Entries Tagged ‘Workshops’:

Just Press The Button

Filed in Articles on Jul.01, 2010

I’ve just returned from two wonderful One To One days in Norfolk that a client from Scotland:Bobby had booked with me.I’m always happy when people make the effort in booking onto one of my trips or One To Ones,where in Bobby’s case traveling some distance I took care of everything, the hotel booking,food,packed lunch the lot so no matter how far the client has to travel to attend one of my trips I pull all the stops out,enabling them to ‘Just Press The Button’ and enjoy and capture the chosen wildlife they have asked to photograph and learn more about.

I find the task of meeting a stranger in the early hours of a new day not a problem as I do really like helping people to take better images,where I teach it all from expert fieldcraft,crafted over many years of being at one with nature right through to the camera settings,pressing home all the time that wildlife photography is for everyone,where good images can be obtained with effort and patience.My passion for nature ever present and I show the beauty of whats around us all,where I share my skills and information  from the moment someone attends my trips/One To One days,so when they go home they do so in the knowledge they have learned in parts, the skills,setting,knowledge of nature that I know and use and over time with practise and patience their work will improve as mine has done.

Barn Owl

The key target when I am heading east from my Staffordshire home to Norfolk is the beautiful Barn Owl-‘The Ghost’ as call them as you can be waiting for some time,then from know where this white bird appears,almost like a ghost,perfectly silent in flight,going about its business,quartering the fields on the look out for rodents and small voles,briefly looking up at you with its ‘Disc-Like’ face,giving you a split second look at their beautiful faces.My preference has always been to get into place before the light comes up,using camouflaged clothing,and place yourself in nature, where by watching,listening and observing what is happening around you you can start buildling a picture of whats happening around and over time this for me is the best tool to learn with regard wildlife photography and one I always press home on any workshops/trips I run.

The weather in Norfolk was’nt great,but on the first night we where afforded a beautiful sunset,where I was dreaming the Barn Owl would fly past,but some dreams are just to big and will always remain just that,dreams.The colour from the sunset turned the whole place a red/orange colour,it was just amazing to watch with no wind you could here a pin drop,just the noise of the waves breaking the perfect silence.

Sunset

Bobby managed some great shots and also some wide-angled landscape image,where there is always an image to be had even in the absence of wildlife.The two days went to quick,with only the images on my hard drive now to remind me of my latest trip to Norfolk.I tired to capture the Barn Owl within the farmland habitat in which it share’s its life alongside humans,where there is the close contact between these two and where the Barn Owl seems to be thriving with good numbers of these birds all over Norfolk

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

For me the Barn Owl never stops thrilling me with its presence,it is a really popular bird within the general public, when you catch one flying around on its quest for food it is just amazing to watch this master at work.This year I have witnessed them feeding in pouring rain,something I reported on in an early blog and behaviour I’ve never seen before.With the recent cold spell at the beginning of the year,one of the coldest in over 50 years, the Barn Owl struggled to feed itself and in some areas numbers have been down,but the real damage of this spell of weather won’t be truly known for some time yet.

I have released a Limited Edition Barn Owl image,with only 100 prints available.Where I had observed this male Barn Owl for sometime during our recent cold spell, I watched as he hunted over snow-covered ground. Here he is captured stopping and hovering over prey, just short of where I was laying down on the freezing ground. I could here his wings flapping during the brief time he hovered then moved on. To celebrate that beautiful moment in nature alongside my own love for Barn Owls I have brought out this Print.Where you can buy with or without a frame by clicking here and scroll down

Barn Owl

A lot of my work and prints can be viewed this weekend as I have a display at the Pavilion Gardens,Buxton,Derbyshire.and I’m just making the final adjustments to my stand and choosing the images I will display and sell to the public.Its great to see my work in print as to often its just left on the computer or used at a much reduced Jpeg size,where the detail cannot be truly seen.So if you are in the area this weekend please pop in to say hello and if I can be of any help,or questions on wildlife photography etc than please ask.

CJWP


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Favourite Places

Filed in Photography Tips, Wildlife on Jun.20, 2010

Over the last few weeks I have found myself almost tied to my desk either compiling my four-coming trips to India and Kenya and so forth,editing images and making submissions,and processing images.So to find some peace and quiet away from these tasks I like the least I have found myself drawn to some of my favourite places within nature,places I have been so,so many times over the years.So on the odd days I’ve had spare I’ve replaced the pen for my camera and visited the coast,my Barn Owl and my Dipper sites to which I have committed myself to capturing these animals over a twelve month period,through the changing seasons.

Where I have resisted in parts the temptation to fill the frame with the subject on most occasions,instead capturing my style where I love to include some of the surrounding habitat.By doing this I feel the image can tell more of a story about the animal and it’s relationship with the environment.Where the subject itself may be very small in the frame,this helps to illustrate the scale of the landscape and something I have always been drawn towards in my work.But as shown below a large in the frame image works in giving a close up into their world.

Dipper

Dipper

Composition plays a key role in this type of image so its important to remember the Rule Of Thirds that I covered in a previous post on‘Composition’ remembering to place the subject away from the centre of the frame.

I have three Dippers sites I am visiting quite regular,time permitting at present,compiling images throughout the year, where all birds are all doing well in different ways within the Peak District,Derbyshire.These birds as you know if you are a regular visitor to my blog have amazed my from when i was a small lad,and they still amaze me to this day,with their character and constent  ‘Dipping’ behaviour ever present when you first see these birds in and around freshwater.Dippers nest early and in alot of cases can have a second brood of chicks throughout the season.One pair I have watched are feeding around three at present,when their parent lands the cries and screaming from the chicks in the nest is deafening,piercing through the noise from the fast flowing water close to their nest.

Dipper

Dipper

I run Dipper Of The Dales one day workshops,where I take you to the best site depending on the time of year within the Peak District.Giving you the chance to see and photography these Master’s Of The River

Also on the same stretch of river is a family of Grey Wagtails,where I have enjoyed watching their intense and frantic movement gathering food for the chicks,with the male pausing for a second in these lovely shaped tree branches below before he entered the nest,with a bit of a chance shot of the bird taking off using a slow shutter speed below this,beautiful to watch all this happening as its a great time to go out and watch wildlife now,with parents feeding young,juveniles having left the safety of their homes all happening around you as you immerse yourself in nature.

Grey Wagtail

Grey Wagtail

I have also been able to have a few days at the coast photographing Seabird’s,with the Puffin being high on my wish list again.I just love the clown-like faces on these beautiful birds,which apart from the four months of the year they come ashore to breed they spend the other eight months,living and feeding at sea,now that’s a very hardy bird.

Puffin

Puffin

My image called Fighting Puffins made the final round of this year’s BBC Veolia Environmental Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2010,where I was chuffed to bits as it was the first year I had entered this highly prestigious competition,with ten images in the semi-finals,and one in the final round,below is the image of two male Puffins fighting over a woman.

Fighting Puffins

Where if you click onto the link here it will take you to the site,put in craigjones00@hotmail.co.uk and the code 223682 and you will see the fore mentioned images.Good luck to all those that have won there respective categories and now go forward to the big prize..co.uk

With my most enjoyable time of late being in photographing Barn Owls in the lovely evening light we’ve been afforded lately.This is the male I have photographed from the beginning of the year who survived the prolonged cold spell,he’s doing really well and has young to feed at the moment.Here he is seen small in the frame with the surrounding habitat turning this beautiful red and orange-yellow colour as the sun had almost set,just beautiful.

Barn Owl

A big thank you to all the interest I have had in regard to my Limited Edition Tiger prints,that are now officially on  21 Century Tiger website,promoting these images,where 50% of the profits go to helping Wild Tigers as I really wanted to help these amazing animals that I was privileged to see earlier this year in India.

My Tigers Of India photo-tour is now live on my workshops page,which promises to be an amazing adventure over the 8 days,also my Amazing Africa photo-tour is now live also .Where I am running a Photo-Tour to Kenya to photograph the Masai Mara Migration this year and next year alongside Paul McDougall who runs PhotographyKenya another amazing trip for wildlife photographer’s and enthusiasts alike.What ever you’d like to photograph it is really, as said a great time to go outdoors to photograph wildlife right now,where nature will always be challenging but when it all comes together there can surely no better feeling and satisfaction as a photographer in getting your images,good luck.

CJWP


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Nest Building -Dipper

Filed in Wildlife, Workshops on Apr.11, 2010

After a brilliant week camping in the Welsh countryside it was straight back home and out today on one of my Dippers Of The Dale workshops I had booked with a very nice man:Charlie Goddard from the North-East of the UK, Charlie had contacted me reference coming on one of my Dipper one day workshops as he’d never been able to get closer enough at his local site to photograph these Masters Of The River.These birds and the workshops are my favorite to do as I love to pass on my passion for these beautiful birds,telling the person(s) all about their behaviours etc as they are crafted from over 25 years of interest/experience of this bird dating back to when I was 10 years old,they have a personnel connection for me also.

Dipper

My aim on any trip I do is to get the very best images of the chosen subject the client has come to see and photograph,so it was fantastic that on Charlie’s chosen day the Dippers had started to build their nest,with the care and fieldcraft I teach in and around this bird on these workshops its possible to get some close up images without disturbing them,but it has been some time since I have been rewarded with such close up views as we’d had today,and I was over the moon for Charile.Because for me its the joy people get from what they see and photograph that makes me happy,by showing,teaching what I know and love.

Dipper In Habitat

 We saw three birds,one female and two males,with the numbers being really down on the previous years for this time of year.Natural England have ringed two of the birds from what I could see with the above bird not having any rings on yet.Phil Bowler,head warden for the area, had told me in an email of there attempt to provide nest boxes for the Dippers to nest in,far removed from the busy hotspot areas they have chosen before and deserted due to high levels of disturbance.So it was with great anxiety I witnessed these birds building a nest not so far away from one of these hotspots instead of the well hidden nest boxes.And as we sat and waited for the Dippers to reappear, two dogs where in the water and also two people decided to dip their feet in the water as the temperature was raising alongside my own.

This does prove that the Dipper,through memory will return to their place of birth alot of the time,with food source being the key,while some of the nest boxes provided by Natural England are placed/sited away from the fast-flowing water, I feel this is a key decision for the Dipper’s when it chooses a place in which to site its nest,close to or on top of a plentiful supply of food.As it stands I feel the disturbance will play a major role on this particularly site as was the case last year and I wish they’d have chosen a more secret location for their nest.

Grey wagtail

Not to far away from the Dippers nest their are a pair of Grey Wagtails that are building their nest too,so the area is a real hub of activity at present.Charlie got some brilliant close up images and he’s promised to send me one as he was using the 200-400 and with the Dippers collecting moss so close to us he was able to zoom out where I had ran out of focusing due to the Dipper being so close,amazing to watch though!.I am going back really soon to watch and monitor this pair and I hope and pray they have moved to a different site where their chances of raising a family will be greater,thus,increasing the population of Dippers on this stretch of river hopefully.

Dipper

A great day was had,with the customer’s wishes of seeing and photographing the Dipper coming true which is what its all about for me alongside me helping them to take better photos.I will update my blog on the situation at this spot but I say now that I am very nervous for this pair as they don’t seem to be using the nest boxes provided and if they carry on building where we both witnessed today then the future doesn’t look good.

With the new signs,ringing for information purposes and the introduction of nest boxes not stopping people/dogs entering the water who knows what the answer is apart from my solution,which was fencing off these sensitive areas I had mentioned in my previous article printed in the Birdwatching Magazine last October,which can be viewed here,fingers crossed though to a successful year as last year was the worst I can remember.with the Dippers really needing a break this year.

I have a really busy month ahead of me with my Norfolk workshop,then my trip to India to photograph the Tigers,then my trip with Jereon Stel to Texel,so really looking forward to all those trips,and thank you to all the people I’ve met for your support.

CJWP


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Texel Workshop

Filed in Workshops on Jan.11, 2010

At around 25 miles long and seven miles wide the island of Texel is the largest of the Wadden Islands, It’s a haven and paradise for thousands of waders and waterfowl during the spring/summer months where they choose this picturesque island to play out their courtship routines and breed, feed their young all quiet close to you, presenting some of this best chances to photograph Avocets, Spoonbills, Caspian and Black Terns, Oystercatchers, Kentish Plovers, and many more waders.The Texel workshop is being co-hosted with me and award winning Dutch wildlife photographer Jeroen Stel whose expert knowledge of Texel and the surrounding area is second to none and the perfect guide to get the very best images of wildlife this place has to offer.

Avocets

It’s one of the best places in Europe for close up views of Avocets with the chance of getting some amazing close up images of these beautiful birds.Jeroen Stel and myself have teamed up to offer you the very best in Wildlife Photography workshops,we also have a brillant trip planned for early june called The Magic Of Mull’ where we will show you the beautiful wildlife and landscapes this island has to offer.Other trips in the future are also planned all designed by Wildlife Photographers for Wildlife Photographers.

Spoonbill

Spoonbill

Our hotel is situated on the island of Texel, not far from the beaches, marshland, extensive fields, strongholds of Bluethroats, Short-eared Owls, Terns, Eiders, and many more, depending on what is about at the time of our trip,the photographic opportunities will never stop.Over the coastal marshes a healthy population of Marsh Harriers patrol the skies, hunting over the reed beds and marshland giving a great insight and close up view of these magnificent birds of prey.

Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier]

Jeroen will have planned the best places and routes before our arrival in Texel in an attempt to get the best images from this trip as possible, myself and Jeroen will guide you through each day, approach the wildlife with real care and settle into place and watch the magic of Texel play out before your very eyes.After our day has ending and we have finished our evening meal a a slideshow of the images will be presented giving you the chance to see your work and that of others, sharing best practices, so that as a group you can get the very best out your days on Texel. We will also go through tips and advice on wildlife photography covering both practical and theoretical examples that you can apply yourselves in your own time.

Bluethroat

It’s promises to be a brillant trip so if you would like to know more or book your place on this trip please go to my workshop section or clickTexel’ ,alternatively drop me a line on my contact page and I will give you all the details you will need for this action packed trip with have planned.

Tern

Avocet

More information on this beautiful island and what it has to offer can be viewed by clicking on Jeroen’s Blog 1 and Blog 2 and as you will see there is nobody better to show you around this beautiful island other than Jeroen who know’s this island like the back of his hand.Many thanks and hope to see you there.

Logo


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Red Grouse

Filed in Workshops on Dec.09, 2009

Spent a lovely day yesterday on a One To One with Gary Copeland,Derbyshire in the Peak District looking for Red Grouse,after a slight walk to one of 3 places I visit regularly we got into place and waited for this very shy bird to show up.The heaths and moors of the peak district are an eerie exposure of peat covered moorland sitting about 600m (2000 ft) above sea level. Large wind carved eroded rocks sit among vast plateaus and rock formations supporting a healthy population of Red Grouse. These iconic moorland birds make their home on these moors and are reliant on their camouflaged plumage to blend in to this habitat.The image below shows where we were and gives you an ideal of this habitat.

Peak District

Female Red Grouse

The image above is of the hard to capture/see female who looked in stunning condition,perched on these large rocks that litter this beautiful landscape, the weather was good to us in the morning but in the afternoon the weather changed and at 570m ( Altitude-meter in my watch) above sea level you get a real sense of the environment  as you look to the sky and see the changing weather approaching.Neverless Gary and myself had a great day and I was pleased  for gary as he managed some lovely images and learned alot about the Grouse,approach,what to look for etc.

Red Grouse

I managed to capture a male Red Grouse up on a stone wall walking up and down, like something of the famous ‘Red Grouse Whisky’ advert where he is seen posing and performing,very funny to watch,seen below in this image

Red Grouse

The Red Grouse is one of those beautiful birds that live a quiet and shy life,a very jumpy bird I have found over time and the secret is just simply to get into place with as little disturbance to the bird as possible and wearing camouflage clothing,make sure the wind is blowing towards you as this will take your scent away and just wait for them to show up,they often fly around alot and take some time to settle.I run Red Grouse In The Peaks workshops, where throughout the year I have certain dates where I take up to four people to the best site at that time of year or like Gary I can do a One To One at one of these site’s also. It’s all designed to get the best images for the client as I can and a better understanding of your chosen subject using my proven fieldcraft techniques and other simply tips I teach and showing people the beauty of nature.

Male Red Grouse

And the male turned up just before we left and posed for us and I managed this portrait of this beautiful bird, a great day was had by all,thank you for your company Gary and a Merry Christmas.


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“Dippers Of The Dale” Workshops

Filed in In the Press, Workshops on Oct.28, 2009

My ‘Dippers Of The Dales’ workshops have started and I had a brillant time showing Tom and Ken around my site as they love the Dipper, I met Ken through my  ‘Flickr’ site.Both Tom and Ken are very keen wildlife photographers who where keen on seeing the Dipper  having read my article in October issue ‘Birdwatching Magazine’.

WORKSHOP

The picture above shows us altogether with a mini-waterfall as the backdrop,it was taken by remote trigger (Ken,Tom,Me) in that order,and it was a real joy to show them around and teach them about the Dipper, a bird that has amazed me from a small boy. Knowing where to go and how to appoach the Dipper makes all the difference for me and as I have been coming to this site from a small boy it would be nice to think the Dippers know me quite well now!. We had the whole day there,before Tom and Ken departed for home and a  sample of Ken’s work from the day can be seen here ‘Ken’ and Tom’s work from the day  ‘Tom’.

Very nice to meet you both and so glad I was able to show you around and share my love of the Dipper with you both and since have become good freinds. My next workshop is planned for ‘Monday 16th November’ see my workshop pdf below for details or drop me a line on my contact page if you would like to go.

Details on my “Dippers of the Dale” Workshop
You will need Adobe PDF to view this attachment.  This can be downloaded for free at Adobe’s website.

Dipper portrait

A Dipper in the setting sun I took at the same site.


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