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There are 59 species of Butterfly compared to over 2,500 species of Moths in the UK,with more species being establishing following migration from the continent probably due to climate change over the last decade or so. Moths occur in a wide variety of habitats from the coastline up to high altitudes. Although there are quite a few day flying Moths in the UK , most are night flyers so are seldom seen. Moths are masters of disguise and camouflage with many as stunningly colourful patterns as their day flying cousins, Butterflies. All in all a very fascinating species of insect to observe and photograph.
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As with all wildlife Moths are governed by weather conditions and so the amount of species caught in an evening before a workshop will change from a few to many different species with June/ July being the best time for Hawkmoths.
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At times the sessions will be supplemented with various moths bred and reared myself such as migrant Hawkmoth (Death Heads, Spurge, Bedstraw etc). I’m also hoping, with a bit of work ,to be rearing some foreign species such as Eri Silkmoth Philosamia Cynthia and the largest moth in the world the Giant Atlas Moths. Eggs, caterpillars and pupae in season will also be available to photograph. On warm sunny days there will also be the possibility to photograph Hummingbird Hawkmoths (if you have the patience)
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I will be setting up various ways to photograph the moths both naturally and artistically using various props such as moss, lichen laden twigs, branches, stumps, bark, stones and flowers etc.
My aim will be to send each individual photographer home with a set of images they will gladly be adding to their portfolio.
The workshop is open to all abilities and equipment. Macro and wide angle lenses being used for the most part of my work with the exception of telephoto being used for the Hummingbird Hawkmoths. Some smaller tele lenses with convertors may work just as well though.
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The workshops will be held from mid May onwards – each session will be from 9.30 to 12.30 on a Monday or Friday. The cost will be £75 per photographer and limited to 4 photographers per session. If there has been a really good evenings catch and anyone would like to continue the session there will be an additional charge of £30 per hour per person.A £20 deposit will be required on booking. only refundable if the session is cancelled or inclement weather. or you may rebook onto another session.
The setting will be on a private estate in the Sussex Downs just north of Chichester and the exact location will be advised prior to the workshop. Tea, coffee and a toilet will be available throughout the morning.
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Please view my Facebook account My Wild Life Tony Stevens where an ‘Event’ has been created to register interest.
Alternatively contact or message
Tony Stevens 07734 103014 or Amanda Starkey 07789 030107
About the photographer
Tony Stevens is Sussex born with a life long admiration for the surrounding area and in particular the wildlife within . Combining an artists eye with a good knowledge of nature has been my foremost advantage in the development of my style of self taught photography. My main focus is on British wildlife with several highly commended awards in top British wildlife photography competitions.
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Alan Frost, a member of The Image Circle, has recently been awarded an Associate Distinction by The Royal Photographic Society. The Society’s distinctions are internationally respected and sought after by professional and amateur photographers. Over 1200 applications for Licentiate, Associate and Fellow of the Society are received each year with around 800 being successful. Submissions are held in different categories and are assessed by a qualified Panel of senior members of the Society. The Society takes great care in maintaining standards and in promoting excellence amongst photographers.

Alan’s monochrome submission was in the Conceptual and Contemporary category and featured 15 church images some of which are shown here, together with the hanging panel. In addition a statement of intent was submitted explaining what Alan hoped to achieve.

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Alan was naturally delighted to be awarded this prestigious award. He said – “I have been working on the panel for nearly 18 months prior to it being assessed. I was fully aware of the very high standard required by The RPS, so it is a great honour for me to have achieved this success. I have every intention of becoming a Fellow, but I think this can be likened to climbing Everest, so we shall see!”

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The Hanging Plan

Do visit Alan’s website where you can view all fifteen images and read his statement of intent. Please click here.

 

So a few months ago me, my brother and our friend decided to take a trip to Wales. We had recently started a You Tube channel which aimed to cover everything about the outdoors. But we needed content.

Seeing as there is only so much you can do in Bognor Regis when it comes to outdoor activity, we chose to go for a long weekend in Wales with the main goal of visiting a small place called Gigrin Farm.

Wales is quite rightly known as one of the top places to visit for walks, fantastic views and diverse wildlife. As well as terrible weather. So, it was no surprise to us that, when making our way through wales we saw amazing views of valleys calved by distant rivers. As well as birds of all kinds darting through the woodlands and soaring over mountains. Of course, as I alluded to earlier, this comes at a price. We arrived to the wake of a hurricane. I can assure you this is not an exaggeration.

When we arrived at our very remote (but amazingly situated) accommodation the internet was out and we were told the entire day had been spent clearing the 2 mile track of fallen trees just so we could get through. Still, the next morning we packed out bags and headed out to Gigrin Farm which was about an hour away.

When we arrived it was clear that I was the one who would be getting the most out of the day as the other two didn’t seem keen on paying to sit in a hide. However, the day was cold, wet and windy. This meant that we were the only people at Gigrin farm that day. We had the place to ourselves. To my surprise this meant that my brother, Lewis and our friend, Adam were able to join me in the hide I had pre-booked for the purpose of photography.

The wait began. We were there to see what must be one of the biggest gatherings of this particular species in the UK. After about 20 minutes we saw a few silhouetted shapes gliding around a tree on the horizon. Soon, there was a shout, “guys”! We spun round to see what could only be described as a cloud of raptors sweeping in from hills to the left of the hide. They were following the approaching meat trailer.

The meat trailer pulled up by the hide, by this time the tension was mounting.  The kites’s frenzied state resulted in the clashing of wings and screeches of authority ringing out around us. The sky was full (and I cannot emphasise the word “full” enough at this point) with Red Kites, England’s largest bird of prey. And what a site it was.

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The first spade full of meat was flung from the trailer and madness erupted amongst the red sky. Birds dived erratically, scooping up pieces of meat from the ground without landing and eating them on the wing.

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I took a moment to watch and really take in what I was seeing. This is a bird of prey that until very recently was a birder’s prize sighting, something you would rarely see with your own eyes. Now thanks to projects like this one in Wales they are recovering, arguably thriving ! There is a lot of controversy though. Some say that sites like this are bad for the British ecosystem. These raptors in Gigrin farm are almost dependant on the meat provided. And there is some evidence to suggest that they are not getting enough variety in their diet which can lead to health problems.

This controversy is well founded and I have given a lot of thought to which side of the fence I would fall on in the debate. Personally, I think that the future of wildlife, in the British isles especially, is a very fragile thing at the moment. As always, its security can help to be ensured by the next generation. How many people nature enthusiasts would say they found a love for wildlife through a trip to a zoo or an aquarium. If there are ways of providing arguably more memorable experiences, without the fences or glass. As well as showing native wildlife instead of flagship species from countries that people may never get the chance to visit, then I say we need to have places like Gigrin Farm.

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If you ever get the chance i would highly recommend you visit. I can promise you a sighting that you will never forget. For more photos or to see the red sky from another perspective feel free to watch the YouTube video below. Thank you for reading :).

Red Kites and Gigrin Farm: Video

 

So this weekend I went to Brighton with my girlfriend as part of her 21st birthday celebrations. It was a great weekend with lots of lovely moments to remember. Thanks mainly to the Brighton sea life centre which, although small, is very much worth a visit. However, all the tourist saturated amusements and fancies we enjoyed aren’t what seem to be lingering in my mind 24 hours later.

Click here to read the rest of the blog and see Matt’s first attempt at street photography.

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I’ve never been one for New Years resolutions but have to admit that this time of year offers the opportunity to take stock and for renewed vigour of past endeavours. For some time I have been playing with various photographic projects and with the recent formation of the group and the prospect of an exhibition later in the year I find my thoughts returning to unfinished work. It would seem to be the perfect vehicle to motivate myself and to a large degree this has been the case. Projects can obviously be separate entities but in this case I find that they are beginning to merge to one end, that being printed works to be hung on a gallery wall. This also brings the added bonus in that, hopefully, I won’t be frantically chasing around later in the year with nothing to exhibit.

One of my projects revolves around a local common, somewhere close to home that I can visit without always committing too much time but equally somewhere that inspires me to create. I find myself visiting often and in all weather to ensure a full body of work and to ensure I can give a clear representation of the changes through a calendar year, as well as conveying some of my own feeling for the place.

Although this image is certainly one of my favourites of the last few months I don’t necessarily see it as representative of the finished work, I would like that to feature quiet images too. I was there only yesterday morning and came home with a couple of images that I quite enjoy but which certainly won’t have mass appeal. Very different from the drama of the first image but still very relevant to what I would like to convey.

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However this is yet another advantage of a project. So often images have to stand up to scrutiny in their own right but as a wider body of work a more contemplative image can find it’s place. Whether either of these images make it to print remains to be seen but both have given me a great deal of pleasure in the making.

As the year progresses and my mind turns to what to include and how I’m going to present them I shall share my thoughts with you again. So far I am confident that I have ended each month with an image or two that I would like to use irrespective of how they may be received. Mind you I would like to think that the best is yet to come, even if not this year.

So as you start the New year I wold urge you to consider a photographic project or two. If, unlike many of those resolutions, you stick with them I can pretty well guarantee that you will create something that you will most likely find very fulfilling. If, like me, you choose a small area of your local patch you will also find that familiarity often brings it’s own rewards. As the seasons unfold and you learn to see the less obvious it can be very surprising what a visit can reveal, inwardly as well as outwardly .