March 31, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Latest News from Exmoor Photography March 2016

(All images & text copy exmoor photography, all rights reserved)

We have had a great start to this year’s photography courses. Jacks new updated course notes (with new quick guide) that every customer now receives have gone down very well. We have had a mixture of some complete beginners and more competent photographers on the standard landscape courses. The RSPB Ham Wall Special courses have been very popular so far this year.

(please click on any of the below images thumbnails to view larger)

If fact, on my last visit this week I saw and photographed, Great Crested Grebes dancing and weeding several times from the Avalon Hide. In addition, Marsh Harriers, Bittern, Sparrow Hawk, Ring Necked Duck, Teal, Widgeon, Pochard and other duck, mating swans, Long-Tailed Tits nesting, Gold Crest, Bullfinch, Chiffchaff, Great White Egrets and little Egrets and Roe Deer. I also briefly heard my nemesis, Bearded Tits! The mating Swans were fascinating to see. They moved together into the reeds and began their courting ritual. With their necks entwined, they made a very low murmuring noise and they were constantly ‘necking’ each other. It was all very gentle and almost felt like it was in slow motion.


The Great-crested Grebes were amazing during my visit. I have photographed them dancing and weeding before over the years. However, this pair at the Avalon hide must have weeded at least a dozen times while I was there and often very close to the hide. I love the call they make when they are out of sight of each other.  To get a lower perspective / angle at this hide you can stand quietly on the ground floor and use the holes in the wooden screens.

The Long-tailed Tits were nest building when I found them. When you consider how deep inside the hedge they were, I am very impressed that the camera I was using (Canon 7D MKII) managed to achieve autofocus given the small target and all the ‘clutter’ around it. The central cross type focus point on this camera covers a very small area, ideal for photographing subjects like this. Until fairly recently, this simply would not have been possible to use autofocus on and I would have had to manual focus. If I’m honest, none of my Nikons has such a small central focus point, therefore in similar situations I have to focus on something roughly the same distance away, use focus lock and sometimes increase my DOF (depth of field). This can be a pain particularly if your subject is moving about. Perhaps the new Nikon D500 will have a nice small central focus point. Apart from this one thing, I must admit that there is very little between the D7100, D7200 AND D4 focus ability wise when compared to the Canon, which is very, very quick indeed! And I have used all extensively.

What a fantastic day I had on the reserve, it was just one of those days when everything fell in my lap. I photographed the Bullfinches and Goldcrest in the carpark just before I left!

To book your RSPB Ham Wall Special photography course please contact Alison on the numbers below. Alison will answer any questions you may have and help you arrange your day with us here at Exmoor Photography.

(please click here for latest customer reviews)

The Cuckoo Special photography courses are booking well this year (please see Wildlife Cuckoo special page on website) and we have already booked a week for this years Red Deer Rut Special photography course. So don’t leave it too late to book your place and avoid disappointment.

As always to book your courses please contact Alison at the shop T: 01643 862026 or visit the website. www.exmoorphotographycourse.co.uk

We have also updated the Exmoor Photography Gallery Website, which now has a new layout, new images and offers a smoother, quicker customer experience. We have also added some new delivery destinations. These are the Channel Islands (including, Guernsey, Jersey, Sark), the Isle of Man, the USA, Canada and Europe. Please visit the website here to view and order any images you like. www.exmoorphotography.co.uk  www.exmoorphotography.com


PS Not much snow this winter on Exmoor but I did manage to get out when we did. The steam train was taken during the recent steam gala on the West Somerset Railway. Damn it Jamie you have turned me into a train spotter (again) Lol! This shot with its ‘bolt’ of steam made everyone jump including me! We found the huge stag herd during a landscape course, which was an amazing sight and it would have been rude not to stop.

Many thanks Jack and Alison Owners Exmoor Photography (please share)


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