Clients feedback on the Secret British Mammals 2 Day Workshop
 
 
 
I am always interested to receive feedback from people who attend one of my talks, workshops or holidays. The following represents a selection of the comments I have received which specifically relate to my Secret Mammals Workshop in Devon.
  
Having spent many years studying and attempting to photograph British mammals I know first-hand exactly how difficult this can be as most of our native species are extremely secretive and some even nocturnal.
 
I am therefore thrilled to offer this opportunity to use a private wildlife collection in Devon as the setting for a 2 day workshop/safari. With over 16 years’ experience working with wildlife film makers and photographers the owner has created a series of purpose built photographic and film sets where we can photograph an excellent collection of captive British mammals. The aim of this two day workshop / safari is to provide an unparalleled opportunity to photograph a broad range of British mammals with relative ease and in highly realistic and landscaped surroundings. We will have unrestricted access to photograph most species including the rare European beaver in an 8 acre enclosure where they have cut down their own trees to dam the river.
 
As well as large mammals such as foxes, wild boar, muntjac deer, wildcat, pine martin, polecat, weasel, stoats we will photograph small mammals in specially designed sets. These will include species such as the rare water vole and equally rare water shrew as well as many species of mouse and rats.
 

 
 

  
Feed back received from attendees of this workshop.
 
"My expectations were exceeded in terms of the number of different animals - and birds - available for us to photograph but particularly impressive was the access we had to them and the proximity allowed - without fences between us and our subjects. An excellently designed facility to allow access for the photographer."
   
"I am very pleased with how much more I have learned. I hoped to move my skills forward from last year when I went on the course for the first time and I feel that the photos I took this year reflect the improvement. I was able to take on board more of what Bob explained and so build on what I'd learned last year. I am pleased that I have fewer specimen shots and more that show some thought about composition. I had a great weekend - I don't think I'd change any of it."
   
"I wasn't sure what to expect, but hoped to get some decent shots of the animals in natural looking surroundings. The shots I came away with greatly exceeded my expectations, helped greatly by plenty of constructive advice and tips from Bob. It was an unforgettable experience with a lovely group of people, and I loved it!"
   
"A really positive and informative workshop. My expectations of the two days were met, the variety of animals were great as were the settings which were natural and realistic. I loved the course and learnt a lot from Bob. I was certainly one of the less experienced photographers on the course but this didn't matter at all, I really appreciated the advice on best lens for particular circumstances, ISO, shutter speed etc. I absolutely love many of my photographs and know that I could not have taken these without the support readily offered. Additionally I now have a good idea of where I need to focus my spending to improve my photography kit."
   
"My expectations were fully met. To be able to observe & photograph so many different mammals in such realistic surroundings was fantastic, it was a superb week-end from start to finish. From the warm welcome by Linda of Frankaborough Farm with her large breakfasts to the staff at the Center who's knowledge & friendliness greatly enhanced the experience. Thank you."
   
"This was the second time I have attended this course and I was a little concerned that I would not learn anything new. I needn't have worried. The slight differences in weather, new animals and different locations brought new challenges and improved photos. I also gained a deeper understanding of setting up the camera and techniques for maximising the quality of the images. "
   
"I wasn't sure how my lesser photographic knowledge would hinder my enjoyment of the weekend. I need not have been at all concerned as i thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to be close to all the mammals at the centre. I appreciated and enjoyed the chance to try, learn how to and make use of different settings on my camera. Everyone who was on the course and those we met over the weekend were very friendly and a good time was spent together. "
   
"As always Bob - a superb workshop. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into running these wonderful days - making them so enjoyable, informative and above all giving us the opportunity to get close to and more particularly photograph our otherwise secret native wildlife."
   
"A fantastic two days. The chance to see the range of animals was wonderful, Thank you also for providing all the additional bits and pieces - the stools, lamps, and for lending your lenses and other equipment. The whole experience was fabulous. I learned such a lot.
Re accommodation / catering: It was great - Linda's cottages were well equipped and very comfortable and she was really hospitable. Really good to meet her and the family. "
   
"I was full able to consolidate my learning so far on taking moving animals and achieving good results without needing too much manipulation later. I feel that the help given was of great relevance and totally pertinent. The feeling of the day was both purposeful and yet relaxed with time being given when needed. I am delighted with some of my photographic results but most importantly it was the course and leadership which inspired.
Great people and fascinating animals."
"My expectations of the two days in Devon were more than fully met. I was very impressed with the set up at the Farm. Thank you, Bob, for your advice and expertise - you are obviously very passionate about wildlife and photography, and sharing your knowledge with those who want to listen. You made me feel at ease and I felt that I could ask any question no matter how trivial. I certainly picked up a few new tips and as I am no 'technician' I'm sure I will learn lots more on future courses. A really big 'thank you' once again. The two days were great. I think we all appreciated the time you spent with us and I know I thoroughly enjoyed the two days. I think it was the first time, on any course/trip/workshop, that a course leader made me feel at ease and that nothing was too much trouble for you.
The accommodation at the farm cottages was super and really clean and tidy. We were made very welcome by Linda and her family and the breakfasts were excellent as were the packed lunches. We will definitely visit the Farm again in the future."
  Some of Wendy's Photos from the workshop day
 
"My hope for this workshop was to observe and to photograph some of the harder to find species. My expectations were greatly exceeded. We were able to join the animals within their enclosures and given plenty of time and opportunity to photograph them in near natural conditions.
The Bed and Breakfast at Frankaborough Farm was a great place to stay for this workshop. Very conveniently situated, excellent accommodation and a really friendly and welcoming host who cooks a great breakfast!
This was an excellent two day workshop and a wonderful opportunity to get close to some of the less often seen mammals. The animal handler was very helpful in positioning the animals where we wanted to photograph them and Bob was always nearby to answer queries or to offer advice, if requested, as to how to photograph each animal. Over the two days we spent time with about 14 different species and I came home with cards full of images that pleased me. I would happily return to this venue in the future."
Ken Petch - July 2014
   
"Many thanks Bob for an excellent couple of days - I would strongly recommend you to any person wishing to experience a wildlife workshop. I really enjoyed the 2 days, the centre and you provided us with excellent opportunities and all done in a very calm, relaxed yet professional manner. Really good value. Yours, Tony "
Tony Banks - July 2014
   
"The course more than met my expectations. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it unreservedly. A very special, memorable weekend. The accommodation and the hospitality provided was excellent. I will be recommending it to friends and family for future. "
Some of Alistair's Photos from the workshop day
"I managed to get good photo opportunities with a number of mammals, especially Wildcats, Polecat and Pine Marten. Great pics of Otter and Wild Boar were a bonus. (Not forgetting the Beaver)
The accommodation was excellent and a very warm welcome from Linda and her family. Great breakfasts and good food in the pub also. I would highly recommend Linda 's cottages to anyone."
Some of Dave's Photos from the workshop day
"My expectations of this workshop were high but were completely and fully met. Whilst being aware that I would probably have less skill than other delegates I hoped to use what I did have to better effect. I was certainly able to do just that and to increase my understanding of using my camera 'in the field' and to improve my technique generally. Bob provided a great deal of help and support and I was extremely grateful to him and other delegates for their friendliness and generosity in lending equipment (hat, flash, lenses) and knowledge which added to both my comfort and improved images. A very pleasant, relaxed atmosphere prevailed on both days and I found the weekend a very rewarding experience. Linda Banbury's accommodation and catering were both excellent: extremely generous portions and suitably priced. Her family were very welcoming and helpful. "
Some of Mary-Anne's Photos from the workshop day
"I had a fantastic 2 days and learnt a few new techniques. Didnt want to leave and will be in touch about re-booking next year"
Tracey Lund - May 2014
 
"This workshop is excellent and fully met my expectations. The setting is beautiful and I was really pleased to be able to photograph so many different mammals. Some were more difficult than others to capture but Bob was on hand to provide advice on technique and equipment. Lavinia was a great animal handler and both she and Bob helped to get us the best opportunities to photograph the animals in their natural setting. The highlight was watching the beaver collect rushes for its lodge as the sun was setting. What a memory to keep.
The accommodation at Frankaborough Farm was great. The cottage was spacious and Linda was a lovely host who made the most wonderful breakfasts and lunches. There was a lovely relaxed, homely atmosphere despite it being a working farm and it was lovely to see the milking"
Rona Bassett - May 2014
 
"I was pleasantly surprised about the number of animals we were able to photo and also the variety within the farm itself. It was great to be able to go into the enclosures to take the photos rather from outside netting! The weather proved to be no problem due to the flexibility and variety on offer.
Karen Thomas - May 2014
 
"The close working relationship that Bob had with the Wild life centre was invaluable in making this such a good experience. I managed to see and photograph a wide range of mammals, improve my technique and had reasonable photographs to take away thanks to excellent tuition from Bob."
Hilary Spurrier - Oct 2013
 
"The course was first rate. It did what it set out to and exceeded my expectations. Thanks again for a great and productive weekend. Regards Dave "
Some of Dave's Photos from the workshop day
"Bob thanks for the weekend it was absolutely brilliant and far exceeded my expectations."
Mike Evans - July 2013
"Just a quick thank you on behalf of myself and Nigel for arranging the Devon weekend. We both agreed that it was the best photographic trip we'd been on. We both have a stack of great images of animals we would never get the chance, probably, to see in the wild. "
Some of Jim's Photos from the workshop day
"Just wanted to drop you a line to say thanks for the wonderful weekend in Devon – I really enjoyed it and feel I learned loads.
Val Saxby - May 2013
"My reasoning for doing the course was to have the chance to photograph animals that have evaded me despite spending many hours patiently waiting. The venue certainly fulfilled this. Having Bob on hand to give advice on technique and equipment was a big bonus. The Animal handler could not have been more helpful in trying to get the subjects to perform and her knowledge was very interesting. What more can I say it was a brilliant week end, perfect in every way. Cannot honestly see how it could be improved."
Phil Kemp
Some of Phil's Photos from the workshop day
 
 
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