In excess of 100 people attended the talk at the end of November by Tom Way, a wildlife photographer. While he mainly focuses on photography in Africa, the focus of his talk to us was more local with stories of how he composes pictures of British wildlife.
He explained the three most important elements of any photo were:
- Light (the golden hour being the most important which is the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset)
- Character (for example, the comical clumsy nature of a puffin in flight)
- Simplicity (for example, a silhouette of a stag at sunset)
Tom can spend many hours getting the perfect shot. He spent four days in thermal waders in a river, in January, to capture a water vole munching on some vegetation and hours studying the flight patterns of buzzards before getting the image of the buzzard flying straight at him. The power of image was also explained; a fox can look cute in one frame and sly in the next and so Tom can influence the way in which we perceive these mammals. He is also passionate about the wildlife he photographs – did you know that ten years ago, there were 33 million hedgehogs in the UK? Today, there are only one million and in fifteen years, it is possible there will be none. This is mainly due to the loss of hedgerows (we lose 6 miles a day), pesticides and the ways in which we manage our gardens today – hedgehogs don’t like fences and decking!