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The Cairngorms: Winter Wildlife

£1395.00 | 13th - 18th January, 2020 | Fully Booked

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When it comes to UK wildlife destinations, the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland should be at the top of any aspiring wildlife photographers bucket list. This magical region is a stronghold for many rare and endangered species, and the surrounding landscape is among the most dramatic found anywhere in Britain. For this 5-day Winter Wildlife workshop we will be focusing on some of Scotland’s most charismatic and iconic wildlife, including red squirrels, crested tits, mountain hares and red deer. We will be shooting both from hides, and on foot, allowing participants to practise and hone various skills such as stalking, composition, use of light, focusing techniques and much more. Although the days are short in January, the low winter sun can produce some of the richest and most evocative light possible. Wintry weather will also hopefully play into our favour and help yield opportunities for capturing atmospheric images of wildlife, both in dramatic landscape, as well as intimate portraits. 

During this workshop we will be staying at the wonderful Ballintean Mountain Lodge, near Glenfeshie in the heart of the Cairngorms. We will have exclusive use of the Lodge, which is set in a private, elevated position among open woodland. The lodge is rustic and contemporary, housing guests in a mixture of single, twin and double bedrooms (for sole occupancy) and all with private en-suite facilities. There is a two-tier lounge with views across Glenfeshie, and this is the perfect place to relax after a good day’s photography. The lounge has projection facilities and so this is also where we will host our after-dinner tutorials and talks.

The live-in chef will provide fresh, locally sourced cuisine for us each day and breakfast, lunch and 3-course evening meal is included within the cost of the workshop. Our meals will be served in the large farmhouse dining room. The lodge is owned by Peter and Amanda Cairns. Pete is one of the UK’s best-known wildlife photographers and renowned conservationist. Ballintean is home to a number of hides, and we will have exclusive use of these throughout the workshop. We have also reserved Neil McIntyre's dedicated red squirrel hide for two sessions. This is one of the best red squirrel hides available anywhere in Europe with almost unrivalled opportunities for photography. The hide fits 4 photographers and a tutor, so we have booked exclusive use of the hide on two mornings, to ensure everyone in the group has equal opportunity to capture the images they want. We recommend you pack a range of focal lengths for this workshop, including a telephoto/telezoom in the region of 400mm. 

Your tutors for this workshop will be Ben Hall and Ross Hoddinott – co-authors of The Wildlife Photography Workshop. They will be on hand throughout the workshop to offer you help, advice and guidance on camera set-up, composition and creativity. There will also be opportunities to have your photographs expertly reviewed by Ben and Ross.

And if that is not enough, we have an extra special treat for you! We have arranged for both Pete Cairns and Neil McIntyre to visit us at Ballintean to give after-dinner presentations about their work and current projects.

It promises to be a full, fun week of wildlife photography. We hope you can join us…