Wildlife Photography Workshop with Floating Blinds: The Dombes in the May of 2016
This wildlife photography workshop was unique in more ways than one. All of the participants were friends whom were used to traveling with one another. They requested us to organize this photography workshop, tailor made for the usage and incorporation of floating blinds, just for themselves.
The participants in the photography workshop (from left to right): Geoffroy, André, Jean-Pierre, Michel, Guy, Philippe, and Amar.
6 Friends for an Exceptional Gathering in the Dombes
Two participants, André and Philippe, had already sojourned in 2015. It was these two who persuaded Guy, Jean – Pierre, Geoffroy and Michel to come over and meet us. We’d like to thank them once again for the trust they’ve placed in us. For 7 days, we’ve enjoyed a very pleasant and creative experience. The quality of the snapshots were exceptional.
All of the photographers were equipped with Nikon brand equipment. This is the first time such an event has occurred. We have nothing against brands which produce quality cameras and lenses, yet this rare circumstance deserved being mentioned.
The Dombes: A Paradise for Wetland Birds
The region of the Dombes plays host to numerous species of birds. Nearly 130 different species annually visit so as to both mate and nest. 30 000 individuals regularly spend the winter season in the area.
The region of the Dombes is covered by over 1000 ponds. These ponds are of human origin. They are both shallow and used for pisciculture. Their particularity are that their bottoms are lightly inclined so as to allow their waters to slowly and regularly flow into the emissary. These fish filled ponds attract numerous types of birds. It is a zone of national important for migratory birds of the tropics.
During the months of May, June and July, it is possible to observe a few species emblematic of the region: Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Black – Necked Grebe, Red Crested Pochard, Whiskered Tern, Black – Crowned Night Heron, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Egret, Great Egret, Cattle Egret, Comoran, Eurasian Coot, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Common Kingfisher, Warbler, Western Marsh Harrier, Red Kite.
The Dombes does not exclusively attract birds. The Muskrats and the Nutrias are also mammals that we often come across on the ponds. Dragonflies, green frogs and grass snakes are also part of the animal landscape.
The lights which flood the Dombes are exceptional. In the spring and beginning of summer, the early mornings are often bathed by warm and felted lights. What joy to observe the ducks or grebes moving themselves along the ponds in this magical setting.
Acquiring a Solid Technical Expertise and Developing Creativity
For this workshop, all of the photographers were of an advanced level. However, some of them are not well versed in wildlife photography and even less in the usage of a floating blind. We had therefore prepared an instructive progression adapted to the group. We devoted a large portion to photographic creativity while all the while revisiting certain fundamentals yet without staying stuck on the basics. The act of unveiling the numerous secrets that makes our photography so successful was a real plus in the eyes of the participants.
A Strange Weather for Exceptional Snapshots
This year of 2016 will remain within the memories for all photographers as the weather was tremendously varied. During the first week of the workshop we never saw the sun emerge from behind the cloud cover. It was the first time since we’ve been to the Dombes that we experience such rainfall. In the beginning, the participants were a little worried that we would not have enough light in order to accurately capture the birds while in midair flight. However, we explained to them that cloudy weather are more certainly the best of times for wildlife photography as the contrasts of light are less extreme. In addition it renders the colors all the more apparent and places the subjects into the proverbial spotlight.
Once again, all of the participants placed their trust in us and despite the atmospheric conditions that were at certain times terrible along with torrential rainfall, the images that were captured were of an exceptional quality. We believed that without these incredible conditions, the quality of the clichés would not have attained this level. The slideshow of the participants that we included in our report will serve as testimony to this fact.
A Friendly and Relaxed Ambience for 7 Days
For us, a photography workshop is made up of three elements: Technical education, the discovery of hidden treasures within a region and good humor and conviviality.
Yet again, the recipe worked. We have chosen two locations for bed and breakfast were each participant had access to their bedroom and its commodities. The afternoon, we went to lunch in one of the restaurants typical of the region. Each village of the Dombes possess at least one restaurant. We were apple to taste at least one regional specialty per day. Breakfast and dinner were taken care of at the locations we stayed at for the night. Each participant brought along a regional specialty. We did not have enough time throughout the week so as to eat everything.
Finally, it was a great week in a both friendly and amicable atmosphere.
Some photos taken by the participants
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Testimonies of the Dombes Wildlife Photography Workshop – May 2016
This was my second workshop with you in the Dombes. Last year I was enchanted by the beauty of birds, the lights out on the ponds. I learned a great deal of photography related techniques on these magnificent ponds. This year, I took photos that were completely different from last year’s.
No need to go to the other side of the Earth so as to experience culture shock and make exceptional shots.
I really enjoyed this wildlife photography workshop. It was my first time. I’ll come back next year. I really appreciated the technical instruction whether it be on the handling of backgrounds or the calibration of the camera’s enclosure. I am very satisfied.
This wildlife photography workshop was a revelation for me. First and foremost photographic in nature as I was not expecting to discover this world of animals of which I had no knowledge. I encountered wildlife at a new level. I waddled in water like a duck. There was a host of subjects to photograph in motion in their natural habitat. And the whole backed by technical and photographic support on your part which is exceptional.
My impressions on this photography workshop are very positive. I really appreciated the area. I really appreciated your didactic character when it came to teaching your techniques, for your accompaniment.
I am very satisfied with this photography workshop in Dombes. I made photos in the middle of nature as closest I could to the birds. It’s really an experience very interesting to live through.
Our next far adventures
We are fascinated and passionate about the beauties of nature. We love to see the landscapes and observe wild animals whether on land or underwater. We have chosen to become professional photographers to share the emotions we feel when we observe nature whether it be on land or underwater. Our goal is to create art with our photographs. We always try to transform the banal into a contemplative and artistic interpretation.
We are wildlife professional photographers, landscape professional photographers and underwater professional photographers. We also strive to document nature with a focus on conservation and education.
We make art prints from our artistic photographs. These art prints are available on our website. We make exhibitions to show all the beauties and the incredible richness of nature that surrounds us.
We also love to share our love for the beauties of nature with other photographers. To communicate our know-how and to exchange our techniques and our points of view, we organize wildlife photography workshops, underwater photography workshops and landscape photography workshops. We gather together people who have the same passion as us for the beautiful photographs taken in nature.