Scottish winter wildlife photography trips winter 2017/18
So winter is pretty much over and what a winter it has been ! This year I again had the pleasure of leading some wonderful photographic trips to Scotland, based near Aviemore in the Cairngorm national park we had 5 separate weeks of wonderful wildlife and weather!
We once again had some great company and it was interesting that most of our clients were the same people who have been with us before ! Proof the trips are enjoyable and that my advertising needs some work !
Here is a summary of some of the days we enjoyed:
The snow this year was much more reliable and this meant that we could photograph the wildlife in that photogenic environment.
This winter we have started using a new hide for photographing red squirrels. These enigmatic little animals are surprisingly active in the snow, as long as the temperatures don't get too low. The white background makes the red coats stand out even more in the beautiful Caledonian pine forests, transformed into a winter wonderland!
The new hide offers the chance to get wide landscape shots with a wide angle lens, as above, but also close up portraits and jumping shots!
Our guests sometimes just spend a day with us but ideally two or three or more days are required as this allows us to plan the days according to the weather. When the weather is too severe to consider going up the mountains we can plan for an easy day photographing the deer. These are mostly shot from a 4 x 4 vehicle which is a good option in bad weather or for those who find it difficult to walk up on the mountain terrain. Again the weather really adds to the images!
Again there are various different shots to work on achieving, ranging from the landscape shots as above, to portraits and close ups. I personally really love the 'through the trees' shots!
This season was especially good for the wonderful snow buntings. An amazing little bird which manages to thrive in this hostile situation. For these shots a fast shutter speed and a narrow aperture is ideal, this is all dependent on light availability. Again this is a good subject for those not able to easily access the mountainside.
One of the most sought after subjects are the fabulous iconic mountain hares. These are such a great subject and the environment they live in is again a major part of the image. Some of my clients are not used to accessing the mountainside where the hares live and it is not always necessary to walk far or to go out in extreme weather. Some of my clients are however keen and willing to brave the elements to see the hares in their true environment and when the conditions are harsh it can mean some different and more interesting images can be achieved!
Many of our clients are looking to see and photograph the charismatic Crested tit, an iconic little bird which in the UK can only be found here in the Cairngorm national park. We have had a great year this year with good numbers of these attractive little birds coming in to the feeders we provide to get natural looking shots like this:
As if this is all not enough we had some fantastic adventures on Cairngorm mountain in search of the elusive Ptarmigan. Some days this winter were just too windy and wild to find them hidden in the snow but we did have a few blue sky days where we were able to get up on the mountain and find these superbly adapted birds in this dramatic habitat.
All in all a wonderful winter . If you fancy coming and joining me for a winter wildlife trip this year please contact me ASAP as bookings are likely to go fast !! ( Like a mountain hare across the snow !)
Contact me here E mail : Gowild@freeuk.com
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