Eighteen months ago, I went on a Photography Day to Havergate island and I was delighted to find out that these special days are going to be repeated again in 2015 .
Monika Koch, is offering the events in a brand new cooperation with the RSPB under her own flag of ‘Wild Adventures under Suffolk’s Skies’. Kevin Sawford, Jeremy Hennell James and Celia Bartlett are joining her for the new venture. They will start in March and after a breeding season gap, offer events from July right through the year up to December.
I remember the day well, both for the island’s tranquil beauty and the helpful and friendly photography tuition. It was a bit of a stretch getting up at 5.30am to be on Orford Quay for 6am but it meant we were on the river in the golden hour to see the sun rise over the water. We were lucky as it was a clear and sunny day.
The only sea birds I can identify with certainty are Puffins, after reading Puffin books as a child and I knew we wouldn’t be seeing any of those. So I packed my camera, another lens, spare battery, clean re-formatted memory card, tripod, remote switch, camera wipes, manual, bottle of water, some emergency sweets and chocolate, my Kumfie sit mat, spare thin fleece, waterproof trousers, hat, fingerless gloves, another pair of gloves, notebook, pen, scarf and last but not least, my Observer book of birds from when I was a child. In the morning, Jeremy taught a session on landscape photography and I learned more about moving close and moving back to find the right angle to take the pictures.
The beauty of the Photography Day is that there is hardly anyone else there so you can wander off and concentrate and simply absorb the island’s haunting beauty. I wanted to try and capture some pictures of Orford from a completely different perspective.
In the afternoon, I had a session on macro photography with Celia and looking closely at bark and lichen. The rapt concentration needed clears the mind of all extraneous worries.
I also had time to wander around to the different hides and the more expert bird watchers identified the birds for me.
I looked at details and liked the grain in the wood and the lines on the door of the bird hide.
I’m not a confident photographer as I didnt even own a camera until a few years ago and I know there is a lot of scope for improvement. I am easily intimidated by other people with their huge cameras and lenses but everyone was so friendly and welcoming that I surprised myself and had a really good day. Not only can I shut my eyes to remember those unique Suffolk skies, I now have some photographs to remind me as well.
Details on the days and dates in 2015 and how to book are available here.