Hello Ladies and Gents,
So recently I’ve been a bit all over the place with work, socially, and dealing with a few things from the past that are finally getting resolved. To celebrate this I decided to take some time off over the last week, to just chill out and go see some very good friends that I haven’t seen in a long time. After a little haggling with dates I embarked on a 4.5 hour drive from my hometown of Southampton up to the beautifully scenic Yorkshire. That seems like a long time to spend in a car for some, but I actually really enjoy driving, helps when you’ve got one of your best mates sat next to you rocking out to a bit of Lynyrd Skynyrd!
While visiting we did the usual things friends do when they haven’t seen each; catch-up, get as much friendly banter in as possible, and have a BBQ followed by some beers (or whatever your tipple may be). We also spent a day at Alton Towers, which I can honestly say was amazing. Not been on a roller-coaster in far too long, so didn’t mind spending almost an hour in a queue waiting to ride The Smiler, the world’s first 14 looping roller-coaster. I’m sure you can all appreciate why I didn’t take my camera along for this, no way I would risk losing/damaging it while on a ride.
That being said; the following day we all had a well deserved lie-in, then took a small trip out to Thorp Perrow. The picturesque arboretum is home to ornamental lakes, charming walks and trails, and hosts a popular Birds of Prey centre. Here’s where me and my camera came into play, we were lucky enough to catch both displays of the Birds of Prey in flight (well for the most part, there was an owl called Colin who prefers to strut his stuff by walking instead). All the birds that were flown were reasonably well behaved, I’ve been to a few of these in the past and inevitably one bird will fly off and do their own thing leaving the handler floundering to fill time. Full credit to the falconers on the day, they knew exactly what the birds were capable of, when they were starting to get tired, and how to keep their audience captivated when the birds were resting.
I’ve never really tried this kind of photography before, specifically capturing a bird mid-flight which I found particularly difficult. Another challenge that presented itself was photographing the birds when they were in the aviaries, behind wire fencing. I tried my best to get the shot with the bird in focus, while keeping the fence as blurred as possible. So how do you think I got on? Personally I am happy with most of the images I captured, and I learnt a lot.
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