RED KITE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP
Join award winning landscape and wildlife photographer Drew Buckley on a Red Kite Photography Workshop in the heart of Wales. This location based workshop will take place at Gigrin Farm, one of, if not; the best place to get up close and personal to these magnificent birds. Their tailor made photography hides will offer fantastic views at feeding time as literally hundreds of birds fill the sky giving you some superb opportunities to capture these stunning acrobatic flyers. The Red Kite was persecuted to near extinction in recent years, and now they’ve made a remarkable comeback thanks to a major conservation drive across the UK, not to mention the fabulous work that the rehabilitation centre at Gigrin itself does. Now, a true symbol of Wales; being the national bird, it’s fair to say they’re doing great. In winter time you can get up to four hundred Kites circling and feeding at the site at one time, providing an amazing spectacle.
Bird in flight photography is always one of those great challenges as a photographer and also can be one of the most rewarding. Capturing and freezing the action of something that the eyes usually miss is a great insight into the not only the birds behaviour, but also the shapes and patterns they create when they fly. On this workshop we will have sole use of the custom made Tower hide, purpose built for photographers and film-makers . The hide will give you clear views of the feeding frenzy in front of you which will allow you to capture lovely images of the birds at eye level with the countryside behind them, or also views above as the birds soar around and dive down with their amazing acrobatic skills.
The workshop will start an hour or so before the feeding time. We will head over to our photography hide to get settled in and will begin with a briefing on what to expect from the birds, to tips and advice on using the best camera settings and techniques. Birds including Kites, Buzzards, Ravens and other scavengers will start to gather before the feeding time, so we can use these to practice our settings on. I’ll be on hand to to help either in the group or through the day on a one-to-one basis. I’ll also give hands-on help in setting up cameras for the day. The tower hide we will be shooting from are open at the front and above so photographers can stand with long lenses mounted on tripods or use their cameras handheld and be able to have clear view the sky all around them. As these are still wild birds, disturbance and excessive noise should be kept to a minimum and also clothing choices should be dull or dark coloured clothes. As this is Mid Wales, the weather can be changeable and due to the openness of the hides, it would be advisable to wear warm layers and also water and wind proof coats. Also to stop disturbance to birds, delegates need to be settled in to the hides at least fifteen minutes before the feeding time of 3pm (2pm in GMT). This is when the fun starts!
I will be with the group throughout the afternoon in the hide giving advice and helping with any questions you may have. We’ll review images every now and then to make sure you’re getting the best out of the workshop and to also make any changes to camera settings that may arise. I will have my camera with me as well, so I can demonstrate different techniques and settings if needed. We will stay at the feeding station until the majority of the feeding has finished and have covered all possible photographic opportunities.
This workshop is designed for a group size of 6 delegates maximum
This workshop is suitable for most levels of fitness as there is only a short distance of walking involved over good pathways from the car park. Access to the hide is reached via a flight of stairs.
Full professional tuition and guidance throughout the workshop.
Cover correct camera setting and techniques, composition and using the available light to help you get the very best from the afternoon.
Hide Rental & Admission.
What’s not included
Food and Drink.
Transport to and from the venue.
Personal and Accident Insurance.
What to Expect
Kites in the hundreds! They come quite close to the hide so you’ll get some great close up views as they crowd the sky in front of you. They will dive down to grab food which will test your tracking skills. There will be Buzzards feeding on the ground together with Ravens and Crows. After the early feeding frenzy tails off, there will be another wave of Kites in smaller groups, which makes picking out the odd bird much easier. Buzzards and Ravens will be airborne and flying around the site, so there’s good opportunities to practice your bird in flight techniques on these. Kite numbers will start to decrease but you’ll still get the odd groups hanging around. Always good to stay to the end as the longer the afternoon goes on, the light will improve.
Recommended Photography Equipment
Digital SLR camera or good Bridge camera with zoom. Prime or Telephoto lenses up to 300mm or 500mm ideally, sturdy tripod with ball or gimbal head, fully charged batteries and spares, plenty of memory cards as you’ll be surprised how many photos you take!
What to Bring
The fronts of the hides are quite open to the weather, so please bring waterproofs and warm clothing should the weather be unkind. There’s small benches at the back of the hide, if you need a rest from standing up. But you could bring a small stool if needed. There’s limited refreshments on site so feel free to bring your own packed lunch and drinks. You are free to bring whatever equipment you wish but please note you won’t be able to leave to hides once feeding has started.
The workshop is aimed at most levels of photographic experience, and most delegates will come away with good images of the birds. The workshop includes a guide through using the best camera settings and techniques for conditions on the day and the challenges of birds in flight. I will cover choosing the correct auto focus mode and settings, selecting the right shutter speed and camera settings on full manual mode, together with tracking and panning techniques. I will also cover choosing the right birds to look out for and identifying behaviour and when to anticipate the action, such as diving. I welcome those who are just starting out, or those who are experienced in bird photography looking to improve their images.
13:30 Welcome and head to the hide.
14:00 Birds in Flight photography tuition
15:00 Feeding time
16:30 Summary and close
(subtract one hour from all timings during GMT)
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Don’t take my word for it, here’s what my clients say
What a fabulous spectacle! I spent an amazing four hours shooting in Manual mode – something I had not done before. Actually managed to get some great shots to my surprise and Drew’s advice was spot on. We constantly checked settings to ensure optimum shooting which is crucial whilst in Manual Mode.David
After being with Drew for just half an hour I learned more about my camera and its settings, realizing there\’s more to the camera than just the auto setup. We reviewed the pictures on a regular basis and any amendments to the settings was explained to me in fashion easily understood. All in all a brilliant day with a great companion and teacher.Barrie
Please read terms & conditions below before booking – click the headings to expand the sections
Confirmation of Booking.
A reservation is confirmed once full payment is received. I will then confirm your booking in writing typically via email.
Changes to the day.
Drew Buckley reserve the right to change the details, itinerary or date of any Workshop due to unforeseen circumstances or events beyond Drew Buckley’s control. Any significant changes will be notified to in writing. If the revised workshop date offered doesn’t suit the delegate plans then an alternative date or refund will be offered.
Drew Buckley cannot be held responsible for the absence or “no show” of animals or birds, nor cloudy or poor weather on workshops
Please advise Drew Buckley at the time of booking of any special requests such as diet or physical impairment. Drew Buckley reserve the right to refuse to take a delegate if such a special request has not been notified at the time of booking.
Drew Buckley will not be held responsible for any loss or damage to personal items or for any personal injury or accident. Delegates are respectfully reminded that our activities could potentially entail risk or danger and all activities are ENTERED INTO AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Delegates should ensure the appropriate insurance cover is in place.
The venues and locations for Drew Buckley’s Workshops have no (or limited) medical facilities. Therefore please inform us of any health issues and ensure you take your own medication with the appropriate insurance in place in case of emergency.
Drew Buckley strongly recommends you make our own insurance arrangements against trip cancellation and curtailment, accidental death and disability, emergency medical evacuation, medical expenses, loss of personal effects and other loss or injury as per a commercially available travel insurance policy
Cancellation By Drew Buckley:
Drew Buckley reserves the right to cancel any Workshop if there are insufficient delegates with 14 days notice. In this case a full refund of monies will be paid to the delegate.
Typically our courses run in all weathers and each delegate should ensure that they have the correct all weather clothing suitable to the conditions and each delegate is responsible for the well being of their equipment and personal effects.
In the case of trips where we are dependent upon vehicles (land, sea and air) not owned by Drew Buckley then any decision regarding transportation is at the behest of the service provider and any decision made by them as to the safety of our group is final and indisputable i.e. In the case of the Skomer Island day trip, should the boat be unable to leave the harbour for Skomer Island, I will offer an alternative workshop along the nearby coastline. The delegate can choose if they wish to partake, if not, a full refund for the Workshop will be given. The captain’s decision to sail is final and indisputable.
If, for whatever reason, Drew Buckley needs to cancel a Workshop, then an alternative date will be sought (within 12 months of booking) or full refund of monies paid by you to Drew Buckley will be made. However, Drew Buckley accepts no further liability outside of the cost of the course. Any additional costs incurred outside the cost of the course including but not limited to transportation and accommodation will not be covered by Drew Buckley.
Cancellation By The Delegate.
If the delegate is a “no show”, then no refund to the delegate is applicable.
Once a booking is made all fees are not refundable under any circumstances.
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