All the guides at Wild Arena are, professional photographers, wildlife experts or have years of seasoned experience as enthusiasts. They all share a passion for photography and sharing their knowledge with others. Across the team we have a variety of specialised skills and we work hard to constantly develop and update our collective knowledge.
We believe strongly in giving all of our guests the individual time they need, and so always ensure we have enough guides on hand to provide help and advice for all. Our aim is to give everyone the level of support they wish for, at all times. Similarly, with all Wild Arena tours, we ensure each group is accompanied by a member of our team together with knowledgeable local guides to enhance the experience of our guests.
We are also fortunate to work with a number of wonderful guest guides on some of our events, each an expert in their sphere. For example, nature photographer Neil McIntyre, who specialises in photographing Scottish wildlife and landscapes, leads our tours in Scotland.
Director & Video specialist
David has worked in the photographic industry for over 30 years and has always been involved in Wildlife. After studying photography at college, he started taking Natural History image making seriously in 1986 when working as an assistant cameraman for a specialist wildlife filmmaker. During this time he concentrated on technical macro work including time lapse and studio lighting. He has photographed many subjects both in the UK and overseas and since then he has made many friends in the photographic and wildlife communities. He has been involved in management and photography training with a number of major photographic companies and also in event management since 1997. He founded Wild Arena in 2003 with the idea of sharing his knowledge with others and utilizing his contacts in the photographic industry and zoological institutions to provide informative workshops with special access to a wide variety of interesting subjects.
David is also an ambassador for Manfrotto, working with them on training and development with particular focus on video convergence and studio lighting. He is widely published in the photographic press having contributed to a many titles over a number of years.
When David manages to find the time he still likes to visit special wild places to explore photographically. Scandinavia is a particular favorite of David’s and he usually visits 2 or 3 times a year. His photograph of Bodari the ‘King Bear’ made it through to the finals of the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition.
Wouldn’t Leave Home without
My main camera bodies are a Canon 5D MKIII and a Canon C300 which I love as they are good for everything, when it comes to birds and animals, my ‘standard’ lens is 600mm f4L, which sits nicely above the new 100-400mm f4-5.6L zoom. For more spontaneous pictures a 100mm 2.8L macro always opens up lots of potential for detail pictures and 24-70mm f4L and a set of Lee Filters sort out the landscapes. I’m never without at least one Gitzo tripod to keep the camera steady and I’m kept warm and dry in a range of Paramo clothing.
If I need to travel light, my favorite ‘compact’ is the Sony A7s, which produces terrific video and low light stills in a very small, full frame sensor body. For ‘4K’ video this gets used with an Atomos Shogun external recorder and a Metabones adapter lets me use all of our range of Canon EF lenses.
Favorite Recent Project
I have recently been working on lots of video projects and have been shooting stock footage for a number of ongoing ideas. A recent trip to Finland produced some superb ‘4K’ footage, pushing the quality boundaries of our video output. This project was shot on a Sony A7s recording on an Atomos shogun.
Director & Macro specialist
Janet has been interested in wildlife and photography for many years, having studied photography at college and worked in animal care at an animal rescue centre in Surrey. More recently she has been involved in customer service and has extensive experience at making things run smoothly for clients – a very useful asset when working with the less organized guides at Wild Arena!
Having previously worked with film, medium format and black & white photography, she now concentrates on Canon D-SLR equipment and is particularly interested in photographs showing animal behavior and interaction. Janet is also responsible for much of the development of Wild Arena’s own animal collection and she currently cares for 29 different species in our studio workshop. She is also responsible for Branston and Baloo, the company’s lovable dogs, who are often seen snuffling around the Land Rover at many of our workshops.
Janet has been working as a guide with Wild Arena since 2006 and she has been the official photographer at Knowsley Safari park since 2012. She is also involved in wedding & social photography and undertakes other professional assignments throughout the year for a number of commercial clients.You can normally find Janet on a variety of Wild Arena’s one-day workshops and European tours. She is also one of the main contacts in the office and studio at Knowsley.
Wouldn’t Leave Home Without
At the heart of my camera bag is my much-loved Canon EOS 1DX mkii. This has become a firm favorite thanks to its intuitive controls, high ISO performance and superb full frame image quality. My general preference for behavior pictures or images of animals in a wider environment means that a combination of a new 100-400mm f4/5.6L and 600mm f4L are perfect. For the longer lenses I am also rarely without my Gitzo tripod and Wimberly Mk II head. Being prone to feeling the cold I am always wrapped up in my Paramo Torres smock and Aspira trousers.
Favourite Recent Project
As our range of animals continues to expand in the studio, I have been shooting images of lots of new species. New additions like the Rainbow Frog Beetles have been a real challenge as they are relatively small, but the resulting images have been beautifully colorful and full of detail. I have also been working more at magnifications greater than life size using the Canon MPE-65 macro lens fitted to a Manfrotto focusing rail system for greater accuracy.
Guide, Canon & Long Lens Expert
David has been involved in the photographic industry for over 20 years. After completing his degree in photography he worked in London specializing in commercial images.
He currently works for a leading photographic company, which helps fuel his passion for wildlife and landscapes. David has recently been working with Wild Arena bringing his training skills, vast DSLR knowledge, fieldcraft techniques and friendly Geordie personality to the team
Guide & Nikon Expert
Kevin completed a photographic degree many years ago and worked in the commercial sector specializing in food photography. He then moved into Photoshop manipulation when this was in its infancy, before becoming the technical director of a creative agency.
He’s always been interested in wildlife photography since his aunt bought him his first camera as a young boy. He’s now working full time as a wildlife photographer and guide, regularly having work published in a number of publications. He has worked with the team at Wild Arena for a number of years and is usually found guiding some of our more remote European tours.
Kevin is an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society and lives in the Cambridgeshire Fens but loves to travel to some of the colder places on earth, especially in Northern Europe.
Wild Arena Guest Guide
Award winning photographer Neil McIntyre is based near Aviemore in the heart of The Cairngorms National Park, where he has lived for the past 30 years. Specializing in Scottish wildlife and landscapes, Neil devotes a large amount of time to his local area and wildlife such is the abundance of opportunities the area offers. Frequent trips to the West Highlands are another favorite.
Neil’s work appears in a wide range of magazines and books, amongst others BBC Wildlife and The Field magazine. Organizations like Scottish Natural Heritage and the Cairngorms National Park are also regular clients.
Neil is also a past winner and has had numerous highly commended pictures in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards. He is currently working on a new book venture, Scotland Wildlife & Landscapes.