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Park rangers to teach art of photography

A conservation centre in Whitchurch is teaching locals the basics of wildlife photography in a brand new workshop

The use of camouflage is used to help take photos without being spotted by wildlife (Image credit: Alec Stewart)

Rangers at Forest Farm Conservation Centre will be holding a new series of workshops teaching basic photography skills and the art of field craft.

This year the centre decided to adapt their already established basic photography classes into specific wildlife photography workshops, promoting the beauty of wildlife within Cardiff.

The first coincides with the announcement of this year’s British Wildlife Photography Awards, the overall winning image being an infrared shot of bats flying over Coate Water Country Park in Swindon.

“As rangers we’re based around the biodiversity and wildlife of Cardiff, introducing people to it and educating them,” says Alec Stewart, the ranger leading the workshop.

The day-long course will begin with a how-to on setting up a camera and using a tripod before walking around the centre.

Throughout the day people can try their hand at setting up hives and perches to lure birds, and even attempt macro photography shots of flowers and insects.

The workshop will also cover long-lens shooting, plane of sharpness, fast shutter speeds and camouflage techniques.

Fast shutter speed is used here to perfectly capture a bird in flight (Image credit: Alec Stewart)

Alec is a passionate wildlife photographer and the current chairman of Gwynfa Camera Club. However he insists the workshops do not teach strict ‘rules’.

“I don’t like to call them rules, but guidelines. There is quite a mixture of different tips involved, and this first workshop will be much more practical and hands-on,” he explains.

With the rise of social media, anyone can be a photographer these days. However this has also attracted more people to the craft and according to Sean O’Hagan of The Guardian, photography has helped to propel the digital image culture of the 21st century.

For just £30 a place, the workshops at Forest Farm aim to continue inspiring people to pick up their cameras in order to find new ways of appreciating what surrounds them.


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