★★★★★ Adrian – Fiona is a brilliant and very enthusiastic tutor! I got a lot out of the morning sessions that I hadn’t known too much about in the past. The afternoon practical was superb. The birds are fantastic and the falconer is incredibly passionate about them.
★★★★★ Andy – Fabulous course! Fiona is an inspiration and works really well with the falconer to get some lovely shots. I wish I had booked the day 2 photoshoot as well – I’ll see you on that next time!
★★★★ Steve – This really is an excellent and well put together course. The combination of a professional photographer, falconer, the birds, the excellent venue and photoshoot setting is very impressive. I’m so pleased that I booked both days together. Great job, thank you.
If you are a keen photographer looking for some tips on better composition or advice on how best to use your camera in wildlife photography situations, then this is the ideal photography day for you. You will also get the opportunity of taking home some fabulous images of owls and raptors. We limit the course to a maximum of 6 students to enable the tutor to help everyone individually.
The photoshoot will be led by Fiona Turnbull. Fiona’s wildlife photography, and birds in particular has become a passion for her over the past 10 years. Trips all over the UK to photograph British wildlife are a mainstay of her British Wildlife diary.
The objective of the course is to improve your bird photography skills in controlled conditions amidst natural settings.
Fiona will look to firstly cover the main components to taking a successful wildlife image. She will discuss in depth how to compose your images, use the light effectively and how to portray the bird’s character. We will also discuss the art of choosing the perfect foreground and background to compliment your image both in a captive arena and in the wild. Focusing techniques will be discussed which can be used on either static portraits or flight shots and shooting methods to make sure that you will get the best out of the workshop. Fiona will also speak about the best settings for the day according to the weather conditions.
After a short tea break Fiona will then discuss various processing techniques that can be used in conjunction with the review of images and debrief at the end of the session. By using the Adobe software: Lightroom, Fiona will go into detail about cropping, lightening/darkening images, adding contrast and image sharpening etc and various other techniques to help replicate on the screen how you saw the scene in front of you at the time.
Following an early buffet lunch, the group will be taken (approx. 45 minute car journey) to the award winning West of England Falconry (WoEF) for a private photo shoot. Founded in 2010 by head falconer and director Jay Marshall whom had a lifelong interest in ornithology. WoEF is a registered charity dedicated to the well-being of owls and birds of prey and to promoting an understanding of the historic art of falconry. WoEF’s work aims to benefit both wild and captive birds of prey through selective breeding, training and rescue and rehabilitation.
At least three or four birds will be selected from the falconry’s large selection of birds of prey which include, Barn Owl, Tawny Owl, Little Owl, Harris Hawk, Red Tailed Hawk and Eagle Owl and will be set in natural settings for the photoshoot. Fiona will direct the students throughout the photoshoot, providing advice and guidance on how to get the best from the opportunity of working with these magnificent birds.
After the photoshoot, the group will return to Lacock where there will be opportunity to review images back in the classroom.
We aim to start at 10:00 am so ask you to arrive from 9:45 am for a welcome tea or coffee. The day ends at around 4:30 pm.
Bring your camera, with fully charged battery, plenty of space for images and the longest lens you have. Tripods are not necessary.
Please note: To get the most out of this Bird of Prey Photography Course, it is recommended that students are able to control depth of field, capture motion and have an understanding of the ISO setting. These skills are taught on our Beginners Digital Photography Course.