One of the best things about going on holiday are the new opportunities you get to experience, whether it’s new food, different cultural traditions or brand new sights, smells and sounds.

This was certainly the case for one of our previous photography tour participants. Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan joined one of our exclusive Photography Tours back in 2017 all the way from Singapore. Jayaprakash got a lot more than he expected when he embarked with us on the tour; it was very much a life changing experience.

Jayaprakash National Geographic

Image: Jayaprakash, centre, with Orangutan Trekking Tours leader, Bain, left.

Jayaprakash had always been interested in photography, even more so when he purchased his first DSLR camera back in 2013. Nature photography has always been his focus, so what better creature to picture in its natural habitat than the critically endangered Bornean Orangutan.

Jayaprakesh joined one of Orangutan Trekking Tours’ Photography Tours in 2017 to have the best chance of photographing these stunning creatures in the wild. His experience was so special that he managed to not only capture some incredible photos of the unique Bornean wilderness and wildlife, but captured a beautiful image of an Orangutan crossing a Sekonyer river. Thanks to his steadfast patience, perfect timing and photography talent in capturing this special moment, he was awarded National Geographic’s 2017 Nature Photographer of the Year.

Jayaprakash never set out especially to take a picture to submit to National Geographic for the competition; his main focus was documenting these unique creatures in their natural habitat. All he needed to get the perfect shot was lots of patience and some good quality photography equipment. Jayaprakesh’s camera of choice on this occasion was a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. On our regular tours, a mobile phone camera could be all you need to capture those special moments through the jungle. However, we do encourage our guests to try technology free trekking as it greatly enhances the whole experience as you immerse yourself into your surrounds, distraction-free.

When describing the experience of taking his winning image, Jayaprakash says:

“When I saw this huge male go into the river, I decided to get into the river as well just so that I could get a different perspective of this natural history moment. I was hiding behind the trees, but the shutter noise of the camera gave me up. He immediately hid behind a tree in three to four feet of water and looked towards me for a while before he continued to cross the river. It was a wonderful moment to capture on camera!”

You’re probably wondering what Jayaprakash gained by being crowned National Geographic 2017 Nature Photographer of the year? Well, besides the privilege of sharing such an intimate encounter with a critically endangered species, Jayaprakash also won $7,500 and his image was published in National Geographic magazine and featured on their Instagram account, @natgeo To date, the image has received 1,604,197 likes, 14,200 comments and has been named in in their top 20 photos of 2017!

Our photography tour has opened up new opportunities for Jayaprakash and allowed him to follow his photography dreams, and we couldn’t be happier – or prouder. To see more of Jayaprakash’s stunning photography, check out his Instagram account.

Jayaprakash and our tour leader, Bain, have kept in touch and remain good friends, so our tours really do bring people together in a number of ways.

You will make friends for life, and we don’t just mean with the Orangutans!

If you fancy trying to snap your way into National Geographic, head to the Photography Tours page to find out more about this exclusive experience.

Let’s Take Some Photos!