Photographing the wonderful wildlife of the Peak District

On Christmas Day, my Mum gave us all an ‘extra present’; a Dave Goulson book, ‘The Garden Jungle’ for me and Dad to share, musical theatre tickets for me and Grandma and a photography course for me and Mum to do together, which we did in the Peak District this Saturday.

Mum booked the photography course with trainer, Guy Badham; she’d already been on a workshop with him 4 years ago and took the famous ‘heron scoffing a huge trout‘ shot (January Blog 2016).

Camera info & intro

Photo courtesy of Guy Badham

Photo courtesy of Guy Badham

I use a Lumix DMC-FZ72 bridge camera, Mum a Canon EOS 1300D with 75-300mm lens – not flash cameras – but we’re happy with them.

Guy started with the basics of our camera functions and how to ‘anticipate and be prepared’, in advance of seeing wildlife, so you’re ready to snap as soon as you see it.

There were lots of hints and tips, which I found really helpful, such as how to hold and support your camera, just simply by steadying it on your rucksack or on a wall. After having a chat about respecting wildlife and not intruding in to their habitat, we were off and ready for action!

The Derbyshire wildlife didn’t disappoint…

Photo courtesy of Guy Badham

Photo courtesy of Guy Badham

Within minutes we were watching a treecreeper, with their slender, downcurved bill, flit from tree to tree. An army of long tailed tits, invaded neighbouring trees and put on a noisy display. There was chaffinches and wrens busying themselves on the bank of a river. Whilst a field/bank vole scurried about so fast it was difficult to ID & photograph.

We’ve seen water voles very briefly in Derbyshire before, but on Saturday, we were blessed for over half an hour as one nibbled roots and shoots and swam around the river. (We watched from a distance, giving it a wide berth,  as it is a protected species).

The flash of blue made us all shout ‘kingfisher’ and seconds later a goldcrest having a wash in the river, was the icing on the cake.

I wanted to learn about…..

  • focussing on a specific bird for example, when there’s so many trees/branches/reeds in the ways
  • using the other functions of the camera, instead of auto
  • how to take photos of birds in flight
  • improving my wildlife photography in general

Here’s some of my fav photos from the training:

My Mum wanted to learn about…..

  • taking action shots indoors, with the standard lens
  • getting herself off auto
  • using the other functions of the camera

Here’s some of her edited shots:

Thanks so much to Guy, we both had the most incredible day of wildlife spotting, with plenty of photography tips and tricks.

Taking part in the photography training was an absolute pleasure, watching the wildlife though, was an absolute privilege.

You don’t have to own a posh camera to capture wildlife memories, just get out, snap away and more importantly, have fun!

About greenfingeredgeorge

RHS Young Ambassador Gardening Geek and Nature Nerd!
This entry was posted in Nature, RHS Ambassador, RHS Campaign for School Gardening, Wildlife, Young Bloggers and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Photographing the wonderful wildlife of the Peak District

  1. I love a gift where I can do more than just look at it. Learning new photography skills with someone close is also a gift that drawers you even closer.


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