Nature Photography at Manchester Museum

Red-eyed tree frog, Agalychnis callidryas, Costa Rica

Our second photography workshop at Manchester Museum on November 24 and 25th, had 10 participants, all of whom had an opportunity to photograph a selection of the frogs from the museum’s collection and, as a bonus, a brightly coloured panther chameleon.  The weekend appeared to go well and everybody went home with some excellent images as well as some tips to help improve their photography.  In addition to the sessions on exposure, depth of field, flash and so on, we discussed relatively inexpensive items of equipment that can have a dramatic effect on results, such as a grey card, off-camera flash cord, cable release, reflectors and right-angle finders, as well as exploring ways of getting closer using macro lenses, extension tubes and close-up lens that fit onto the front of a normal lens.  We also briefly mentioned a few less common techniques such as focus-stacking, “Orton” images and the use of tilt and shift lenses in nature photography all of which can be researched further on the internet.

Panther Chameleon, Furcifer pardalis, Madagascar

Panther Chameleon, Furcifer pardalis, Madagascar

Thanks to Andrew Gray who provided the animals and explained the museum’s role in education and conservation, and to the University for giving us an excellent seminar room with good projection facilities, as well as refreshments.  Andrew’s able assistant, Adam, helped to build the sets and control the animals and my wife Gretchen gave invaluable practical help with the photography.

White's tree frog, Litoria caerulea, Australia

Thanks also to all the members of group.  Photographing lively creatures as a group can be frustrating unless everyone shows consideration to others and it was good to see how well everyone worked together in this respect.  We hope to see some of you again for future events we have in mind.


Lemur leaf frog, Phyllomedusa lemur, aka Hylomantis lemur, Costa Rica

Lemur leaf frog, Phyllomedusa lemur, aka Hylomantis lemur, Costa Rica

Splendid leaf frog, Cruziohyla calcarifer, Costa Rica

Bell's horned frog, Ceratophrys ornata, South America

2 Responses to “Nature Photography at Manchester Museum”

  1. Chris Burgess says:

    Hi Chris,
    I enjoyed the course at Manchester and learned a lot.

    Just seen this link and wondered whether you had seen it,

    All the best for 2013. Say hi to Gretchen from me.


  2. chris-mattison says:

    Hello Chris.

    Sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you – I overlooked your comment the first time around. Anyway, I’m pleased you enjoyed the course at Manchester and hope you learned from it. Good luck with your photography in the future.

    I had a look at the link you sent: excellent – as was the series.

    All the best,


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