The onset of autumn is just around the corner now, as the trees and plants lose their prominent green colour and replace it with those wonderful yellow and red colours. Symbolizing the changing seasons, as we leave the summer and enter into the lovely season of autumn, trees are left exposed to the elements, giving that minimalistic feel in its place. Woodland and parkland echo to the noise of Red and Fallow deer roaring and grunting during the annual ritual of the rut. All is quiet until the silence is broken with the dawn roars during this period of frenetic activity.
I have been really busy with one to ones and my own work over the last couple of weeks as I’ve noticed a slight nip in temperatures and the evenings are beginning to draw in. I have found a few new sites that look really promising, more news in the future fingers crossed, and while spending quite a bit of time at one I managed to capture this male Stonechat in the setting sun, with the slight autumn colours forming the background.
I’ve also been revisiting my Watervole site, watching where this fellow feeds and comes ashore, I was able to photograph him on the riverbank here, just sniffing the air in the image below, such wonderful creatures to watch.
Birds are on the move everywhere now and autumn is a great time of activity as young birds seek their own territories as migrants birds undertake their extraordinary journeys around the world. All around our coast you’ll see alot of action too, with Seals, wintering flocks of birds, vast influxes of Pink foot, Brent Geese.
I really look forward to welcoming our winter visitors that spend their time on our shores during this time, returning in early spring to the breeding grounds back home. The bounty of food that litters the land during the autumn months brings many species out as they gorge on natures offering before the cold of winter sets in. You also get lovely light with the shorter days and colder temperatures all adding so much to any image.
Whooper Swans are one of my favourite as they travel south from their arctic breeding grounds to spend their winters in the UK, a beautiful and elegant bird. Another great event in natures calendar shortly is the deer rut, an event that reaches its peak in mid October. This year as well as visiting the sites within the UK I will be making my way north to Scotland hoping to capture this amazing event within the dramatic surroundings this part of the UK offers, along with some lovely autumn light fingers crossed.
The Red deer stag is Britains largest land mammal, during the rut they advertise their presence, power and control over a harem of females with dawn roars which echo for miles. When rivals cannot be separted on their roars alone things turn physical then as the stags with antlers locked push each other, trying to force the other to the ground. The risks are high though with massive, sharp antlers which can inflict seroius, even mortal wounds. The rewards though are great, as the dominant male wins the chance to father all of the next years offspring from the harem.
Lots of wonderful events within natures calendar coming up over the next few months which I am hoping to capture with my camera. Wildlife changing with the seasons, one such animal I have spent a lot of my time on during the summer months is the Mountain Hare which turns white with the onset of autumn/winter. The Peak District is a great place for this mammal and outside of Scotland is the only other place they live in the wild after being introduced some years ago now.
Towards the end of September I will be at the Outdoor Trade show at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire with 511 Tactical UK clothing stand. I have been testing some items kindly sent to me from 511 over the last six months in different climates, I have found them to be really comfortable and very hard wearing in the field, a full review will be posted soon on my blog. Ray Mears, TV presenter who also uses this brand of clothing will also be there on the Monday so if you are in the area drop in, or alternatively see their website here for full product range.
PhotoTraining4U is aimed at both professional and amateur photographers alike and is structured into bite size learning films, over 800 at present, each around 20 minutes. It’s online quality training for photographers for an affordable price. This type of training enables photographers of all levels to learn new techniques on every subject.
After a recent meeting I am pleased to say I have been asked to do some filming with the team, covering how I work in the field, giving helpful tips and advice in order that people can capture those amazing moments in nature that they see. At the same time learning more about key elements when working with wild animals, that in turn will help you read what’s happening around you, giving better results with your own wildlife photography. I will update my blog once the filming is complete which is due to start in the last week of September.
All the new dates for my workshops and photo tours are now up for next year, please click here to see them. Thanks you to those who have booked onto the Beauty of Wildlife 2 day wildlife workshop I am doing in conjunction with Calumet Photographic, Manchester. I look forward to meeting you all and helping you capture and see the beauty of wildlife.
I have a few places left for my Winter Waders, Norfolk 3 day photo tour in December. The Wash is England’s largest tidal estuary and one of the country’s most important winter feeding areas for waders and wildfowl and you’ll be spellbound as you watch tens of thousands of pink-footed geese from Iceland leave their night time roost site and head inland to feed. Norfolk in the winter offers so much in the way of wildlife and my aim on this 3 day workshop is to get you some of the best images of the winter wildlife Norfolk has to offer.
And lastly, I have an exhibition called “The Beauty of Wildlife” for one week from Sunday 27th November until Sunday 4th December 2011 at the amazing Winter Gardens in Sheffield. Officially opened by Queen Elizabeth 2nd, on 22nd, May 2003, this is one of the largest temperate glasshouses to be built in the UK and a beautiful place in which to display my work, with trees, plants and other fauna around creating a peaceful and tranquil environment.
I will be in attendance throughout the week. There is also coffee and light refreshments available within the site. So if you are in the area then please pop in to say hi and have a look at the exhibition. And if you have any questions or require any help or advice on the equipment you are using then I will do my best to help. Look forward to seeing you there.