In addition to a passion for discovery, teaching and adventure, Court is a professional nature and wildlife photographer, always eager to share his knowledge and creative guidance with his guests. Whether it’s macro photography of poison arrow frogs in Costa Rica, the vast desert landscapes of Namibia, or charismatic polar bears on the frozen tundra of Canada, no subject is off limits when it comes to Court’s enthusiasm for photography and sharing tips with his guests.
Court’s self-described photographic style is considerably varied, with wildlife photography taking center stage. However, he is equally intrigued with featuring the landscape and habitat of wildlife in a creative, captivating way that shows off both the setting and the animal subject. Capturing animal behavior and expressions (the more unique the better!) is equally important to Court, and he tends to opt for dramatic, bold colors that make a big instant impression. In addition to his select portfolio below, check out Court's recently published book on monarch butterfly photography. You can also view his photography tutorials on The Natural Photographer and follow his latest portfolio additions on Instagram at @court_whelan.
When he isn’t planning and leading nature safaris, you’ll find Court hiking and trail running in the Colorado backcountry, or more likely working on post-processing his photos from a recent expedition.
Enjoy this selection of Court's nature photography:
What’s in Court’s Camera Bag:
Peak Design Backpack 45L
Canon R5 Mirrorless Full Frame Body
Canon 16-35mm f/2.8
Canon 24-105mm f/4
Canon 50mm f/1.8
Canon 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1
Manfrotto tripod with pistol-grip tripod head
Peak Design tripod
Gorillapod travel tripod
iPhone 13 Pro
Macro Setup for Select Trips
Canon 100m f/2.8 Macro
Ring Light and LED Flash
Post-Processing Software Expertise
Adobe Camera Raw
Upcoming Adventures with Court:
Praise from Nat Hab Travelers:
"Court was wonderful. I would gladly go on any of his future trips. He listened to everyone and worked with them on their level. He gave me private time which I greatly appreciated. The knowledge I learned from him will definitely help me in my photography journey. I have nothing but nice things to say.
"Court was amazing! He knew EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING: wildlife, environment, culture, history, photography, etc. He had a great sense of humor and remained cool and organized throughout the trip. We didn't have to do anything except show up. He paid attention to every detail including getting a birthday cake for one our participants! I leaned a lot about photography, which was the biggest reason I wanted to go. He was truly an amazing guide."
"I can't imagine a better Expedition Leader than Court—he definitely deserves a 10+ above and beyond rating! He was so knowledgeable about everything, really fun to be around and an incredible photographer. Every day, every excursion was beyond amazing. I’m still in awe of all the wildlife we saw. It was an incredible experience in every way."
"Court exceeds any number you could possibly assign. His knowledge as both a naturalist and photographer is unsurpassed, and he is endlessly gracious and enthused about sharing it. He is a terrific guide and an even better human being."
"Court was very informative and tailored his comments to the level of understanding of the participants, which in this case was very high. He has a wealth of knowledge, and his help with photography was terrific. I have traveled on several photo trips with other companies, and Nat Hab puts them to shame. I have never received so much information from a guide."
"Besides getting great information about nature and photography, I have learned many life lessons from Court. His passion for saving the world is refreshing and gives me hope that this planet will survive for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren."
"Court was very friendly and a good listener. I would not hesitate to take another trip
"Court is invaluable to the company.
"Court was fantastic. I have traveled to many places with a variety of groups, and Court is one of the very best. He has a way of putting people at ease and helped to make our trip safe while keeping things moving for the group. Overall, he did a fantastic job."
"I found Court to be an organized group manager, who effectively handled all the matters of room assignments, transportation, baggage details etc. In addition, he was endlessly patient, personable and always informative."
"Court played a big role in our overall enjoyment of the trip. Quite simply put, he is an outstanding guide."
"Court was amazing. He was helpful and I learned a lot about the local area and about photographing the lights. It was a pleasure having him as our guide."
"Court was an excellent guide. He was extremely knowledgeable and full of enthusiasm. I had such a great time and would definitely go on another trip that he leads."
"Court is an outstanding guide. He is professional while at the same time playful. He always maintains a sense of humor. His knowledge of the areas we visited was impressive and he was always eager and excited to share.
"I don't think I've met anyone better suited to being an Expedition Leader. He's a true professional, calm in all situations; attentive to everyone; courteous and helpful to anyone who needs assistance; knows more than any guide I've ever come across and is able to communicate his knowledge to others; and his instructions are always clear. He looks out for the safety of his group members (i.e. assisting others walking on icy walkways from the restaurant to the van).
"Court is incredibly knowledgeable about wildlife, geology, northern lights and photography. We couldn’t have asked for a better Expedition Leader. He was very patient with individuals in the group. He kept us informed as our schedule was changed due to weather, and he had alternative activities provided to keep us occupied and to learn more about Arctic cultures. We travel extensively, and this was our
"Please let me know how to nominate Court for 'sainthood.' He is an amazing individual with the patience of no one I have ever met. He was incredibly attentive to everyone's needs in our group. He is a credit to your
"Court is an exceptional Expedition Leader and is really in a league of his own. He is very well-organized and was on top of every aspect of our trip. He is the only man I know that can multitask! Humble yet extremely knowledgeable, he eagerly shared what he knew about Winnipeg, Churchill, photography, the wildlife and geology of the areas we traveled through, and everything we needed or wanted to know about the Aurora Borealis. His enthusiasm matched ours and he was very helpful to all of us with photography tips and adjusting the settings on each of our cameras to best photograph the northern lights. He has a good sense of humor and made us laugh every day.