This Sunday saw the first of our Montecasino Bird Gardens Photo Walks take place at Montecasino in Fourways. As Penny and I waited at the entrance gate we weren’t sure how many guests would be joining us but, by 10:00 we had 13 people who were keen to improve their photography skills!
Now the bird gardens may not be the most natural of settings but they certainly do provide fantastic subjects and photographic opportunities for those wanting to hone their skills and get some tips and advice from the Wild Eye team. These are some of the situations and topics we covered during our short walk through the gardens:
- Photographing subjects in the shade
- Eliminating camera shake by means of shutter speed
- Using slow shutter speeds creatively
- Using aperture and depth of field to tell a story
- Photogrpahing Portraits
- Compositional and artistic guidelines
- Camera settings for birds in flight
- Tips for panning and tracking birds in flight
- Understanding and predicting animal behaviour
[space height=”15″]The great thing about this photo walk was that we had no preconceived ideas or topics and the guests themselves determined what we focussed on by asking questions that arose from practical situations as we photographed the various birds that call these gardens home.
I think the highlight for many came in the form of the “Flight of fantasy” show where they were able to try their hand at tracking fast moving subjects and many of them, to their surprise, were able to capture images that they thought were beyond their skills!
[space height=”5″]At one stage one of the guests turned to me and said “This is so much fun, I think I would be absolutely besides myself if I was to join you guys on one of your photo safaris!”. Thats what its all about! Having fun, trying new things, exploring new regions and capturing mind blowing images.
Here is a comment from the one of the guests who joined us on Sunday:
“As I mentioned yesterday I thoroughly enjoyed the morning! I have to say it’s a really good idea especially for those of us who can’t get to the photographic safari’s yet. I liked that the group wasn’t too big as then each person could ask you questions.
Being so new to photography, I felt that I learnt a huge amount in a very short space of time. I also loved the non-competitiveness (is that a word???) of it – everyone doing their own thing at their own pace with what they have.
The bird gardens are a beautiful setting for it and I loved practising in different light, with different backgrounds. It was also good to practise on animals that were fairly still as well as those that flew during the show. I need to practise that more though because most of my pictures there were of blank walls, empty trees and the ground!
All in all a really great morning, well organised and just thoroughly enjoyable and valuable!”
Our first photo walk at the Montecasino Bird Gardens was a massive success and we are looking forward to our next walk which will take place on the 6th of October. Thank you once again to everyone that joined us on Sunday!