2021/22 Deer Photography Workshops in Woburn

Join me photographing the annual Red Deer rut in the stunning grounds of Woburn Deer Park, near Milton Keynes, home to the largest deer population in the United Kingdom and featuring a variety of deer species. Workshops start in October, the peak mating season for the red deer the most iconic British species, and continue until February.

Mowement
The call

Who will benefit from this workshop

The workshop is tailored to beginner and intermediate wildlife photographers and will focus on photography techniques, exposure and fieldcraft required to get your perfect deer shot with the least possible effort. In addition to red deer other very photogenic deer species are on the grounds and will make fabulous portraits for prints or desktop wallpaper or social media. The session will also cover preparation and post processing to ensure you get your images to the best possible quality.

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Sika Deer

Logistics

The workshops starts with a preparatory video call where we will discuss how to get the shots prior to the actual shooting session. This will also account for expected weather conditions so you can make the most of the session.

The day begins around 7 in the morning and last for circa 2-3 hours of field work, you can then continue exploring the grounds on your own at your leisure. There will be a moderate level of walking in possibly uneven/muddy terrain around 10,000 steps in total.

Two days after the workshop we will look at your 3 favourite images from the session and how to post process them for best results.

Sunrise on Ice
The grounds offer incredible landscape photography opportunity

Equipment

You will need a lens with focal length between 200-500mm (35mm equivalent) ideally with a teleconverter if you want to get close up portraits plus any other lens for landscape shots (50-100mm equivalent is recommended) possibly with wide aperture if you are interested in sunrise photography (winter months only). You will also need wellington or waterproof walking boots, warm clothing and windproof jackets, in the winter months hats and gloves are also recommended. Only green, camo or dark colour clothing is allowed.

For post processing I will perform demonstrations using adobe suite products and DxO Photolab what you will see will be applicable to any software.

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Participants and prices

The number of participants is limited to 3 per session and the price is £100 per person for the preparation call, the shooting and the post processing. Sessions are allocated on a first come first serve basis.

For 2021 I am offering a promotional price of £50 for all members of Chiltern Camera Clubs association. Please include details of your camera club membership in the booking. I am also offering 50% to instagram followers using a discount code that you can find on my posts. Only a limited number is available.

Workshops will be carried out in any weather conditions except the most extreme. In case of rescheduling you will be informed 48 hours prior and new dates will be arranged. Book early to avoid disappointment.

Dates & Booking

Session occur on weekends excluding bank holidays. Special session may be arranged on request mid-week by prior appointment.

Book your session here (you will be directed to the appointy website)

Code of Conduct

All activities are conducted in rigid observance of the British Deer Society code of conduct for photographers. You can familiarise yourself with it watching their informative video.

Workshops are conducted from public footpaths and you are required to underwrite a release form before the preparation call.

Back in the water Sorrento Peninsula 2021

Although COVID-19 vaccinations are starting to make a difference and travel is resuming is fair to say that we are still far from where we were in 2019 and it may take some time to get back there.

This means our diving travel destinations have been changing and there is much more local diving than before. Big countries like the US have a lot of diving and Caribbean destination on their doorstep those travellers have still quite a lot to choose in comparison to others.

For Europeans, in the geographical sense, there are options for short haul travel. Those do not compare to your macro trip to South East Asia or pelagic trips to South America or Maldives or similar, however you can get some pretty good shots.

In 2020 I had my first experience in Massa Lubrense and this year I was back there.

I wrote about it last year if you are looking for more details on the logistics so in this post I will focus on photography.

Getting back into RIB diving

After 1 year of forced stop from boat diving getting back into a RIB diving with 15 liters steel tanks was a bit of a shock, certainly better than shore diving but yet not exactly streamlines especially as I decided to get a semi-dry suit. Due to stock shortages in UK I was only able to fit into a Scubapro Nova Scotia 7.5mm that has a lot of buoyancy. The suit was definitely toasty but required a lot of weight to go down as it was brand new. Temperatures range from 26 degrees at the surface to 17 at depth in certain sites so after a chilling experience last year this time I was definitely ok.

I did 2 sets of 3 days diving clocking a total of 16 dives. The dives were all close to 60 minutes (time to get back on the RIB by procedure) and depth of 33 meters. I have to say I avoid decompression dives but really this destination does require you to dive deeper than what you expect in tropical destinations.

Camera Equipment

I had the new Panasonic GH5 Mark II that fits in the housing of the Mark I and two Sea and Sea YS-D2 strobes. I took only two lenses the Canon 8-15mm fisheye with metabones smart adapter and the new (for me) Panasonic 45mm 2.8 macro.

The zoom fisheye rig looked exactly like the one in the site menu.

Wide Angle

The visibility can be an issue on the Italian coast however you can mitigate the issue with good technique and photoshop. Interestingly water is always clearer at depth where of course you lack light so strobe power is important to get a good shot.

Banco di Santa Croce is the best spot to meet large grouper and has many sea fans and also macro life, eagle rays and other things to be found.

Grouper resting between red gorgonians
Two groupers chasing

I find also very interesting the schooling fish even if this is usually not well behaved Barracuda who never spin around or a variety of sea bream

Barracudas at Scoglio Penna
Saraghi (breams) at Scoglio Penna

For me the most interesting wide angle though are the cave shots at Scoglio dell’Isca and Punta Campanella

Halloween: multiple entrances to the Isca
Zoom on the lower entrances
Schooling cardinal fish at Punta Campanella

Sunburst opportunities are abundant and due to the depth relatively easy scorpionfish or small sea fans are ideal.

Sunseeker

The performance of the Canon 8-15mm on micro four thirds is just legendary!

Close Up and Macro

Afternoon dives at Puolo but also dives in Santa Croce or Mitigliano offer lots of close up opportunities.

It was the time of testing the Panasonic 45mm 2.8 on land I had the impression it gave better rendering of the Olympus 60mm and I definitely prefer it underwater.

Male Anthias in breeding coloration
Blenny with shrimp on his head standing on a cuttlefish!
Golden Blenny
Mating nudibranches

It is not just macro a long lens gets interesting closeup of large groupers

Tompot Blenny Head On

Wrap Up

Diving in Italy delivered again. I am seriously thinking a group trip would be worth it next year based on the itinerary I sketched last year.

Dates for 2022 would be 4-11 September outside of school holidays the diving is really calm as most Italian divers are back to work and the conditions are usually superb. If you are interested leave a comment and I will come back to you with costs and planned itinerary.