In December 2013, NaturesLens took a group to Scotland for their Winter Wildlife Photography Workshop.
The tour started with a Birds of Prey workshop in the woods. As it was a windy day, this location was perfect since the trees protected both photographers & the birds. The size of the woods also meant we were spoilt for choice for settings & backgrounds.
Over the next few days, everyone got wonderful photographic images of red squirrels, woodland birds & crested tits.
There was drama one day when a sparrowhawk appeared out of nowhere & snatched a coal tit out of mid air. The speed in which the sparrowhawk descended & grabbed its prey caught everyone by surprise. Typically, no one managed to get the shot!
On the last day of the main workshop, snow arrived. Just in time for our deer photography. The snow came down so thick & fast that by the time we arrived at our location, the entire forest looked like a scene out of Narnia.
This enchanted forest was just a photographer’s dream. The perfect setting for a winter wildlife photography workshop.
When the deer workshop ended, we said goodbye to the guests who were not staying for the weekend. We then moved to our second base in Aviemore to welcome our new guests.
The target species for the weekend were red squirrels & crested tits on the Black Isle, red deer in Aviemore, followed by mountain hares in the Cairngorm mountains.
Most of the snow had gone by the second deer session on the Saturday, but this just meant different photographic opportunities.
The highlight of the weekend were the magnificent mountain hares. These hardy mammals live on the side of the mountain & simply hunker down in blizzard conditions as the snow gathers around them & the temperature drops.
Our guides for the mountain hares included James Moore – a fantastic photographer in his own right as well as being an expert guide. The snow had started to fall when we left the hotel. By the time we got to our destination it was almost blizzard-like. Perfect weather for photographing white mountain hares.
Thanks to the eagle eyes of James, we found quite a few hares with many opportunities to photograph these gorgeous creatures. Some of the hares were so confiding that at one point, we were over-lensed whilst using a 300mm lens!
With the weather closing in, the workshop came to an end. We’ve done quite a few workshops in our time but this winter workshop has been the most memorable.
At the time of writing this report, we are finalising the details for our next Scottish Highland Winter Wildlife Photography workshop, which will be in February 2015.
If you would like to know more about this nature photography workshop or even book yourself onto it, please click here.