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From Cambodia to Outback Australia, one Outsider’s bird brained adventures

July 26, 2023 4 min read

From Cambodia to Outback Australia, one Outsider’s bird brained adventures

Outsider Sputnik loves all things nature, and in the past few months they’ve been off doing their thing in Cambodia (hot), Australia’s Limestone Coast (freezing cold) and Outback Australia (hot AND cold!). Find out more about their adventures and being named a finalist in the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition. And you’ll just have to take our word for it they're in this picture somewhere!

When we first met Sputnik it was 2012 and they were off to run a 200+km trail race through the Himalaya in Nepal. These days they're doing a lot less running and a lot more dressing like a tree taking wildlife photos, so we asked them to tell us a bit about what they've been up to lately - including getting the real world low down on wearing io in the heat!

“After having lived in Cambodia 15 years ago, I’m a pretty frequent return visitor, so when Covid travel restrictions finally lifted it was one of the first places on my list to go visit again. This time I booked a guide to help me find some wildlife photography opportunities and off we went.”

On their list were a number of bird species, and one of their other favourite subjects - dragonflies!

An orange dragonfly on the tip of a stick. Image of red dragonfly Image of a pink dragonfly on the tip of a stick

“Oh, the dragonflies over there are fantastic. So if we were having a bad day with the birds, I could always resort to taking pics of dragonflies and compared to the ones we have in Australia, the dragonflies in Cambodia are spectacular! There was one species in particular I was keen to photograph, it’s a bright magenta colour, and when I finally managed to track one down it’s fair to say I was pretty stoked.”

Sputnik covered a lot of ground on their trip, from Mondulkiri Province on the north east of the kingdom, to Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor Wat, all the way down to Kep and Kampot on the South Coast. From Giant Hornbills to the Indochinese Forest Lizard, they managed to capture some amazing wildlife shots along the way.

A Giant Hornbill.
A Indochinese Forest Lizard.

And while Sputnik does the full ‘dress like a tree’ thing, they assure us that underneath it’s io all the way. From socks, boxers, and T-shirt, they say they know it’s hard for most people to wrap their head around wearing merino in warmer weather, but it’s definitely the way to go.

Sputnik with camera and camo gear, standing in front of... Sputnik in a tent carrying a large camera, wearing camo gear, giving a thumbs up.

“In total I did a couple of weeks on the road and in the jungles and I wore basically the same thing almost the entire time.

Always my hiking socks. Soft, comfy, could wear them multiple days without having to worry about washing them or stinking up.

Boxers - but I’ll save you the details suffice to say do not always have the chance to wear a fresh pair every day.

And a Celsius and Universal Tshirt. These things are pretty much my go to in any weather, and when you’re on long road trips between destinations, hiking all day in the heat, or grabbing a drink or bite to eat after, these tees are the bee’s knees.

I know people think it’s marketing BS that merino is good in hot weather, but I can confirm it is the only thing I wore on this trip and it is incredible!"

On returning to Australia they then had a work assignment on South Australia’s Limestone Coast where they took time out to photograph the local wildlife, this time in the freezing cold.

“Yep, same gear, just a bit more of it. Socks. Boxers. Track pants. A long sleeve this time - including the Raglan which is insanely comfortable. And of course my Summit Hoodie. Was VERY cold out there at night, and in the morning, so this stuff was a must!”

Then from the South East corner of the state to far north in the Outback, it was a combo of all those things.

Image of Rock Wallaby

 “The funny thing people who have never been to the Outback don’t realise, is it can be super warm during the day, but icy cold overnight. So having one set of clothes that can get you from cold to warm back to cold again means I can pack less clothes and more camera equipment!”

And finally, the big one - they're a finalist in Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.

“I’m not stupid so I’d say my chances of actually winning are about 0.01%, but just to be in the company of such amazing photographers is pretty epic. It may sound a bit corny, but I love that I can be into nature, capture nature images, and wear natural clothes while I’m doing it. So yeah, this is a pretty big deal for me.”

We wish Sputnik all the best when winners are announced next month, and to see more of their nature images you can follow them on Facebook and Insta. (Heads up, some of their language is as colourful as the wildlife they photograph!)

Image of Common Kingfisher Image of Green Bee Eater