Boca Magazine featured a nice article about me in there September/October 2018 edition.
Clemens Vanderwerf has two business cards. One is for his job as president and CEO of the charter aircraft company Privaira. The other is for his hobby as a wildlife photographer, a passion that takes him to some of the most remote spots on the planet to shoot pictures of birds, bears and an assortment of other creatures great and small.
You probably did not notice but I have not written a blog post in a long time. Social media is partly to blame for the lack of activity. I started becoming more active on Facebook and Instagram, which is so much easier then having to get yourself motivated to write a blog post. With a simple click and a few short sentences you post very easily on social media, but there is not a lot of depth. Lately, I started noticing that the reactions to...more
Every year during the spring time I visit the resident osprey colony at Lake Blue Cypress a couple of times during breeding season from March until May. Lake Blue Cypress is located in the middle of the state of Florida and got its name from the beautiful bald cypress trees that cover the edges of the round lake. The giant trees that stand in the water give you the feeling of traveling through a pre-historic scenery in a very peaceful...more
It's been already three years ago since I visited South Georgia for the first time. The islands are by far one of the most beautiful wildlife sanctuaries in the world, and the scenery with rough rugged mountain peaks is absolutely stunning. When my friend and photographer Onne Van der Wal told me about his expedition to the islands on a private sailing yacht years...more
Sometimes you are looking at something and it seems to make no sense at all. We all have those moments that we scratch our heads and think: "I don't get it. What is going on here?" It only starts to make sense if you keep looking and try to place yourself in the subject's mind. I had such a moment when I was hip deep standing in the water in Tampa Bay, Florida, observing the weird behavior and interaction of Brown pelicans and Laughing...more
I recently spent a week up in Alaska photographing bald eagles. It was my fourth time photographing the eagles in their natural environment around Kachemak Bay on the Kenai Peninsula, and it never gets boring to see these majestic and powerful birds go about their life in the wild. As a photographer, I like to revisit the same subjects and same locations multiple times to allow me to document a wide variety of images under different...more
Since 2012 I have been entering images in major nature photography competitions just for fun to see how my images would hold up against photographers from around the globe. The average quality of the images entered is pretty high, so it is not easy to float to the top in the judging process. The images are judged in different rounds based on image quality, composition, artistic innovation and subject attractiveness. A small selection of the...more
It's been a while since I published my last blog post. A change in professional career prevented me from traveling to far away places this year as all the focus was on learning a new business. A business closer to the avian subjects I like to photograph. The medium shifted from water to air as my focus is on building a private aviation company. With the year coming to an end I needed a break and clear my mind. What better place is there than...more
Pelicans are large birds that do not particularly look special when you see them along the coast. They tend to blend in easily with the coastal environment, and seem to hang out near fishing piers, shipping channels and marinas hoping to snatch up some fish left behind by fisherman. Although they are quite sizable birds, they never really draw much attention while sitting on top of mooring poles near bridges and inlets. They are quite...more
When I started photographing birds for the first time in early 2010 I had a full-frame camera body and a Canon EF 300mm/f2.8 IS and EF 500mm/f4 IS MkI lens that I used for sailing photography from a boat or a helicopter. My good friend and nautical photographer Onne Van der Wal (www.vanderwal.com) had taught me to handhold the lenses while photographing from a moving boat. I was not really used to using very long lenses and a tripod to...more
While most of the US is hunkered down under a tremendous arctic freeze that has disrupted large parts of the country, with temperatures and wind chills well in the minus double digits, it seems already a long time ago since I made my recent trip to the southern most continent in the world. In November 2013 I traveled from Miami to Ushuaia in Argentina, to join ice-class expedition vessel Polar Pioneer for a two week expedition to the...more
One of the great things about photography of the natural world is the fact that it makes you realize how perfect nature has balanced all the elements. Every little piece has its place in a larger part. If we consider the food chain, which starts of with very small entities, such as krill at sea and little insects on land, and goes all the way to the top where the large predators rule the kingdom. But also the systems that keep the earth...more
Who does not have a fascination for large mammals with preditoral instincts? The brown bears or grizzlies definitely make this category and are somewhat mythical for their strength, fierceness and size, yet they look as cute as can be. I wanted to experience this seemingly contradicting perception in real life and made my first trip to Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska during August 2011. I vividly remember the first evening in...more
Last year in October I received the news that one of my images became Highly Honored in the Windland Smith Rice International Awards. I could not be more proud to have made the final cut of more than 20,000 images entered in one of the major nature photography competitions. In today's world with very good equipment available to a lot of photographers, it is an even more daunting task to distinguish yourself from the very high quality images...more
Every trade has its own specifics, and this applies also to photography, or wildlife photography to be more precise. To get things right you need to have the photographic skills to create the best possible image under the given circumstances. Unique behavior usually happens within seconds, and if you miss the opportunity you might not get a second chance. You have to stay focussed and alert, and try to anticipate the behavior of your subjects...more
If there is one place in the world where I would love to go, it would be Antarctica. The fascination has to do with heroic expeditions of the past, the enormous amounts of ice and isolation. Nobody really lives in Antarctica and it is difficult to get to, which leaves it rather unspoiled. Since my interest in photography gained traction over the last couple of years, a visit to Antarctica ended up higher on my “bucket list”. When the...more
As I only started with serious photography in early 2010, and got inspired by Arthur Morris, I thought it would take a long time to develop an image portfolio that was somehow decent enough to compete in photo competitions. So, I really never thought I would sent in any images to the prestigious competitions such as Veolia's BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Nature's Best, or any competition for that matter. But, early this year I...more
The human footprint has an ever-increasing impact on our natural environment, and if you look around, you do not get the impression that we as human’s care one bit about the environment we live in. There are still a couple of places in the world, which are not spoiled by human intervention, at least not yet. Those places are usually very remote and difficult to get to.
A couple of years ago my friend and Canon Explorer of Light...more