Photographer of the month: Filip Blaauw
Nature photographer of the month, july 2022.
My name is Filip Blaauw, I’m a 37 years old wildlife photographer from Norway. I started photographing with film when I was 15, before I got my first DSLR some years later. Though it’s only the last 3 years I have been serious about wildlife photography.
I live in Gjesdal in the south-west part of Norway, about 30 minutes from Stavanger city. In my area, I have a short distance to the mountains, the shore, beautiful fjords as well as the forest. I feel very lucky to be able to access a variety of wildlife close to home, and this is usually where you will find me with my camera.
In may 2020 I scouted my local forest for wildlife, and decided to put out a trail camera after I spotted what I thought was droppings from the pine marten. Not very long after the camera was deployed, I got my confirmation. The pine marten lived here, and I quickly started thinking about how to photograph it.
I started out using a camera trap with infrared triggers and remote flashes. I had a steep learning curve, but eventually I got the settings dialed in and got several nice photos of this elusive animal.
I did the same the following year. In the end I probably had around 1000 images of the pine marten, but I had never seen it with my own eyes.
So this spring I wanted to try a different tactic. I knew from the trail camera footage that the same individual still lived in the forest. After monitoring the pine marten over two years, I now had a pretty good idea on where I stood the best chance to actually seeing it. I put my Aquila hide out, and spend a lot of days in it waiting for the pine marten. As a bonus, I got several red squirrels visiting the feeding station, and that certainly shortened the waiting time.
I still remember the first time the chocolate brown marten coming in to view the first time. It was in the middle of moulting from winter to summer fur, and it looked a bit worse for wear. I don’t believe it stayed around for more than a minute before disappearing again, but now I knew that I could trust the camouflage.
When writing this, three different pine martens have been in front of the hide. Photographing these beautiful animals from a distance of 6-8 meters is a fantastic experience, and I have even shared it with some of my photography friends. The Aquila hide fits perfect for two photographers, and it has been used a lot this summer. The many small windows provide me a good overview of the area, as the pine martens appear without any sound. To be able to see out in every direction is crucial. The pine martens have now gotten used to the hide. Evidence of that I found when I found droppings just 10 centimeters from the hide.
If you want to see more photos of Filip, please feel free to check out his Instagram or his website:
Photos: © Filip Blaauw & Pål Christensen
Have a look at the favorite hide of filip: Buteo Photo Hide Aquila Mark II