whites - not the ones with desert camo's, guns and too few helicopters) triumph mightily against an Australian team that never really showed up. Glad tidings of comfort and deep joy, as my cricketing text partner, Trevor, festively put it.

It was a nice thing, as the aussies have life far too good, in my humble opinion. And here's why.

1) Australia is big. As opposed to England, which is small, and apparently only surpassed in population density by South Korea and Bangladesh. Oz is a land of apparently limitless space on which to practice important, life affirming stuff like hook shots and cover drives.

2) Lots of interesting wildlife, much of it enticingly dangerous. They have the lethal brown snake. We have the slow worm. They have the deadly salt water croc. We have the stickleback. Australian cricket fans can birdwatch as they watch cricket, because they have delightful cockatoos. We have grimey pigeons.

3) They have the weather. We have the rain. (Which admittedly we have used to our advantage in the occasional test match).

4) They have Bondi beach, with its skimpily clad, super-healthy aussie blondes. We have Brighton pier and its murmuration of starlings. The shot was taken almost exactly a year ago, at the tail end of 2009. And at the moment it's the best I can come up with for this New Year.

I blame the cricket. But it doesn't matter, because thanks to the likes of Straussy, Cooky, Trotty, Swanney and, er, Andersony, we've still got the ashes. And so, my aussie chums, you can stick your fascinating natural history and perfect lifestyle- along with your kookaburra balls- where the sun don't shine. Gloat over.

Until after the 5th test match, obviously.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010


I haven't had a chance to post much recently, as I've been filming. Not wildlife, but TV commercials.

Since I turned professional (photographically speaking) last April, I've managed to fund several trips to Africa and elsewhere, but eventually the money always runs out....and that's when I return to what I used to do in another lifetime- writing advertisements and then making them happen.

I've really enjoyed my brief return to the world of commercials, and I'd like to thank my chums at Saatchi & Saatchi London for thinking of me when they needed to hire a copywriter in double quick time.

The work should fund my return to Madagascar next year. The last time I was there was with a film camera, and I have to say was something of a disaster. This time, though, it will be different.

In the meantime, here's a random shot of a cheetah that I spent time with in Namibia at the cheetah conservation project- a most worthwhile organisation and one that deserves our support. I've spoken about it in previous posts, so I won't do so again, but if you have a spare minute, look them up on the interweb.

And if you're really keen, you can hunt down the upcoming issue of 'Travel Zambia' magazine, which has a substantial piece of writing by the long-suffering-Dilly, illustrated with some of my photographs, and, I believe,  a smaller piece by myself giving the low down on crocodile photography.

So on that note, I wish you all a happy holidays, and I shall return in January with more free time and a whole lot of new photographs to share. I'm thinking that it's time we put a few tigers on here - whadda you reckon?!

Now it's back to the edit suite for me. A copywriters work is never done. Until Christmas Eve, anyway.

Thanks for reading....

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


Every photographer has a species that stubbornly eludes them, and for me it was walrus. They aren't especially uncommon, but for some reason they just gave me problems.

On my first trip to the arctic, I managed to get within shooting distance, only to have my camera malfunction in the cold.

On the second trip, the only walrus I saw nervously abandoned their ice floe while I was still too far away to get a good composition.

The third time, the engines on the boat vibrated my tripod just enough for every shot to be useless.

This shot was taken on the fourth trip. So all in all, it took me over ten years to get a half decent shot of these rather iconic animals. I floated in on a zodiac, engines off, rowing when necessary to gain distance without disturbing them.

I got to within 10 metres when they started to shuffle nervously.  So I backed off slightly and shot from about 40 feet. I shot quite a lot- after a decade of walruslessness, photographically speaking, I wasn't about to let the opportunity go to waste.

In the decade sans walrus, I read quite a lot about them- they were something of a cause celebre for me. And what I discovered is that the walrus is a most interesting animal. And the thing that really stands out about it, is its penis.

Oh yes, my friends...

Walrus have a baculum, which is a penile bone. Lots of animals have them, including primates. Except for man. Typical.

But pinnipeds have them, and of all the pinnipeds,  the walrus has a particularly good one.

For a start, it can be over two feet long. (As opposed to, say, a marmoset, which can only manage a slightly embarrassing 2mm)

A penile bone leaves its owner less vulnerable to impotence caused by variations in blood pressure. A hydraulic system like the one used by us blokes can let its owner down on occasion. (Although it's not important, it doesn't matter, and besides, it happens to every man at some point).

The largest baculum ever, belonged to an extinct species of walrus and was an impressive 1.4 metres long. Good bone, fella!

Known in Native Alaskan cultures as an Oosik, walrus baculum are often polished and used as tools.

Which particular tools would benefit from being constructed from walrus whanger, I've never been too clear about.

But I'm going to take a wild guess that it's a prick axe.