Thanks Craig I had a fantastic day and am still going through the photos. Could take a while as I managed to somehow take nearly 400. Once again than you for making the day really enjoyable and I look forward to putting these techniques into practice.
I spent some days on a one to one with Craig in the Peak District. It was an exciting, professional and memorable experience as Craig is always very well prepared, an excellent teacher, and a real expert of wildlife photography.
I learnt a lot about settings on my camera I didn’t even know about, together with fieldcraft and how to approach wildlife without disturbing it. In addition I really enjoyed spending the time with him as he shares all his passionate knowledge about the animals of the area. Besides that Craig gave me a lot of advice concerning my personal photographic style. I definitely can recommend the one to one with Craig to any ambitious photographer as it improved my skills and understanding of composition enormously.
Being out in nature with him was an experience that I will never forget. My pictures of Dipper, Golden Plover with golden light, the wonderful nature in the Peak District will for sure get printed and be put on my wall. As we also laughed a lot when we had our Yorkshire teas together I really felt like being out with a good friend.
Thanks again for all your efforts Craig
I asked Charlotte to write a review for you - please see her message below, all her own words which I wholly agree with. It really was a treat to be let in to your world of dippers, thank you.
"From the start to the end the course was Amazing. Craig’s enthusiasm for the wildlife enhances the experience as it allows you to see how wonderful the animals really are through Craig’s extensive knowledge of the beautiful creatures. Not only does he share tips for photography to help you improve at the start of the day, he frequently continues to point out things you can improve on during the course allowing you to take amazing photos that you fall in love with."
I spent a great deal of time looking for a 1-2-1 wildlife photography workshop and finally settled on Craig’s. My primary requirement was a ‘Dawn to Dusk’ shoot, so I would have to deal with the changes of light throughout the day. Craig was about the only one I found who offered this. My second priority was to spend a day with someone who actually specialises in this area, which Craig most certainly does. It is evident from the start that not only is he passionate about wildlife and nature, but also that he is very experienced and knowledgeable. I was naturally a little hesitant about strolling off into the wilderness with a total stranger, but the initial phone call with Craig and subsequent calls and emails put me at total ease.
Although we had to postpone a number of times due to adverse weather and flooding, we finally had our 1-2-1 this week and it was well worth the wait. No I didn’t see the elusive water voles, but I was not even remotely disappointed, I learnt a great deal and had enormous fun. I would have been happy to get home with one or 2 shots that I was proud of, and I managed nearly a dozen.
Craig is easy to get on with, very patient if you are struggling with a concept and explains everything in a way that is easy to understand. It really was a wonderful day and one I would highly recommend to anyone looking to improve their skills in wildlife photography.
I have recently undertaken a 1-2-1 photo workshop with Craig.
There are any number of companies which are offering 1-2-1 wildlife photography tuition and to start with it’s a bit overwhelming at how many there are. I wanted a tutor who loved the animals as well the photography so after coming across several articles about Craig’s work in saving orangutans in Sumatra and I was sold!
I only have entry level kit and do not have the zoom lens which Craig recommended on his website so I wanted to double check what I had would be sufficient before I booked. In addition, as I was booking a 1-2-1 workshop as a woman it occurred to me that going off into the woods on my own with a man I had found on the internet might be a bit dodgy So I text Craig and he called back straight away and put my mind at rest about everything. Craig was even in touch the day before the workshop to make sure everything was still okay as there had been snow that day and more forecast overnight.
On the day Craig picked me up from my accommodation in Buxton and we set off into the Peaks. I was hoping to take photos of water voles and dippers and we went looking for the voles first. Unfortunately as the water level was so high we didn’t see any voles as they had either moved or were staying indoors, (I did however learn a lot about the voles and how they feed and their burrows etc) so instead we found some geese on the river bank and the lesson began with them.
I have undertaken a photography course before at the local college and I left this with a vague idea of what I should be doing, however in terms of wildlife photography I have never dared take the camera off of auto as by the time I have tried to change all the settings between each shot to take account of changing light etc the animals have always moved on. Craig gave me some basic settings and showed what could be changed really quickly to enhance and improve shots, meaning that I could concentrate on composition and capturing the shots rather than worrying about all of the technical stuff they try and teach in the books. I can honestly say I gained more practical knowledge in the first ten minutes of this day than I did in the whole 10 week course at college.
Throughout the day, Craig constantly checked I was okay and what I wanted to do was always paramount - go back to the van for a brew, stay on the river etc. The day was bitterly cold and Craig lent me a massive coat to go over the layers I was already in to keep me warm, provided a chair for sitting alongside the river, and had spare waterproof cover for the camera and a spare tripod. He even lent me a huge zoom lens to go and take some shots with and when my camera battery died towards the end of the day, swapped the memory cards and handed over his expensive camera so I could continue to take shots.
In the afternoon the dippers which we had seen and heard up and down the river that morning were absent, so the lesson continued using robins, blackbirds, a wren and a heron as subject matter. We also undertook a bit of landscape work with Craig giving me the techniques to capture moving water.
The day went really quickly despite the cold and even though the voles and dippers were not about owing to the water levels, there was no shortage of subject matter. I cannot stress how much I have learnt, particularly as Craig reviewed many of my shots and answered all of my (usually stupid) questions.
My camera has not been back on auto as yet and my pictures are already noticeably better than they were before. Craig sent through a page of notes covering what he taught on the day and also provided feedback on some shots I had taken since the course, providing advice on what I could do to address specific problems.
Craig is really easy to get along with, teaches well without any sort of technical jargon meaning what he teaches sticks in your head and can teach with even the most basic kit (I have a Nikon D3100 and have managed to get some great shots with this). I can not recommend this workshop enough and hope to do another one in the future.
Ive a lifetime love affair with wildlife and nature, and more recently photography, so I have decided to join them together. After a little research I came across Craigs website it immediately resonated with me his passion and respect for nature and his craft is paramount, none of this fakery and set up to get the iconic shots Its about being true to nature and sharing that space. I took the plunge and booked a 1to1 session. From the first email Craig was responsive and exceptionally helpful and always on hand to answer any question, i had a lot and give guidance where needed. On the day Craig explained everything in small digestible easy to understand chunks this was from camera set-up to field craft. His framework, was clear and blew my mind how simple it was. I wish i had booked a session up sooner as it would of saved me a lifetime of research and reading. He has an intimate knowledge of nature and the environment that we all play in. If you love photography & nature like I do, I would recommend spending time with Craig, it will blow your mind. Im booking up more trips with Craig in 2016, he is a truly inspirational guy, who happen to take a cracking photo or two.
What a fabulous talk we had on Tuesday by Craig Jones - Absolutely stunning images, and such an open and honest talk Craig was not at all backward in coming forward with his information and insights and talked to us about his ethical way of shooting and behaving when at work in the natural environment Thanks very much Craig we really appreciated and enjoyed your talk!
Nottingham and Notts Photographic Society
I had arranged a days one2one with Craig Jones a brilliant photographer who I must admit is a bit of a hero of mine someone that I really admire. Craig proved to be exactly what I had thought a truly amazing wildlife photographer with excellent knowledge of wildlife locations photography and how to stalk wildlife without resulting in disturbance. Craig showed me many really good locations showing me how to get into position using stalking techniques to move through the landscape reducing disturbance to a minimum. Craig was very free with his knowledge sharing lots of his tricks hints and tips to capture great images. Although I say tricks Craig is what I would call a wildlife enthusiast first and foremost and photographer second and hence relies largely on spending time out in nature using a endless knowledge of the species in question to understand how to get superb images. All in all a fabulous weekend and I have to say I am now a huge fan of Norfolk somewhere I had not really been too before. Thank you Craig for a fabulous trip.
Hi Craig I would just like to thank you for my two days one to one with you, it was fantastic on both days and I did really enjoy all of it. I love the way you had so much respect for the wildlife and how you put all this into your photography skills in which you was so kind to pass on to me. It has give me a better insight into the way I need to work , approach and take the final shot simply just by watching and listening to what was around me, like when you told me about the geese were going to take off before they even beat their wings, brilliant. Once again a big thanks and I would highly recommend anyone for your one to one it was a great pleasure. Regards Steven
Hi Craig, Just a note to say thank you for such an instructive and enjoyable day on Tuesday. I am sure that by the end of the day we were both a lot more confident with our cameras, and I hope the evidence attached will show that I think we both will be using our cameras with more insight and understanding as to the ways to improve our efforts. Best wishes in all your activities and I am sure we will see you again, many thanks Julian.
Just wanted to say a big thank you Craig as well. Ever since your add on Facebook you have changed me completely as a wildlife photographer helping in a big way and you have helped me so much especially when you first added me as I was not long into photography and Im sure you know from experience its confusing to know where to start what to do and how to get the best from your camera and you always answered my questions give me the best advice you could and taught me everything when I met you for our one to one, just letting you know how much I appreciated that especially as a beginner. Your work is the best I have seen and your passion and commitment touches many and it defiantly touched me. I wish you the best in your continued work and efforts to show the world how amazing our wildlife is.
After recently purchasing a new camera and years of average bird snaps from my old camera I took the recommendation from a friend and booked a day out with Craig in Norfolk. I can honestly say that in the first hour with Craig, albeit at 5.30 am, in a damp field, I learned more about how to take really excellent photos than I have in the last 10 years of reading books and magazines. Craig covered all the basics of the camera then moved on to composition, exposure and auto-focusing and gave me real confidence in both myself and the equipment. We spent the rest of the day consolidating the advice in a variety of lovely locations and I am truly grateful to Craig for his open and informative tuition. Nothing is kept back and Craig shows you exactly how he takes truly superb photos. I cannot recommend Craig highly enough if you want to learn how to take better photographs.
Just wanted to drop a line to thank Craig for his spectacular effort in arranging such great wildlife, weather and great company on three recent one-to-ones I have done with him. Barn Owls ,Marsh Harriers and Waders in Norfolk in March and last weekend in Derbyshire 2 consecutive days with Dippers, Watervoles, Wagtails etc. I appreciate (as I told Craig) that I knew I was incredibly lucky with perfect weather and light each time but that actually whether the animals/birds turn up is largely out of our control but even had the conditions been much tougher, Craigs enthusiasm and ability to get across in a helpful way his thoughts on technique, composition and understanding of the subjects we were photographing was what really made it a memorable 3 days. Like I, his first love is the wildlife and the photography is a fantastic way to record what one sees but his intuitive understanding of the animals is what Im sure make his photos so stunning. Craig was great company and put up with my bad jokes and annoying tripod (now changed!) over the 3 separate days and Ive come away with some images that Im very pleased with. All those small details that make so much difference, like the accommodation he recommended and the lunches provided were perfect for the occasion. I can wholeheartedly recommend him to anyone looking to improve their photography with someone who has a passion for his craft and the environment as well as the subjects in his viewfinder. Thanks again Craig and hope to see you in Kenya, Mull, and Yorkshire etc...The list goes on!!
Ive followed Craig on Facebook for a while now and always liked his photography and his honesty. I live in Scotland and when I saw that Craig was running one to ones at the WWT site Caerlaverock near Dumfries I booked. I had a fantastic day, Craig shared photo tips, fieldcraft and the best places to go at different times for the light and the sights. Craig is a great teacher with great integrity and a passion for his work. Craigs personality and helpfulness really played a big part in my enjoyment of the day. I picked up some great tips and thoroughly recommend Craig as a photo teacher. Im looking forward to next time
My wife & I love wildlife & photography, but were disappointed with our results, decided the next stage forward was to find someone who knew what they were talking about before buying more equipment. Meeting Craigs at BirdFair at Rutland Water gave us an insight into what a true professional he is. We quickly booked a one to two in Norfolk and met at 5.45 am on Snettisham beach to experience what we can only describe as an amazing spectacle. With Craigs assistance and patience we quickly discovered where we were going wrong and with loads of encouragement improved immensely as the day progressed. We returned to our hotel exhausted and with enthusiasm verging on madness decided to return the next day to practice what we had learnt. We took nearly 900 photos between us over the two days and can already see the difference. We had a superb weekend and would definitely recommend one of Craigs workshops if you want to meet someone who is passionate about wildlife photography and can explain focal points, ISO and white light without confusing you.
Hi Craig, Just wanted to say a big thank you for a great day on Saturday. Not only did you help me out with tech specs but you managed to give me back my confidence in my gear and myself. Got some great shots too, felt more like a day out with an old mate than a workshop Keep up with the blog when you can. As its a good incite into your professional life and travels and something for the rest of us to aspire too. Will arrange for another trip later in the year with you. Thanks again
Hi I just wanted to say, that I thoroughly enjoyed the talk from Craig Jones. He was so good at explaining things and he showed us a few slide shows too. I only have a small camera and I thought I would have been out of my depth, but he said no, anyone can take pictures, and he made me feel more welcome. I do love taking pictures, especially as my Dad bought my WWT membership for myself and my son to come and enjoy the wildlife here for the last 2 years. Thanks for letting me know about this workshop. I’m really glad I came. Many thanks, from Alison Tichy.
WWT Martin Mere Wildlife Photographic Talks
I contacted Craig about camera bodies after seeing his web site mentioned on Face Book. I had been using a Nikon D80 for the past two years and wanted to upgrade to something more professional. Craig’s advice and guidance was invaluable, which not only ensured that I selected the most appropriate camera for my needs, but also saved me money in the long run. I subsequently booked and attended one of Craigs one-to-one workshops in Norfolk. Craig’s no nonsense style and practical approach made sure that I was able to get the most out of my new Nikon D300S and feel more confident in operating in different light conditions. It was a busy yet memorable day, from patiently waiting on Snettisham beach for the birds to come in, to touring parts of Norfolk’s northern coastline, experiencing some close encounters with birds of prey along the way, topping off the end of the day by witnessing the spectacle of 2 Barn Owls hunting. Everything was very well organized, including the delicious lunch. I would have no hesitation in recommending Craigs workshops to any aspiring wildlife photographer.
I spent a wonderful time with Craig on a One to One Day in Norfolk. Craig was really inspirational and made me think much more, particularly about my photographic composition. His love of wildlife and the countryside around us was infectious. In the past, like so many others, I had concentrated on what I would call "bird portraits". They can be beautiful and I will continue with them to some extent but Craig made me realise that there is so much more. Photographs where birds and their behaviour are an important part of the overall image but are captured in their natural environment. The day was so important in making me reassess the fundamentals of the photographic image and I feel he has helped to equip me to becoming a better photographer as a result of it
Looking at my own images compared to other professional and amateur wildlife photographers I thought I needed a push to get to the next stage in order to improve in all areas of photography, field craft, and composition and general wildlife photography skills. I decided the best way would be to go to a total stranger who would hopefully recognise my faults and shortfalls and then not be afraid to show me where I was going wrong. I was fortunate to find Craig’s web site which was easy to follow, looked clean, tidy and well organised and very professional as well as indicating that the type of One to One day he was offering matched all my requirements. I was not disappointed, I found Craig to match his web site, easy to get on with, very informative, very professional and passionate about all aspects of wild life in its own environment, willing to offer advice and teach field craft skills in such a manner that made it all fit together to make the day good value for money. Professionalism was evident right the way through the long day even down to the standard of the packed lunch, a great day Craig and one which completely fit my requirements. Now all I have to do is try to put all that information and the practices into action. Now then, what did Craig say about composition.
Regards, Mike Breedon.
Signed up for One To One trip with Wildlife Photographer Craig Jones and I chose Norfolk as it was somewhere I had been before but hadn’t got much ideal on where to go, but after seeing Craig's images on Flickr I was very impressed and emailed him and we met at the North Norfolk Coast at silly o'clock. We never stopped all day, and saw so many different places and managed to get some excellent images from the day, I would recommend Craig's trips to anyone as I felt so relaxed around him, learned so much and had a wonderful day, Thanks Craig
A year ago, I had made the dream to discover the wildlife of the Falkland Islands. I thus started to look on the web to find an attractive proposal at an affordable price for such a trip and I came across Craig’s photo tour which was appealing both content wise and cost wise.
Well, I must say that neither my wife nor I regret our choice. That trip was simply beyond our expectations: the wildlife is simply stunning. We were told everywhere to leave a 6 m minimum distance from any wildlife. It seems that penguins and seals are not informed about that! They were often so close that it was not possible to focus with my 300 mm lens. However, for my wife using a small camera with a fixed 24-70 mm zoom this was a perfect situation and has largely contributed to her enjoying this photo trip. It is really not the photo gear that makes that trip enjoyable.
The mix of places / islands we have visited during these two weeks was perfect with good accommodations and, another good surprise for our continental stomachs, the food was excellent. In that respect, the “macarons” on Carcass Island remain unforgettable!
Definitely, a photo trip that is worth the 500 km drive from Brussels to Brize Norton and the 18hrs flight from there to Mount Pleasant.
Thanks Craig for the good organisation. We are ready for new adventures with you.
Philippe & Annik, Brussels.
Hi Craig Just a quick note of thanks, both Karl and I really enjoyed the Falklands trip and picked up some really good tips to improve our photography. The Falkland Islands trip was beyond our expectations with wildlife encounters that have to be experienced to be believed with penguins often too close to be able to take anything other than macro shots. The location choices were great and gave us ample time to get to know the wildlife so we could get the best out of each spot. Having previously had a one to one session with Craig we liked his open honest approach and this was evident throughout the trip. Craig was always on hand to provide advice when we wanted it and gave great insight into he achieved his images and how we could apply the techniques for ourselves. Id highly recommend this trip or a one to one session with Craig as his lifelong love of wildlife is clearly evident and you will take away a wealth of tips and techniques to improve your photography. Thanks Ingrid & Karl
Craig Jones - Falkland Islands tour - A clients view An amazing photographic adventure in some truly remote areas only accessible by small aircraft and 4x4 vehicles. Stunning scenery matched by jaw dropping wildlife encounters every day. The weather amazed us all. Mostly very warm and dry with only an odd wild day, high factor sun screen was a necessity. Ive had a one to one with Craig two years previous and it was this that made me confident to book the tour not only for myself, but my wife too. I can see why Craig is ranked up with the top wildlife photographers in the UK. His images are amazing and it was great to learn the thought processes behind them. Exceptionally open and free with advice, both practical and conceptual. I believe everyone of the group, of which there were seven, grew as photographers and it shows in the images we brought back. Craig was always there when advice was needed but he never felt intrusive and let us use the help given to expand our creativity alone. Thereby creating our own style and not just reproduce his. This would have been easy for Craig just to say, stand here, these are your settings, now shoot that. But thats not Craigs style. Hed show us an image, say this is how I created it, this is what I saw and what I wanted the image to show. And then, if we wanted, wed trundle off into the wilds with our created juices flowing and shoot our vision. I believe where Craig differs from most are his background skills are directly transferable to his wildlife photography. His very strong ethics regarding the effect his photography has on the subjects. And his fieldcraft skills learnt from boyhood through to his army days to now. Finally, i find Craig, refreshingly honest and open for someone who earns a living from wildlife photography, there are no secrets. Both before, during and after the trip, Craig will always answer mails. Remembering the days he started out and finding a closed shop. With pros not bothering to answer mails. A sad but true reflection of life that Craig is not willing to repeat. Well finally to me. My images from this trip are completely different to anything I have before. Craig has a saying, 'there is always an image, you have to find it. And so true. I have learnt so much, so quickly. Some things cant be learnt from a book or a screen. You have to be there, feel the passion for the wildlife, the respect. Learn to think creatively. Standing with Craig, at dawn, on a deserted beach is my classroom. Thanks Craig. Kind regards.
I cannot thank Craig enough for the experience he has provided during my time in the Himalayas. From the instant I met him he was such an intelligent, kind and knowledgeable guy and has taken an enormous amount of time and careful planning to put together an unforgettable trip of a lifetime. The Rumbak Valley in which we spent most of our stay here was surrounded by pure beauty, but it was very cold, with temperatures dropping as low as -28 at night but during the day when the sun was shining it did reach about 5 degrees, which was pleasant. The food we received and the care up on the mountains was outstanding, our guides were unmistakably the best of the team, we couldn’t have done what we have without them. We were extremely lucky as we came across 2 snow leopards within 3 days of one another and the array of wildlife in-between was spectacular, but throughout this entire trip Craig was beside me helping me with my camera settings, any problems or queries I had he would be helping me instantly and I could see a huge difference in my pictures. The knowledge I have come away with has been more informative than a 6-week photography course I did. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who doesn’t mind being cold and doesn’t mind being immersed in some of nature’s finest work.
Thank you Craig
I travelled to Ranthambore National Park in India on a photographic tour led by Craig Jones who I can highly recommend for this and any other of his tours and workshops. Not only is Craig a wonderful photographer in his own right, he is an excellent tutor and will offer advice and assistance whenever you need it. He is also a dedicated conservationist, working hard using his camera and his skills to raise awareness of nature and the need to protect the wildlife around us both at home and abroad.
Thanks again for your time and expertise Craig, we learned some different photographic techniques and learned a bit from you on how to approach wildlife photography. On top of that it was a pleasure to travel with you. So thanks again from Andrea and myself. Andrea is still so enchanted with Ranthambhore that I think I could convince her to go there a second time. Who knows maybe in combination with Kaziranga. Anyway, looking forward to the next workshop or tour with you. I am still interested in the bears and wolverines.
We have just returned from a wonderful first (but not last) trip to Ranthambhore in India. It's a really amazing tiger reserve and we had an fantastic time. Our guide for the trip was Craig Jones, and I need to say how much we appreciated spending the week with him, getting to know both him and the wildlife around us. He is a kind and genuine photographer. You can tell from the moment you meet him that he has so much respect and appreciation for the natural world, something we don't see shown so outwardly by everyone, let alone by all wildlife photographers. His enthusiasm is infectious too, even though this is his 9th year visiting India.
His relationship with the locals contributed greatly to the success of our trip - whether the forest guards who call to him as we drive past, or the other Indian park guides who pull us over to have a chat where Craig jokes around with them and forms the relationships that ensure a warm welcome and helpfulness from everyone we meet. The trip was excellently organised by him and we didn't want for anything throughout!
Jeep drives were entertaining with constant banter and debates over the ethics of photography which pushed us to evaluate and better educate ourselves on the role we play as photographers and the relationship the locals need to have to make conservation stories like saving the last tigers from extinction possible. (And this from people who spend a lot of time on safari all over the world!) Too many good laughs and happy moments, and of course our first and subsequent many tiger sightings which we had without tearing around like madmen like some people do (these parks are rough going). All in all it was an excellent trip and I can't wait to return. Craig - you know how much we enjoyed your company. See you soon I hope
Hi Craig Hope all's well with you and thanks again for a great trip. I've just finally caught up with processing my photos! Here's a testimonial as promised Having never been to India before I did some research and decided that Craig's trip to Ranthambore looked ideal. And it certainly turned out that way. Everything went very smoothly and our hotel was the perfect place to stay - lovely people, great food, perfect hospitality. The forest is a beautiful place to spend time in and the tiger sightings were truly magical moments. I had plenty of sightings in my six days and others were even luckier! If you want to photograph wild tigers in India then this trip is a great way to do it. Kevin Wood, London All the best Kevin
THANKS Craig another incredible wildlife experience Fantastic trip you did everything in your power to get us the best shots of tigers and we were rewarded by seeing tigers every day The hospitality at our hotel was exceptional great food wonderful company relaxed atmosphere lots of laughs. Everything was well organized and hopefully I will be seeing leopards in Sri Lanka with you soon. However chocolate will be banned in the future when I am stuck in a jeep with you for 6 hours lol
What can I say Craig that has not been said before? Love the blog and India Images just keep the memories coming back. What a trip everything that you said happened. Great place to stay great company great food lots of great laughs and as for the drives and sightings of these awesome big cats it was just amazing. I am checking flights and working stuff out for maybe next year. Thanks Craig I just loved It.
Both myself and my wife always talked about going back to India on a Tiger trip someday, after a workshop with Craig on Mull which I enjoyed very much, I later found out about his Tiger Trip to Ranthambore National Park, we had no hesitation in booking and looked forward to it counting down the days. From the first day I contacted Craig he always made sure we had all the necessary documents and trip comforts also advising on what kit to take. We were welcomed at Heathrow by Craig who was on hand all through the journey to Ranthambore for my many questions. On the daily trips he was always on hand to get you the best photos, F5.6 ISO 1000 etc you would hear from Craig just making sure I had the correct settings. I am more than happy with the photographs I took and without the constant attention from Craig that number would have been very little. Craigs knowledge of his passion and photographic knowledge made this trip an event we will remember for a long time. Both Anne and myself thank you Craig for making our trip very enjoyable and unforgettable
Me and my husband have recently returned from the Wolves, Wolverines and Bears trip to Finland arranged by Craig. To summarise for those of you who don’t want to read me bang on about a fantastic holiday: It was great and if you have an interest in wildlife and/or photography, I would highly recommend it! If you want to know a bit more to see if this is for you / read me bang on some more…
A bit about Craig
We went with Craig as I had previously been out with him on a Voles and Dippers day of fun in the Peak District and had initially chosen Craig because of his commitment to animal welfare and conservation.
After enjoying this (and seeing his passion for the animals), and seeing the opportunity to photograph Bears in the wild, we decided he was the right man to take us on the most expensive (but ultimately great value) holiday we have ever been on. I was not the only returnee as two others from our group of six had previously been on expeditions / trips / holidays with Craig. The fact that half of the group were Craig’s previous “clients” is a pretty good indicator of the quality of the photo tours and workshops which Craig leads. We were very lucky to have a great group which resulted in a lot of laughs and a comfortable atmosphere all the way through the trip.
Let’s get the boring, but important admin out of the way. The trip was really well organised: Craig was in regular contact prior to the trip, recommended a helpful travel agent to book the flights and hotel in Helsinki and was there to meet us at Manchester Airport. The transfer vehicle to basecamp was waiting for us as we arrived at Kajaani Airport and dropped us off again in good time. The accommodation was clean, fairly basic (although you do not spend much time there) and in a beautiful location. Admin done.
Basecamp itself was run by lovely people. I contacted them prior to the trip to arrange to hire a lens, converter and ball head for use in the hides and this was sorted in minutes. Testimony to their trust / general niceness was the fact that I was handed a lens that (after a bit of googling) appeared to cost around £10,000, with no paperwork . waiver etc… and was left to pay at the end. All meals were included, including sandwiches for the hides, and they were very accommodating to my diet (vegan), even whipping up a vegan birthday cake for the group to eat, despite them being well over an hour away from any shops. If you are tempted by purchasing alcohol on the stop off at the supermarket en route to basecamp, don’t bother. There is no time to drink and I do not say this lightly.
Let’s be honest, spending 14 hours in a hide overnight is a bit uncomfortable and the toilet situation not perfect. But the amazing photographs I took and overall experience of being so close to such magnificent creatures more than made up for it. We were lucky enough to see the wildlife we had come to see every night, bears every night, wolves on the two nights in paradise hides (on the second night we were privileged to see the two wolves trying, and succeeding, in taking food from the bears, it was amazing to watch this play out) and wolverines. On the two nights in the wolverine hides, we also had a bear come through, which given the proximity of the hides to the animals was quite a nervous experience, but resulted in some great shots.
The hides are small and only hold 2-3 people, so couples are not split up and you are not scrambling for a view or stuck in a hide with random people. Craig gives all the advice for each location prior to going in the hides, will help set up if required and reviews any shots the next day if asked, providing feedback and advice on how to improve for the next night. As novice photographers, this proved invaluable for us, focussing our minds on camera settings and composition, rather than just using spray and pray which resulted in much improved images after the first night.
As an extra bonus, Craig, who offers macro workshops on his website, offered to provide us with a lesson whilst we were in Finland. He told us what we needed to bring and brought additional lenses for us to use if we didn’t have our own. He wouldn’t take any additional payment for this even though this has taken two potential clients for his workshops.
Overall, we have come away with some amazing memories and the best pictures I have ever taken, a number of which are already adorning our walls. I would definitely go on another of Craig’s trips maybe eyeing up a Scotland trip next year!
Thanks again for an amazing trip.
Nicola and Pat Hyde
I attended a week with Craig in Finland on the Bears and Wolves workshop. I couldn’t of ask for a better trip. The wildlife was showing, and we had some amazing moments with the bears and wolves competing over food. This is my first encounter of these large animals in the wild, i was totally blown away, and to top the experience off we had the wolves howling at 2am one night. Craig is laid back, and always on-hand to give some pointers when needed, his has a wealth of knowledge, and his passion for wildlife and conservation is infectious. This is my third outing with Craig, and I have also sign up for the trip to India next year, need I say more.
Hi Craig Just a note to say thanks for another amazing wild experience. Despite the lack of sleep, hot hides, ferocious Mosquitos and equally ferocious snoring it was all worth it to see one of those elusive Wolverines...... Couldn't believe our luck after it hadn't been seen for a few days. What a beautiful place Finland is and what a place Lassi and his family have. They all made us feel like part of their family for a few short days and we could have happily stayed there for a good while longer. Even though I'm not a photographer myself I know Stu has some of the best shots he's ever taken The more wildlife photographers I meet the more I'm convinced that you're all crazy boys and girls But in a good way Thanks again and well see you soon.
Id visited the Peak District before, but I wasn’t convinced Id got as much as I could out of it and so this time I wanted to go along with someone who knew the area. After some searching around I booked two days with Craig the first day a workshop on water voles and the second on dippers. It was a combination of the quality of Craigs own photos and the subject matter which swung the decision in particular, I wanted to see a water vole in the wild. So it was that I found myself meeting Craig at 6am on a Sunday morning in Buxton. Some may not be sure about such an early start, but it is worth it just to catch that early morning light. Also, it means you can make the most of the day, if as happened on my second day it starts to pour down early in the afternoon. One of the first things you notice about Craig is his enthusiasm, both for photography and the wildlife he is showing you. Throughout the two days he was explaining about the animals behaviour and pointing out things to watch for, signs that the animals are around and ways of improving your chances of seeing them. Similarly, he is there providing advice on your photography. I’ve had a reasonable amount of experience of photographing animals, particularly in captivity, but you can always learn more for example, amongst other bits of advice, this was the first time Id used my 500mm long lens out in the field so to speak, and Craig provided useful tips on long lens technique and how to stabilize it. (I also learnt the valuable lesson that waterproofs are no use if you leave them behind in your car) Overall, it was an excellent couple of days. I came away with some very pleasing images, but more than that it was just a very enjoyable time spent watching the wildlife, and learning from someone who was good company.
Hello Craig, thank you for one to one tuition in Buxton, photography Watervoles, Thank you for helping and showing me everything you know. It was the best day of my life to see and photograph these amazing and rare Water voles, best wishes Amy
I joined Craig on a Winter Wildlife trip in Norfolk December. I found Craig to be a prepared professional always concerned that you were getting what you wanted from the trip, and that you were looked after. One of the nice things with Craig is that there are no secrets and you dont have to ask for tips he wants to share what he knows with you. So if you want to shoot with someone who knows their stuff in photography, who loves nature, and who is a good teacher then you should give Craig a shout
Red Grouse in the Peaks Workshop I attended the 'Red Grouse In The Peaks' workshop run by Craig Jones and had a brilliant time, his knowledge of the area was brilliant and he took me right to the Grouse, taught me how to move and approach them, and went through everything I needed to know, had a great day Craig and some very nice Red Grouse images to boot! that had evaded me in the past,a lovely and pleasant man where nothing was to much trouble ,all the best Craig
A terrific day out despite the camera shy grouse. I found the pace of the day to be just right and allowed me time to think and ask questions. Craig is extremely knowledgeable and does not hold back on sharing what works for him and the experience he has gained over the years. Craigs philosophy is keep it simple and use what works for you. I found the fieldcraft hints and tips very useful and a week later I tried them out on a day out in the Lake District,it all worked. Everything I had learnt from Craig, camera techniques and fieldcraft, came together and was of real benefit. I wouldnt hesitate to have another day out, well worth the money and the extra mile Craig goes to in providing refreshments. The passion and thought for wildlife and photography that Craig writes about on his website is not a front, he does absolutely care for wildlife and this is clearly obvious when speaking with him. A great day, thank you Craig.
They say you have to earn good wildlife images. Well after ascending the hill before dawn in driving rain winds gusting in excess of gale force we arrived. With Craig’s Knowledge and expertise of both the landscape, fieldcraft and the available wildlife an enjoyable day was had, especially as the weather improved giving some superb low winter sunlight. The elusive mountain Hare remains so, but the Red Grouse made up for the day. Regards Mike
Many thanks, Craig, for such a stunning trip I learned a huge amount from you, especially about exposure, and it was good to have an extended opportunity to put some of the things you taught me on our one-to-one into practice. What a beautiful island! The early morning sessions photographing Avocets in such lovely light were completely magical. Thanks for all the tips and for sharing your understanding of bird behaviour and fieldcraft so generously. We couldnt have stayed at a better hotel - stylish, comfortable and with food to die for! I hope you continue to run this workshop because I already want to go back!
Great trip Craig, would recommend to anyone great sightings great photos and great tips and advice from you. And well always remember the puffin expression.
A total master at what he does fantastic trip Craig get signed up for one of Craigs trips you wont regret it we had a wonderful time. Thanks for your Patience Craig.Some great memories looking at my photos.
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your Magic of Mull trip. The variety of wildlife, stunning scenery and good company made for a really memorable week. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge of the local wildlife as well as your photographic expertise. I learned so much in just those few days, and it has given me so much enthusiasm to go out and transfer the skills I learned on Mull to other projects. There was lot packed into each day, but I wouldnt have missed those early mornings for anything! Best wishes
As a relative newcomer to photography I looked long and hard before settling on the June Magic of Mull trip. Would I be out of my depth I wondered? The vast rugged landscape and fantastic wildlife may have stolen the show but equally impressive was Craigs knowledge and experience which ensured that our small party (lovely people!) all got the most out of the week. Craigs assured but relaxed approach and a few basic principles quickly had us on the path to some impressive images and a heightened respect for the rich wildlife of the island. My only regret would be that I hadnt taken the plunge earlier. Set out with an open mind and you cant fail to improve your photography, whatever your level. I cant wait to put some of the technique Ive learned into practice on future trips and adventures. Thanks again Craig. I cant believe it was over so quickly, the memories and new found confidence will certainly outlast the midge bites.
Thanks for a fantastic week Craig and for all that you taught and showed me I learned so much from you. I thoroughly enjoyed the week photographing the amazing wildlife on the island of Mull.Craig was very knowledgeable and his organisation and enthusiasm was infectious throughout the week, with his willingness to do everything possible to ensure that all the group were catered for meant we all got the maximum from the week. Everything that it promised to be and more.
Thank you for great week photographing the wonderful wildlife of the Cairngorms. Craig you are a great photographer and teacher with great passion and an easy going personality that really work. Your methods of tracking and fieldcraft allow photography by getting close to the animals in their natural environments. I took away a realisation that there is another way of photographing wildlife that doesn’t involve paying someone to use a hide with a dressed set up. The ethics you teach and live by are an inspiration. Most importantly I have a good selection of new skills and techniques with a great group of pictures.
I would like to say a massive thank you for the fantastic time I had on your spring waders workshop Your willingness to share your knowledge and techniques was extremely refreshing from the guarded nature of most other professional photographers. The technical tips you gave helped to improve my photography, however the highlight for me was the amount of fieldcraft knowledge that I was able to gain Our time spent crawling and lying around the field photographing the Hares was fantastic and incredibly rewarding when we walked away with the photographs we had in mind at the start Once again a huge thank you and I look forward to future workshops/trips that I hope to do with you soon! I will never hesitate in recommend you to anyone and everyone
Just returned from a wonderful 4days with Craig, an amazing photographer who is only too willing to share his enthusiasm for wildlife and photography. Nothing was to much trouble, from explaining camera technique to fieldcraft techniques. We stayed in a cracking hotel with superb food and everything was run on a very professional basis. For anyone looking for a workshop involving wildlife I can highly recommend Craig
Spent the day on Craig’s Dipper workshop and had a brilliant time, Craig has spent many years walking these dales and his knowledge of the area is amazing. Never know anyone with such enthusiasm and such a love for nature. Craig was very informative and a pleasure to listen to and I liked his modesty and sincerity. Had a great time with some brilliant images too.
Went on the Dipper Of The Dales trip with Craig Jones, he took us to a superb dipper site and we all shared a perfect day, his love for the wildlife and this bird and enthusiasm is inspiring, thank you Craig for a great day and congratulations on your dipper article in Birdwatching Magazine.
Dippers of the Dales Workshop I really enjoyed my day with the dippers, thanks to your local knowledge, passion and enthusiasm, Thanks for the insight of how these birds survive even in quite a populated area, how they use the waterfall areas for feeding All in all a very pleasant day with help on technique, composition and fieldcraft, now all I have to do is remember it all and put it into practice. Hoping to try out some of your techniques this coming Friday, on some Shelduck which have started to pair up on a local estuary.An excellent day out I really enjoyed it thank you.
A massive thank you Craig Jones for yesterday in Norfolk fantastic day and you're a wonderful human being. Keep up the great work.
Hi Craig, just a little note to say thank you so much for all the help you gave David last week on his one to one. We had an absolutely brilliant day with you along the North Norfolk coast and the thought you put into making the day a success showed the passion you have for photographing wildlife. We went back out the next day walking to Cley and David used all the techniques while they were still fresh in his mind.
The problem: I wanted to photograph waders at the Snettisham high tide roost, had no transport to get me there and only a vague idea of how to capture a swirling cloud of Knot. The solution: Craig Jones, who picked me up from my hotel at 6am on a brisk January morning blessed by beautiful Norfolk light. As we set up on Snettisham beach, I was instantly impressed when Craig (clearly a Nikon man!) quickly and expertly checked through the menu settings on my Canon 7D. He then showed me how to compose in camera by moving the focus point. This has since proved to be the most important single piece of advice I’ve ever been given and has totally changed my approach to capturing images. I found Craigs passion for wildlife and his desire and ability to communicate it highly motivating and infectious. I had a blast of a day and came home with some cracking images and lots to think about.
Craig Thanks for a great workshop last weekend, very informative and inspirational. I thoroughly enjoyed myself on the moors on Sunday, thanks again.
The stunning Shetland isle 2016 tour well exceeded my expectations. Our small group of 5 included Craig and Iain, a local resident and an expert on the wildlife of Shetland. With the help of Iain, Craig's vast knowledge and expertise of the wildlife of Shetland enabled us to experience and photograph a wide variety, some of which I had never seen before.
We stayed at the St Magnus Bay Hotel in Hillswick and had the most wonderful view. The owners of the hotel, Paul and Andrea made us very welcome and nothing was too much trouble. We had a newly refurbished room with all the home comforts. The food was excellent including a vast choice for our packed lunches. I met some wonderful people on the trip who I would love to spend time with again. A big thank you to Iain and Anne Sloan who became a big part of our life during the week making us very welcome in their home. We travelled in comfortable by car to several of the islands including Fetlar, Noss and Unst. The latter of which was the highlight of the trip. Here we spent hours watching and photographing 30,000 pairs of nesting gannets at Hermaness, the most northerly point of the British Isles. We did have a few encounters with otters but at this time of year the female otters are in their holts looking after their young. We had a wonderful experience with the arctic terns attacking a mother sheep and its lamb on the beach. Another highlight of my trip was the hundreds of Puffins seen at Sumburgh Head and Hermaness. We covered a vast area of the islands, some days catching ferries at 6am to ensure that we made the most of our time there.
The days were well organised and filled with interest. Every corner turned there was something new to see. Craig is a true professional with a passion for wildlife and amazing field skills which he able to convey to his fellow wildlife enthusiasts. He shows a true respect for the natural world. I have not only developed my photographic skills, but increased my natural history knowledge of the wildlife of Shetland from this trip. I had a wonderful week with great company and have come home totally exhausted! I would highly recommend this trip. Can't wait to go again.
I have just returned from the Shetlands Isle 2016 tour with Craig. It was my forth time with Craig the other 3 were either workshops or 1-2-1 ( Red grouse / Water Voles / Dippers).
I have always found Craig puts his passion for wildlife before his skills as a photographer which means he puts you in the right place to get the best chance of great images. It was so enjoyable to sit for hours absorbing the nature around us in an effort to get great images. It was a pity that June is not a great month for Otters as the females are in their dens giving birth to the kits (if you want otters try Sept) but as always Craig explains all of this but still tries to give you what images you are looking for. However, there is a lot to see from amazing landscapes to wildlife and there was always something unexpected around the corner for example the sheep that got too near a colony of Artic Tern nests and despite the bombardment continued to graze. Craig had enlisted the aid of a friend who lived in Hillswick, where we were based, which also contributed to a successful tour
The group was made up of 4 persons including myself whose experiences were so different but we all got on well and whose humour was shared by all. Craig had set out a brief itinerary which was great as we could plan each day ahead especially in the selection of camera gear to take for that day. Despite the weather - mainly dry, cloudy but always windy. Most days we left the hotel at 8am but on 2 days due to the times of the ferries we left at 6am.
I had a great time and got some great images which can be seen on my website. (http://www.skid2me.co.uk/skid/family/pages/277sht.htm).
We stayed at the St Magnus Bay Hotel in Hillswick, despite the renovation - which was not intrusive - was friendly, comfortable and warm - see my Trip Advisor for the report.
I am looking forward to our next time together where ever that may be
Hi Craig Really enjoying reliving the memory of the week with you in Shetland Islands. Your Website reignites that wonderful place which will live long in my memory along with Annes cooking. Loved the place and being with a small group made it much more homely and helped all 4 of us to share good moments together. I hope to enjoy your company again sometime and learn a few more tricks of the trade. Much Appreciated. Best Regards Tim
Hi Craig, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the Shetland trip. The otters may not have been terribly obliging for us this time but there was so much else to see and photograph. The boat trip to Noss to see the gannet colony was an absolute highlight, and something that I would definitely do again if I ever get the opportunity. Your guidance with my photography the hospitality of Iain and Anne and the camaraderie with the other participants made it a really memorable experience. I feel that my photography is developing in a really positive way and that is no small part thanks to your support and guidance. Best wishes and I look forward to catching up again on the tiger trip to India next year.
Hi Craig, it was my pleasure to take part in this workshop, what a great time we had!...a lot of wildlife, birds everywhere and many, many opportunities for photographing, definitely great trip. I would like to say thank You for your help and friendliness and for driving me around the island like royalty, needless to say that the hotel and food were amazing too. A definitely recommended trip for anyone who wants to take her/his photography to the next level...thanks again and hope to meet you soon again.
Hi Craig, Just wanted to let you know how much Trent and myself enjoyed the Madagascar Wildlife Adventure. Thanks to you we both improved our photographic knowledge immensely and it was so much fun. Your passion and enthusiasm for wildlife photography is inspiring. I picked up so many handy hints, and I know Trent will never use "Auto" again your no-nonsense approach is refreshing The accommodation was perfect for the type of holiday, especially as Madagascar is so poor. The guides were also "first class", especially "Rija" his knowledge and English was great, and nothing was too much trouble. An amazing holiday with lots of wonderful pictures and memories Good Luck with your next adventure and I hope to join you in India one day. Kind regards,