My name’s Steve Belcher, I’m originally a veterinarian but my passion for wildlife led me to become a wildlife photographer
For the past 15 years I have specialised in photographing wild endangered species all around the world, on every continent, from Antarctica to China, Tanzania to New Zealand.
My photographs have reached millions of people around the globe, appearing on the covers of many publications and have also been exhibited internationally in museums and galleries such as the British Natural History Museum in London, and the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington .
Travel to Java, Indonesia to take high quality fine art images of the critically endangered and elusive Javan Rhino in the wild and share these images with the world to raise awareness of their risk of extinction.
I will do this two ways.
1. Hold photographic exhibitions at various locations around the world with the images I take on this project.
The first exhibition of these images will be on International Rhino Day September 20-21st 2014 as part of Singapore Zoo’s Rhino weekend. I’ll keep you updated as further international venues are added.
2. My Kickstarter backers have the option of receiving a fine art quality print of the best image of a Javan Rhino taken on the expedition or an open edition print from my Fine Art image collection. This applies to all reward levels which offer open edition prints.
I will also donate images to the International Rhino Foundation and the Rhino Foundation of Indonesian so they can use these unique images to support their efforts in its conservation.
There will be an exclusive behind the scenes video for all backers NZ$10 and up.
Very few images exist of the Javan Rhino most being:
- Often misidentified Indian Rhinos
- Old low quality images
- Poor quality trail cam video stills
- Photoshopped images
The Javan Rhino:
There are no Javan Rhino in Zoos.Why is the Javan Rhino so endangered?
- Asia’s population is growing
- Deforestation and encroachment of existing wild jungle.
- Demand for rhino horn
The Javan Rhino are now only found in one remote location, on the island of Java, surviving on a tiny peninsular of just over 463 square miles,... only 30 miles from the notorious, and currently active volcano….. Krakatoa.
If this volcano erupts again it will likely wipe out the last of these rhinos.
Where will the photography take Place?
The Javan Rhino live in one location, Ujung Kulon National Park, situated off the Sunda Strait between the islands of Southern Sumatra and Java in Indonesia. Here they survive on a tiny peninsular covered in extremely dense swampy jungle with no trails to the interior, just over 463 square miles in area, only 35 miles from the notorious, and currently active volcano, Krakatoa. There are currently no detailed topographic maps of this area available for me to use so I will have to rely on very basic maps and there is also no GPS data of this area.
What will my project involve?
I will spend between 2 to 3 months living deep in their jungle habitat whilst I utilise the latest camera equipment to capture new and unique images. I will also be filming a “behind the scenes” video. I will be making an exclusive directors cut of this video to share with my Kickstarter backers so you can be part of the expedition.
The tropical jungle is a place that is punishing for camera gear and people alike. I will need specialist supplies and equipment in order to operate for such an extended period of time. To take images of this extremely endangered Rhino I have designed and built customised high-tech digital camera traps incorporating the latest high-resolution DSLR cameras.
What is a camera trap?
A camera trap is a remotely activated camera that uses an infrared beam to activate it. I will use the latest professional digital SLR cameras from Canon, which will be placed inside specially made waterproof cases. These are connected to a sophisticated infrared sensor system that activates the camera when the infrared beam is broken by an animal passing through it. Multiple flashes are also connected to the system to give the perfect lighting for the image. (These are NOT Trail Cameras)
To get the best images will be difficult and the challenges and costs are amplified in a country like Indonesia.
A breakdown of the project costs is shown below, so you can see what your contributions will be spent on.
Pledges:Do bear in mind that my project is listed in New Zealand Dollars, not US Dollars.
To assist you please find below a conversion table for NZ Dollars to British Pound Sterling and US Dollars.
All Fine Art Prints are approx. half-off retail.
For backers choosing Rewards that include my fine art prints there’s even better value.
with an exclusive never to be repeated almost 50% off all my Fine Art Prints. Please visit my website and chose which image you would like based on your pledge level.
Below are a few examples of the prints available, there are many more on my website. View specific rewards to see sizes.
- A4 (21.0 x 29.7cm, 8.27 x 11.69 inches)
- A3 (29.7 x 42.0cm, 11.69 x 16.53 inches)
- A2 (42.0 x 59.4cm, 16.53 x 23.39 inches)
- A1 (59.4 x 84.1cm, 23.39 x 33.11 inches)
Please visit my website www.stephenbelcher.net and go to my Fine Art Prints Section to select which print you would like as your reward.
Each photograph is printed on Fuji Crystal Archive photographic paper, which has the highest rating for image longevity; estimated at 60 to 70 years. This paper is considered to be the industry standard for fine art printing, offering vivid colour reproduction ranging from subtle shades of green to vivid blues and reds.
All Images are approx. half-off retail.
Prices for this Kickstarter Project will not be Repeated.
A Final Thank You ... and how you can help for free!
Thank you for taking the time to watch my video and read this page. Even if you don’t feel able to financially support my project, I would appreciate your backing by linking it to your Facebook page, Twitter account or other social media apps you have. This is a great way to help make sure this project is successful!
Below are a few examples of the prints available, there are many more on my website. www.stephenbelcher.net
Risks and challenges
The main risks and challenges I will face on this project are the following:
Climate – risk of monsoon season running longer than usual although the current climatic conditions are well within normal parameters, and are not expected to change.
Location – risk of injury or illness to me or the rangers accompanying me. However, I will be carrying first aid equipment and will have had all the necessary vaccinations.
Logistical – risk of damage or malfunction to equipment during transit, although everything will be very securely packed and protected to reduce this risk as much as possible.
Operating – risk of damage to equipment and camera traps by the rhino themselves – they have been known to charge traps or trample them. I will protect against this risk by ensuring that camera traps, whilst in suitable locations, are less likely to be within easy reach of an irate rhino!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)