We have been running our Welsh Birds of Prey workshop for a number of years now, so it is important to keep things fresh, especially for guests who have attended before. On this occasion, we took along a water pump & a wooden wheel to facilitate some special setups.
The water pump has been used before but we got so many requests to bring it to the autumn workshop that we couldn’t refuse. The shot we were trying to achieve was one where you could just make out the water pump. This involved experimenting with where to position the pump to ensure that enough light fell on the Barn Owl and playing with exposure settings on the camera. Continue reading →
We conduct our Birds of Prey workshop in Mid-Wales for many reasons, the main one being that our falconer is also a farmer who has a great photographic eye. He has also allowed some of his buildings to fall into rack & ruin to give us some fabulous settings for our photography workshop. Continue reading →
We ran our Autumn Birds of Prey workshop a little later than usual to try & get more autumnal colours. Ian enjoyed our Spring Birds of Prey workshop so much that he decided to join us again. The workshop started with our usual 2 hours Saturday taster session. The weather forecast didn’t look great, so we brought the workshop forward to avoid the worst of the rain.
We kept the sessions short so that the birds wouldn’t get too wet. Some, like the peregrine falcon & kestrel, didn’t seem to be bothered by the rain as you can see below. I love how Ian has captured the water on the birds’ heads. Continue reading →
Sean has sent in a selection of images that he captured whilst co-leading the NaturesLens Autumn Birds of Prey Photography Workshop during October 2017 – we are splitting them amongst a trio of blog posts – this is the first, focussed on what you’d probably describe as classic portrait images.
We always have a good selection of birds to work with; Steve our falconer ensures that the birds are in perfect condition for us & communicates with us the week before to ensure that the timetable for the sessions take in the best opportunities that we can offer.
One of the barn owls makes a guaranteed appearance on our workshops – we are lucky in that the land which we use has a large number of farm buildings on it that we can make use of – here Sean has framed the barn owl in a ramshackle algae-covered barn door.
Second appearance for the barn owl, this time framed in the broken window of one of the farm yard buildings!
A bird that has – to date – only made a few appearances on our Birds of Prey Photography Workshops, the kestrel, here posed amongst the heather.
Previously nervous, the kestrel was quite happy posing & here is seen posed on one of the fence posts at the back of the farm yard.
Always a rock-star as far as we are concerned, the long-eared owl that we have available is so chilled out & poses so beautifully, always alert & focussed on the photographers.
Until recently, the peregrine falcon had not been used on our Birds of Prey Workshops, however, gradually over the last three, this bird has become a regular feature, we almost always set up the shots for this bird amongst a small quarry area, which leads to some interesting textural contrasts.
Apparently now over it’s workshop-shyness, the kestrel looks to be ready to become a regular workshop subject.
An old favourite, the buzzard, five years ago, this female was first introduced to workshop attendees at one of our events, now, she doesn’t bat an eyelid – as long as she has food from our falconer, in exchange for posing at the top of one of his hills for the group.
2018 Birds of Prey Photography Workshops
Once again in 2018, we are running a pair of Birds of Prey Photography Workshops in mid-Wales; as mentioned above, Sean is taking over the reins from us, we cannot wait to see the results that our guests obtain with his guidance!
July was my second Puffins of Skomer Island Photography Holiday of 2017 for NaturesLens. This time I was to be co-leading the trip with the talented Kevin Morgans. He has a wealth of puffin photography experience so I was sure that it was going to be another amazing trip.
The trip for me started off at Gatwick airport. I was collecting a guest – who will be contributing his own Puffins of Skomer blog, I understand – Csaba, a long-time friend of David & Pui Hang, who was flying over from Hungary just to come & photograph the Puffins! It was great to have some company during the long 6 hour drive from Kent to the South West of Wales.
Kevin & myself met the rest of the group the following morning at Martins Haven which is where the boat departs from to Skomer Island. After a meet & greet everyone loaded their bags & food supply on the boat & off we went.
The weather forecast on arrival was not that great at all, Thick sea mist & heavy rain. Typical British summer weather!
Once everything was unloaded from the boat the group all made our way to the farm house which was going to be our home for the duration of the trip. Kevin & myself then gave a short briefing to the group asking what images & photography help they wanted to get out of the trip. I would say around 90% of the group wanted to learn or improve their bird in flight photography & also wanted to learn how to get a Puffin in flight with a very dark background. It is always useful when a big group of guests want to achieve the same thing, as allows us as guides to group people up to teach them all the same thing.