Youtube - A Learning Resource?

I have learnt a huge amount from youtube over the years and have a few favourite photography channels which post informative, interesting and inspiring content. Here are my favourites:

Morten Hilmer

Morten Hilmer's channel focusses primarily on wildlife photoraphy and his content includes vlogs, gear advice and advice on how he makes his living through wildlife photography. All of his content could be very useful to the amatuer wildlife photographer, especially to an amatuer who was trying to turn pro. However, his entertaining and inspiring vlogs would be interesting to anyone interested in nature photography or merely with a love of nature.

Tony and Chelsea Northrup

Tony and Chelsea produce a huge number of videos including tutorials, gear reviews, entertainment and even a live show. I found Tony and Chelsea's channel very useful when I was the learning the rudiments of exposure and composition, they have many such videos which I think would be fantastic for a beginner. However, their live show and in-depth reviews would be very useful and entertaining to even the most profficient photographer.

Thomas Heaton

Thomas Heaton is a fantastic landscape photographer who produces vlog style videos in which he talks viewers through his thought process and technique for each and every brilliant photograph. I think his channel would be very helpful to anyone who has got beyond the basics and wants to improve their landscape photography artistically. In his vlogs he travels to awe-inspiring locations and his adventures and amazing landscape photographs would be accesible to all.

BH Photo Video

BH have an enormous collection of gear reviews and lectures from a huge range of photographers on a wide range of subjects. The lectures are often lengthy and in-depth but most are of a high quality and are useful. For wildlife photographers I would highly recommend the lectures from Arthur Morris and Denise Ippolito, Robert OToole, Ron Magill and Charles Glatzer. For landscape photographers I would recommend the lectures from Elia Locardi and Tim Cooper.

Skomer Island

In late April I was lucky enough to spend two nights on Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire. Skomer is known as a haven for seabirds (Puffins, Guillemots, Razorbills and Manx Shearwaters) but we also saw short eared owls, a hen harrier, a peregrine, a good number of Chough and lots and lots of Great Black-backed Gulls. It's not just birds on Skomer, Skomer has a population of grey seals which live there year round and make hilarious noises while wallowing in the surf.

The boat trip to Skomer with the other lodgers took only fifteen minutes and we got great views of the coast and saw a large group of Gannets fishing close to the boat. In Skomer fashion we set up a human chain to get all of our bags off of the boat and all of the previous night’s lodger’s bags onto the boat. As I helped with the bags, I watched a group of Razorbills jumping into the sea from a nearby rock, my best opportunity for razorbill shots of the trip.

After a short briefing at the hostel, I set off on a recce walk all the way around the island, something I would advise anyone visiting a new place to do. On the recce I discovered where there were burrows and nests and checked out the wind and sun direction for each promising location.

I saw the first puffin of the trip after a picnic lunch, on the first day. However, the puffins were a bit too distant for frame-filling portraits, so I settled for shots of the puffins amongst interesting roots and grasses.

When presented with lots of different subjects to choose from, it is important to recognise the most promising individuals. Depending on the situation this could depend on light angle, appearance of individual, background, surrounding vegetation/ rocks etc.

For much of my trip there was partial or heavy cloud which is an advantage when photographing high – contrast subjects because it is possible to expose for detail in both the whites and the blacks. However, when the light is harsh, there are styles suited to harsh lighting conditions to try. One such technique is to silhouette the subject against ‘blasting highlights’ (very bright areas of water). This technique is most effective when you expose so that the bokeh (out of focus points of light) is bright white and the subject is black or almost black.