We received a lovely email from “Chris” who attended one of our Harvest Mouse Studio Workshops a short while ago and felt that we had to share it with! Thank you Chris and good luck with your LRPS panel 🙂
Thank you so much for all the time and effort you put into making my time with you so special on Wednesday and for all the help you gave me to get some really special photos for my upcoming LRPS panel submission. I thought I’d write you a little testimonial which you can use on the website if you want to.
For anyone thinking of doing a “Mousy” workshop I really recommend this one with Miles and the team at Liberty’s Centre. I had already done an outdoor day with another workshop organiser in the area and I have to say that I found it a little disappointing with more talk then substance. When I booked my day through Captivelight I was a bit worried as I’d heard stories that they apparently mistreat their mice from the other organiser, but, I wanted some good photos of the mice so I decided to bite the bullet and give it a try. I’m so glad that I did! Miles greeted me in the (ample) car park at Liberty’s Centre and after a quick cup of coffee we went to the photography studio where these days are run. I have never used studio lights before and I must say that I was a bit nervous at first but a few minutes setting up the camera with Miles I was almost completely at ease and within a few minutes I had got the hang of it quite nicely – it is surprisingly easy!
The mice, like all Harvest Mice, were gorgeous and in great condition. You can tell how much time and effort has been put into them by the way that they are completely unphased by anything around them and not the least bit worried by it all. I asked Miles if he ever forced the mice to do things like I had heard (do you ever force them to go into the flowers?) and he just laughed and showed me how its done with a little pinch of seeds dropped into the flower. Within seconds a mouse climbed up the stem and into the flower where it stayed for several minutes popping his head in and out every now and then giving me some great photo opportunities in the process. Miles pointed out that the mice always have the freedom to come and go from the props as they please and also explained that the mice are hand tame (they happily sit on his hand and eat!) as using hand tame mice is a lot less stressful for the mice then using ones that are never handled (which makes perfect sense when you think about it!). By then I was fully aware that he loves his mice and they appear to have quite a bond with him. (Did you know that every night some of them line up and wait for him to give them each a mealworm!).
Throughout the workshop Miles was friendly and chatty without over doing it at all and very attentive. You can see that he wants you to get the best photos possible, a little change in the lighting makes so much difference and you can see that he is completely at home with the studio lights. I have to say that the results I got were little short of amazing. The hardest part will be choosing which ones to use as nearly all of the more than 500 photos that I took are so good. It is so nice to photograph these mice using low ISO and small apertures with ultra fast exposure times short enough to freeze motion and preserve those all important twitchy whiskers!
So, would I recommend Captivelight and Liberty’s Centre Workshops, Yes, definitely YES! I thoroughly enjoyed my time there (and full intend booking to go back there soon to photograph the reptiles!)
Miles, please feel free to use this testimonial in anyway that you feel appropriate and I look forward to seeing you again shortly for the Reptiles (and maybe a frog or two?).
If you would like to book a “mousy” day with us please see our page at http://captivelight.uk/index.php/harvest-mouse-workshops/