I decided that, if I actually want to take decent photos, it probably wouldn't do any harm taking a course to get some tips and tricks. My knowledge of the fundamentals of taking a photo are pretty good (i.e. I know how to put the camera on to automatic and which button you press to take a photo! Only joking) but as I am, admittedly, very much an amateur when it comes to nature and animal photography, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take some advice from a professional. Fortunately for me, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Barnes was able to help out, offering a days introduction to wildlife photography with photographer, Iain Green.
Iain has been a professional wildlife photographer for the past 14 years, with his subject focus being very much on wild tigers in India. As there is a distinct lack of tigers in Barnes, fortunately, it was good to know that he was adept at a wide range of subject matter, with his attention turning more recently to the wildlife that is all around us, the wildlife of London, in all its shapes and sizes. Please do have a look at his website. There are some gorgeous photos to see there.
The day started off, at the wetlands centre, with a brief introduction from Iain, covering his experiences and some of the fundamentals of wildlife photography including researching your subjects, composition and, perhaps most importantly, respecting the animals and habitat you're working in.
Then it was out to take some photos. We started over at the Wildside of the wetlands centre, admittedly my favourite part of the site. Iain was able to remind me that I needed to think about shooting from different angles and not to be solely reliant on my zoom lens.
Here, for me, it was all about Tufted duck babies...
And flying bugs. In this case, an Ichneumon Wasp.
After a bite to eat, it was over to the other side of the site, to have a look in the hides and to take a look at the, very much in bloom, RBC rain garden. Iain gave some invaluable tips for the set-up of your camera and here, to put those tips into practice, it was all about the flowers on offer, taking photos from angles different than the usual.
It was a warm day and it looked like this starling had taken full use of the plentiful water to cool down.
I had taken a few photos from below, looking to the sky, in the past and like the results I had achieved. The plane flying through the frame helps to place the photo in a specific location, another of Iain's tips, directly under the Heathrow flight path.
Small skipper butterfly
Iain also offered a first for the wetlands trust, an introduction for me to the resident lizard population, basking on some logs in the sun.
Overall, a fantastic day spent in the sun, taking photos, getting great advice and tips from Iain. Is Iain in any danger of me stealing his job yet? Erm, probably not. Has this made me want to practice and improve? Absolutely. Watch out Iain!