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Conan Dumenil

Conan was born and raised in the South of India and has always been drawn to the call of the wild. While studying business and then later tourism in college, he got his first taste of the jungle and has never looked back since. Conan initially trained as a naturalist with an acclaimed wildlife lodge in Corbett National Park at the foothills of the Himalayas, and has guided nature trips to various regions of India, Nepal and Bhutan since 2004.
 
In addition to leading trips, Conan has assisted television crews with documentaries for Discovery, Animal Planet and the National Geographic channel, and has documented animal and bird calls through audio recordings.

Conan also worked with a conservation initiative that focused on snakes and snakebite mitigation. While in charge of education and outreach, he led experiential learning programs about ecology, conservation, wilderness skills and cross-cultural interactions. He also designed and conducted summer wilderness camps for children, collected and documented reptiles, amphibians and insects for research, and worked on captive care of various reptiles.

His interest in photography started in college when he “borrowed” his father’s Pentax film camera. A few years later, Conan bought a Nikon film camera with his first paycheck and almost exclusively shot slides. Developing film while living out in the wilderness was an arduous process that took weeks to even months before he saw the results. However, a foundation in film was an excellent way to learn the fundamentals of nature photography.

A keen ecologist, Conan enjoys observing the dynamics of the natural world and sharing his experiences with others. Therefore, he enjoys camera "down time" as much as looking through the lens. Capturing the curiosities of animal behavior, especially interesting and sometimes humorous moments, is one way to describe Conan’s photography style. Having a strong understanding of his wildlife photo subjects makes it possible for him to capturing those rare moments on camera. Conan also loves playing around with light and using ambient conditions to highlight or lend character to the situation. He believes that pictures should tell the story of your subject, and that unusual and sometimes dramatic light can add an extra dimension to the visual narrative. You can view some of Conan's photography portfolio on Instagram at @aquilasoaring.

When Conan is not leading trips, he occupies himself (much to his wife’s amusement) with gardening, woodworking, brewing, do-it-yourself projects, and whenever possible, more hiking, herping, photography and birding.

Enjoy this selection of Conan's nature photography:

What’s in Conan's Camera Bag:

Camera Bag
Personally customized Tactical MOLLE backpack with inner padding, external modular compartments and a rain cover

Camera Equipment
Canon 60D body
Tamaron 100 to 400 mm Di VC f/4.5-6.3
Canon 50mm f/1.8
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Xiaomi Redimi Note 7s smartphone
Bushnell Trophy HD trail camera
Digitek tripod
Digitek Gorilla tripod mini
Cotton drawstrng bag
Dust blower

Post-Processing Software Expertise
Adobe Lightroom
Adobe Photoshop
Fotor
Photos (iOS and OsX)
GIMP

Upcoming Adventures with Conan:

Natural Jewels of Bhutan & Nepal
India's Tigers & Wildlife: A Photo Safari

Praise from Nat Hab Travelers:

D. Snow
"Conan was the absolute best! I cannot say enough good things about him. He was knowledgeable, kind, informative, caring, helpful, patient, an excellent communicator and looked out for everyone's best interest. Nat Hab is very fortunate to have someone the caliber of Conan on their staff. My wife and I both love this guy!"

J. Baker
"Conan is now one of my favorites. His good humor, professionalism and helpfulness were sincere. He embodied what I have come to expect from my Nat Hab Expedition Leaders."

J. Mathews

"Conan is one of the best Expedition Leaders Nat Hab has. He is sincerely interested in every aspect of the trip and is so knowledgeable. He is amazing."

C. Griffiths
"Conan was a great Expedition Leader, like all other Nat Hab leaders we have experienced. He was extremely knowledgeable about the wildlife and regional history. He was also very personable. He took the time to talk with, and get to know, each person on the trip. He is a very social person, willing to listen and share his knowledge and things about his personal life. My wife loved talking with him about our families."

R. Lock
"Conan was the best Expedition Leader we could imagine—knowledgeable, helpful whenever necessary, professional and also a great companion. We plan to keep in touch!"
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