A piece of natural history
For just a few weeks each year, RAF Donna Nook’s bombing practice beach becomes home to one of the county’s most remarkable natural phenomena. Each November and December, grey seals emerge from the North Sea at Donna Nook with a single purpose: to give birth to their pups near the sand dunes. You can get so close to these fascinating animals that this 10km stretch of Lincolnshire coastline has to be the best place in the UK to view seal colonies. This is, quite simply, natural history in action, replayed year on year. Why not make 2019 the year you document an event which literally helps to ensures the survival of the grey seal - right on our doorstep.
Right place, right time
To help you make the most of the experience, our 3-hour workshop takes place in the Donna Nook National Nature Reserve and is timed to coincide with the peak of the birthing season. At the end of November 2018, the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust reported that there were over 600 bulls, 1500 cows and 1600 pups so we are assured of a wide variety of seals and behaviours to study and observe. As you can appreciate, it’s a gift for photographers.
Getting the shots that count
The knack is to look for the shots that have real impact. With so many subjects available, it can be a challenge to isolate the images that really tell the colony’s story; quite simply we’re spoilt for choice. Our trainer and qualified wildlife photographer, Steve Miller will share with you his knowledge and understanding of the grey seal. He will show you exactly how to capture the most precious moments. This includes tips on angles, composition and training your eye to be selective as well as the technical aspects of photographing the species. Use your camera to connect effectively with individual beasts; capture those intimate mum-and-pup moments; freeze action shots between competing males intent on gaining the attention of a mate before the cows return to the ocean. All these opportunities are just a few feet in front of you.
Skills to take away with you
After the workshop ends, you are welcome to stay at the reserve and practice the techniques you’ve learnt. 1-2-1 critique is also available at a later date, once you have had time to review your shots. Photographing grey seals in this location is a very special experience but the skills and techniques you learn can be used again and again in any number of wildlife photography situations.
Donna Nook also provides the very best viewing experience of any of the seal colonies around the UK. You can get really up-close to these lovely wild animals, who are just a few feet away, along with their cute pups, it’s a once in a year spectacle and is a must for anyone who loves wildlife, so arrange your visit now for 2019 .
You will need:
To have a good basic knowledge of your camera: i.e. how to change between shooting modes, adjust ISO, shutter speed and aperture.
A camera with interchangeable lenses. Focal lengths covering 24-300mm. If you have a 150-600mm, 200-500mm or equivalent, please feel free to bring it along
Binoculars (non essential)
Clothing appropriate to the weather conditions
This is a beginner/intermediate level course.
You should be familiar with your camera controls i.e. how to change between shooting modes, adjust ISO, shutter speed and aperture