Learn how to take better pictures of wildlife with your digital camera!
On this full day course (09:00-16:45) you will learn the essentials of taking compelling images of a variety of animals.
The British Wildlife Centre (on the A22 near Lingfield, Surrey) contains the best collection of native British wildlife with about forty different species represented. This special photography day takes place on a day when the BWC is closed to the general public and we will have fantastic opportunities to get really close to a large variety of animals.
We will be escorted by a keeper throughout the day. This ensures we get the very best access and views of the animals.
Photography inside animal enclosures
We will have the opportunity to photograph some of the animals inside their enclosures, with the main attractions being otters, foxes and Scottish wildcats. We will also be going in the walk-through red squirrel enclosure which provides excellent access to these entertaining little creatures.
The enclosures are designed to replicate the animals’ natural settings and this works in our favour as there are opportunities to get natural-looking shots of the animals.
It is important to note, however, that access inside any enclosure is solely at the discretion of the keepers. The welfare interests of the animals and the health and safety of all individuals is paramount.
Another star attraction is the opportunity to photograph a couple of different owls close-up. BWC has a great selection of owls, including the little owl, eagle owl, barn owl, tawny owl and snowy owl. Which owls we get to photograph is somewhat dependent on conditions on the day, but usually it is the barn owl and tawny owl.
Please note that on this workshop the owls on display will all be perched.
Places are limited to ten (10) so that each participant gets plenty of time for personal tuition.
We will start the day with a photography briefing session in which may cover any or all of the following topics:
shutter speed, aperture, ISO & relation between them — shutter priority/aperture priority — exposure compensation — common types of cameras & sensors — types of lenses — depth of field — manual focus vs. autofocus — metering methods — histogram — colour temperature & white balance — RAW vs. JPEG — filters — previsualisation — composition — digital processing and printing
If there is anything you’d like particular help with, please let me know in advance and I’ll do my best to make sure we cover it during the workshop.
This workshop is suitable for complete beginners as well as advanced amateurs.
In terms of equipment having the ability to get to a focal length of at least 300mm will be an advantage (500 mm would be great). This could be a 70-200mm lens on a cropped sensor DSLR, the same lens with a 1.4x teleconverter on a full frame sensor, or a 100-400 mm lens etc. You will need to be able to carry all your equipment with you from the meeting point. Please bring plenty of memory cards as they fill up quickly with wildlife shooting.
Also please bring wet weather gear for yourself and your camera as the workshop will go ahead whatever the elements throw at us.
The following is a sample itinerary for the day, although it is of course subject to change depending on conditions on the day:
- 9.00 am — Arrival & tea/coffee (at the BWC Visitor Centre)
- 9.15 am — Photography briefing session (please arrive in good time as our time is limited)
- 10.00 am — Red squirrels, foxes, Scottish wildcats, hedgehogs, deer
- 1 pm — Lunch (provided)
- 1.30 pm — Harvest mice, barn owl and tawny owl (perched), otters, polecats, mink and water voles, badgers
- 4 pm — Debriefing session and Q&A (Visitor Centre)
- 4.45 pm — Close
The cost of the wildlife photography day is only £145, which includes tea, coffee and biscuits on arrival, a sandwich lunch, and photography tuition.
Please contact Adriaan if you have any questions about the day or if you have special requirements.
What Previous Participants Have Said
- “An unforgettable day, beginning with the perfect cup of coffee, help setting up my camera, and a briefing from Adriaan on the day ahead. I learned so much about how to capture fast-moving subjects, loved the animals, perfectly shown off to us with skill and infinite patience by keeper Tom. Adriaan is excellent company, imparting knowledge with a light touch, and it was only at the end of the day that I realised how little I had known at the beginning of it. My favourites were the Scottish wildcats, the tawny and barn owls, the red squirrels and Hugo the hedgehog, who was hand-reared by Tom … I could go on. The British Wildlife Centre is a very special place, doing great work, and having access to the enclosures was wonderful. A particular highlight was sitting by the pond with two beautiful otters who were engaging and friendly. Best of all, thanks to Adriaan, I have photographs to treasure and will photograph wildlife with much more confidence in future.” Janice Warman, Sussex
- “A huge thank you to Adriaan and the lovely people at the British Wildlife Centre for a fabulous day of photography. I had a great time meeting other like-minded group members, and having Adriaan’s advice, expertise, guidance and support was of real benefit. It was an amazing experience and a real privilege to step inside the enclosures and get up close to the gorgeous animals. Another reminder that the natural world is precious and we must love and protect it. I would absolutely recommend this experience to anyone considering it. Thanks Adriaan!” Laura Griffin, London
- “It was a fantastic workshop! I enjoyed it so much I might come back … Thank you Adriaan for your help, advice and expertise, and helping me with the camera focus! So many lovely images!” Elena Gamble, Kent