Using flash in Nature Photography Workshop

Great Spotted Woodpecker using Fill Flash

Course overview.

Why you need flash

Here in the UK there’s always a great discussion going on about whether it’s right to use flash for bird photography or not. In many occasions I have been confronted with awkward arguments how I could dare to use fill flash for shooting birds.
The best was something like “I can use Shadow/Highlights filter in Photoshop or Lightroom and get the same effect”……
To me there are two groups. One groups that doesn’t like flash shooting at all and has ethical concerns and the other group, which just says it’s bad to use fill flash, because they don’t know how to use it. I have to disagree with both. Only in rare cases I’ve flushed a bird because of my flash. This happened mostly in situations where the birds were cautious already e.g. when having larger groups of birds at a feeding station. Besides that I had very few negative experiences with it. I’d even go so far to say that in most of the mentioned cases the noise of the shutter or the lens movement would have flushed the birds anyway and 75 % of the birds just continue whatever they’re doing and another 20% give you a nice pose and a great head-turn after the first shot.To me using fill flash is a great way of of increasing your chances to capture incredible bird images. Without flash you would often have to pack up your gear and go home, because the conditions do not allow decent images any more. Those conditions might be shadow, bright sun light or overcast.With Fill flash we can just give a pop of light which give a dull photo life.I will teach you how to use your flash either off the camera ,with a cable or with transmitter and receivers and teach you how to use fill – flash. I can also show and explain the use of Better beamer a distance increasing aid.
Venue: Millers Wood , Please CLICK for Directions
Fee: £85 pp with a maximum of 2 members to minimise disturbance
or £125 one to one Instruction . ( Date by mutual arrangement , contact me for dates to suit you )

What to bring.

1: SLR Camera , either DX or Full Frame (Hybrid cameras are not suitable for this workshop)
2: Flashgun , cables ( I have a set of Nikon flashes and controllers for guests to try , if needed)
3: Lenses: A minimum focal length lens of 300mm – 500ml is required but we can move props nearer or further to suit.
4: Spare batteries and cards
5: Camera support:
A tripod is not needed as we can shoot from beanbags (provided) from hide shelf ( but you can use your own if you wish ).
6: Warm clothing, hat & gloves etc…
Don’t forget you can always take a layer off but not having an extra layer can be uncomfortable in the cold winter months.
7: Packed lunch
8: Composting toilet available on site.
9: Species and bird behaviour may vary based on conditions and guarantees of shots cannot be given.

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