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One-day digital wildlife photography courses at Mugdock Country Park

The general plan for these courses is outlined below.
Information about the next one will be posted here.
In the meantime please email if you are interested in the possibility of going on such a course.

Learn how to take great outdoor and wildlife photographs with your own camera then see your results on screen. Advice, encouragement and ideas from experienced photographer David Palmar.
Booking essential - only through Mugdock Country Park (see booking details below), and not through this site. Cost £20 for adults, or £10 for accompanied children 12 years or over.

Programme with approximate timings:

10.00am - Meet in the Theatre just off the courtyard at the visitor centre about 10am, over tea, coffee, or hot chocolate, and introduce yourself to the other people.
You will also be asked to register your name, address, email address and telephone number, in case of emergencies, and so that you can be kept informed of future events. Your details will not be passed on to anyone else.

  • 10.15 - 11.00am - Introductory digital side show, to explore the possibilities, and suggest some techniques.
  • 11.15am - 12.45pm - Leisurely walk round part of the park, stopping to discuss and photograph whatever we feel like, and finishing back at the centre for lunch.
  • 12.45 - 1.30pm - lunch, toilet stop and ice cream or hot drink / cafe opportunity!
  • 1.30pm - 3.00pm - afternoon walk around a different area of the park, also at a leisurely pace.
  • 3.00pm - 4.00pm Slide show of people's photographs, and question and answer session.

It would beneficial to all concerned if participants are willing to allow their photos to be projected to the group at the end of the walk, in order to provide helpful comments and generate discussion.
This also means that anyone with a RAW file capability on their camera will need to shoot jpg for the day (or RAW + jpg) to enable your pictures to be projected.

Please note that the event is very unlikely to be cancelled because of weather (it has never happened yet!), and that in that event an inclement weather programme will run, which will involve one walk, perhaps shorter than normal, and some indoor photography.

The subjects for photography can include, depending on where we go:

  • several buildings - the stables, walled garden, castles, gun emplacements
  • Various ponds - reflections are a possibility
  • trees and woodlands, bark patterns, lichen and with any luck, some foliage or berry colour
  • fungi - there are lots of bracket fungi; other fungi may emerge nearer the time
  • plants - there should be enough flowers for closeup views
  • a waterfall - an opportunity to use a tripod and take a time exposure
  • birdlife - there are ducks and swans on the ponds, so bring some wholemeal bread to feed them and make sure you know how to work the zoom on your camera
  • if you have a telephoto lens or a large zoom, there are robins, blackbirds and chaffinches, and if you're very lucky there can be tree creepers, long-tailed tits, bullfinches and goldcrests
  • Because of the range of photographic subjects available, although advance planning will result in some suggestions for 'set pieces' to photograph, there should be enough flexibility for people to spend some time photographing what they like.
    Because everyone's camera will be different, some subjects will be more suitable for some people than others. We will try to accommodate as many interests, aptitudes and types of camera as possible.

What to Bring:

  • warm waterproof clothing
  • any kind of digital camera with fully charged battery, and enough space on your memory card to store the pictures you take
  • something to protect your camera in case of inclement weather
  • if you have a digital SLR, bring a long lens and/or a wide or macro lens if you have one
  • packed lunch, or money for cafe or contribution to drinks machine
  • optionally, you might consider bringing:
    • something to lie on, (e.g. if you are wanting to take a shot at ground level)
    • a tripod (if you want to take a time exposure), or a monopod, walking pole or bean bag to steady your camera in a dark wood
    • your camera's manual if you think you'll need help wth anything
    • binoculars if you want to watch birds

Booking a place:

Booking through Mugdock Country Park should soon be possible.
The number of people will be limited to 12, to allow a reasonable possibility of getting individual help.
It is therefore important to book a place.
You will be asked to send a fee of £20 or £10 for accompanied children 12 years or over for the full day, by credit card over the phone, or online (see below), or by cheque in advance (payable to Mugdock Country Park), to the park ranger service, to ensure that there is a place for you.
Although you need to book with the park ranger service, I would appreciate an email to the address on the Contact Us page, to let us know that you have booked.

Even if you cancel at the last minute, please let the park rangers know in case there is someone else who is on the waiting list and can take up the place. If cancelling on the day, please phone the Visitor Centre on 0141 956 6100, then we know not to wait for you.

You can book online at the Mugdock Country Park website.

The address for the fee (if writing a cheque) is:

Photography Walk Booking
Park Ranger Sevice
Mugdock Country Park
Craigallian Road
Nr Milngavie
Glasgow G62 8EL
Phone number: 0141 956 6100