Posted by: photographytuition | May 5, 2015

Photography Tuition Website up for grabs

I’m going to stop running my Photography Tuition courses – if anyone is interested in taking over this website please get in touch.

I’m going to concentrate on my wildlife photography – I’ve given myself the ridiculous challenge of photographing every UK bird. That should keep me busy!

 

 

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Today I’m expecting delivery of the new Nikon 300mm  f4E PF ED VR lens which will be my everyday lens for photographing birds and wildlife. I also have the Nikon TC-14E 111 to go with it.

Nikon have had problems with the vibration reduction on this lens – hopefully mine is ok.

A few pictures to finish off:

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This will probably be my last blog – all the very best,

Will

If you’re interested in the Photography Tuition website email me: will@phonecoop.coop

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Posted by: photographytuition | December 1, 2014

Photography Courses in Wales.

It’s that time of year again. Photography Tuition Gift Vouchers make great presents and there’s now 10% off until 20th December 2014.

All tuition is led by Will Lewis, a very experienced professional photography with a keen interest in landscapes and wildlife.

Photography Tuition courses are 1:1 (or up to 1:3 if you want to bring along a friend or two) and are tailored precisely to your photographic skill level and interests.

The Gift Vouchers are valid for use any time in 2015. The price includes all food and drink and entry into historic properties or Gigrin Farm, if that’s where we chose to go.

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Gigrin Farm is the Red Kite Feeding Station where hundreds of Red Kites gather daily to make a wonderful spectacle and a great opportunity for photography.

NIK_4977Above: on location in the Elan Valley. A day trip to the Elan Valley can be combined with a visit to see the Red Kites – a fabulous day out.

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This couple were on their honeymoon – they had been given a Gift Voucher as a wedding present.

NIK_6101 The Gift Vouchers are high quality A4 prints and can be personalised to contain a message of your choice.

For further information and prices please see http://www.photographytuition.co.uk

To contact me, Will Lewis: will@phonecoop.coop or Tel: 01497 847183.

 

Posted by: photographytuition | November 7, 2014

Photography Gift Vouchers 10% off!

From now until 20 December 2014 Photography Tuition is offering 10% off the standard price for a Gift Voucher.

So take a look at http://www.photographytuition.co.uk and take 10% off the published prices!

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Tuition is entirely on location in the Brecon Beacons or the Elan Valley, Wales. All photography courses are led by Will Lewis, a very experienced professional photographer.

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Gift Vouchers are superb quality A4 prints and can be printed with a message of your choice.

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Photography Tuition Gift Vouchers are suitable for all ages and all abilities. Beginners in particular benefit from 1:1 tuition.

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There are a great variety of locations in the Brecon Beacons and Elan Valley.

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We may go to lakes, reservoirs, canals, mountains, waterfalls, forests, rivers, ancient monuments, see wildlife etc etc.The person receiving the Gift Voucher can choose when they would like to go on tuition and the types of scenery they would like to visit.

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Gift Vouchers bought now are valid for use any time in 2015.

For more information please contact me, Will Lewis at:

will@phonecoop.coop

or call 01497 847183.

Posted by: photographytuition | October 18, 2014

Hay on Wye Images

Hay on Wye is different.

It’s on the border of England and Wales but doesn’t appear to be one or the other – technically it’s Welsh but in spirit it would like to be independent.

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View of Hay from Cusop Hill taken with an ancient Nikon 4500 that I sadly dropped and broke.

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Richard Booth has done more than anyone to make Hay what it is today. He started the bookshop trend that put Hay on the map and added his own quirkiness that gives Hay its unique character.

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There are fewer bookshops in Hay than there used to be. Some may argue that’s a good thing as we now have a greater variety of shops.

DSC_0007Hay is well known for its Literary Festival which has its lighter moments too.

WIL_4257You never know what’s going to be around the next corner.

WIL_4192All that literary stuff can be tiring.

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I think this sign gives a good impression of Hay humour.

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A typical Hay bookshop.

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A Hay back alley in winter.

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A helpful signpost?!

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Against the wall is the famous ‘Honesty Bookshop’. Basically you help yourself to a book or two and put the money in a hole in the wall.

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Running through Hay is the River Wye – great for canoeing or swimming or….

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……just having a quiet read whilst the world floats by.

Further information:

Photographs by Will Lewis Photography.

will@phonecoop.coop

http://www.willlewisphotography.co.uk

http://www.photographytuition.co.uk

Posted by: photographytuition | September 16, 2014

Skill or luck?

I’ve often thought about trying to photograph one of the swallow, house martin, swift type of birds.

Last week I was up a Welsh mountain and I surprisingly saw lots of house martins flying around so I thought I’d give it a go to photograph them.

I had a Nikon D7000 with a 70-200mm f4 lens – not exactly a lens for photographing birds. The main problem with photographing such tiny, fast moving birds as house martins is focusing. How do you focus? I’m not sure it’s possible and from my results I’d have to say it’s more by luck than skill. I say that because the photo below is my first shot when I wasn’t really concentrating and all the others, apart from one when I was trying hard were out of focus!

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D7000 with 70-200mm at 160mm. ISO 400, 1/1500sec at f6.7. Cropped.

On the same morning I took a shot of the mist clearing from the countryside below and this was used on BBC Wales TV later in the day.

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D7000 with 70-200mm at 160mm. ISO 200, 1/250 sec at f8. Exposure at +1/2 stop to keep the mist looking bright.

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I’m sure everyone’s had a go at photographing the moon. This is my very amateurish attempt just using a hand held D7000 with 70-200mm at 200mm. ISO 200, 1/250sec at f5.6. Exposure -1 stop. A 300mm lens or longer would be better and also the use of a tripod.

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I came across this lovely sunken track recently. I’m sure there’s a photograph to be had but I don’t think this is it – I’ll have to go back again and take my DSLR next time. Sony RX100. Exposure -0.7 stop to keep it looking dark and moody.

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This photo of the sheep was taken looking into the setting sun. Nikon D600 with 70-200mm at 200mm. ISO 200, 1/4000sec at f5.6.

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This is a photo of a blackbird I took earlier in the year using my Nikon 300mm f4 lens on a D7000. This lens doesn’t have image stabilisation, or vibration reduction as Nikon calls it so I like to use a fast shutter speed to avoid camera shake. ISO 560, 1/4000sec at f4.8. Exposure -1/2 stop.

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This photo is of another visit to the sheep trekking farm in the Brecon Beacons. The sheep trekking is organised by Julia Blazer of Good Day Out – that’s Julia in the green. On this particular day BBC Radio Wales came along on the trek with us to interview everyone, except me, thankfully! That’s the BBC man interviewing the farmer and his daughter.

To contact me, Will Lewis: will@phonecoop.coop

http://www.willlewisphotography.co.uk

If you are interested in a photography course: http://www.photographytuition.co.uk

Good Day Out: http://www.gooddayout.co.uk

 

 

 

Posted by: photographytuition | August 17, 2014

Sheep Trekking.

Last week I had the pleasure of photographing the UK’s first ever sheep trekking.

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Jacob sheep have been specially trained for the job.

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The location is stunning, set on a remote hill farm in the Brecon Beacons.

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The sheep are equally stunning – just watch out for those horns!

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The sheep carry your picnic in panniers.

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The sheep trekking idea was thought up by Julia Blazer of Good Day Out (www.gooddayout.co.uk).

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That’s Julia on the right.

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After an hour or so trekking you stop, tie up your sheep, take out the picnic and enjoy a lovely lunch in beautiful surroundings.

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If you would like to know more about Good Day Out or what I do,the contact details are:

http://www.gooddayout.co.uk

will@phonecoop.coop

http://www.willlewisphotography.co.uk

http://www.photographytuition.co.uk

Posted by: photographytuition | July 17, 2014

Cardigan Bay Dolphins

Last week I took a short trip to west Wales in the hope of seeing and photographing dolphins.

There are reckoned to be around 200 bottle nose dolphins in the Cardigan Bay area centered around Newquay where they carry out a daily dolphin watching survey.


WIL_1862_01These photos were taken over a period of two days near Llangranog, south of Newquay, Ceredigion, Wales.

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All photos were taken from land using a Nikon D7000 with a Nikon 300mm f4 lens hand held.

WIL_2582In most cases the camera and lens settings were: ISO 400, 1/1500 second f5.6.

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There were about 10 dolphins in the group with lots of leaping and splashing around.

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I’ve been lucky enough to go to the Galapagos Islands, I’ve photographed whales, sharks, otters etc but these few days in west Wales were probably the best ever!

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Coming up for air.

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I saw a lot of this behaviour where a dolphin was swimming on its side showing its white belly – it looked like it was trying to attract attention – possibly courtship? But would a mum with a calf be interested?

To contact me:

will@phonecoop.coop

http://www.photographytuition.co.uk

http://www.willlewisphotography.co.uk

 

Posted by: photographytuition | June 25, 2014

Hay Festival 2014 photos.

You know when it’s Hay Festival time – it starts to rain – very, very heavily!

Hay Festival is mainly a literary event but it’s what goes on around the edges that makes it so much fun.

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This gentleman encapsulates the absurdity of Hay. He is a time traveller. He answered all my questions about time travel utterly convincingly – but why. how, who is he really? It was great meeting him – he made my day.

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A scene from around Hay.

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This chair was for sale – don’t know about the cat.

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Loved this guy. He’d been to the States and seen a number of people writing poetry on the streets so thought he’d give it a go here. I think the idea is that you give him a topic, go away for 10 minutes then come back and he’ll give you a freshly typed poem. Not sure about the cost.

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Hay is definitely on the green, fair trade, ethical side of things. This shop is called 18 Rabbit.

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This is the Africa Day, I don’t want to go there, Goat. As an offshoot from the festival there’s an African market, African drumming workshops and African influenced food. The goat is led, (towed?) around Hay to publicise the event.

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Finally: this photo came second in a local 2015 calendar competition. Only second – I’ll have to do better next year. It not only represents July but is also, unusually, on the front cover.

If you’d like to contact me or take a look at my websites:

will@phonecoop.coop

http://www.willlewisphotography.co.uk

http://www.photographytuition.co.uk

Posted by: photographytuition | May 23, 2014

How to photograph cuckoos

First find your cuckoo!

In mid Wales, where I live there are loads of them if you look in the right places like wild, open, hilly areas with scattered small trees.

People don’t believe me when I say, “If you can hear a cuckoo then you can see a cuckoo.”

OK, sometimes, like in densely wooded areas it’s difficult to see them but in more open, hilly areas it’s surprisingly easy. I’ve heard about 20 this year and seen 15.

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Only the males make the ‘cuckoo’ sound, the females occasionally make a wonderful burbling noise.

Cuckoos usually perch in a prominent  position at the top of small trees – so if they’re calling they’re pretty easy to see – particularly if they are being mobbed by little birds who recognise them as the enemy.

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When they take off they fly low to the ground and usually call immediately on landing on the next perch.

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The male watches over the female when she is laying her eggs. He usually calls incessantly at this time warding off other males. When she’s finished laying she shoots off, quickly followed by the male. Males and females are identical.

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I photograph cuckoos by using field craft. I watch them, learn their behaviour and follow them slowly and carefully. Often I might have to wait a while before I see or hear them but having learnt where their ‘base camp’ is it’s not so difficult. One site I visit regularly I’ve never failed to see them. Basically they have their own areas which they stick to so if you hear a cuckoo you can be pretty sure he, and she will be around that area practically every day.

Cuckoos are active anytime of the day but I think you are more likely to see them in the morning.

Camera equipment used: Nikon D7000 with Nikon 300mm f4 lens but any 70-300mm lens would do fine.

I took all the photos on aperture priority, setting it to f5.6. This gives good quality – wide open at f4 isn’t so great, quality wise, and depth of field is very limited. Obviously focusing is difficult on a fast moving bird – I use the AF-C  (continuous focusing) setting but with lots of failures! AF-C  is not great when the bird lands – I have to switch over to manual focusing or AF-S.

I set the ISO to 400 or 800 and let the camera select the shutter speed. All the shots above were taken at shutter speeds between 1/1500sec and 1/4000sec. Sunny days are essential!

It would be possible to use a longer lens to photograph the cuckoos when they are stationary but very, very difficult to capture them in flight.

If you would like to ask me anything or view my websites or associated websites:

Will Lewis: will@phonecoop.coop

http://www.photographytuition.co.uk

http://www.willlewisphotography.co.uk

http://www.gooddayout.co.uk

 

Posted by: photographytuition | May 7, 2014

Photos in The Lady magazine.

I know it seems unlikely but I had a number of photos in last weeks issue of The Lady.

The Lady were doing a feature on lambing and had chosen to visit an organic farm in the Brecon Beacons. The farm visit was organised by Good Day Out,  (www.gooddayout.co.uk), who offer countryside experiences in wildest Wales.

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The wonderfully photogenic journalist from The Lady feeding a lamb with ewe and friendly puppy in attendance.

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Whilst the article was mainly on lambing the journalist was shown all around the farm and the many animals.

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Being quite a big farm and spread over a large area we were transported in a trailer behind a quad bike – bumpy but fun.

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We watched a lamb being born – aided by the farmer.

WIL_7903A few minutes later the lamb was up on it’s feet looking for its first feed.

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Sheepdog waiting for the next command.

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Nikon D600 18-35mm at 29mm. ISO 2200, 1/20th sec f8, handheld.

Included in a Good Day Out farm visit is a hearty farmhouse lunch.

WIL_7741Lots of free range chickens…

WIL_7928….and eggs.

WIL_7859Nikon D7000 with 16-85mm at 16mm. ISO 1600, 1/30sec, f4, handheld.

Feeding time in the dimly lit indoor lambing shed.

If you would like to contact me: will@phonecoop.coop

Or see my websites: http://www.photographytuition.co.uk and http://www.willlewisphotography.co.uk

 

 

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