Meet The Award Winning Bat Photographer: Yuval Barkai

August 12 2022 – Jessica Woodend

Taking portraits of diurnal bats in the urban scenery of Tel Aviv, Israel.

There’s no doubt that you’ve seen much of Barkai’s work on our social media platforms. He has been gracious enough to allow us to post his images of fruit bats that hang out around his apartment in Tel Aviv. He has captured many incredible images of bats flying off with a fruit treat, dipping into the water for a quick drink, or just cruising around the city. We asked him some questions so that we could all get to know the person behind the lens.

Have you always appreciated bats?

Yes, I have, but just as a science lover, appreciating the unique echolocating and flying mammal.

How did you get started photographing bats?

“I have an evening habit of getting some sunset shots on my rooftops. One evening after the sunset was gone, and while transferring photos from my camera to my phone. I noticed bats flying around me. I quickly googled how to photograph flying bats at night, and the rest is history:))”

*A year after, I saw a bat flying near my house during the day, and from that moment, I started photographing just diurnal bats as I was so fascinated by that experience

Do most people in the city love having the bats there?

“Nope, most the people have some terrible stereotype like that bats will tangle with their hair and home, and car owners don’t like the bat painting their walls and cars ;)”

Seeing photos like Barkai’s will hopefully open people’s eyes to the truth, and help them understand the necessity of having bats around.

Do you have a favorite bat species?

“Not really. I photograph mainly Egyptian fruit bats, which are most common in Tel Aviv city. But I appreciate all the bats I know, and I'm excited to learn about any other bats. “

What was one of the most memorable experiences with bats? 

“The first time I held a bat in a bat foster home. I think I had a smile on my face for a couple of hours afterward..”

You can follow Yuval Barkai at @bats.tlv on instagram


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