WIGAN 10 Foto Club – FIAP Club’s WORLD CUP CHAMPIONS 2012, 2013 and 2014 . Myths and Rumours explained…

April 22nd, 2015

FIAP WORLD CUP 2nd place Silver Medal

It never ceases to amaze me how far and wide myths and rumours circulate, especially concerning my photographic club WIGAN 10.

On my travels I have met fellow photographers in all corners of the world. On the Galapagos Islands, in Japan , Australia, regularly on the plains of the Massai Mara in Kenya and even inside the Arctic circle and whenever the topic of club photography comes up someone always says to me Oh! You are from Wigan 10! You have to be invited to join that club.

This happened to me again recently, so I have decided to write this short blog to clarify some Myths and Rumours regarding WIGAN 10 Foto Club, the current FIAP Club’s World Cup Champions. (The Little Owl image shown with this post was awarded 2nd place and a FIAP Silver medal in the 2014 World Cup competition).

WIGAN 10 – Membership is by invitation only. WRONG – JUST APPLY. I applied back in December 2007 and joined the club in January 2008.

WIGAN 10 – Is a club with only 10 members. WRONG – We currently have 11 members and since I joined we have had as many as 15 at any one point in time. Meeting room size is a limiting factor and our current venue could accommodate around 15 people.

WIGAN 10 – Is a club for creative photographers. WRONG - I am not known for my creative photography and I am a member! I contribute wildlife and sports images and my pictures are valued just as much as any other members.

WIGAN 10 – Is based in WIGAN, Lancashire. WRONG – We currently meet in the village of Croft, near Warrington, which is in Cheshire.

Please spread this message far and wide so that the next person I meet understands that WIGAN 10, all 11 of us, are a club currently based in Cheshire. We welcome photographers of all genres including creative, wildlife and sports. Should our membership expand, we would not rename our club WIGAN 12, 13, 14 or even WIGAN 15. And, last but not least, NO invitation is necessary to join us, you just apply.

Thanks in advance for spreading the word…



SEO = Short-eared Owl season…

March 31st, 2015

The first quarter of each calendar year sees me turn my attentions to photographing Short-eared Owls.

The combination of this over wintering Owl and the low setting winter sun makes for an ideal image in my mind. Well that is the theory… In practise I spend countless hours hiding in fields, waiting for the Owl, hoping for some sunshine and praying that the wind direction is favourable to capture “that” image. With so many variables it is little wonder that on many occasions I come back home “empty handed”.

When the elements do all fall in to place however, it is very rewarding and the hours spent freezing my feet and hands are soon forgotten. This 2015 SEO season, despite a poor and frustrating start, has ultimately produced some of my best images of this beautiful Owl.

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BIRDGUIDES — PHOTO OF THE YEAR 2014

February 26th, 2015

I am delighted to announce that my image of a Kestrel has been awarded

PHOTO OF THE YEAR 2014 by BIRDGUIDES.

There were around 325,000 bird images uploaded to www.birdguides.com over the last year, so for mine to be chosen from such a large pool is personally very rewarding.
Well done to all of the runners up and Highly Commended photographers and thanks to Birdguides and their judges for organising this competition. Full details can be found here:- http://www.birdguides.com/webzine/article.asp?a=4847

This image was in fact one of the very first images I took whilst testing and fine tuning my Canon 7D MK2 camera . It was coupled to a Canon 800mm lens when this picture was taken.


Kestrel PHOTO OF THE YEAR

Barn Owl season begins…

January 31st, 2015

There is one bird of prey that is an instant favourite. The Barn Owl.

It is a privilege and pleasure to see these birds at any time of the year. Over the last twelve months I have found a number of birds locally. Some are very much night hunters and I never see them during the day. Others are a little more confident and will occasionally put in an appearance when the sun is still shining. I have found them to be very difficult to predict. Their patterns of behaviour change almost daily which results in many “wasted” hours hoping for a glimpse of this elegant bird.

When one does come out during the day and hunts within “photographic” range, then all of that “wasted” time becomes irrelevant.


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Testing a Canon 7D MK2 on Kestrels…

November 30th, 2014

Canon recently released the Canon 7D MK2 camera, aimed squarely at wildlife and sports photographers. A few days after it started to arrive in the UK stores, this new DSLR was firmly in my hands.

I use a full frame Canon 1DX for nearly all of my photographs these days. That camera consistently gives me high quality images time after time. However, being full frame, there are times when I wish that my camera and lens combination had a little more “reach”. Therefore, the 1.6 crop factor offered by the Canon 7D MK2 was the prime reason why I added this camera body to my kit bag. Sometimes, when I am photographing small birds for example, the birds can still be a little too small in the frame on my 1DX camera. Having some extra “reach” is also advantageous when photographing larger but more “nervous” species. Birds like this Kestrel have a natural comfort zone, and it doesn’t like coming too close to my hide. By connecting the 1.6 crop camera to my lens it allows me to place the hide much further away from the bird, allowing the Kestrel to be more relaxed.


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