Day Twenty-One- Wildlife photography at the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park; Spread your wings now. Bugger off you weirdo!
A major thing that this module has taught me is that, not only are there plentiful opportunities around me to build on my skills but there are also many occasions where I can gain professional experience, there is never any harm in asking!
I went on a day trip to the fabulous wildlife conservation park in Birmingham with the initial intention of developing my competence as a wildlife photographer. Having taken a trip to Twycross zoo before, I felt that my skills were lacking and with the struggles I felt with the lighting for my Jan foundation event photography placement I made a conscious effort to polish off these visual skills. I wanted to leave the park feeling that my skills did not lay singularly with sound when it came to the technical aspects of media production but with the visual aspect too, and this is a feeling which I achieved!
The thing about photographing animals, is that they are entirely unpredictable. This throws in new challenges as well as opportunities for a photographer as although the way they move one moment may be unique and beautiful, the next moment they might jump out the frame or worse start getting a bit rampant…awkward.
Although, it was hard to stay focused sometimes with the speed of which the subjects were moving and I swear they were on to me with the amount of buttocks and other things I had facing the lens, this was exactly the challenge that I needed. Much harder than capturing an actor I had directed, as in where I recorded the sound for ‘Crash’ as these creatures can happily do what they like, this type of photography requires a lot of patience.
Armed with my new skills about ways around not using a flash because of my experience with the Jan Foundation proved to be very useful. As it is upsetting to use a flash on animals I upped the ISO and made the most of the natural ambient lighting around me where I could instead. This time it paid off and I felt more competent as a photographer for it.
Whilst capturing people is good fun (in the photography sense), it made a nice change to capture a subject with twice as many legs and an occasional bushy tail. Emphasising the colour, and seeing how it effects emotions is a feature of stimulating children’s media and therefore one I would really like to master.
With about 200 pictures, my next step is to edit them to a standard which I hope the centre would like to use for their own publicity in exchange for the promotion of mine. I will do this by using the industry standard editing software photoshop.