The Cat Survival Trust provides us with privileged access to their superb collection of endangered cats in Hertfordshire, which is not open to the general public. During our visit we will have the opportunity to see and photograph their Big Cats including Snow Leopard, Amur Leopard, Jaguar, Puma, Eurasian Lynx as well as several smaller species such as Serval, Asian Golden Cat & Leopard Cat, as portrayed in our Photographing Big Cats Gallery. At times we may enjoy the wonderful experience of being only a few inches away from these wonderful animals.
Learn how to Capture Great Wildlife Images of the Big Cats
Our Big Cats Photography Workshops are led by Peter Smart, the owner of Going Digital South Midlands. Peter is a Wildlife Photographer and Tour Leader with a wealth of experience teaching photography and escorting wildlife photography tours to many countries around the World. He will be joined by one or more assistant tutors, together with volunteers from the Cat Survival Trust who will be happy to answer any questions related to the cats at the Centre as well as the status of these animals in the wild.
Each Big Cat Photography Workshop will begin with a briefing on setting up your camera for the day, different approaches to photographing the cats and the best vantage points around the enclosures. During our morning and afternoon sessions, we will visit each of cats under the supervision of the staff with the tutors on hand to provide hints and tips to the group and answer any individual’s questions related to their camera, composition or wildlife photography in general. During the break for lunch the Trust will provide an informative talk on their work at the Centre and overseas.
Our weekday Big Cat Photography Masterclass - limited to no more than six photographers - follows a similar format and are designed for those wishing to further improve their wildlife photography.
Previous Experience & Equipment
If you wish to improve your wildlife photography skills then ideally you should have attended our Explore Your Camera Part 1 - Get Off Auto workshop or be confident shooting in Aperture Priority mode. However if you simply relish the prospect of getting close to the cats, as many people do, then this is probably one of the best opportunities in the country do so, and excellent portraits of the cats can be obtained using most types of camera.
Spectators & Age Restrictions
Non-photographer partners, family and friends are usually not able to join the group due to the limited space available at this private location. It may be possible to allow a limited number of spectators for some workshops for which a donation of £45 is requested, which is payable to the Cat Survival Trust on the day. Please contact us before booking to confirm space is available.
Students aged from 13 to 17 are welcome but must be joined by an adult who will accompany the student at all times. If the accompanying adult is not booked as a photographer on the workshop, then a donation is payable to the Cat Survival Trust on the day; please contact us for details before booking.
The Cat Survival Trust
The Cat Survival Trust was registered as a charity in 1976 and acts to conserve habitat for cats in the wild, they are part of the international breeding programmes for endangered species and also a rescue organisation for unwanted cats from zoos and other collections in the UK. The Trust currently cares for around forty cats at its headquarters in Hertfordshire and they desperately needs funds to build accommodation for more. The Trust purchased a 10,000 acre reserve in Argentina which conserves the entire habitat where cats live and is now planning to purchase more natural habitat to create further protected areas. Their magnificent work has recently been featured in The Snow Leopards of Leafy London, a 7-part documentary series on Animal Planet. As well as offering an enjoyable and informative day, your visit will contribute significantly to the running of the Centre and the overseas activities of the Cat Survival Trust.
On The Day
This workshop starts at 10am and finishes at 4pm; please do not arrive at the venue before 9.45am. Lunch is not included so please bring a packed lunch as there are no facilities to purchase food on or near the site.