Well I went to Slimbridge on Saturday. Of course I was birding!
On route Red Kites in the Chilterns - and Buzzards from the Chilterns to Slimbridge.
Corvids but no Ravens -sigh.
On arrival in the fields outside the centre - Bewick's and what a racket they were making...a lovely racquet!(LOL) I just love Bewick Swans.
Later I took some pics of some Bewicks and Mute Swans.Also BHGulls and lots of Ducks.
I tried taking a Water Rail but it was too far away.
There was a lovely perching Peregrine a great way off visible in the scope!
I dont have my list with me -will edit this later.
But we went there for a Seminar with top Wildlife Photographer Andy Rouse.
Biog if you need one!- http://www.andyrouse.co.uk/about.asp
but you will recognise his photographs....front cover of BBC Wildlife Mag this month! Tiger.
on first page.
Well remember I am an amateur with the old pics....but I have now been on a couple of Photography workshops involving animals with John Wright of Photographers on Safari - which were good as I had some hands on help.
Still too technical for my brain but John saw I loved my Birds and Big Cats and gave just the right help with my limited knowledge for meto get some good shots-well one or two, of course Pat being a brill photographer (IMO) picked up loads and had some stunning images.
So when I was asked would I like to go on this seminar I said yes, then thought afterwards help - its a seminar and i will get talked at and I will not understand the technical stuff...help!
Pat instructed me to take notes to help me get better photos and write down anything you need to ask me afterwards.
Well if you get the opportunity to go on a seminar or even to a talk by Andy Rouse - just do it - to quote a famous phrase.(Actually, thinking about it - dont all of you book up - in fact dont go- he mentioned that there was a waiting list for our seminar of 300 -yes 300!- I might never get on the next seminar that I do want to go on!)
He was brilliant and funny, very funny and so totally fresh. He has opinions - strong ones and expresses them with a refreshing enthusiasm.
Now all of you who know me, know I like enthusiasm!
He also debunks a lot of the myth of the "professional" photographer.
I shall leave you if interested to read an interview I found on the net he gave a while back and the message is in there too!
He illustrates his seminar with his photographs. He explains what he was doing, he answers questions fired at him including technical stuff.
A lot is simple stuff.
Warehouse Express were there as well - they sponsor Andy (he does a lot of the reviews of new stuff....cameras/ lens)
One of the staff a guy called Ben who has helped me order stuff in the past was there -" I dont do technical" - used to be my cry when I was teaching ITC - "thats why I have a Network Manager!" Ben used the expression KISS - Keep it simple stupid.
Now I like that.
Andy knows all that stuff but he does keep it simple. The questions from a lot of the men there was full of technical jargon, I didn't understand a lot of the questions - but I certainly understood a lot more of the answers!
I learnt a lot - simple phrases are running round my head.
We were so fortunate that the weather was clear and the light was good no, great!So we had a 2 hour break in the afternoon to go take some pics!
Andy was going off to some remote area of the reserve with James Lees one of the Reserve Wardens- to do some photography.He was highly complimentary of James photography.
I took Pat to the Flamingo's- we saw the Cranes but they are so carefully
shielded from the public that no opps there. We walked through the collection...Pat said - if you want to go and look at your birds I'll catch you up - so off I went to the Zeiss Hide.
We returned to the seminar (I'll put some comments on Corinna's pages about the birds seen) and Andy showed us his technique for photo shop....very basic stuff that even I followed most of!
By now I was very tired in my brain.
A fantastic experience - Andy Rouse rocks! Yes I like the guy -he tells it like it is and I do like that!
S'funny another wildlife photographer I like is another guy who can be controversial - Hugh Harrop.
What do these two have in common?
A passion for wildlife and doing everything that puts wildlife first.
They also spend time with amateurs and pass on their knowledge.
I spoke with James at the end of the seminar - Andy was surrounded by people- he said "He is different in the field, nothing about camera's just wildlife!" I expect he can talk cameras but clearly the Wildlife comes first!
I had a great time.
Guess what? When we got back Pat asked me if I had taken many photos.
No said I not many at all. Yesterday I down loaded over 50!
I surprised myself. Some are actually quite good...I think I was influenced by what I had heard.
Cant say fairer than that!
I will post a couple later, these have had nothing done to them except I might crop one or two. But they have my copyright. (I learnt that from the seminar).