Beavers, Lynx and Friends are back!!!
We had many successful workshops with the Lynx, beavers and friends over the past few years and we are pumped to bring it back, but this time you will get 2 Beaver photography sessions instead of 1 to give you the best chance! Plus we have an exclusive arrangement to start our shoot at sunrise and work through the best light, whereas normally would start at 10am, so another great bonus!!
This is a great workshop for anyone wanting to get up close and personal with cool British wildlife (current and previous!) including Lynx, Beavers, Badgers, Foxes, Polecats, Water Voles, Scottish Wildcat and Pine Marten. You will get some great pics and have me there all the time helping you out, plus an extra classroom Q&A session to start the workshop.
So a long time conservationist / rewilding expert friend runs a wildlife centre in the west country that has animals in very natural enclosures, which is where we will be based. This is a two day workshop, you will arrive late afternoon for a briefing before the beaver session until sunrise, then we start at dawn the next morning and shoot for 6 hours so we make the most of the best light. Then after the afternoon at leisure (with a pub lunch perhaps in between) we have another beaver session that evening. That's two chances at seeing them in good light.
It's awesome and booking now!
Date: 18th-19th September 2023
Price: £299 per person
Places in total: 1 / 7 available - last place!!!
Location: Launceston, Cornwall
Beavers. Yes, my friend has been at the forefront of all the beaver reintroductions in the UK and he has a family group in a nice big enclosure for us to photograph. The centre piece is a natural pond where they may come out and swim around for us. So we will go down around 2 1/2 hours before sunset and sit in absolute silence waiting. No noise, no talking, no fiddling, no rustling... just sit still and quiet and we may get a wonderful reward of seeing and hopefully photographing a beaver. For this session all cameras will be on tripods to minimise faffing and fiddling, I cannot emphasise this enough that you will have to be still and silent to have any chance. All phones will be left out of the area on airline mode. I will be honest and say that there is a 50-50 chance as beavers are always shy, it just depends on how quiet you are and the luck of the draw but it's a great learning experience and that is what my workshops are all about! So far we have a 75% success rate I should say, it's fun and you will love beavers. For September sunset is at 730pm, we will likely shoot until 715pm. Note that the beavers have moved to a new pond, which is smaller and more natural than the previous one you see here, so the pictures will be better...plus you will get not one but two evening sessions!
Lynx, Lynx and more Lynx
The Lynx are in a fantastic natural enclosure and you will be able to shoot through the wire easily to get great pictures of them.
We have arranged an exclusive sunrise shoot so we will start just after sunrise when the light can be amazing if the sun is out!
So there are 3 Lynx in a very natural enclosure, it’s not manicured in any way so expect long grass and a wild looking habitat. They come close too, I took some portraits from 2ft away when one came to the wire to investigate me, it was awesome.
So the plan is to spend a good 2 hours starting just after sunrise with the Lynx when they are very active and when the light could be (because you never know) the best. If the sun is out then we can shoot front or backlit, as there is total access around the enclosure; if the sun is not out then we concentrate on nice natural portraits. I will be right there to help you and to ensure that we get the best shots. It's essential that we spend this time to get the shots as for a lot of the time Lynx just do nothing but sit and stare, which is frustrating if they are in the grass!!! So don't think this is a one hour shoot and you can move onto the next animal, you can't, we will stay for at least two hours and maybe more. Plus we may be able to get one of them to jump for us, it depends on their mood....
All the shots that you see here are in the summer....
So what happens after you've got your great Lynx shots then? Well then we spend some time with the other animals that will give us great opportunities…
And then some more "friends"
I know, Lynx and Beavers right? Yeah they will be our main target species and we will spend quality time with both without pressure to move on. But waiting in the wings are three other very friendly species, badgers, scottish wildcats, polecat, pine marten and sika deer, all great for photography and remember I will be right there to manage it and to help you. Oh and you won’t be shooting through wire you will be right there inside with them!!!! The enclosures are left to be very natural, they are not manicured in any way so will look real.
Remember the key here is that this is a learning workshop so yes you will hopefully get great shots but also you will learn a lot from me along the way.
A slight caveat here. Anyone who comes with a tick list and demands maximum species in minimum time is gonna be so disappointed on this workshop as you won't get this on mine. We will only use some of these species if we really need to and myself Lavinia (our lovely host for the day) will decide if and when we use any. Remember our priority are the Lynx and Beavers!
Evening briefing and Classroom Session
So on the afternoon before the beavers I will hold a briefing for everyone at the centre. It will be informal and just give you some compositional ideas and tell you what to expect. This is a really big benefit to you as I have 25 years of experience shooting wildlife photography and am incredibly experienced at shooting in situations like this. I will of course be there the whole time to help you get the most out of all the sessions with timely hints and tips, plus the usual banter!
Since we have an early start and a late finish you will need overnight accommodation for two nights (although some drive home after the second beaver session). We have a brilliant local place that is just £60 per night that we always use that is just 5 minutes away, we will give you details after booking.
The Kit and ethics
Kit wise it’s pretty simple. A 100-400mm, 200-400, 70-200mm f2.8 or something similar will be perfect for everything. A wide angle zoom is essential too for the badgers and some of their other friends. All pictures of the badgers / wildcat were taken with a 24-200mm lens. They really don't care as they will eat anything! Now for the Lynx I used a 100-400 and a 24-200, the wire gaps are quite narrow so forget trying to pose with anything bigger.
For the beaver you will need the biggest reach you can get, 400mm - 500mm at least (if anything shows). Plus a tripod as you must cut movement to a minimum - we will be sitting on the ground for this so ensure that your tripod can be set low enough, to enable you to sit comfortably - I have a couple of spares if you need them.. You may wish to bring a small (non rustling(!)) cushion. Now if you don't have a silent mirrorless drive then you will have to be very responsible and only take one frame at a time and just a small number of shots, this is for the good of the beavers, as one excessive noise, too much fidgeting or rustling will cause the beavers not to come out. Note for the beavers if you have a white lens you will need to cover it with something dark like some netting, an old t shirt or something. Once you sit you have to stay there and stay still so please do not sign up if you cannot do this!
Minimum kit will be allowed inside the enclosures, no bags as they will be left outside.
We will have the place to ourselves so you can bring whatever you need and leave it. I would suggest wellies no matter what the temperature as access to the Lynx enclosure is tight and there are plenty of thistles and nettles. Bring rough clothes really as you will be sitting / laying down in the enclosures and it may be muddy.
Sitting out in the rain for two hours for beavers may not be everyone's idea of fun so we may have to cancel that shoot if it rains. But remember we have two sessions with the beavers.
But we will not cancel the morning shoot as the animals don't care and nor do I!! If it's hammering it down first thing we will just wait!
So no matter what the weather, the workshop will go ahead.
Ok the basic plan is as follows:
Day 1 - 18th September - arrive at centre at 3pm for briefing. Evening beaver session until 730pm then group dinner at the local pub (at your own cost)
Day 2 - 19th September - sunrise start with extensive Lynx session. Then other species as indicated above. We finish the morning session at lunchtime, you then have the afternoon at leisure until the second evening beaver session.
Booking your place
We have worked out the price for this at a reasonable £299 per person. This reflects the small sized group and the extra costs involved for arranging early morning shoot sessions. If I were taking 12 clients we could take the cost down a lot but the quality of your experience would suffer greatly, hence it's 7 people. So to book your place just Add to Cart above and follow the payment process, when it is complete you receive a confirmation email from PayPal and a general one from ARWP LTD. When the workshop is full I will be in touch with other details.
In a nutshell once you book your place it is totally non refundable and non transferable if you cancel and by booking your place you accept this. We may be able to sell your place and if we do so then we will give you a full refund. If we cancel then you are entitled to a transfer to a similar workshop or a full refund. Our full terms and conditions are set out below.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS
1. The meaning of some words used in these Terms and Conditions.
We, us or our is a reference to ARWP Ltd You or your is a reference to the person to whom we are providing our services and who is required to pay for the services we provide. Services means the trips ( including abroad ), tours, tuition or workshops we will organise. The precise services we will be providing to you will be stated in the literature including website(s) and newsletters advertising the services on offer and as we may agree from time to time.
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2.1. A legally binding contract between you and us will come into being when you accept the offer of services from us by booking your place.
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