Do I need briefing?
Briefing is mandatory for all photographers with no previous experience in photographing Capercaillies from a photography hide. The briefing, carried out by a professional guide, includes valuable photography tips: how to work in the hide, how to use the heater, how to interpret the behavior of the birds, how to check the backgrounds, etc. This information will significantly improve first-time results.
Do I have the hide for myself?
Most of the hides are single hides, the double hides can be booked for couples or between friends. If you want a private hide, or a photography session for your group only, it’s available at an additional cost.
What time of the year can you shoot?
The Capercaillie lek lasts for about a month from 20 April to 20 May depending on the progress of the spring and the start of the lek. Male Capercaillies can often be photographed in the area until the end of May.
How long does one photography session last?
The photography session lasts 12 to 14 hours and includes an overnight stay in the hide. You will go to the hide in the evening before sunset, and the session will end at around 8 in the morning. During the session, do not come out of the hide, as movement outside the hides will frighten the birds away. During the Female Week, lek can continue for longer in the morning.
What kind of clothing do I need for the photography hide?
Nights can be cold in the spring, and we recommend warm winter clothes such as wool socks, gloves, a hat and thermal layers, with winter boots and jacket. Each hide has a gel heater but even so, warm clothes are a must. You should also bring a warm sleeping bag. If you do not have your own, we have warm boots and winter overalls that you can rent.
What is the distance to the birds, and what kind of lens and equipment do I need to take with me?
Each photography location is a little different. At our location in the old forest, the distance to the birds varies from 10 to 30 metres, making short lenses such as 100-400mm zoom lenses or 300-400mm fixed lenses often the most practical option. Long 500mm and 600mm telephoto lenses may be too long in a dense forest. In hides located in the more open commercial forest, long telephoto lenses are practical because the distances to birds range from 20 to 50 metres. We recommend 100-600mm zoom lenses or 300-600mm telephoto lenses + extenders (optional). For pictures of birds in the landscape, it’s possible to use shorter lenses, for example 70-200mm.