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One-day Intermediate Level Digital Photography Workshop at RSPB Lochwinnoch - Sunday 27th August 2017

Learn how to take great outdoor and wildlife photographs with your own camera then see your results on screen. Advice, encouragement and ideas from experienced photographer David Palmar.
Booking essential - only through RSPB Lochwinnoch (see booking details below), and not through this site.

Programme with approximate timings (may be altered depending on circumstances on the day):

10.00am - Meet at RSPB Lochwinnoch visitor centre by 10am, over tea, coffee, or hot chocolate, and introduce yourself to the other people, and look at what equipment you have brought.

  • 10.15 - 11.15am - Introductory digital side show, to explore the possibilities, and suggest some techniques.
  • 11.30am - 12.45pm - Leisurely walk round part of the reserve, stopping to discuss and photograph whatever we feel like, and finishing back at the centre for lunch.
  • 12.45 - 1.30pm - lunch, toilet stop
  • 1.30pm - 2.30pm - afternoon walk around a different area of the reserve.
  • 2.30pm - 4.00pm Slide show of people's photographs, and question and answer session.

It would beneficial to all concerned if participants are willing to allow their photos to be projected to the group at the end of the walk, in order to provide helpful comments and generate discussion.
If anyone with a RAW file capability on their camera can shoot RAW for the day, this will enable editing your raw pictures to be demonstrated.

Please note that the event is very unlikely to be cancelled because of weather (it has never happened yet!), and that in that event an inclement weather programme will run, which will involve one walk, perhaps shorter than normal, and some indoor photography, more editing techniques, backing up and file storage.

The subjects for photography can include, depending on where we go:

  • Various ponds - reflections are a possibility
  • trees and woods, bark patterns, lichen, foliage or berry colour
  • fungi - there are lots of bracket fungi; other fungi may emerge nearer the time
  • plants - there should be enough flowers for closeup views
  • birdlife - there are ducks and swans on the ponds, so make sure you know how to work the zoom on your camera
  • if you have a telephoto lens, there are tits, reed buntings, robins, blackbirds and chaffinches, and if you're very lucky there can be wrens, tree creepers, long-tailed tits, bullfinches and goldcrests
  • Because of the range of photographic subjects available, advance planning will result in some suggestions for 'set pieces' to photograph, but there will be enough flexibility for people to spend some time photographing what they like.
    This course is designed to focus on people using SLRs, although anyone with a compact or bridge camera is also welcome to attend, (perhaps if you're thinking of purchasing an SLR).

What to Bring:

  • warm waterproof clothing
  • digital SLR camera with fully charged battery, and enough space on your memory card to store the pictures you take
  • your camera's manual if you think you'll need help wth anything
  • something to protect your camera in case of inclement weather
  • something to lie on, (e.g. if you are wanting to take a shot at ground level)
  • a standard lens and preferably either a long lens (e.g. 70-300mm or longer) or a wide or macro lens if you have one
  • if you don't have a macro lens, you might consider a lens tube, which you put between the camera and the lens, to give you a closer focussing distance.
  • an external flash, particularly a ring flash if you have one
  • packed lunch, and money for contribution for drinks
  • optionally, you might consider bringing:
    • a tripod (if you want to take a time exposure), or a monopod, walking pole or bean bag to steady your camera in a dark wood
    • binoculars if you want to watch birds

Booking a place:

Booking should be done through RSPB Lochwinnoch.
The number of people will be limited to 12, to allow a reasonable possibility of getting individual help.
It is therefore important to book a place.
You will be asked to send a fee of £40 (£32 for RSPB members), to ensure that there is a place for you.
Although you need to book with the RSPB, I would appreciate an email to the address on the Contact Us page, to let us know that you have booked, and what equipment you have.

Even if you cancel at the last minute, please let RSPB Lochwinnoch know in case there is someone else who is on the waiting list and can take up the place. If cancelling on the day, please phone the Visitor Centre, then we know not to wait for you.

You can book using the contact details at the RSPB Lochwinnoch website, by phoning 01505 842663 or emailing