The Experience; Workshops and Trips.
Passion. Light. Creativity.
The day I get up to host a workshop or trip and feel it’s boring or lost the passion for it, is the day I stop hosting workshops and trips. I truly love doing what I do and had been working towards achieving my goal of hosting wildlife trips. To be out in nature and sharing is something so special and not taken for granted.
The reason for keeping workshops small are.
. Give quality time to each client attending
. Field workshops and birds, not too many people when walking around photographing birds. This is to minimize stress to the birds.
"Home Among The Gum Trees" above image by Robyn Gibson
I have bigger group of 8 max. for trips – this allows me to keep cost reasonable. When in the field I like to break the group down and move between the groups. Most of my teaching is back at base, then reinforced in the field. I am the instructor, guide, and everything else that pops up – again helps to keep cost reasonably priced. I am very experienced in trips spending many years of organizing trips to Sydney/Snowfields/Canberra for a school. You will find my trips a little different to the norm in the way I run them. I have a structure, but flexibility to change meeting the conditions and bird behaviour. I strongly believe in spending much time in the field as that is the best learning ground.
I follow the guidelines set down by Birdlife Australia and encourage clients to as well.
I am new to photography, is the Wooleen trip ok for me to attend? Yes, but be aware that others may be further along in their photography and don’t compare yourself to them when on the trip. I will get you photographing and back at base I spend time answering your questions from the days shooting. Also, there is so much more to the trip, such as scenery, flowers in spring, walking tracks, experience of walking and seeing nature wonders. The wonderful food, sitting down each evening talking as a group with hosts David and Frances Pollock (owners of Wooleen Station) enjoying the excellent cuisine. The rich history of Wooleen and conservation effort by David and Frances is amazing and you will learn so much.
What level of fitness is required? We do a lot of walking and on our feet a lot during the day, requiring a medium level of fitness. As we are a group, sometimes the pace may be too much for some, but you have some freedom to take time to rest at the homestead and enjoy the gardens and birds there.
What lens should I have? It is recommended to have a reasonable telephoto lens from 400 to 600. But we work with what you have and try to be innovative in your approach to photographing birds. If you have just started the journey, I recommend you don’t rush out to buy a lens especially for bird and wildlife photography. After a while you will gain a better understanding about bird photography and start to work out the direction you want to go. Buying camera gear is a big investment, worth it if you pursue further.
Can I travel to Wooleen in a 2wd? To answer, I have taken the answer from Wooleen Website FAQ - Generally, YES. The roads within the Shire of Murchison are extremely reliable despite being primarily gravel. They are graded and checked by the shire works crew regularly. We always recommend traveling a little slower in 2WD and ensure you pay close attention to the road conditions. At times, heavy rain may make the road unsuitable for travel and so we always advise you check the Shire of Murchison's website for detailed updates. Click here. One thing to consider when choosing your vehicle is the limiting factor a 2WD has to explore all of the station self-drive tracks. Once you leave the main road and enter Wooleen you will be traveling on a different standard of road, not all of them are suitable for 2WD. However many other options exist for exploring the station including walk-trails, hike trails, push bike trails, tours and more.
Check this link on the website for Wooleen Station that answers questions you may have about the station itself; https://wooleen.com.au/about/weather/
Your cost is expensive? I work hard on providing an excellent service before and after the experience. My rates are reasonable, I have many years of experience and sit somewhere in the middle when comparing prices charged by other Professional Photographers. I am a registered business and have costs to cover with running a business. My profit margin is not high.
Its always nice when you get a review from clients.
Bird Photography Wooleen Station August 2022 Where to start...so many beautiful birds, the homestead, lovely weather, the hosts, the meals, the wines and of course the company! Shelley you were amazing! You have fulfilled a lifelong dream to be at one in nature and capture some of its beauty in a photograph. It didn't matter that I came to this workshop with no skills or experience in bird photography. I was welcomed, nurtured, gently prodded and guided with such patience and enthusiasm. You believed in me and I came away with so much learning and a new passion as well as some lifelong friends ( I hope). The 4 days were jam packed with new experiences. I discovered how to sit quietly and observe, to move slowly with respect and just breathe it all in. I think I leant the most from watching you. I love the sense of empathy and reciprocity that you brought to every encounter with a bird and how the birds in turn connected with you. No wonder your photos are so beautiful and show such deep connection. Thank you for giving your time and knowledge so freely and for going that extra mile to make sure we all got everything we we could out of the workshop. You are a fantastic educator. Your passion for what you do and sharing your knowledge really shines through. It turns out I LOVE bird photography and I will be back for more..
Click below for information on Wooleen Trips 2023 :