I have always been passionate about wildlife and conservation and when not photographing people I can often be found out in the countryside and on nature reserves. Though we have of course lost species, we are lucky to still have such a diversity of birds, butterflies and insects in the British countryside. Many species are still under threat, but it is heartening to have met so many like minded people when out and about photographing the natural world.

You can contact me on 07866 316577 or via e-mail at info@mauricephotos.co.uk


Some wildlife links:
Michael Flowers birdwatching classes and walks
Yorkshire Butterfly Conservation
Yorkshire Dragonflies
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Yorkshire Nature Triangle
Yorkshire Mammal Group
East Yorkshire Birding Forum
Tophill Low Nature Reserve
Yorkshire Red Kites
North Cave Wetlands Nature Reserve
The Wild Bird Cafe - North Cave Wetlands
Paull Holme Strays sightings
Potteric Carr Nature Reserve
Hull Valley Wildlife Group
Spurn Bird Observatory
Mike Robinson Bird Photos
Vince Cowell Photography
Steve Mulligan Bird Photography
David Ware - Wolds Birding
Paul Ashton East Yorkshire Wildlife
Wold Ranger
Beetle Boy's Bio Blog
Rory Selvey (age 13) Wildlife Photography
Kill the Badger Cull
The Brown Hairstreak Blog
Africa Gomez Bugblog
Zilch - eliminating litter
Keep Britain Tidy

Next Photo Event dates to be announced...

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Introduction to Wildlife Photography Course information

Welcome to the blog. Digital cameras have made the hobby of photography even more popular with those already interested in birds and wildlife. Tuition is primarily aimed at people who have invested in digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera bodies and lenses and who would now like to learn how to get the most out of their equipment. I clarify the reciprocal factors involved in achieving correct exposures with a view to students being able to take full manual control of their cameras as well as choosing the appropriate programmed functions for different lighting conditions. Other topics covered are composition, cropping and resizing and to explain basic Photoshop techniques for improving upon the original image using the "digital darkroom". 

One to one tuition rates are £20 per hour though I recommend booking two hour sessions.  

The most useful pieces of equipment to own are a digital slr camera body, which has the option to be used fully manually and also a telephoto/telephoto zoom lens with a focal length of at least 300mm. However, Bridge style cameras are becoming ever more more capable and increasingly people are contacting me for advice on their use.

Group courses alternate weekly "classroom" and photographic field trip sessions, over four or six weeks. Theory learnt in the classroom can be put into practice in the field the following week. If you are a small group and would be interested in a course please get in touch.

A selection of my own recent photos are displayed below.

To read some comments from previous students please click here

To contact me, either drop me an e-mail to: info@mauricephotos.co.uk or give me a call on: 07866 316577.





























And below are a couple of before and after examples of images taken during the Tuesday morning class. The version on the left is the image as recorded by the camera and the version on the right has some basic photoshop "tweaks". Please click for larger versions.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Short-eared Owls


These photographs were taken in North Lincolnshire where up to a dozen Short-eared Owls have been seen in the air at once as they hunt for mice and voles over scrubland. Beautiful birds, but tricky to catch in flight as they don't come out to hunt until late afternoon when light levels have dropped. I am sure these birds will continue to be well photographed over the winter months as they provide such enigmatic subjects.





Thursday, 16 September 2010

Kingfishers are back at Tophill Low


Kingfishers were showing well at Tophill towards the end of last year and hopes were high that they might stay to breed this year in a purpose built burrow equipped with cameras. Unfortunately the winter, as I'm sure you will remember, was a harsh one which can be particularly hard for small birds to endure. The birds may have perished or simply moved away from the frozen fishing ponds. Kingfishers have still been seen around the large reserve, but it is good to know that they are now back showing well near the hide with the Kingfisher apartment underneath. I hadn't been able to guarantee students sightings of these wonderful birds earlier this year, but hopefully from now on I will be able to do so.



Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Student feedback

Below are some comments from students who have recently completed introduction to wildlife photography courses. Their comments are beneath their image montages. Please click for larger versions.

"I've had a Canon 40D and a 100-400m lens for about a year now but it's fair to say I've used the camera mainly on automatic. I needed to familiarise myself with the equipment and Maurice's course enabled me to do that. Practice in the field using manual settings, aperture priority and various ISO settings was invaluable and Maurice was always on hand to give advice and answer any questions. The course also opened my eyes to the huge part the computer can play in digital photography and we had the opportunity to use photoshop to improve and manipulate our shots." Phil Hargreaves

"I joined the photography course as I was a complete beginner never having owned or handled an SLR camera before. After the first session I was able use my camera on manual settings changing the light settings, the aperture and the ISO number where appropriate. At the next session we put into practice what we had learnt previously with a shooting session outdoors.
During the rest of the course we looked at other aspects of digital photography. The explanations were clear and backed up by fact sheets. Maurice is a very knowledgeable and competent photographer and teacher. The course was thouroughly enjoyable and has filled me with enthusiasm for the subject." Claude Hargreaves

"I found the course very useful as it refreshed a lot of photographic knowledge gained in the good old days of film and self developing prints. It also linked it well to using a DSLR. I now virtually always use manual setting on my camera particularly as I managed to update to a D300s. Probably wouldn't have had the confidence to do that without your course.
The Photoshop was interesting. Never really used preferring Graphic Converter which seems to do a lot of the Photoshop things in a slightly different way. However, have bought Elements 8 and am now using that quite happily, extending the knowledge you gave every day."
Mike Williamson

"Maurice's course really opened my eyes to what I could do and I'm now friends with my camera - there's more to life than the automatic settings!" David Ware


Hi Maurice

Wth regards to the camera course I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who needs to gain confidence in operating a digital camera.

I acknowledge that it is an introduction to digital work but it certainly gives everyone confidence to 'have a go'. One of the important messages you put across is that you must experiment and push the buttons on the camera in order to find out about its features and capabilities. This, coupled with your technical - yet simple - explanations of operating the camera was excellent.

All in all a very worthwhile course and one that I enjoyed very much.

Best Wishes,

Keith Marshall

High Summer Butterflies




Above a beautiful female Brown Hairstreak from the Hampshire/Wiltshire borders perched on Rosebay Willowherb. I was fortunate to find such a pristine individual showing so well. The male Brown Hairstreak has very similar markings on the underside but lacks the vivid colour of the female. Below a striking male Adonis Blue from a chalky Berkshire hillside, a first for me this year. It is certainly true that once you have seen Adonis Blue, even the brightest Common Blue looks pale by comparison! The camera does struggle though to capture the true sky blue iridescence as the sun hits the wings.




Thursday, 1 July 2010

Introduction to Digital Photography Course


This course would suit those with digital slr cameras and even the most basic lenses who would like to develop their photographic skills. However, a separate dedicated flashgun would be useful. During the course I will aim to clarify the reciprocal factors involved in achieving correct exposures with a view to students being able to take full manual control of their cameras. The course runs over seven weeks with weekly two hour sessions and costs £100 per student.

Week one is a "classroom" photographic theory session held at Tophill Low nature reserve. Weeks two to six, depending on the weather conditions, will include a photographing people session, a wildlife photography session, a mid-course classroom photoshop session, a street photography/architectural session, a landscape session and concluding with a final photoshop session.

The course will look at composition and cropping, depth of field and how to control it, flash techniques, low light photography and also how to get the most out of your images using photoshop and the digital darkroom.

For further details please contact me on 07866 316577 or e-mail: info@mauricephotos.co.uk