Category Archives: uk tours

Six classic species from the fabulous Scottish Highlands in Winter

Close to home for those of us in the United Kingdom, & not too far for our European friends, the fabulous wildlife of the Scottish Highlands in Winter offers opportunities to capture classic images of several different species, both in portrait style, but also within the environment.

Top of the list for anyone hoping to capture evocative images of the wildlife of the Scottish Highlands has to be the Red Squirrel.
Red Squirrels are just one of the species to photograph during the NaturesLens Wildlife of the Scottish Highlands Photography Holiday
Within the Caledonian forests, you will find the Red Squirrel darting from tree to tree & scampering across the ground in search of food. There are estimated to be only 160,000 red squirrels remaining in the UK, 75% of which are in Scotland. Loss of woodland in the past has caused difficulties for red squirrels, but Scottish forests are currently expanding.
Mountain Hares are amongst the species to photograph whilst in the Scottish Highlands during Winter
Second, slightly harder to obtain images of due to the altitudes at which they live, the Mountain Hare, this species is renowned for turning white in winter to match their upland surroundings; this is just one part of how this creature has adapted to polar & mountainous habitats.
Ptarmigan are just one of the species to photograph during the NaturesLens Wildlife of the Scottish Highlands Photography Holiday
Also found at higher altitudes, & also a species that changes colour according to the season, the Ptarmigan; the ptarmigan is a medium-sized gamebird in the grouse family. In summer, it is a mixture of grey, brown & black above with white bellies & wings. In winter, it becomes white except for its tail & eye-patch, which remain black.
Impressive Red Deer are included in the species to photograph in the Scottish Highlands during Winter
The red deer is Scotland’s largest deer. Males have large, branching antlers, increasing in size as they get older. Red deer are dark russet-brown, with a paler buff rump patch & a light tail. Red deer live on moorland & mountainsides, as well as grasslands near to woodland.
The punk rock Crested Tit is one of the species to photograph during the NaturesLens Wildlife of the Scottish Highlands Photography Holiday
The Crested Tit is a species which you will only find within the Caledonian pine forest of the Scottish Highlands; they appear to be hyperactive birds, often appearing restless as they forage for food in the Scots pines & on the ground. Although they are less colourful than many of the other tit species, they have a striking crest on the top of their head which can be raised & folded back to varying lengths. Their black & white speckled forehead enhances this impressive feature. They also have a black, eyeliner style, mark through the eye & a thin black collar.
The Red Grouse is one of the species to photograph in the Scottish Highlands during Winter
The red grouse is a medium-sized bird of the grouse family which is found in heather moorland in Great Britain & Ireland. It is usually classified as a subspecies of the willow ptarmigan. The red grouse is differentiated from the willow ptarmigan & rock ptarmigan by its plumage being reddish-brown, & not having a white winter plumage. The tail is black & the legs are white. There are white stripes on the underwing & red combs over the eye.
All these species & more besides can be photographed during our new 7-night photography tour to capture images of the fabulous wildlife of the Scottish Highlands, this will take place between the dates of 7th – 14th February 2021. It is ideal for photographing crested tit, mountain hare, ptarmigan, red deer, red grouse, red squirrel & more. The Scottish Highlands in Winter tour is of 7-nights duration & costs £1749 per participant; this wildlife photography holiday takes place in the Inverness area of Scotland within the United Kingdom.

Socially distanced photography holidays & workshops

One of the young seals perfectly silhouetted against the sky photographed during the NaturesLens Grey Seals of the Norfolk Coast photography workshop

We have been asked a number of times about social distancing & how our photography holidays & workshops will change, if they need to.

These requirements for our photography tours will likely change whilst we adapt to a world with a need for guide & guests to be socially distanced.
For our previous comments & our booking guarantee, you can read our main COVID-19 page.
The NaturesLens Grey Seals of the Norfolk Coast photography workshops are amongst the first workshops that we will be running with a need for guide & guests to be socially distanced
The bulk of our trips only take 4-6 guests, this means that we carry on as usual & social distancing is the new normal.
Most of our photography trips do not see strangers sharing same room accommodation, so nothing will change there. Social distancing should be relatively easy; our policy has always been to have single occupancy at no extra charge for the bulk of our holidays unless the persons sharing the room are from the same household.
This applies to our U.K. workshops such as the seal photography weeks being led this year by Robin or trips further afield.
In the case of the seal photography weeks, we will be fully encouraging our guests to use their own transportation to & from the photography locations.
The NaturesLens Grey Seals of the Norfolk Coast photography workshops are amongst the first workshops that we will be running with a need for guide & guests to be socially distanced
On all our photography holidays we will be asking the following
  • That participants maintain a 2m socially distanced gap from each other where possible.
  • That participants wear masks or face coverings at any indoor area made use of during the photography workshop or holiday.
  • That participants understand that we will conduct regular temperature checks for staff & participants.
  • That participants confirm, prior to the photography trip commencing, that they have followed current government guidance, including self-isolating if they (or their contacts) have tested positive or suffer any symptoms.
  • That participants have necessary travel insurance in place in accordance with the regulations of the country in which the photography trip is taking place.
  • That participants have the necessary proof of negative COVID tests which have taken place in accordance with the regulations of the country in which the photography tour is taking place.
  • That participants will follow the guidance & requests of our photography leaders regarding remaining socially distanced when requested to do so.
For transportation on our photography holidays, we will be following the requirements & the regulations of the country in which the photography tour is taking place. Currently, these vary massively by country however, some are easy to answer straight away.
For India, we have only ever had one person per row on the safari jeeps & this is how it will be in the future.
For our photography tour in Costa Rica, we use a 20-seater bus, so our guides & five guests should find it easy to remain socially distanced.
Greece has some interesting regulations & requirements, which means we will have to make some changes, but we will address those nearer the time.
For all other trips, we will be closely following the social distancing requirements & regulations of the respective country.
We will be requesting that all hotels, & other locations that we make use of, where practical, have a published COVID-19 risk assessment & procedures policy which has been made available to us & is in accordance with the regulations of the country in which the photography trip is taking place.

The Seals of Lincolnshire play in the surf

A young seal watches the photographer from the shoreline photographed on the NaturesLens Seals of Lincolnshire Photography Holiday

During the first week of the NaturesLens Grey Seals of Lincolnshire photography holidays, Sean took the group out onto the sandbanks at low tide where they were able to capture images of the seals in the surf. They were lucky enough to get some lovely shots of these iconic mammals swimming around, frolicking in the ocean & curiously popping their heads up through the waves.
A Lincolnshire seal peers at the photographer from the safety of the surf of a beach photographed on the NaturesLens Seals of Lincolnshire Photography Holiday A very young seal watches the photographer from the safety of the surf of a beach photographed on the NaturesLens Seals of Lincolnshire Photography Holiday
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The Seals of Lincolnshire caught in a sand storm

Whilst a sand storm rages around him, one of the seals heads for the surf photographed on the Seals of Lincolnshire Photography Holiday run by NaturesLens

During our Seals of Lincolnshire photography holidays, the first group of guests experienced what can only be described as the most extreme weather conditions. From rainstorms to hailstones & sandstorms to rainbows. The conditions were harsh, but the opportunities presented by the ever-changing weather were completely epic, as evidenced by the images in this blog post.
A pair of the seals rest on the sand whilst a sand storm rages around them photographed on the Seals of Lincolnshire Photography Holiday run by NaturesLens Continue reading

Backlighting the Seals of Lincolnshire

One of the seal moves at speed across the shallow waters at sunrise photographed on the Seals of Lincolnshire Photography Holiday run by NaturesLens

Over the course of the two weeks of our Seals of Lincolnshire photography holidays, our guests were blessed with some excellent light. This gave Sean the opportunity to show them how to produce some creative imagery using the light for side-lit, front-lit & back-lit portraits.
A mother seal and her pup share an intimate moment in the last rays of the day photographed on the Seals of Lincolnshire Photography Holiday run by NaturesLens Continue reading

Two weeks of Grey Seal Photography in Lincolnshire

Close up with a sleeping seal pup photographed on the NaturesLens Seals of Lincolnshire Photography Holiday

During November, I spent two weeks guiding the NaturesLens Grey Seal photography holidays. The Grey Seal is one of Britain’s most charming mammals & my personal favourite subject to photograph so to spend this amount of time with them was an enormous privilege!

With just under half of their global population inhabiting the UK, their curious nature & cuddly appearance make,s these animals fascinating to watch let alone photograph.

This pair of Grey Seal photography trips started at a beautiful fully-equipped cottage with the private beach being a stone’s throw away from the seals. Once the group & I had settled in, we kitted up in our waterproofs & boots & headed to the beach for our first session with the Seals. It was low tide, so we were able to venture straight out to the sandbanks where some of the seal colony stayed.

Detail of a seal pup photographed on the NaturesLens Seals of Lincolnshire Photography Holiday

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Norfolk Seal Photography Workshops & Holidays

An inquisitive seal playing in the surf typical of the type of image that may be captured during the NaturesLens Grey Seals of Norfolk Photography Holiday

Are you may have seen elsewhere, we have launched the follow-up to the 2017 week-long seal photography holiday – that, it has to be said, produced some beautiful imagery – with a week-long seal photography holiday in Norfolk, our first event, for Norfolk Seal Photography is to be conducted in November 2018, specifically November 25November 30 2018 & costs £999.

An inquisitive seal playing in the surf typical of the type of image that may be captured during the NaturesLens Grey Seals of Norfolk Photography Holiday

An image of one of the new-born seal-pups lyiing in the dunes adjacent to a Norfolk Beach - typical of the type of image that may be captured during the NaturesLens Grey Seals of Norfolk Photography Holiday

Sean recently spent several days in the area that the Norfolk Seal photography events will be conducted within, & we thought that you might be interested to see some of the types of imagery that he captured during his brief recce trip for us.

An image of one of the Norfolk seals silhouetted against the setting sun typical of the type of image that may be captured during the NaturesLens Norfolk Seal Photography Events A stunning image of a seal captured silhouetted against the setting sun typical of the type of image that may be captured during the NaturesLens Norfolk Seal Photography Events A mono image of a well fed seal pup on the sand typical of the type of image that may be captured during the NaturesLens Norfolk Seal Photography Events

Join Sean in 2018 to Photograph Norfolk’s Seals

In November 2018, Sean will be leading a week-long holiday focussed on Norfolk Seal photography for NaturesLens, specifically between the dates of November 25 – 30 2018.

The cost is £999 per participant which includes five nights accommodation in a gorgeous cottage on a dinner, bed & breakfast basis; your meals will be warming, homely & plentiful to get you warmed through & filled up after a long day on the beach. Numbers are limited to ensure that the trip is sustainable, ethical & enjoyable for every photographer.

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