Meet the reader
Amateur photographer Paul was keen to
step up his photo skills.
“I’m an enthusiastic amateur photographer
who is still learning the ropes and enjoying trying out different genres. I’ve
always had an interest in photography but only began to take it more seriously
in March last year when I bought a second-hand Canon 400D. I then signed up to
a couple of courses to learn how to use it. I’ve since been spending all of my
spare cash on buying new lenses and equipment.”
Meet the pro
Professional photographer Lewis runs
regular photo workshops.
Lewis Phillips is a full-time
conservationist, he uses his imagery along with lectures to give an insight
into lectures to give an insight into habitat loss and countryside issues in
the UK and other countries. Lewis sells his work worldwide through a number of
agencies and his new photography workshops are proving to be very popular,
particularly among wildlife enthusiasts who want to photograph native birds of
prey. For more information on Lewis’s work and details about upcoming
workshops, please visit his website.
Behind the scenes
Here’s an overview of how the day went.
Getting down low
Here’s Paul photographing the white-tailed
sea eagle. Getting down low for this shot enabled him to shoot from the same
eye level as his subject, this also gave him the best-possible view of the
bird. Lewis recommends always shooting your subject at its own eye level for
the best results.
Paul is once again on the same plane as his
subject. Using a wide aperture setting he was able to blow the foreground and
background interest out of focus for more artistic photographic results. Lewis
points out that when using a wide aperture setting you will need to ensure your
focus point is on the eye of the subject matter
Paul Stephens’ thoughts on the day
What’s the best piece of advice you
received on the day?
Lewis gave me so much valuable advice throughout
the day, but what I found most useul were his tips on how to tweak my camera
settings to get more interesting and creative shots.
Do you feel this experience has improved
your photography? How?
Absolutely. The advice that Lewis gave me
as well as his encouragement to think about every photo carefully before I took
it was really useful. He also taught me to regularly check my exposure on the
histogram, which meant I ended up with more quality photographs at the end of
the day. This is a good practice that I’ll continue to apply to all of my
photography in the future. I also learnt a lot about the birds themselves and
the conservation efforts that Lewis and Eagle Height are involved with.
What was your favourite moment of the
The whole day was fantastic and I feel
privileged to have seen and photographed such wonderful birds close-up, which
would be so difficult in the wild. My highlight was photographing Skye, the
beautiful White Tailed Sea Eagle, soaring above the Kent countryside and swooping
over our heads.
Lewis Phillips’ thoughts on the workshop
How do you feel the course went?
I think the course went well and we were
blessed with good weather, which is always a bonus when working outside.
How was Paul as a student?
Paul was an extremely good student. He
listened well to all the advice given and I believe this showed in the work he
went home with.
What was your personal highlight?
Paul took some great images on the day of
birds that most people would not have normal access to. I was also able to give
him an insight into all the issues that the birds face, which is an important
part of the day to me.
What does Paul most need to work on?
I think Paul had good understanding of
composition but needs to maybe explore different shooting angles so that he can
achieve more original results.
What are your top three tips for Paul?
Make good use of lines to lead the eye into the
Try to compress the scene with a long focal
Get on the same level as the subject you are