Birdworld is one of England’s largest bird parks. Covering approximatley 26 acres it is located in the county of Surrey near Farnham and also includes an aquarium (Underwater World) and the Jenny Wren farm. Here you can find more than 150 different species of birds, over 11 of which are endangered and several of these are critically endangered.
This was a great place for me to visit in preparation for my new role as a photographer at the Wood Green Animal Shelter which I start next week. Animals can be a challenge to photograph, but they are also a pleasure!
Birdworld first opened its doors to the public in 1968 and was run as a family business by Roy Harvey, his wife and children.
Throughout the next 28 years the park grew in size and a children’s farm and aquarium were added.
In 1996 the neighbouring business owners, Denys E. Head Ltd, who still own the park today, bought Birdworld to become the third division of their already well-established company. With Forest Lodge Garden Centre next door and Garden Style specimen plant nursery just a short distance away, the company was now very firmly set in the beautiful surroundings of Alice Holt Forest.
Birdworld continued to grow throughout the next few years with the addition of the Crescent Aviaries and Parrots in Flight, as well as the award winning Penguin Beach and Outback Landing. There are plans to develop the park further in the near future.
This weekend my work took me to Cardigan, Wales for a photoshoot with a swim school. Whilst on the journey there it was hard to resist stopping and taking some pictures of the beautiful countryside in Powys, so we did!
At this time of year it is rare that I have a full weekend off from work, so when I finally found myself with both Saturday & Sunday off I decided to seize the opportunity and travel up north to Cheshire and spend the weekend away. I chose to visit Dunham Massey because I had not been there before and there seemed to be a lot on offer.
There is a garden for all seasons, an ancient deer park and a house filled with treasures and stories. My main reason for visiting was to stroll in the park and take some pictures of the deer that live there.
“Dunham Massey has all the elements of a great medieval deer park. On a walk through the grounds you’ll see fine avenues, wide vistas, ancient trees, roaming deer and open grassland.”
(National Trust, 2016)
The deer park at Dunham Massey is around 300 acres in size and dates back to medieval times. There is a beautiful pond with resident swans and other species of bird and it is a great experience to roam through the park and walk amongst the free roaming deer.
There’s nothing more I enjoy than photographing animals, so this Easter I took a trip to Banham Zoo in Norfolk. An enjoyable day out, if a little windy!
Banham Zoo is around 50-acres and is home to over 2,000 animals. Its doors opened to the public in 1968 and has since been awarded the prize of Norfolk’s Top Attraction, by numerous different organisations. It is part of the Zoological Society of East Anglia, a registered charity which also owns Africa Alive! near Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Yesterday was a really enjoyable day, as it was the first time in a long time that I had the opportunity to visit a zoo and photograph some animals…a real passion of mine.
I spent around 5 hours photographing and took close to 1000 images, hence I had a lot of editing to go through. I have selected a few of the images and updated my website. Please feel free to take a look. Looking forward to some more opportunities in the near future.
Today I decided to experiment with more abstract landscape images, as this is something that I would like to take through into my final project towards the end of the year. I will also be looking at other abstract images that are not necessarily related to landscape.
Here are some images that I have been working on today.
I’m really happy with the results and look forward to more experimentation.
Here is another image that is completely unrelated to landscape photography, but another area of photography that I am interested in…Animals.
Today I received a very kind and generous offer; to visit Sri Lanka and have the opportunity to photograph the Sri Lankan nature, wildlife and landscape. I enjoy taking pictures of animals but most of the time this is within the setting of a zoo and it would be nice to capture wildlife within it’s own natural habitat. Of course I will have to fit this in around my university studies and commitments but I don’t see this being too much of a problem as an opportunity like this does not come by often and the experience would be invaluable and I’m sure that the university and my tutors would support me.
I have been invited by a long time family friend Don Hapuarachchi (also family) whose nephew Nadika Hapuarachchi is South East Asia’s number one wild life photographer. He published his first book which is sponsored by Sri Lankas leading bank earlier this year at the Lionel Wendt theatre in Colombo where over a thousand dignitaries attended and his work can be seen at www.chaya.lk
Nadika Hapuarachchi & The Prince of Wales
Invite to Sri Lanka
Many Thanks to Don Hapuarachchi 🙂
Chaya Online Image Gallery. 2013. Chaya Online Image Gallery. [online] Available at: http://www.chaya.lk [Accessed: 28 Dec 2013].
Whilst looking at the theme of portraiture I decided to attempt some pet portraiture images. The images have not been taken in a studio setting, as this is something I am not too keen on. I like to capture the subject in its own surroundings where it feels more comfortable and at ease. I did not have a great deal of time taking these pictures as they were taken on Boxing Day and the dogs that I photographed were very excitable and very hard to capture but nevertheless I managed to capture a few images. 🙂
Today I have turned my attentions back to animal portraiture but unlike the pet portraiture of Rachael Hale McKenna, Nick Brandt’s images are not of pets but images of animals in their natural habitat. These images are very striking and I’m starting to see a theme in the kind of images that I am being drawn to at the moment……..they all seem to be black and white!
There’s something quite enigmatic about the black and white image, you are less likely to be distracted by any contrasting colours which allows you to concentrate solely on the subject within the image and the mono image works well with any genre of photography, but this is only my opinion and others may not necessarily agree.
You can’t help but look at Nick Brandt’s images and be in awe of them.
Taking pictures of animals has always been a passion of mine but I have never really had the chance to do pet portraiture as I don’t really know too many people with pets and even if I did I would feel reluctant to charge them. I have done pet portraiture in the past for certain projects but have always used family members pets.
Most (if not all) of the pictures of animals that I have taken, have been whilst I have visited a zoo but these pictures can start to look a bit of the same after a while….nothing special!
Whilst flicking through a well known photography magazine, I came across this wonderful image that imprinted itself on my mind because it was so quirky. Here it is below:
When I saw the image for the first time it made me chuckle and I remember thinking how creative it was. This made me want to see more of the work by this artist. Rachael Hale McKenna is a New Zealander who also photographs a wider range of subjects.