Thursday 1st May saw us welcome wildlife photographer, Tom Way, to the Settlement for a presentation on Tom’s wildlife photography.
The first thing to note about Tom is his age, Tom is much younger than any of our previous speakers. He has only been taking photos for three years having given up his first career as a fitness instructor and personal trainer. One has only to listen to Tom for a few minutes to realise how enthusiastic he is about his craft as a professional wildlife photographer.
Tom split his talk into two neat halfs. The first part was “Wildlife on your Doorstep”, in other words, wildlife around the UK. He has access to a family of foxes on some farmland in the Windsor area which has a hide. (He runs group events photographing the foxes). He presented a selection of shots of the foxes.
We were shown a selection of photos of deer at Richmond Park, amazing shots of fishing Osprey in Scotland, a selection of owls and Puffins on the Farne Isles.
Tom not only shows the photos but tells the story behind the shots, how he takes them, the days of waiting just to get the right shot. There was one particular section of water voles where he spent a day up to his chest in a river, camera inches above the water. But boy, are the shots he gets worth it!
Tom favours a Canon 500mm f4 lens which enables him to get the smoothest, creamiest backgrounds to his images, the quality of his gear and technique shines through.
Afetr the break we were treated to a selection of wildlife around the world. Tom has been lucky to travel far and wide in the last few years. He runs photographic trips to Zambia.
We saw images of charging hippos, big cats in Africa, orangutans and gorillas, as well as a selection of the wildlife on the Falklands. Along with all the trips went the story behind the shots, lots of useful hints, tips and techniques to get the best images.
We were also told the heartbreaking story of Tom’s camera, tripod and 500mm lens ending up on the bottom of a river in Africa, enough to make a grown man cry.
Tom is a perfectionist; it seems that shots some of us would die for end up in the recycle bin on Tom’s computer if he’s not one hundred per cent happy with the shot!
All in all a very enjoyable evening with one of the keenest photographers I’ve met. His enthusiasm is infectious. If you get an opportunity to go on one of his courses I’m willing to bet you’ll come away with some great shots and lots of tips and tricks to improve your own work. Apart from the trips to Zambia, Tom also runs events closer to home. He currently has events photographing foxes in Buckinghamshire, deer at Richmond Park and Puffins at Skomer Island.
More of Tom’s work can be found on his website at www.tomwayphotography.co.uk.