Falconry Workshop


The next Photographic Workshop hosted by myself and Thirsk Birds of Prey Centre has been set for the 21st of February 2015.

We usually like to limit the number of participants to 15 so if you would like to come along please get in touch with the Falconry Centre either by email or phone (see below) and book your place.

We start at 11am and run till about 14.30 depending on available light.

Because the centre is still in its closed season we have the place to ourselves and now that we take the birds out of the arena for the static displays we can create endless possibilities or posing the birds in natural environments and different perches etc.

To book

email: booking@falconrycentre.co.uk

phone: 01845 587522

see website


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New Fuji Camera has arrived

Well its been a while since ive posted anything on this blog, time just seems to go faster and faster.

Anyway for a while now ive been looking for a smaller compact camera system to compliment my Nikon D800 and D4 DSLR’s for the times when i dont want to lug around the heavy gear. Ive looked at many systems in the mirrorless market but one area where i didnt want to compromise was image quality.

After alot of searching it came down to either Fuji with their X-T1 or the Olympus with their OMD- E-M1. It was the quality of the Fuji lenses and the large sensor (1.5 crop) which finally made me settle on the Fuji System. Just before i was going to get the X-T1 fuji announced they were going to release a Graphite Edition which i loved the look of so decided to wait. Well the wait came to an end on the 21st November and my Graphite X-T1 arrived. I’d already ordered the Fuji 10-24 F4, 18-55 F2.8-F4 and the 23 F1.4 lenses to take advantage of the fuji £500 cashback they are offering when you buy 3 lenses.

We went out on Sunday afternoon to try and capture some night / sunset shots so went to Newcastle Quayside and the Millennium Bridge.

I was really keen to try the Fuji 10-24 (15-35 equivalent) as i wanted a wide angle for my Nikon system but could never really settle on a lens, i had the Nikon 14-24 which was optically superb but couldnt take filters easily and i tried the Nikon 16-35 which has massive distortion and softness issues at the edges of the frame.

The Fuji seems to tick all the boxes, ultra wide, F4, image stabiliser and can take my lee filters with its 72mm filter thread, No distortion, no vignetting at 10mm with 2 stacked lee filters the list of positives just goes on.

To say im impressed is an understatement, the Fuji 10-24 performs as good as my Nikon 14-24 which is renounded for being the best ultra wide on the market.

Here is a shot taken at f16, 13 seconds, iso 200

Newcastle Quayside


Comparing the image with a similar one from my Nikon D800, its surprising how close the fuji is to the Nikon even though its only got half the resolution.

The fuji is going to be getting alot of use from now on and im looking at adding the Fuji 56 F1.2 in the next few weeks.

The time has come when we cant ignore these small system cameras anymore. They are only going to get better and better and there will be a time soon when the likes of Nikon and Canon are going to have to respond or get left behind, its happenning already.

For sports and wildlife a pro DSLR like the D4 / 1dx will be better (other DSLR’s not so much) but for everything else, the DSLR really doesnt have much of an advantage anymore.


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Falconry Photographic workshop


Hi everyone

Just to let everyone know that the next evening summer photography workshop is now scheduled for Sunday the 9th August.

Its scheduled to start at around 17.30pm.

We are now taking the birds out of the arena to give everyone a better chance to capturing the birds with more natural backgrounds and to give us more scope for different locations etc.


Please see http://www.falconrycentre.co.uk for details and to book your place.

We try and limit the number of guest participating in these workshop to 15 maximum.

Full tuition / guidance is available if required.

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Evening Falconry Photographic Workshops

Hi Everyone

Just to let you all know that the next Photo Workshop at Sion Hall Falconry Centre has just been announced and its taking place on the 17th May 2014 from 17.30pm onwards.

Full tuition will be available for anyone that wants or needs it to get the most out of the evening photo shoot.

There will be a large variety of birds with both static displays and flying displays.

please see the website for further details and information on booking a place at


or phone Nikki on 01845 587522

hope to see some of you there

best wishes



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Male Kingfisher back at Clara Vale

Male Kingfisher by TheApertureMan
Male Kingfisher, a photo by TheApertureMan on Flickr.

Well this little guy is back at Clara Vale and apparently there has been photographers and twitchers queuing to get into the hide on weekdays.

Well for the first 3 hours we had the hide to ourselves on a Sunday morning and the kingfisher didn’t disappoint us at all, he sat around on most of the closest perches giving us some great views and photographs.

Later on he started fishing the ponds that are further away, which was about the time that more people started arriving in the hide but by then we had got the photos we wanted.

We left about 2.30 in the afternoon just as the rain we had left behind in the morning caught us up and the light levels dropped dramatically.


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Sion Hall Photo Workshop

Bald Eagle Portrait by TheApertureMan
Bald Eagle Portrait, a photo by TheApertureMan on Flickr.

The next photographic day, at Sion Hall Falconry Centre has been set for the 15th February 2014.

its going to run from around 11am till 2-2:30pm depending on lighting levels.

We will have static and flying displays of various birds from Owls to falcons to eagles.
If the light is bad we will have a studio light setup available.

booking are being taken now at the Centre, so please visit the site below to secure your place

http://www.falconrycenter.co.uk for details

hope to see you there on the day

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Water Ark Foss

Water Ark 3 by TheApertureMan
Water Ark 3, a photo by TheApertureMan on Flickr.

Took my Nephew Matt to Water Ark Foss for the afternoon.

Its a terrible place to get to, very slippy steep muddy grass banks and rocks to navigate and a narrow path navigating past a few trees but we were rewarded with one of the best waterfalls in the area, in my opinion.

on the way back, the path collapsed and i was hanging from a fallen tree but it was great fun.

There is another shot i want to get but it means climbing down a 10 foot high rock face which wasn’t going to happen on the day we went with all the gear we had with us.

Ive just bought some assailing equipment so will be going back shortly to safely get to the bottom where i want to be.

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