My name is Niki Colemont. I’m 34 years old, living in Belgium in a village called Diepenbeek. I was born in Rwanda in 1986, just a few years before the genocide started.
When the Rwandan Genocide war began in 1990 my ante brought me and my sister to an orphanage for adoption. I was 4 years old and my sister 9 years old. I have never known my real parents my mother died while giving birth to me. My dad died in the war.
Now recently in 2019, I lost my sister she was only 38 years old. The moment she died it was like a piece of my past died with me. I miss her every day.
Currently, I take photos of squirrels in creative and entertaining poses in my girlfriend’s grandmother’s garden. I started doing it in 2016 with no formal education and I learned everything through trial and error. When I saw my first squirrel in her garden, I bought a squirrel feeder to get them on the same tree each day. I went to a local animal store and bought peeled walnuts to place in the feeder. I waited for 2 months, then the magic happened: the first squirrel learned how to open the feeder and 5 days later, 2 new squirrels did the same thing. I was so happy! On my 30th birthday, I bought myself a tele-lens to use on my Nikon D5200 and a wildlife hide tent for observation.
Blocking my view
Buying these 2 things opened up a new world full of opportunities. I started to build a natural setup for the squirrels and placed food on the setup each day. My brain was on fire and I started to get ideas—my goal was to get the squirrels into special poses without using Photoshop, thinking about things nobody else had done before.
For 4 years, I’ve used food in every setup, but I have to place it in such a way that it won’t be visible in the pictures. In 4 years of shooting squirrels, I had some images and moments I will never forget.
Guys don’t look any further my squirrels found a cure for the coronavirus. You can see the bubble in the syringe.
Squirrels of duty
One of my funniest moments as a wildlife photographer. I Could not stop laughing when I took this picture, I had to laugh in silent mode. Normally squirrels are always fighting but these are 2 young squirrels.
I spent about 5 hours a day for 4 years observing my little friends. I had days when nothing in front of me happened. It’s important to not give up and always to go back and try to capture that one image you have in mind. The moment my sister died I was broken I did not want to pick up my camera for a long period. Eventually, time by time I found the power again in nature photography I was still blessed with the squirrels that visited each day and I had a lot of support from my parents-in-law and my girlfriend as I don’t have any contact with my adoptive parents.
Little Voodoo man
The most precious image I have ever made! No photoshop used, food is behind the mask. Worked 4 hours on this setup.
Battle Of the year
This shot took my 3 days because the Dino looked a bit dangerous, and the squirrels had to adapt to the Dino they didn’t trust the Dino.
Jump for joy
When the corona started and all the borders closed in Belgium I could not go to work. with all the free time I had, I started to build a jumping setup for the squirrels. spend a lot of time capturing some highspeed jumps.
Squirrels can jump
I’m naturally a very positive guy, always smiling and dancing. I don’t take life too seriously and that’s what I wanted to show people in my pictures. I want them to be happy when they see my pictures. The world has to be a happy place!
The post I Found Peace In Photographing Squirrels After I Survived The Rwandan Genocide War first appeared on Bored Panda.
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