26 May 2011

Red Grouse Photography Workshop

I have added a new Red Grouse Photography Workshop in August as this is the perfect time to photograph these birds against the stunning carpet of purple heather. We will visit well known breeding grounds in Swaledale and Nidderdale - both are excellent locations for photographing grouse by the roadside along with many other upland birds. View the Yorkshire Dales Bird Photography page for more details.

25 May 2011

Red Deer Photography Workshop

Photograph majestic Red Deer during the Autumn Rut

I will be leading a wildlife photography workshop on red deer at Studley Royal in North Yorkshire on Sunday 23rd October. Price £85. Maximum 4 people. The date is timed to coincide with the annual red deer rut that is at its peak during October. Here stags vie for position as they hope to establish dominance over the female herd. Stags are at their best during autumn and provide one of nature's greatest wildlife spectacles when engaging in full blown battles with clashing antlers.

The species are not limited to red deer and we will also be able to photograph fallow and sika amidst the grounds. The changing colours of autumn will provide a colourful backdrop for this wildlife photography workshop.


8.00am: meet and discuss the day

8.30am: begin photography

12.00am: Lunch at the Lakeside cafe; learn from images

1.00pm: more deer photography

3.00pm: finish

Equipment: Ideally a 300mm lens or longer; plenty of memory card space; tripod optional; please do not wear full camouflage clothing

To book a place contact me: paul.miguel@ntlworld.com or 07759485791 (£30 deposit required)

Bempton Cliffs Wildlife Photography Workshop

Photograph the spectacular seabirds at Bempton Cliffs

I will be running a photography workshop to coincide with the busiest activity at Bempton Cliffs on the Yorkshire coast on Sunday 26th June. Price: £100 per person. Maximum: 5 people. The site is home to twenty thousand pairs of gannets along with breeding puffins, guilemots and razorbills.
The opportunities along the cliff tops are endless, with non-stop birds returning to their nests and landing on rocky ledges. There are some particularly good viewpoints which give perfect opportunities for flight photography against the ocean backdrop. Tuition will be given on flight photography techniques, exposure and composition and also on predicting behaviour. The gannets will be our main target, but the site is also good for photographing guilemot, razorbill, puffin, kittiwake and fulmar. In addition there is a bird feeding station which regularly attracts farmland species including large flocks of tree sparrow throughout the year.

Itinerary (subject to slight changes)

10.00am: Meet and discuss the day over coffee.
10.30am: Set out to visit the west or eastern viewing point

2.00pm: Lunch at the White Horse Pub, Bempton

3.00pm: Visit bird feeding station then visit different seabird viewing area
Late afternoon/evening: If the light is good then there will be the option of photographing til sunset with time to have a break and a rest beforehand.

Equipment: Any lens from 200mm upwards is large enough here; tripod/beanbag (beanbags are preferable and can be rested on the fence post when photographing seabirds); plenty of memory card space!! Bear in mind the exposed cliff top can become quite cold even in mid summer so adequate clothing is advised.

Email me: paul.miguel@ntlworld.com or phone 07759485791 to book a place. (A £30 deposit is required)

22 May 2011

A wall full of Sand Martins

I was recently introduced to a fantastic location for sand martins - and one that is easily accessible (in fact too accessible!) If you're thinking it's the east coast site next to the caravan park then you'd be wrong. It's much closer to home in West Yorkshire, but I think I'll keep this one to myself for now... The sand martin colony is a sandstone wall - in a very urban setting. I've made about four visits so far and got some incredible close ups as the birds return to their nesting holes. Even at close range they seem happy to come and go, showing little if any disturbance. After getting some good portaits I decided to try something a little different - a flight shot! Yes, trying to get a sand martin in flight does seem near impossible... but not if you learn from their behaviour. I noticed that upon leaving its hole, a bird would usually drop first, then rise up again. With this in mind, I composed with the hole above centre, focussed slightly in front of the wall (manual), closed down the aperture a little, wacked up the ISO to 800 and gave it a go. The resulting image still amazes me now - and you can see its mate sticking its head out from the background hole. It's not often I'm really impressed with one of my own images.. but this is an absolute belter..!!

Birds of Prey Photography

Our recent Birds of Prey Photography Workshop proved just how imporant finding the right location can be. We're lucky enough to have access to acres of Yorkshire farmland, and the mixture of habitat is perfect. Old buildings and barns are ideal for little owl and barn owl - not to mention two wonderful open windows which our barn owl is happy to fly through for photography! The surrounding landscape is also beautiful, including barley fields during the summer, and a pine plantation that provides natural settings for long eared and eagle owl. Here's just a few images from the last bird of prey workshop.

This farm near to Masham will be a regular location for our birds of prey photography courses. Images taken by clients can be viewed at Yorkshire wildife and landscape photography. To see other workshops in Yorkshire visit nature photography courses