Featured Gallery Photographers Explain Their Views On Their Photography
First of all I would like to make it clear my photography is not limited to shooting at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, but photography at the park has some fantastic advantages especially for those new to the art or getting to grips with new equipment.
Initially I started visiting because it was a certainty that for the price of entry I would be guaranteed some fantastic animals to photograph, and providing the weather was decent you would come away with a handful of decent photographs. The thing is you probably learn as much from the shots that didn't turn out the way you hoped as you do from the good ones. By asking yourself why it hasn't turned out the way you expected, perhaps the subject moves faster than you anticipate and you need to shoot at a higher speed, or that because of the limitations of the camera you do not have the clarity of detail you expected, so next time the subject needs to be a lot nearer before you take the shot. That's the beauty of Yorkshire Wildlife Park, you can return to retake that shot again & again, all the time learning from your mistakes until you are getting the shots you want on a regular basis.
Because the sun moves around the park you quickly learn the best time to visit the animals you wish to photograph enabling you to capture them at their best and what a massive difference there is between summer lighting and winter lighting, so there could even be a best time of year to get that special shot. Now this is where the problems start, just because you are in the right place at the right time is no guarantee the animals will be, you can wait and wait and wait, but there comes a time when you have to walk away and accept that it's not going to happen today.
Although these animals are in captivity, my goal when taking any shot is to make the image look as natural as possible, portraying the animals in as wild an environment and atmosphere as possible, as the animals are in enclosures this can be a challenge in itself, learning the best places & positions to shoot from and in places mastering the art of shooting through mesh. You will also learn that your camera has limitations and some shots will be beyond its capabilities.
Rather than just taking the camera for a walk around the park you will find yourself going with an agenda of what you want to capture, where you want to capture it and under what conditions, this is what keeps you going back until you get the shot you want and then trying to better it.
At Yorkshire Wildlife Park, as I'm sure will be the same at other similar establishments, there will be other, regular, like minded photographers. There are many image hosting websites such as "flickr" which will have dedicated pages where these photographers post their images on a daily basis, it's a great place to compare images of similar subjects taken with different equipment and by people with different levels of expertise, from professional photographers to hopeful amateurs. It's a great place to make acquaintances, ask advice, get tips and ideas, possibly developing a few new friendships along the way. What you will quickly learn is that photography is not about having the best equipment, it's about making the best from the equipment you have.
My passion is wildlife and find that the skills developed and practiced at the park can then be used when shooting in other environments. When out and about you find yourself scouting for locations, thinking "This would be a great place to shoot deer early morning with the low light coming through those trees on the left", developing in your mind a database of best locations for shooting different subjects.
In summing up "Yorkshire Wildlife Park" is a place you can practice & hone your skills, it's a constant to which you can return to try & get that shot the way you want it to look, but it could be anywhere depending on your genre of photography. More important than any of the above is grasping the simple basics of photography, following that it's all about becoming familiar with your camera, the rest is then down to you and practice, practice, practice.
The 150 is the easier of the two, but please bear in mind that finding focus and keeping the camera still are a real challenge out in the field, especially as I only do handheld shots !