Last week, I went to a very inspiring presentation by the award-winning wilderness photographer Jon Cornforth. The colors and composition in his pictures are perfect, and he always captures wildlife in their natural environment. What I found most inspiring was the love, respect and admiration he showed when he talked about the animals. But he also made it very clear that, to take "that perfect shot" of a whale or a polar bear, you will need an extraordinary amount of patience. He would often spend day after day in the rain or cold without seeing any animals. The weather and time of day are also an important element and, to take great photos, you may have to get up before sunrise.
One of his "favorite places in the world" is Hanalei Beach in Kauai, where Michael and I spent a week in 2013. Of course, now I want to go back, explore the landscape further and take photos.
Another place I really want to go back to is Alaska. I went on a trip in 2005, before I had a digital camera, and was blown away by the beauty of nature.
Jon offers tours with a focus on certain animals (polar bears, whales, bald eagles) or the aurora borealis, and a tour like this may just have to be a birthday present for myself at some point :-)