Photography

Seascape Photography 23/01/22

by on Jan.28, 2022, under Photography

Sunday was our seascape photography workshop with Peter, after a few delays due to the weather…

With an experienced photographer, camera settings aren’t an important consideration to concentrate on so we spent some time looking at how to predict which waves are going to break obligingly and chatted about compositional techniques πŸ™‚

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Bespoke seascape photography 15/11/21

by on Nov.17, 2021, under Photography

Monday was a 1-2-1 seascape photography workshop for Louisa and we started with exposure time, aperture and ISO (if you’ve never used a mirrorless camera, it makes it so much easier to see the effect of changing settings before actually taking a photo). With a tide falling from high, new compositions were presenting themselves right up to the point where it was cold and getting dark and with exposure and composition sorted, Louisa concentrated on judging which waves were going to break obligingly over the foreground rocks πŸ™‚ I’m looking forward to our follow-up Zoom call/editing session to look at Louisa’s favourite images from the workshop.

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Autumn colours workshop 14/11/21

by on Nov.17, 2021, under Photography

Sunday was Sandra’s Autumn Colours photography workshop, which had been delayed for several reasons since 2019! We concentrated on exposure time, aperture and ISO settings as well as looking at composition, exploring how the angle of light can make a drastic change to the scene that’s in front of the camera and playing around with ICM (intentional camera movement) πŸ™‚

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Going back to basics

by on Feb.03, 2021, under Photography, Uncategorized

NEWT having a period of hibernation, while we deal with another enforced lockdown, has been an interesting time. We’re walking every day (1.6 miles in a morning or at lunchtime, then 6-10 miles on both Saturday and Sunday). Occasionally I’ll carry my big lens (150-600mm) with me, but mostly I prefer to travel light…

Like many photographers I have a lot of kit accumulated over the years, often with a specific function in mind. Until a couple of years ago my photography was mainly offshore wildlife, and nightscape, using lenses that were purchased specifically for those (70-200mm and 14-24mm). I was leading a photography holiday in Glencoe over Christmas 2018 and during the briefing I said we’d have a constructive critique of our images after dinner each evening. “Only if you agree to put your images up for discussion too”. I don’t usually carry a camera during workshops, but agreed to put one camera body with a 50mm prime lens, and no other accessories, in my rucksack, along with lunch, first aid kit, emergency group shelter etc.

The effect was extraordinary. All of that kit, and I fell completely in love with a lens that cost me less than Β£100. Through all the challenging times of the last 10 months, it’s been rare that I would leave the house without that lens mounted on my D810 and in my hand. It’s provided a stable point of focus (apologies for the unintentional pun…) and keeps my mind occupied. Here’s a little gallery of images I’ve taken with it, from Glencoe in December ’18 through to a walk in the woods 2 days ago.

Of course, I’m now finding lots of situations where 50mm is slightly too much reach…note to self – research 35mm primes πŸ™‚

Stay safe and well, and we’ll see you on the other side of this πŸ™‚

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Light on the water; Bespoke Photography 10/09/2020

by on Sep.11, 2020, under Bottlenose Dolphin, Northumberland Coast, Photography

Yesterday was a trip we were really looking forward to after what has been a really challenging year in so many ways. Emma and Janine have been on a couple of photography holidays that I’ve led since late 2018 and yesterday’s trip was organised for Janine’s birthday. Water and wildlife were the specific requests so I’d discussed how to structure the full day with Sarah and we thought we’d got a workable plan…

We started with wildlife; Dunlin, Redshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew and Turnstone all exploiting the rich food supply available on freshly uncovered sand and seaweed as the tide fell. Low-angled sunlight and mirror-calm water were everything we could have wished for and after a morning of wading birds we headed off for an excellent lunch, and outstanding views from our window table, at the Jolly Fisherman.

Post-lunch we stretched our legs and walked towards Dunstanburgh Castle as the tide turned and surf started breaking over the rocks in the foreground while we sat close to the rising water. Juvenile Gannets were diving offshore and I was thinking that there must be plenty of fish when I spotted a couple of dorsal fins and for the next 5 minutes we watched a group of around 10 Bottlenose Dolphins that seemed to be on a mission to get somewhere away to the south πŸ™‚ Heading back south down the coast our final stop was at Howick Haven/Rumbling Kern as the tide started to flood in below the Bathing House.

Lovely entertaining clients who are pleasure to spend time with, fantastic light, obliging wildlife and the Northumberland coast. There can’t be many better ways to spend a day πŸ™‚

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The colour of light; Autumn Colours Photography Workshop 27/10/19

by on Oct.31, 2019, under Photography

Sunday’s photography workshop was a guest short after a late rearrangement for one guest. I collected Sachin and Lucy from the Battlesteads and we headed to Cawfields Quarry. That wasn’t our original plan, but heavy rain meant needing to find a location that wouldn’t be treacherous underfoot. In just over 3hrs we covered exposure, focusing and composition, including how changing camera position and focal length affect the impact that an image has. I had my Samsung galaxy A70 in my pocket so couldn’t resist the beautiful light falling on the landscape πŸ™‚

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Atmospheric; Focus on Northumberland Day 3 19/02/18

by on Feb.21, 2018, under Photography, Uncategorized

Tuesday was the final full day of our Focus on Northumberland holiday and we were heading to the coast for a day of landscape photography…

Blue skies and sunshine can be a bit overrated so the drizzle and fog offered something a bit different.Β  Daniela had shown me some excellent photographs that she’d taken previously, so I was slightly surprised to learn that her camera was always set to auto.Β  With a calm sea that only had white along the edge of the breaking surf, and with the impressive edifice of Bamburgh Castle vanishing in heavy mist, Daniela had composed an effective scene looking from the dune tops towards the Farne Islands (also shrouded in mist) so it was time to take the camera off auto and start exploring the exposure trinity of ISO, aperture and shutter speed and the creative possibilities that come once you start to control depth of field.Β  The drizzle continued as we made our way south along the coast and a very welcome hot chocolate at The Drift Inn came just before we headed west along the line of Hadrian’s Wall and back to The Battlesteads.

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Common Eider; NEWT’s photo of the day 01/01/18

by on Jan.01, 2018, under Photography

2018 started with some very obliging photogenic Common Eiders [Somateria mollissima] along the River Coquet. Common Eider, Somateria mollissima, Northumberland, bird photography, bird photography courses, wildlife photography, wildlife photography courses, wildlife photography tuition, bird photography tuition

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Stoatally different; Beginners Photography Workshop 19/04/2015

by on Apr.21, 2015, under Druridge Bay, Photography

Sunday afternoon was, thankfully, sunny and (reasonably…) warm for our NWT Beginners Photography Workshop.

Once I’d found everyone near the entrance to the Druridge Bay visitor centre, we walked through to the feeding station hide at East Chevington.Β  Reed Buntings, Goldfinches, Blue Tits and Great Tits were around the feeders, some remarkably shy Pheasants were quite stunning in the sunlight and we covered the usual beginners workshop topics of shutter speed, aperture settings, ISO, histograms, exposure compensation, and how to attract wildlife close enough to your camera.Β  Then an opportunity that really doesn’t come along every day as Joan spotted a Stoat.Β  I started pishing and it popped back up briefly, sitting on a rock for just long enough to allow a few frames to be fired off πŸ™‚Β  Colin’s shot of the Stoat was a great one to demonstrate how cropping can improve the composition of an image.Β  A Great Spotted Woodpecker was sitting high above the feeding station, frustratingly not coming down low enough to be in front of the array of cameras (Nikon, Canon, Fuji and Sony).Β  Then, one of the perpetual drawbacks of wildlife photography on a public nature reserve…the Pheasants scattered, all of the small birds left the feeders and a Black Labrador ran through the edge of the reeds πŸ™ All it needed was a few minutes after the dog had gone though, and all returned to normal πŸ™‚

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Feeding time; Beginners Photography Workshop 28/02/2015

by on Mar.03, 2015, under Birdwatching, Druridge Bay, Photography

Saturday was the first of three ‘Beginners Wildlife Photography’ workshops that I’m leading for the Northumberland Wildlife Trust, and the morning had started grey and gloomy, progressed to sunny with beautiful blue skies by 09:00 and then was back at grey, gloomy and threatening to rain by the time the workshop started.Β  After waiting a while for everyone who had had booked to turn up, we set off for East Chevington, and the relative comfort of a hide and feeding station.Β  Chaffinch, Robin, Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit and Reed Bunting all performed well in front of Karin’s, Jean’s and Terry’s cameras, offering ample opportunity to explore aperture, shutter speed, ISO settings and composition, but a real highlight of the afternoon was the arrival of, and several encores by, a flock of Long-tailed Tits.Β  These subtly beautiful birds are one of my personal favourites, and a species that I’ve always found tricky to photograph – talking to other local wildlife photographers revealed that it isn’t just me who finds them difficult though.Β  Here’s a Long-tailed Tit, photographed at one of my feeding stations a few years ago.

Long-tailed Tit, bird photography, Northumberland

Long-tailed Tit

With everyone enchanted by the birds, the conversation turned to whether or not there’s a collective noun for Long-tailed Tits and none of us could bring one to mind.Β  Apparently the collective noun is ‘volery’, but I think I’ll go with Jean’s suggestion… a ‘cuddle’ of Long-tailed Tits πŸ™‚

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