Where I go to photograph wildlife in the UK – Presentation By Malcolm Hupman

On Wednesday 29th January 2020, Dunchurch Photographic Society hosted their final external guest speaker for the 2019/20 season and we were very pleased to welcome Malcolm Hupman from Corby to share with us where he goes to photograph wildlife in the United Kingdom.

The program was in two distinct halves. In the first, Malcolm described the locations and species he commonly photographs that are within 30 minutes of his home in Corby.

During the presentation Malcolm was able to take time to answer questions that members had about locations, camera equipment and the species of flora and fauna found.

A particularly useful feature of Malcolm’s presentation slides was the detailed caption pane which included information relating to the species of animal, insect or plant, the camera and lens equipment used to capture the image, as well as the settings and confirmation of the location.

Even though the first-half wildlife images were captured within an area easily accessible from Malcolm’s home, there was a very surprising (to me) array of different bird species, butterflies and moths, along with interesting fauna, all going to show what is relatively easily accessible to all of us photographers, even if we may only have a passing interest in wildlife. There are opportunities nearby for everyone, for example, to capture migrating birds. Malcolm gave us insight (through date annotation) when best to capture this kind of activity and which times of the year certain insect species are to be found. 

Apart from the diverse range of species photographed, it became clear that Malcolm is a very competent photographer, capturing many fantastic images. These included action shots of birds on the wing and colourful portrait images conveying not only the colouring but also, at times, interesting character traits.

After the customary tea break (thanks to Patrick Joyce and the Chairman), Malcom resumed his presentation and focused on locations further afield. Sometimes still within ‘day tripping’ distance but also including longer forays requirIng one or two nights away from home, such as to Scotland. As with the first half of the presentation, the images on display and the subject content was very diverse, again featuring numerous different bird and butterfly species including; red squirrels (Scotland), fallow deer and stags (Bradgate Park), seals (Donna Nook) to give just a few examples. 

Throughout the evening Malcolm explained more about his camera settings (being quite challenging at times given the foibles of the British weather), as well as the use of crop sensor camera bodies with a prime lens and teleconverter. Despite all the technical challenges, the image quality was very good indeed with many subjects easily filling the frame to dramatic effect.

Shanks, shags, tits, warblers, swans, Canada geese, Mandarin ducks, mallards, linnets, kingfishers, robins, guillemots, puffins, avocets, dippers, white-throat, yellowhammers, gannets and terns were just some of the species I can recall from the presentation. The butterflies included purple emperors and green hairstreaks. It really was quite an eye-opening selection. 

Before the evening closed, the audience were invited to ask further questions which were well received and comprehensively answered by Malcolm. 

In summary, Dunchurch Photographic Society was once again treated to a fantastic presentation concerning the diversity of wildlife to be found in the United Kingdom. We certainly look forward to welcoming Malcolm back to Dunchurch again in the future and wish him well on his future photographic trips. 

Thank you Malcolm.

Report compiled by David J. Bray (Chairman).