Sage of the Forest - Donal Boyd
Sage of the Forest - Donal Boyd
Sage of the Forest - Donal Boyd
Sage of the Forest - Donal Boyd
Sage of the Forest - Donal Boyd

Sage of the Forest

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Title: Sage of the Forest

Location: Central Kalimantan, Borneo, 2019

We’d been living in the Jungle for a few weeks by this point when we met up with our friend Josh Boorman. He’s an Australian who operates a trekking outfit in Central Kalimantan. His mission, like ours, was to introduce the world to the forest and to change their perspective. Josh and his guides want people to realize just how much we depend on the forest. And to understand its fragility. In the hopes, these people will become cheerleaders when they return home and proponents to help save and protect the forest.

When this photo was captured, I was in Borneo on assignment for BTS Nature, a conservation media agency that I co-founded in 2019. This moment on the river in a remote corner of the forest was the pinnacle of all my experiences with wildlife. To say the least, I’m still processing it.

To set the scene. The BTS Nature crew was in Southern Borneo for the better part of a month documenting the protection and restoration of the forest led by a local NGO called Friends of the National Parks Foundation (FNPF). Stationed at their base of operations, which borders Tanjung Puting National Park, we’d seen their dedication to restoring the forest that had been burned as they planted tens of thousands of trees to maintain the balance of the ecosystem. We’d also seen them battle intensely against the fires intentionally set by locals to clear the pristine forest for palm oil production. With little more than water packs and sandals, they’d head straight into infernos, trying to put out the fires that threatened the National Park. It’s a constant struggle. Planting trees as the outside world presses inward on the last remaining intact jungle of the region. More than 50% of the jungle in Borneo is gone. But they never give up hope.

3-Hours after entering the narrowing river from the ocean by speed boat we reached the ranger station in the center of the National Park. Even here the smoke from fires on the border of the park still lingered in the air. So, we were not immune to the sense of pressure of the outside world here. Our guide, the legendary Arbain, had gotten word from the rangers of where we could find a group of Orangutan that he himself knew quite well. A local, Arbain grew up with an affinity for the forest and his knowledge of animal behavior and the ecosystem is incredible. It’s almost as if he could read the jungle cues like a book. And he knew the volumes of their stories by heart.

Soon enough, we found ourselves floating up to several females and a youngster. They clung to trees on the shoreline and all of us speechless could hardly hold back the crying. Why we all silently burst into streams of tears is beyond me, but we did. After some hours melted away observing their subtleties, we moved from the boats and into the water. Led by Arbain, who assured us there were no crocodiles or snakes, we stood neck-deep in the water looking up at the Orangutans on the bank of the river.

After some time, there was a moment when their mood changed in an instant. Above us. The birds flew overhead, squawking. The trees rustled franticly in the distance as females appeared ever more anxious. Then, like out of a Jurassic Park scene, he appeared triumphantly. Bursting through the thickets. Tall and mighty. We were just as affixed as the rest of the Orangutan at his impressive stance. And he assumed the position without much hesitation. From the muddy waters where we stood, he towered above us as he looked calmly towards our small group.

A single frame captured not by looking through the viewfinder of the camera, but by looking at him looking at us. All of the intensity collapsed into a moment of pure calm and ease.

I wondered at that moment; does he realize? Does he understand? Perhaps he does and desperately wishes he could vocalize. Afterward, still in shock, we all agreed that the most astonishing thing about being in his presence is that we actually did expect him to say something. To speak on the behalf of the forest. To bestow his wisdom. To convince the world that this Forest, his home, is not worth the destruction, the fires, and the tragedy. But he couldn’t speak. So, we must speak for him. We have to stand up for what he wishes he could.

Thankfully, there are people who do stand by his side already. FNPF, Orangutan Trekking Tours. The guests who have visited the forest and returned home with a new mindset. Me. The BTS Nature crew. And now you.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The sizing for this image are different from the standard for the following sizes:

SMALL: The dimensions are the same as the standard Small print size. I wanted to give the option of a larger subject, so the orientation and crop for this size print help to distinguish the Orangutan. 

EXTRA LARGE: For this image, ONLY the XL Size is the following dimensions. The total size is 66 x 49.4 in with no border. Edition of 15. I decided to print this image in XL in landscape to draw in the focus to the subject even more powerfully. This is one of the sharpest portraits I’ve ever captured. Period. Using a 150 Megapixel medium format camera. I recommend a custom frame for this size.

Charity: 50% of the XL profits will go to support FNPF and their mission. During this 48-hour sale, because it’s 50% off. Will you stand for those who cannot speak? You can also donate directly to FNPF on their website via PayPal. 



Secure Delivery: Because the packages provided by the supplier are so protective, prints are rarely damaged. However, if a package does arrive damaged and the print is also damaged, you can contact me directly by email. You’ll need to photograph the package and the print and send the details to along with your order number and tracking info.

Delivery Time: Orders ship out within 24-hours of your purchase, but can take up to 15-days to arrive, so please have patience. I'm using the trusted service of theprintspace located in London, UK. They're incredible, but only offer Flat Rate Worldwide shipping, which is limited in terms of order tracking numbers. From my experience so far with the previous print sale, everyone has received their orders, but due to COVID delays, things seems to take a bit longer than normal. Keep in mind that I'm all alone in trying to manage the print store right now, but I promise, you will get your print!

Estimated Average Shipping Times. 

  • Europe: 3-5 Days
  • USA & Canada: 7-9 Days
  • Rest of the World: Up to 10 Days 

As a final request, please consider emailing me only after 15-days from the day you purchased. I wish I could respond to every customer with the tracking details, but it's quite overwhelming since I've received hundreds of orders during the most recent sale period. I wish the system was automated, but unfortunately it's all manual at the moment. Thank you for your patience and consideration. 

Exchanges & Returns:

Straight refunds are not accepted as these are limited editions prints, but I’m confident you’re going to love the print and cherish it forever. But if it isn’t what you expected, or it’s somehow damaged you can exchange it for free. Once the package is delivered, you’ll have 5-days to notify me via email if the print is either damaged or if you’d like to exchange it for another of equal value. Shipping is free if the print is damaged, but if you want to exchange the print, you’ll need to cover the shipping costs, plus the cost of the prints. Unfortunately, I  cannot accept back prints that have been delivered as there is too high a risk of them being damaged or lost in the shipping. I do not keep an inventory of prints as all orders are made within 24-hours of purchase and shipped out from the print lab in London or Germany. Therefore, because I do not keep a stock, I cannot accept back prints for this reason.

Secure Payment: Card details are never stored and if using any other payment method like PayPal, I’ll never have access to any of your sensitive payment details. Everything is handled through Shopify and is fully encrypted.

What is the option to pay in instalments on Shop Pay?

When checking out with Shop Pay, you now have the option to pay now or later. Paying in instalments on Shop Pay allows you to split your purchase amount into 4 equal, biweekly instalment payments—with 0% interest, no hidden or late fees, and no impact on your credit score. In some instances, your first payment is due when you make your purchase; otherwise, your first payment is due 2 weeks after your purchase.

Are there late fees with Shop Pay?

No, there are no late fees if you miss a scheduled payment.

Which payment methods are accepted if I use the option to pay Instalments on Shop Pay?

The instalments option on Shop Pay is available on debit and credit cards.

Edition Numbers: All prints are limited edition. Once the edition sells out there is never going to be another printed. Ever. At this time I can not accommodate special requests for specific edition numbers. Although it is a common practice when purchasing through galleries and exhibitions to ask for a specific edition number, the ordering system that I currently have in place does not allow for easy modifications after the order is placed online. For artwork that has a history of sales, you may receive a random  As such, if you order two prints of the same image, you might not get consecutive edition numbers. For example, you might get Edition 5 of 15 and 1 of 15 for the same image even though you order the prints at the same time and even if the print appears to be almost sold out online. 

Any other Questions: Feel free to contact me via email:


When you purchase my artwork, you're also affirming your own belief in sustainable business practices. 

Every ounce of carbon emissions produced through shipping by air or vehicle is offset via The Gold Standard.

One of the chief reasons why I chose to work with theprintspace to produce my work is their strong commitment to sustainability and the environment. They're so committed to nature that even the servers where the images are hosted online have a carbon offset - completely carbon-neutral end-to-end! You can read more about their policy and track record of being carbon neutral on their website. Learn More.



From the paper, to the tape being used to package the prints and send them to you worldwide, each material carefully selected to reduce our impact on the environment whilst still ensuring your orders get to you in perfect condition.


Hundreds of people have ordered and received prints. And I'm happy to report a 4.9 out of 5 customer satisfaction rating based on direct surveys. I've put literally thousands of hours into the portraits that I release as prints and it's enormously encouraging to know that the hard work is appreciated. Thank You!



I purchased Wilder, Hidden Danger, Sage of the Forest, and Elephants Never Forget. I bought a few for myself and a few as gifts for family. These images were my favorite, both for the stories of how Donal captured them, but also for the connection between the animals and the photographer. The photos convey a deep respect for the animals in the way that they seem to be peering into your eyes as you look at them. Such a sacred moment in time, captured in a beautiful photograph. The prints arrived in perfect condition due to careful packaging. All the prints are absolutely stunning and are even more captivating in person. I can't wait to have these on my walls.


I like the fact that you work with Nature Conservancy Organisations, I like to read your posts and ideas about environment concerns and... I love the photos!  I also appreciate other photos from other photographers, and I buy specially books. But I want to have a big print from you in my house because your photos have a very special thing... Difficult to explain what it is... It has been a very instinctive story since I started following your IG account. They have a strong character, a rich colour. To me your photos are like a very tasteful crossing between a photograph and a painting. And the fact that the animals are portrait as serious as I'm used to see a human portrait being done but without losing the wilderness layer.


We've been long time fans of Donal's photography and love his photos online. This print is even more stunning in person and was printed on thick high quality paper as expected. We love his elephant series and are glad to have helped support his conservation mission.

Bryan & Cassandra
Boston, MA, USA

I have several of Donal's large artworks. I bought the first big Elephant photograph in 2019. Donal’s enormous talent combined with his passion about wildlife provide him with the ability to bring us connection and closeness with nature and the animals he depicts. The giant Elephant hangs on the wall of our TV room and it’s like having a piece of Africa in our home.

São Paulo, Brazil

Through his photography, Donal is able to capture astonishing moments of sincerity that are easily overlooked. The Sage of the Forest's expression reveals his acknowledgement of us, the spectator, and gently reminds us of the strong sense of humanity that these beautiful creatures exhibit. It is a privilege to be able to support both Donal and this vulnerable species through this beautiful piece of art. Thank you Don! 

Donal is able to capture astonishing moments of sincerity in a countless number of creatures and locations. The Sage of the Forest's gentle expression conveys emotions that aren't easily explained with words. There is a level of acknowledgement on The Sage's behalf that asks nothing of us, the spectator, and reminds us of the strong sense of humanity that these beautiful creatures are capable of. It also serves as a reminder of how vulnerable this species is, and how nature asks nothing of us despite the abundance it provides humanity with. It is a privilege to be able to support Donal through this beautiful piece of art. Thank you Don!


We've been collectors of Donal's work for years. Although we've never been to many of the places where Donal visits, we feel like we have. His art on our walls brings us closer to nature that the world must learn to protect. We look forward to purchasing more of Donal's work in support of his conservation efforts.


A couple of years ago a stumbled upon this photograph on Instagram. I was immediately sold by the mystical energy of it, the beautiful dynamic composition, the beautiful patterns of the giraffes popping up against the dark green trees (what a color by the way!). I saved the photograph on my phone.

I have always had a certain attraction towards giraffes. These animals are so magnificent. Their height, their unique skin pattern, the way they walk and especially run is with so much bravura, its so gracious. They have always fascinated me. So when I learned about the big sale I did not doubt for a second and bought one of my favourite photographs. I am so happy with it!


The photographs came quickly and without issue from Europe. They are of exceptional quality with a certificate of authenticity for each one! I am beyond thrilled to support Donal and his conservation photography. Can’t wait to frame these beautiful photos!


I believe it is called Motherhood, with the baby elephant and mother. The print I bought from you two years ago of the elephant has been in my daughter's room since she was born, in part to hopefully make her passionate about animals and conservation as she grows up. I got this print for her/my wife as it felt representative of their relationship and I can't wait to hang it in my daughter's room to compliment her current picture.

Boston, MA, USA

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