Photographing bellowing red deer stags in France - September 2018
If you are a wildlife photographer who loves photographing animals in their natural environment, if you want to discover new horizons and photograph new species, and if you want to gain new technical knowledge, then join us for a wildlife photography trip to Charente-Maritime, France. We will photograph bellowing red deer stags, wild pigs, and fallow deer in natural grasslands and wild forests. October is a great month to hear stags bellowing in the area. This exceptional photography trip lasts from September 23th to October 2nd, 2018.
« I had a great trip. This is the second year that I’ve come with you. This time I was able to stay for the whole week. I will definitely remember the last day. It was intense and incredible. During this workshop, thanks to your technical advice, I was able to frame the foreground and background of my pictures like I was setting up the stage for a play. The thing I looked forward to most was taking photos of stags bellowing in the mist. I wanted to capture beautiful morning moods. That is what I’ve done this year. »
The theme of the workshop: photographing bellowing stags in autumn
A maximum of 5 people
Up to 5 people can participate in this trip. The small size of the group guarantees that you will receive personalized advice on how to take the best pictures you can.
Trip schedule and syllabus
The trip will begin on Sunday, September 23th, 2018. The group will meet at the Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris, and then travel to Charente-Maritime by car. The trip will end on Tuesday 2nd October at the same airport.
The trip is divided into two parts:
- One week photographing bellowing red deer stags, and other large European mammals.
- Three days in Bordeaux, photographing the city and visiting wineries. This part of the trip will be dedicated to travel photography.
During the week dedicated to photographing big mammals, the photographers will live in a big country house in a private area. The house can hold 10 photographers. Each participant will have his or her own room and a shower and toilet. Meals will be prepared and served by a cook.
During our time in Bordeaux, we will stay in a downtown hotel.
The price of the trip includes:
- The round trip from Paris to Bordeaux by truck
- A truck for group transportation
- Rent for the house and the blinds
- All the meals during the week for photographing wildlife
- Technical presentations on photography
- Presentations on animal species and behavior
- Technical advice on correcting and editing photos
The price does not include meals in Bordeaux.
Every day, after a good breakfast, each photographer will head out into nature to take pictures. Lunch and dinner will be provided at the house. You are totally free to choose when you take pictures.
The program will be the same every day of the week. During these seven days, you will have an opportunity to spend time in both forests and meadows.
Here are some topics which will be discussed during this trip:
- Using blinds to create pictures of wildlife.
- Creating temporary blinds using foliage.
- Learning different ways to approach animals, using the wind and sun properly
- Composing wildlife photographs correctly to make them visually appealing.
- Managing the background properly to highlight the subjects.
- Managing your digital workflow to fully develop your wildlife photographs
After the wildlife workshop, we will stay in a beautiful hotel in downtown Bordeaux. We will tour the city, visit wineries, and eat at excellent restaurants for three days.
Bellowing red deer stags: an inspiring sight for wildlife photographers
The first goal of this wildlife photography trip is to photograph bellowing red deer stags. From mid-September to early November in France, during the rutting season, they can be heard. There are several regions which are considered good places to hear the stags bellowing. Charente-Maritime is one of them. From the forest of La Coubre in the North to the forests in Upper Saintonge in the South, you can hear these cries, which are modulated to fit different situations.
« I came to this workshop because I wanted to experience wildlife photography for the first time. It was an activity that I did not practice much except when I went hiking. I especially wanted to learn the techniques of wildlife photography so that I could then put them to use in the Savoy region, where I live. Even though I am still learning, I created beautiful pictures, because the forests and grasslands in the region are very beautiful and lend themselves to creating nice sceneries. »
Other species you will photograph
The second goal of this wildlife photography workshop is to photograph other species of large European mammals, such as wild pigs and roe deer.
Charente-Maritime: a paradise for photographers
The area is covered with numerous forests and woods because the abundant clay and siliceous deposits make the soil very fertile. There are also many meadows because of the numerous streams between the River Loire to the North and the River Charente to the South.
The area has over 2,000 hours of sunshine per year. Although there is rainfall throughout the year, evapotranspiration is highest during the summer months, from May to September.
All of these geological and climatic conditions make this region a great place for large animals to live. They find both shelter and food in abundance in the forests and groves. As a result, the forests and grasslands are home to deer and wild pigs, as well as other species.
« The pictures I took during this workshop are better quality than the ones I created before. I am very satisfied. I already had a little experience as a wildlife photographer, and I had begun to familiarize myself with the animals in my area. During this trip, I became familiarized with my camera. Also, I mostly understand how to compose and frame a picture now, and my photos are much sharper than before. »
Equipment needed for the trip
We recommend bringing the following equipment:
- A DSLR
- At least a 300mm lens. The range of possible lenses is quite wide: an 80-400mm, a 100-400mm, a 150-600mm, a 200-400mm, a 300mm, a 500mm, a 600mm, or an 800mm could all be used. A 70-200mm with an extender would also work.
- A tripod.
- A ball for setting up the camera in the hide. We recommend a ball like a Wimberley, but a standard ball will also work.
- A focal length multiplier: 1.4 or 1.7
- For the three days in Lyon, we recommend a wider lens, like a 24-70mm.
In addition, we recommend :
- Boots for walking in the woods and grasslands.
- Brown or green clothing, so that you can blend into the landscape better.
- Camouflage clothing, which is best for blending into the woods, but is not mandatory.
We also advise that you bring a computer to organize and process your pictures. If you cannot bring a computer, be sure to bring a way to save your photos from the week, because you will take a lot.
Gaining new technical insights
If you already have some experience with photography and you want to improve your technique on very particular points, then this trip is perfect for your needs. Since the number of participants that we take is limited, you are guaranteed to learn the specific information you want.
This trip is not only an adventure that you will share with other photographers. It is also a time during which you can ask any technical questions you want to address. At the end of the workshop, you will leave with an improved photographic approach.
Every day, we will review everyone’s photos. In addition to giving tips for improvement, we will provide technical presentations on topics that the participants are interested in.
Traveling with other people who love nature's beauty
Participating in a photography trip with us is the best way to meet other photographers who love the beauties of nature while learning new skills in a pleasant, relaxing environment. You will enjoy this holiday where you can exchange your inspirations, impressions, and technical insights with other photographers who share your interests.
The places we will go have been selected to meet the unique needs of wildlife photographers. This is the advantage of a trip organized by photographers.
We are familiar with the area where we will take you. The sites we have chosen are gorgeous. The wildlife is fabulous and the landscapes are unique. It will be a delight for anyone who loves nature's beauties.
Sharing our passion for the beauties of nature
Our goal is to help you to focus your attention on the beauties of nature. We will teach you how to create beautiful wildlife photographs and avoid asking you unnecessary questions.
A perfect mix of holiday and learning experience
Participating in a wildlife photography trip with us is the best way to meet other photographers who also love the beauties of nature while learning new techniques in a pleasant, relaxing environment. You will enjoy this holiday where you can exchange your inspirations, impressions and technical insights with like-minded photographers.
« I came to learn approach techniques and how to make blinds in the wild. Amar taught me all the information I wanted. Coming on this trip was a great joy for me. I will not say that it exceeded my expectations, but it was what I wanted. The environment where I learned during the week was still wild and undeveloped. It was also very diverse, containing wetlands with reeds, ponds, forests, and meadows. This is important, because the wide variety of environments means that you can meet animals just about anywhere. However, we still had to look for them, because they were not easy to see. A photographer values pictures taken there, because he had to get to know the biotope of the region in order to take them »