All the set-ups will be indoors, using the very latest LED lighting equipment and some extremely innovative accessories to ensure that each client gets the same amount of high-quality chances to capture that special moment. The group size will be limited to just four photographers in order to enhance your experience and to eliminate overcrowding. We will take our time with each subject, giving you every opportunity to return home with some truly outstanding photographs.
Studio photography is something that I have perfected during recent years. You will see evidence of this from the accompanying photos that are on this page and in the Small Mammals gallery. A lot of effort was used in constructing suitable set-ups that make the very best opportunities to create stunning photographs. Just as important as the set-ups are the backgrounds. I have several different options that are easily changed in just seconds for each subject, or as required. Your camera will be set up in manual mode by me before the workshop begins, and the LED lights emit a constant level of light. All you have to do is to focus on the subject and press the shutter button. No previous experience in this type of photography is required.
Non-Specialist Camera Equipment Required
Photographers on Safari will supply all the lighting required for this workshop. The lighting that we create will make your photography no different to normal outdoors photography. And with constant light sources there is no need to constantly adjust your cameras. Most of your mammal shots will be taken from about five feet away, so a standard 70-200 or 70-300 zoom lens will be ideal. A macro lens is more suitable for the smaller insects. If you do not have a macro lens then we will loan you a Canon camera with a macro lens free of charge. If you want to borrow a macro lens and camera, please let us know when making your booking so that we can allocate this equipment to you. No other specialist equipment is required. A tripod/monopod is optional. Manual settings will be dialled into your camera by us before we begin, and all you need to do is to press your shutter button at the correct moment.
These are one of my favourite subjects on this workshop. Our reptile centre has a number of these cute little animals and they have successfully bred their own Harvest Mice for some time now. We will do two or three sessions/set-ups with them to ensure that each one of you has a really outstanding photograph to take home. Harvest Mice are Europe’s smallest rodents and the only British mammal to have a prehensile tail. This allows them to grasp plant stems as they move through long vegetation. They have a reddish-yellow coat with a white underside, small hairy ears and its nose is much blunter than those of other mice. They are mostly nocturnal, although they may be active during the day in warm summer months. Numbers have declined in recent times and they are now rarely seen in the wild.
Red-Eyed Tree Frog
The Red-Eyed Tree Frog is my other favourite subject on this workshop. Once again we will do two or three sessions/set-ups in order to ensure that you get perfect shots of this eye-catching amphibian with big bulging red eyes. These frogs have bright lime green bodies and have white bellies and throats. Their sides are partly blue with vertical white bars and their feet are orange. Male Red-Eyed Tree Frogs can grow up to two inches in length and females can grow even bigger. Our captive-bred subjects are likely to be somewhat smaller. Although the Red-eyed Tree Frog itself is not endangered, its rainforest home is under constant threat.
Jumping Spiders – New For 2021 & 2022
Always looking for new ideas, Photographers on Safari have decided to use some fabulous new subjects to give their customers photographic opportunities that we have not offered before. These fabulous little creatures make some really amazing photographs. They are tiny but the detail that macro lenses will reveal will astound. Your camera will reveal details that are completely hidden from the naked eye. These spiders are not considered harmful to humans, especially since the species tends to flee rather than attack. They will only bite to defend themselves if threatened or crushed – not things that we will be doing on this workshop. Each photographer will be supplied with a small additional camera-mounted LED light. This really enhances your camera’s finite focusing ability and gives you the option of adding varying colour tones to your subject. We have found this additional piece of equipment absolutely invaluable with these tiny subjects.
A praying mantis is an amazing insect of which there are more than 2000 different variations. The Praying Mantis is famed for its prominent front legs, which are bent and held together at an angle that suggests the position of prayer. The front legs are lined with spikes and close in a certain way to give a firm grip on the prey. They have four additional legs, which they use for walking, and their heads can turn around almost 180 degrees. They have two large compound eyes and three other simple eyes located in between. The Praying Mantis can vary in length between 1 and 16 cm. They are true masters of disguise. They blend perfectly into their natural habitat and can sway in a slow back-and-forth motion, as if moved by the wind.
Click here to see more photos from this workshop
Other Mammals, Reptiles and Insects
Our workshop, which is currently based in Rutland, will always include photo sessions with Harvest Mice, Red-Eyed Tree Frogs, Jumping Spiders and Praying Mantis. We will also have the opportunity photograph other species that the owner of the reptiles has brought to Rutland.
Good morning, John and Andy. I just want to thank you for an excellent day of photography yesterday. I didn’t really know what to expect in terms of setup. However, what you demonstrated was just how much can be achieved with some well set-up lighting and a few props. Add in some very obviously cared for and healthy animals and the scene was set for an excellent day. Apart from one very brief experience, I’ve never used studio lighting before. I am astonished by the quality of the pictures I came away with. Some of them rank among the best photos I’ve ever taken (and the general standard makes this the best day photography I’ve ever experienced). Anyway, I won’t go on. Just wanted to say thank you. I know you must get inundated with clients sending you examples of what they have achieved but nevertheless I’m sending you three pictures that I’m delighted by. I look forward to seeing you again. Best wishes, Rob W.
Hi John, It was really good meeting up with you again yesterday at the small mammals workshop. Thank you for the event. It was a really good day that went very smoothly. Subjects were intriguing and the flash setup & backgrounds were impeccable. Looked over some of the images on my laptop & I am really pleased. Best wishes & thanks again. Chris B.
09.30 Meet & Greet, Tea / Coffee, Risk Assessment
09.45 Introduction to Digital Photography
10.00 1st session photography
13.00 Lunch (food and drinks provided)
13.45 2nd session photography