Blowing Hot and Cold

On the evening of April 22nd Keyworth Camera Club were visited by Dutch nature photographer Rene de Heer via Zoom. Rene gave us a presentation called Blowing Hot and Cold. This was a talk divided into two parts, photographing wildlife in totally different environments – in the heat of Spain and the bitter cold of Finland.

Rene started with Finland. He explained how to keep warm whilst lying in snow or huddled into hides as sometimes the temperature could drop to -30. Rene showed photographs of the hides, which included one that floated in the cold harbour seas. In fact, most of the images in this wintery landscape were taken outside as the vast majority of birds weren’t bothered by the presence of people. 

The second half featured images taken in Spain, mainly in an area called El Taray. The majority of these images were taken either in the early morning or late afternoon and evening as it gets too hot to be outside or in a hide during most of the day. Again, Rene included images of the hides that featured one known as a Hydro Hide which covers your head and shoulders (and camera) whilst the rest of you is submerged in lakes and ponds.

The presentation was filled with humorous observations and hints and tips for improving our wildlife photography. We discovered that Rene prefers to use zoom lenses these days as they allow him to compose images differently whilst stuck in one position in a hide. Rene strives to get clean, plain backgrounds in his photographs. When asked about post-processing, Rene told us he does very little as he tries to get it right in camera. He also explained how having knowledge of your chosen subject’s behaviour patterns helps get images that other photographs will miss as they aren’t prepared for the action that is about to be performed in front of you.

We’d like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Rene for giving us a wonderful evening of entertainment that was informative, enjoyable and encouraging. All supported by superb photographs of a wide variety of birdlife and the occasional mammal. If you have an interest in nature photography, then make sure you get to see one of Rene’s presentations as you will not be disappointed in what you see.

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