Kingfisher Photography Courses

Female adult Kingfisher with a Minow

How to book a 2017 course

 

To check which dates are available click here.

 

Then email charlie@photographingkingfishers.co.uk and I'll get back to you with confirmation of your date(s) and an update to what's happening down on the river.

 

Kingfishers are probably one of the most attractive yet elusive birds and are such a joy to observe.  Sadly, all most of us get is a fleeting flash of blue as it streaks away just inches above the water and you are left pinching yourself asking “ Was that a Kingfisher?” But just how difficult can it be to photograph these Halcyon birds? Well, I believe you just need four things.

 

Suitable photographic equipment, access to a location where they frequent (with the landowners permission of course) and finally luck and patience.

 

Unfortunately most of us are just too busy to research suitable rivers and streams so in response to requests, I am offering a “1:1 or 2:1 Tutoring Service” during 2016. The dates currently on offer are May and June and will take place in Somerset.  The course consists of ........

 

 Morning Session

Meet at the studio and discuss equipment, essential camera setting etc.  Drive to the site, rig dome hides, bait the feeding stations(s), and get settled.  Two hours in the hides.

 

Lunch Break

Leave the Hides for a leg stretch consume packed lunches.

 

Afternoon Session

Two hours in the hides. Pack up the equipment. Return to studio, download images and print a suitable image (up to A2 in size). Course debrief. 

Male Kingfisher with a minnow

Costs

£220 per Day. Should you wish to bring a colleague the fee reduces to £160 each.

 

The two hides are placed next to each other within whispering range.

 

A Nikon 200-400mm F4 lens and 1.4 & 1.7 AF-S tele-converters are available.

 

While Kingfishers are regular visitors, their appearance cannot be guaranteed.

 

If the day is a ‘No Show’, only £50 is payable. The remaining £170 will be refunded.

 

I can provide advice regarding overnight accommodation. 

                                                      
 

My perches are about 3 to 4 metres from the hides, so massive lenses such as a 600mm F4 have no real advantage. In fact, trends have now changed from filling the frame to environmental portraiture showing wildlife in its surroundings.

With the birds being so close, depth of field can be critical so wide apertures (F2.8-F4) are not necessary. I prefer to shoot at around F8 –F11. This gives me adequate depth of field yet still allows good separation from the background.

If you use a modern Digital SLR with a 1.5 chip factor, a lens reaching 300mm is fine. Canon’s 100-400mm, Nikon’s 80-400mm and Sigma’s 150-500mm are all brilliant.

Try out you own gear on garden birds. Great Tits are about an inch shorter than Kingfishers whereas Starlings are around two inches bigger.

Should you need it, I have a wide range of Nikon equipment for hire.

 

What to bring

Suitable clothing to match weather forecast, dull in colour if possible. Food and drink which can be consumed quietly within the hide. A hot flask and a packed lunch, perhaps a pasty etc.

There are no toilets but this site is in a secluded wood!

 

How to book

Just send an email to charlie@photographingkingfishers.co.uk