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Tawny Owl Evening workshop 

 

 

 

 

 

There is something very special and mysterious about this beautiful bird of prey. Most of us rarely get to see it under the cover of darkness when it is most active. So it is our pleasure and privilege to be able to offer you this specially formulated workshop, photographing one of our native wild owls.
 
Please be aware that this is not a workshop that focuses on quantity. As we will be working with nocturnal species, we wish to be sensitive to their adaptation to darkness so will only be taking measured shots with a combination of flash and artificial light.
 
We may only execute about a dozen or so combined shots of individuals that visit this site over the course of one evening. Our hope is to end up with a couple of memorable images that you will cherish from these unique encounters.
 
Single evening workshops
 
Group size: 2 photographers maximum per evening, plus instructor.
 
Time: meet at 7pm for a short briefing and finishing at 12am midnight.
 
Cost: £195 per person including the hiring of lighting equipment and tuition.
 
Portfolio evenings (3 consecutive days)
 
Group size: 1 photographer only per evening, plus instructor.
 
Time: meet at 7pm for a short briefing and finishing at 12am midnight.
 
Cost: £595 including the hiring of lighting equipment and tuition.
 
 
 
 
 
Itinerary & directions
 
We have constructed a comfortable, professional, woodland hide where you can enjoy seeing this beautiful bird. On most evenings you can expect to see the Tawny appearing at dusk. With careful and precise guidance, you should attain a small number of memorable shots of this wonderful species. 
 
To enable us to work at a close range not usually possible, we have employed a special one-way glass for the hide. There is no discernable difference with sharpness shooting through this special medium.
 
The wild Tawny hide is located within an idyllic 600-acre farm, near Market Harborough, Leicestershire, 15 minutes from Junction 20 of M1. 
 
We meet at 7pm (this may be brought forward during autumn – you will be notified) at Marston Lodge farm in Marston Trussell, LE16 9TT. Please note that if using Google Map, the postcode will take you to the neighbouring farm. Marston Lodge entrance is close to the junction between Dick’s Hill and Sibbertoft Road. Go through the big metal gate down the long track leading to the farmhouse on the right, where you will be welcomed. The day will finish at around midnight.
 
What to bring
 
All participants will be driven to and collected at the end of the session. So there is practically no walking involved. Therefore you will not be subjected to the elements when using this hide.
 
You may want to bring a flask of tea for the duration of your stay. The hide is well insulated but may be cool in the evening so do bring along a fleece jumper just in case.
 
Camera equipment
 
One of the unique features of this professional hide, is the distance that it affords the photographer to the subject. If you are using a cropped-sensor camera, you can still get a full-frame shot of this beautiful owl with a modest 300mm focal lens.
 
For this workshop, you will need a digital SLR camera. Please note that mirrorless or similar cameras that rely on live/electronic views are not suitable. 
 
With full-size sensor bodies, a 500mm will give you a good fill of the entire frame. Ideally, we recommend a good zoom to capture perched shots as well as when the Tawny spreads its wings, such as the Canon 100-400mm f5.6, Nikon 200-500mm f5.6, or the 200-400mm f4 (Canon/Nikon).
 
For portfolio days, you will additionally need a wide-angle lens that gives a field of view of approximately 24mm or less. We will aim to get you some flight and/or environmental shots. It is not possible to attain all these shots in one evening due to the frequency of visits and the technical challenges involved. The single evening workshops are best for capturing the Tawny on different perches. 
 
You will need a tripod on the day. All lighting equipment is included* in the cost of this workshop. Please inform us at the point of booking, your camera make and model, as we would need to prepare the correct flash connections for you. No previous experience of multi-flash use or night photography is necessary, as we will set everything up for you.
 
*Canon and Nikon cameras only. You may be required to provide your own equipment if using other brands.
 
Conditions of booking
 
The welfare of wildlife is paramount to us. It has taken us a long time to developed this site as we have made a lot of effort to keep them as undisturbed as possible. This is one of the reasons why the hide is normally only opens three days a week, primarily designed to minimise our impact and to encourage natural, wild behaviour. As a consequence, the birds are still not used to people. It is therefore absolutely vital that you take onboard the advice and follow the instructions of your tutor. 
 
To prevent any unintentional disturbance caused to the birds during the use of the hide, we have a portable loo available in a separate chamber for your convenience.
 
There are two small but cozy, luxury cabins available by the pond within the farm, should you require an overnight’s stay. Each unit accommodates two people and with breakfast. Please enquire for additional info.
 
Strictly no smoking is permitted inside the hide and please takes all litter home with you and leaves things as you’ve found it.
 
 
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