I was very lucky yesterday to have an enthusiastic young lady attend one of the photo walks I’ve recently been advertising on the Funzing website. This one was held in Richmond Park.
Numbers have been slow to start, but it’s early days and with the weather improving I’m hoping that will help. The weather on the day was a scorching 25° C and full sun. Not perfect for the best lighting, but as this is a teaching workshop where the attendees learn and practise techniques to help improve their photography, it’s more pleasant to have sun than rain. And at least it’s helping to dry out the wet & muddy ground after all the recent rain!
We were lucky to have a small group of stags near the car park and with temperatures soaring they didn’t seem to keen to move! We also took a short walk of about 2 miles after a chat over coffee and discovered some hinds in the woods.
I always stress the importance of deer welfare and that this should be your primary concern when taking photos of them. I cover signs to watch out for that indicate the deer are not happy with your presence, so nobody gets too close. Second to this is personal safety, and that of others nearby, which is especially important during the autumn rut when stags are charging around pumped up on testosterone. We always remain far enough away and use long lenses to achieve a close-up view. I recommend somewhere around 200-300mm.
On the photographic front, I teach shooting modes, focusing techniques, exposure control, hand-holding posture to prevent camera shake and give pointers on composition, talking about what to include, what to exclude and things to watch out for. I also provide a link to a web page giving a recap on what’s been discussed during the session, so you don’t have to remember everything on the day!
We usually walk a couple of miles and stop for a coffee and a chat part way through, although every session will differ slightly, especially when they’re held in different seasons.
If it’s something you’re interested in and would like to learn, why not come along? The next one is on May 19th, taking bookings now and there are limited places as I only take very small groups.
I don’t normally take many photos on these outings as I’m focusing my attention on helping others. I usually just take a few to demonstrate something I’ve been teaching. Here’s a few of mine from the day:
(click any image above to view in a gallery with EXIF data)
The young lady concerned thoroughly enjoyed the 3.5 hours we spent on the walk. She has since told me her photography has improved and she even managed to get one of her images featured by a company on Instagram:
UPDATE – I also received a very nice review the day after I posted this blog:
I hope to see her again later in the year when I announce some short notice workshops as she is keen to return and practise her skills.
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