What is 4K? How can you get great wildlife footage from a DSLR? What does broadcast quality mean? How can you get amazing aerial shots on a budget? What do you need to take slow motion video?

Whether you are hoping for a career as a professional wildlife camera operator or want to film wildlife as a fascinating hobby, this course will arm you with the knowledge and techniques to create stunning shots and sequences. As camera technology advances apace it can be difficult to know what equipment to use (and then how to use it!), with a high tutor to student ratio, this course is unique in content and value for money.

The weekend introduces the latest technology and camera systems for those who may upgrade their equipment in the future or have yet to buy a camcorder. The knowledge gained will help you choose and use the right gear for your purposes and will save you wasting money on unnecessary or inappropriate technology. The Creative Camerawork element will help you improve your techniques under expert instruction.

The course starts with a discussion about the latest camera technology and is then split into hands-on workshops exploring various aspects of camera use in wildlife film-making, including: wide angle, telephoto, macro, scopes, slow motion, time lapse, 3D, aerial solutions and creative techniques. It is taught by wildlife film-maker Mike Linley, Piers Warren – Principal of Wildeye, independent wildlife filmmaker Adrian Cale, Simon Beer – a video camera specialist from Production Gear Ltd.and high speed camera specialist Simon Lewis from BBC Earth.

The location is Whitwell Hall Country Centre in the centre of Norfolk, UK. Accommodation is shared rooms (or there are nearby bed and breakfasts/hotels if you prefer), and there will be excellent home-cooked food.

“I really enjoyed the course. What struck me most was your commitment to provide 1st class tuition, I was incredibly impressed at the small size of the tutor groups. I will definitely be back.”
“The course was fantastic, great fun and very informative. What’s more it was a lot more specific than my university course could hope to be.”
“Just wanted to say thanks for the weekend. I had an amazing time and can’t wait to get started on making some of my own films.”
“Just a short note to say thanks for all the tuition this weekend – it has been invaluable. I had a lot of fun and learnt an enormous amount. It was a fantastic insight into the world of a wildlife film- maker, gaffa tape and all.”

Itinerary

Friday: Aim to arrive by 6pm if possible
7pm – evening meal served (no problem if you arrive later)
8.30pm – introductory chat – who we are, who you are, and what we will be doing this weekend.
10pm – time to relax, chat with new friends, and watch wildlife films in the viewing lounge.

Saturday:
8am – breakfast
9am – introduction to the different types of formats and cameras suitable for wildlife filming
10.30am – tea break.
11am – Workshop 1: Macro – using special macro lenses you can get huge close-ups without having to get too close to the subject. This is also an opportunity to practise using sets and lighting techniques with some of our photogenic subjects such as leopard geckos, giant spiny stick insects, chameleons and more.
1pm – lunch
2pm – back to basics – a run through all the controls and functions of modern camcorders including a guide to photographic techniques such as white balance, exposure etc.
2.30pm – Workshop 2: New Technology – Immerse yourself in the very latest innovations changing the face of wildlife filmmaking, including hands on experiences with 4K cameras, Video DSLRS and learn how to use prime and zoom lenses to get the most from them. Shoot and process 3D with compact GoPro cameras. Aerials – get hands on experience of aerial filmmaking with lightweight small unmanned aircraft – we are the only wildlife filmmaking course taking you to new heights!
4pm – tea break
4.30pm – Workshop 3: Time Lapse and Scopes – using DSLRs to create amazing time lapse sequences. Plus the use of digital video microscopes.
6.30pm – free time
7pm – evening meal served
8pm – after our famous quiz, further wildlife films will be shown and you will be free to continue chattng to the tutors and looking at the equipment provided

Sunday:

8am – breakfast
9am – support systems (tripods, jibs, clamps, beanbags etc) and fieldcraft accessories. Choosing the right cameras and equipment for the right situation – examples from recent productions.
10.30am – tea break.
11am – Workshop 4: Slow motion – the use of high speed cameras for slow motion effects.
1pm – lunch
2pm – Workshop 5: Creative Camerawork – composing shots, perfecting pans, shooting for sequences – practising techniques that will improve your footage immensely.
3.30pm – Viewing favourite sequences from the weekend.
4pm – course ends

Staff/Tutors

Mike Linley
Mike LinleyCamera and Production Tutor
Mike was a producer and scientific advisor to Survival the Internationally acclaimed wildlife programme making company from 1980 until its demise in 2001. During this time he filmed and produced over 60 documentaries, many of which won major International awards. He also researched, wrote and produced over 200 wildlife programmes for children including the series Animals in Action. He then formed Hairy Frog Productions, an independent wildlife production company (click photo to read more).
Simon Beer
Simon BeerCamera Tutor
Simon runs Production Gear Ltd, a company specialising in the sales of broadcast and professional video production equipment. Simon has worked in the broadcast industry since leaving school in 1993, during this time he has been involved in varying capacities on numerous projects with roles including grip and camera operator. Simon has extensive technical knowledge of production technology and has in the past written articles on cameras and post production for magazines including DV User and IOV Focus (click photo to read more).
Piers Warren
Piers WarrenPrincipal of Wildeye
Piers is well known throughout the wildlife film-making industry as the founder of Wildlife Film News and former producer of wildlife-film.com, which he created in the 1990s. With a strong background in biology, education and conservation, he has had a lifelong passion for wildlife films and has a wide knowledge of natural history. He cut his teeth in the industry as a sound engineer and multi-media producer, running a studio for many years before creating Wildeye (click photo to read more).
Adrian Cale
Adrian CaleCamera Tutor
Adrian is an independent wildlife filmmaker, writer and naturalist. As an accomplished producer and camera operator, he brings his own stories to life and has worked with wildlife both behind and in front of camera in a vast range of countries and capacities, his life-long passion affording him a broad knowledge and profound experience of the natural world (click photo to read more).
Simon Lewis
Simon LewisCamera Tutor
Simon has been a cameraman for over a decade and is currently working for BBC Earth, capturing wildlife and the natural world in high speed and time-lapse predominantly. He loves being able to capture what the eye cannot usually see. He is a huge technology geek, and is passionate about cameras and photography, both emerging and vintage (click photo to read more).

Booking Information

Costs: £365 per personWildlife Camera Operator Course
This includes tuition, accommodation, and meals.

Dates:
24-26 July 2015

To apply for a place please complete the form below, you will then be forwarded to a page which explains how to pay the deposit/fee to secure your booking:

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