Sunday, 21 November 2010

Planning your Spring Trips - Part 1

Now is a good time to start thinking about (if you haven't already) your Spring wildlife trips, if you live in the northern hemisphere that is.

Some of this is dependant on what type of wildlife photographer you are, see previous posts here and here.

Assuming you prefer to plan and research your own trips then this look back in the archives might help.

It was about this time last year I did my research for my North Uist trip - lots of posts on that trip here for you.

Starting with working out what the subjects were likely to be available, and what time of year, and what sort of location, I could then sort out the accommodation and then travel arrangements.  After that it was easy. All common sense logic really.  The same applies whether you are staying in country or 'going abroad'.  When you have done that, it is a good idea to have a plan of action with enough flexibility to ensure that if your subjects aren't playing ball you have another option or two, and also think about a good and bad weather option too.  It isn't always perfect photographers least not here in the UK anyway.

One thing I did learn from a couple of my early trips on Mull, and also having watched other wildlife photographers is that it is all too easy to go chasing the wildlife if it isn't where you expect it to be.  Sometimes (always actually, I believe) you need to have patience and pitch up and wait for the wildlife to come to you.  Sometimes, I just sit and wait and watch before I even contemplate what to photograph.  Now, when you have travelled a long way, spent a lot of money and have limited time, it is so easy to get caught in the trap of wanting to shoot everything possible.

I know that when I put my 100 image Mull presentation together, I was still short of all the material I wanted even after five trips to the place..

Anyway, maybe there are a few useful pointers there for you.  If it is all too obvious, then apologies, although I still often find myself forgetting to do the things I write.

In Parts 2 and 3, I will bring you some pictures and tips for those planning a trip to the Isle of Mull on the West Coast of Scotland and Part 4 the Cairngorms in the Highlands of Scotland.



  1. Hi MArtin,

    Spookily I have just planned a five day trip to Mull with ebirder. I was advised a wildlife guide is essential on Mull so I opted for the Mull Eagles/Otters trip in May 2011.

  2. Bob - will put some thoughts up about that next time for you, along with some images.