Winter TCWe enjoy a unique climate in the UK. Our winters are relatively mild when compared to places such as Moscow and New York, both of which are at roughly the same latitudes as the UK. It's the gulf stream which combats the ultra-cold temperatures that other places experience. These cooler months combine with fabulous lighting from a low angle, giving great light for many areas of photography, and for longer periods of the day.

Below are shots taken at different times of the year. Left image was taken in June 2017 on a Travel and City day, and the same location was shot in February 2015 (right).


NB150270 5D Mark III

You simply do not get this clear, crisp light when it is hot and sunny.

There are also fewer people out and about, which means that our chosen venues are significantly quieter, meaning you get better access to the subjects and capture shots without too many people in them.

It's for these reasons that the practical events are mainly clustered in the spring and autumn months. And we now run courses to the end of November, then start again in mid-January to make the most of the opportunities that the cooler months bring.

Winter wildlife

In terms of wildlife, it’s a great time of year as many species of birds choose to spend winter here, enjoying the milder weather than is present in their arctic breeding grounds. This means that the WWT locations offer plenty more birds to shoot than in the hotter summer months and they are always far more active.

WWT Slimbridge swans

WWT Slimbridge holds sunset swan feeds in the winter season, ensuring a good supply of flying birds for us to shoot at the end of the Understanding focusing events. Our lecture team particularly enjoys the vast flocks of lapwings that also visit WWT Slimbridge during these months.

The zoo locations – Chester Zoo and Birdworld – are also quieter, plus the animals are likely to be more active with the cooler temperatures. Heat makes them sleepy and seek out shade. There are far fewer visitors, especially school trips, which make the locations much easier and more relaxing to shoot at.

So take advantage of this great time of year to spend some time learning about your camera and take advantage of the better cooler months to put those techniques learnt into practice ready for the coming year.

Wetter in winter?

It's commonly assumed that the weather will be better in the middle of summer, whereas in fact the number of days it rains can actually be higher in July and August than in many other months of the year.

In real terms, the chance of getting a good day is actually fairly even most years (the summer of 2018 excepted!). Plus if you get a clear sunny day in the period between October through to March the conditions can be stunning for photography.

Wet London Aug16 TravelCityCourse

One of the wettest days we've ever seen was on a Travel and City event in London on 2 August 2016. In fact, that summer had the wettest number of event days since starting courses in 1999! True it can be colder in the winter, but it's much easier to wrap up against the cold than to try and stay cool in this summer's 30ºC+ temperatures.


So take advantage of these autumn months to spend some time learning about your camera, ready to put those new techniques into practice in the coming year.