Camera club talks

As an experienced wildlife photographer I regularly give illustrated talks to camera clubs exploring various aspects of wildlife photography. I try to make these talks as informative and practical as possible often bringing along equipment and prints to demonstrate the techniques I use to take my photos.
I am always adding new talks and presentations to my list and ‘retiring’ older ones. Currently I am offering the following talks.
If you are interested in any of these talks please contact me at 
Smart Shooting part 1 - Beyond Auto Mode - Taking creative control of your camera

Modern cameras have powerful computer processors which can greatly assist you when taking photos. It is therefore very tempting to either set your camera on automatic, and allow these in camera computers to do all the work calculating the exposure, sorting out focus or alternatively to use the so called “creative modes” to manage a particular situation.

With all this computing power in the camera do you ever wonder why some of your photos look too dark and some too light, do you wonder why some are blurred but some taken few frames later are not?

My aim for this talk is to show you that allowing your cameras computer to make decisions for you isn’t always the best option. More importantly you will be reassured that taking back control yourself isn’t nearly as difficult as you might think. I am not advocating shooting completely in manual mode. You just need to take control of the 'in camera' computer, work with it and make it work for you.

Anyone can take absolutely superb photos but the first step is leaving the auto mode setting on your camera behind and learning how even the basic controls, together with the inbuilt computer can make for a very different photograph.

This talk was developed as part 1 of two talks entitled Smart Shooting. It can stand alone and indeed many clubs have heard it as such, or with part 2 it can be the first part of a pair of talks perhaps separated by 6 months or a year. This particular talk explores some of the more basic as well as more advanced ways in which we can control our camera to produce better and more creative shots. These start with the basics of getting off Auto and taking back control of our photography through to exploring the use of histograms and managing exposure where the camera’s in-built systems “gets it wrong”.

The second talk – Smart Shooting Part 2 – “From the Ordinary to the Extra Ordinary” – builds on the ideas discussed in the first talk and extends to looking at how digital shooting differs from film. This is very important if we are to get the best from our digital cameras even though the basic controls are the same. It especially looks at managing exposure to get sharper, cleaner, clearer and more noise free pictures. It is more necessarily complex and will take experienced shooters forward in their journey in photography as well challenge and stretch newer members who may have heard the first talk or had help in your club and be taking their first steps to take control of their cameras.


In 2017 as a result of requests from clubs I developed the first of a pair of talks, Smart Shooter Part 1 “Beyond Auto Mode - Taking creative control of your camera. This is now one of my most popular talks and the aim is to provide advice on how to take creative control of your camera working with the controls on your camera and the installed computer. More details here.

Following the success of this talk I was encouraged to develop another talk looking further at more advanced aspects. In particular how shooting digital differs from shooting film and what options we have. This talk entitled Smart Shooting Part 2 – “From the ordinary to the extraordinary” is the result.

This talk builds on the ideas discussed and explored in the earlier talk and extends to starting by looking at how digital shooting differs from film. This is very important and often overlooked as we assume digital cameras are just film cameras with a digital sensor instead of a film. We can and do continue to use our digital cameras (mirrored or mirrorless) in the same way as we did our film cameras, however even though the basic controls are the same, if we are to get the best from them, we need to understand this fundamental difference more clearly. Just as photographers like Ansel Adams encouraged us to expose film in particular ways to get the best from it we need to understand how digital cameras can help us to manage exposure to get sharper, cleaner, clearer and more noise free pictures.

Whilst some of the techniques and concepts are more necessarily complex and quite advanced, just like the previous talk, I present them using visual aids to make them accessible whatever your level as a photographer. It’s aim is to take experienced shooters forward in their journey in photography as well challenge and stretch newer members who may have heard the first talk or had help in your club and be taking their first steps to take control of their cameras.

If you want to take your photography to the next level this is the talk for you.

Click the contact button opposite for more information or to download a flyer.

The Art of Wildlife Photography

Throughout my life I have been fortunate to have shared experiences and worked with some very competent naturalists and photographers. They have collectively helped me and taken me on my exciting journey of exploration. Through this talk I share my experiences, explore the lessons I have learnt, the mistakes I have made and the options available to the aspiring wildlife photographer. I pay particular attention to the opportunities provided by modern digital cameras and equipment but also but also consider the importance of good field craft and observation.   

I illustrate the talk with my own photos taken both in the UK and in East Africa and seek to demonstrate, wherever possible, the techniques and skills I used. I bring along examples of the equipment and ‘tools’ I have come to rely on over the years. These are the simple tools that for me make the difference between a ‘snap shot’ and that the award winning photo.

Macro Photography

Macro work is a fascinating field of photography which can however seem very baffling and very expensive ! My aim in this talk is to try and dispel both of these myths and to show just how easy and fun it can be.

As a predominantly wildlife photographer macro quite simply enables me to get ‘up close and personal’ to the natural world. In this talk I explore the options available to the amateur photographer who wishes to experiment with macro as well as share some of my own photos. The examples I use will largely be taken from the natural world but the techniques carry over to any other subject matter. I cover very basic, hybrid camera options but spend most of the time looking at the options available to SLR owners including some of the possibilities brought about by very advanced lenses and specialist software. 

This is a very practical talk and I demonstrate many of the techniques I describe and bring along a great deal of macro equipment to demonstrate and discuss. Lighting macro shots is always a problem so I spend some time exploring options. I also discuss and demonstrate techniques of particular value to macro photographers such as focus stacking.


My Digital Workflow

Digital workflow is an area of photography  often discussed and explored in magazines, on the web and in many a conversation with fellow photographers but despite all this exposure it still seems a mystery to many.

One of the questions I am most frequently asked on workshops and when giving talks to camera clubs is - “could you please explain from start to finish what you do after you have taken a photo.”

What I have learnt is meant by this question is not just what to do in Photoshop, but the entire creative journey, including the tools and processes used. I have been photographing wildlife for over 40 years and when I moved from film to digital in the 2003 I had to develop my own personal workflow. In this talk I explore and describe the approach I use and attempt to demystify what I believe can be a simple and productive process if broken down in to distinct, manageable steps.


Tanzania a Photographer's Paradise

I was fortunate enough to live in East Africa as a boy in the late 50’s and the region and its wildlife has held a fascination for me ever since. Photographing African Wildlife in its natural surroundings has absolutely no equal. I now run regular guided trips to Kenya and Northern and Southern Tanzania. This talk outlines a trip to Northern Tanzania made when the Wildebeest are migrating in their greatest numbers, the predators are ever present and other animals and birds can be seen in abundance. This coupled with unspoilt wilderness, stunning landscapes and amazing sunsets makes this truly a Photographer’s Paradise.

I will take you on a journey and an adventure through Northern Tanzania explaining how I took the photos I use to illustrate the talk and telling a few tales along the way.