At Blue Sky Wildlife, we connect photography enthusiasts with local specialists who have many years of experience in creating tailor-made day trips and holidays in some of Europe’s most stunning hotspots for wildlife photography. Not only do you get the chance to improve your camera technique in what can be a challenging but very rewarding discipline, but you can meet like-minded people.
Here are some popular wildlife photography holidays in Europe, along with some single-day visits as well.
1). Above and Below Photography Trip, Yorkshire Coast Nature, England
This day trip to one of Britain’s most beautiful counties is organised by Yorkshire Coast Nature, and it includes a photography workshop that is led by Steve Race. He is an award-winning wildlife photographer who will inspire you as you get up close and personal with seabirds, including puffins, diving gannets, fulmars and razorbills. To complete the perfect scenery for your take-home images, you can take advantage of the stunning backdrop of the 400ft cliffs at Bempton and Flamborough Headland. The sea caves will also give you the opportunity to capture some memorable shots, and with more than 200,000 seabirds in the area, you are unlikely to go home disappointed!
Local Wildlife Specialist Tip
Know Your Subject: To get up close to wildlife you need to learn about your subject. Take in to consideration their behaviour such as call, habits and when most active. The welfare of the animals is far more important than any photograph. This must be your top priority and is one reason why you need to know your subject well.
Photo credit: Northern Gannet, Steve Race, Yorkshire Coast Nature
2). Red Deer Rut Photo Workshop, Salva Fauna, France
This is a popular two-day mountain-based photographic tours in the beautiful French Alps, located close to Briançon. The workshop focuses on the rut of the majestic red deer, and the breathtaking photographic opportunities that arise when the males of the species are involved in fierce confrontations for mating rights. Day one is all about capturing these animals at sunset, and after a good night’s sleep in the B&B, day two begins at 5am for the chance to take photos of the deer with a sunrise backdrop.
Photo credit: Red Deer, Jonathan Guillot, Salva Fauna
3). Birds and Stars Tour, Nature Photo Tours, Spain
This is a three-day expedition in Spain’s Monfragüe National Park, an area that has a very special Starlight Certification. This accreditation means that the park has been recognised as a fantastic area to capture night time shots of the local wildlife, with an extremely low level of light pollution that you may struggle to find at home. You will learn a number of techniques that are vital for stunning night shots, including how near point distances will influence your images. Along with lessons in astronomy from professionals, you will pick up light painting and circumpolar skills for stunning shots of the night sky.
Photo credit: Antonio Caño Mudarra, Nature Photo Tours
4). Shetlands Nature Photography Holiday, Shetland Nature, Scotland
This is a seven-day trip to one of the most remote locations in the United Kingdom, and in all honesty, you will need a full week to truly experience everything that the Shetland native wildlife has to offer. Two-course leaders will guide you through the holiday which includes time in purpose-built bird hides, wildlife photography workshops, and even a ‘gannet feeding frenzy’ boat trip for memorable action shots of these birds. For the more serious professional, a one-week one-to-one course with a Shetland photography expert is also available and can be tailored to your exact needs and learning pace.
Photo credit: Otters, Brydon Thomason, Shetland Nature
5). Wildlife Photography Tour in Latvia, Dabas Tures, Latvia
If you are passionate about capturing wildlife and getting creative with your bird hide techniques, these 3-8 day tours in the Baltic nation of Latvia include a wide variety of experiences that will show you how to get as close as possible to your photography subject. Lessons include basic camouflage, floating hides, drifting hides while wearing a diving suit and much more. Along with native birds and other animals, you will also gain valuable experience in capturing butterfly and dragonfly shots with intricate levels of detail.
Photo credit: Pygmy Owl, Ilze Vilskerste, Dabas Tures
6). Laurie Campbell Wildlife Photography Workshops, Aigas, Scotland
This is another popular wildlife photography trip to Scotland, and it includes small group workshops in the picturesque Highlands with like-minded enthusiasts that are led by the one and only Laurie Campbell. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest living Scottish wildlife photographers, and these seven-day trips usually sell out well in advance because they are a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity. At the end of your course, you will sit down with Laurie for a one-to-one review of your shots from the trip, getting insightful feedback from a man who has been presented with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the RSPB.
Photo credit: Warwick Lister-Kaye, Aigas Field Centre
7). Vultures Photo Tour, Barcelona Birding Point, Spain
This trip is perfect if you want to combine vulture spotting and a photography masterclass with a separate visit afterwards to one of Europe’s most beautiful cities or the South-West of France – all hides are located within three hours of Barcelona International Airport. It is available as a one-day or two-day workshop with a beautiful backdrop of The Pyrenees, and you will be looking out for a wide variety of vultures and kites, including the griffon vulture, Egyptian vulture, Eurasian black vulture, and both black and red kites.
Photo credit: Carles Oliver, Barcelona Birding Point
8). Personalised Photography Tour, Bunica Maria, Romania
This trip to the delta of the River Danube in Romania can be tailored to your exact requirements, and it consists of a number of different birdwatching tours that also offer photography opportunities. All of these can allow you to not only hone your camera skills for animal shots, but to also provide you with a unique landscape photography experience as the Danube runs through some of Europe’s most striking countryside. Your expert guides will ask for your feedback before planning routes for the following day, so you really feel that the whole holiday has a personal touch.
Photo credit: White-tailed Eagle, Lorenzo Sestieri, Bunica Maria
For all of these wildlife photography holidays in Europe, you can rest assured that the activities will be led by experienced guides who are knowledgeable about both wildlife photography and local wildlife. For both seasoned photographers and beginners, we can put you in touch with local specialists that will create a holiday for you that will take your hobby (or indeed your profession) to the next level.