Nature Photography with Nick Upton
RH swiftSH spiderThree groups of club members enjoyed interesting and unusual nature photography field trips this summer with professional wildlife film maker and photographer  Nick Upton.  The first, on 21 June, was to photograph swifts in flight at Lacock.  The most aerial of birds, flying at up to 69 miles per hour in level flight, these are very difficult subjects. 
With guidance on the right settings, optimum location and plenty of practice, we were able to get a number of sharp images with the underwings illuminated by low evening sun.   Swift by Robert Harvey - right    
On Sunday 8 July, we tried our hand at macro photography.  Visits to Wadswick Common and Green Lane Wood, both in Wiltshire, produced an array of spiders, shield bugs, butterflies, moths, bush crickets and other invertebrates.  Nick’s enthusiasm for these creatures was infectious.  It turned out to be the hottest day of the year (so far), which slightly curtailed both invertebrate and human activity!
Four-spotted Orb Web Spider on Ragwort by Steve Hardman - left
RH Beaver DamA memorable photographic highlight was our trip to photograph wild beavers at a west country location on Wednesday 11 July. 
After an absence of 400 years, these native mammals are now becoming re-established in our countryside. 
RH BeaverWe spent the evening watching a pair feeding in a lovely tranquil setting.  Nick also showed us the impressive dams they have built.  These shy animals are nature's engineers and delightful to watch.
Beaver Dam - left and Beaver - right  by Robert Harvey

Nick was generous in sharing his knowledge of beavers, swift and invertebrates, enabling us to learn much more about their lives as well as photograph them.
We are very grateful for the opportunity to benefit from his expertise.

Images © Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP and Steve Hardman