Nikon Owl and Raptor photography day

Nikon Owl and Raptor photography day

On 20th October Castle Cameras were lucky enough to host an Owl and Raptor day with John Clements from Go Photo Training, Adam from Nikon UK and Toby from South Wilts Falconry in Hampshire.


The weather was very kind to us for the time of year.  It started off overcast and brightened up in the afternoon.

John Clements started off proceedings with some very useful tips on setting your Nikon DSLR to get the best out of the day.  He talked about shooting modes, ISO and autofocus amongst other things.

We then headed out into the field to meet Toby and his wonderful birds.  The first to fly was the Peregrine Falcon.  He was so fast, with speeds of up to 80mph. It gave us practise at getting the bird in shot.  John gave us some tips on getting the bird well-framed and in focus with a blurred background.  Some people got fantastic results!

We had another input session with John, then soup and a buffet lunch was provided by Karen and Howard at Castle Cameras.

After lunch we had the opportunity to try the Nikkor 600mm f2.8 with a Sirui gimbal head. Toby flew a bird of prey directly towards the camera.  What a treat!  The lens is a beast and definitely not within most peoples’ budgets, so lovely to be able to have a little play with it here.  There were also plenty of other lenses which Adam brought along from Nikon and everybody shared them nicely throughout the day.  There wasn’t too much squawking!

Toby asked for volunteers to fly the snowy owl.   They put on the special glove, held some food for the bird and it flew across the field and landed on their hand.  What an awe-inspiring bird to get up-close and personal with.

At the end of the day we went back inside and had a good look through our photos.  We had a chance to share some of the best ones with the group.  There were some stunning shots to come out of the day and we all learned a lot from John Clements and Toby.

So our thanks go out to all the participants who came along to make the day possible. Also special thanks go out to Toby from South Wilts Falconry and his magnificent birds, Adam from Nikon and all the fantastic kit he let us play with and especially to John Clements from GoPhotoTraining for making the day so interesting and informative.  It was a great success and we hopefully we will get the chance to do more sessions like this in the future.

Shots from the day

Here are some shots from the day, taken with the Nikon D500 and the Nikkor 80-400mm.


Some of the participants photos from the day.

These are from Tricia Glass, well done Tricia!

And thanks to Michael Berkeley for these great pictures:


Here is a snippet of some glowing feedback we had from one of the attendees on the course, David Nevett:

“Many thanks to you and Castle Cameras for organising such a splendid day with NIkon and Toby.

John Clements was a brilliant presenter, he offered so many tips and techniques not found in instruction manuals by the amateurs like me.  

The provision by Nikon of so many suitable lenses, plus the opportunity to try them out on our own cameras was a bonus.  

In one day with Castle and Nikon, I have learned more about how to improve my images, tips on using the D500, and a hands on experience to discover which are the best lenses for my field work.”

If you would like to come along to the next event with Castle Cameras, follow us on facebook or twitter with @castlecameras or check the events page on the website.


4th November 2016

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