November 2010 I treated myself to a Wildlife Workshop with renowned Professional Wildlife Photographer, Chris Weston. The work shop was held at Donna Nook in Lincolnshire, and its the first time I have ever taken wildlife photography seriously.
I was actually amazed how close we were allowed to be to the seals and their cubs. However, and I must stress this, the group had over three hours plus of induction regarding the welfare of the seals and their surroundings.
The first time I met Chris was while on a Landscape workshop with Joe Cornish, a birthday present from my other half. It was during this workshop that Chris mentioned his own wildlife ones, and since I am not a follower of football and don't spend money on season tickets, I thought why not - lets give it a go, and I am so pleased I did!
Equipment wise I was surprised we could get away with using a just a 70mm-300mm zoom lens, but at the time I hadn't realised how close we were going to be. There were others there on the workshop with lenses that would have cost a small mortgage, but these people are serious wildlife photographers, and they produced some amazing photos.
Donna Nook is actually owned by the RAF, and is a regular training area for bomb runs and other training exercises - the seal colony have actually adapted rather well to the intrusions of the aircraft, and the bombing runs (apparently when training begins, the RAF actually make sure there are no seals in the area).
This particular colony is one of the largest in Europe, and it does attract a lot of visitors, especially in the Autumn/Winter period when the new seal pups are born.
Another benifit of going on workshops, is that you get to meet other photographer, who may be better or worse than you. This not a bad thing in anyway because you seem to learn from each other as the course runs along, as well as making new friends. After this workshop I exhanged e-mail address with a few of the other people attending and we still keep in touch today.
Chris runs workshops throughout the year. Check out his website, and you never know, one day I might see you on one of them!
Take a look through my gallery to see more photographs from the Master Class Wildlife workshop with Chris Weston.