How to occupy our grandson? This is a frequent question on the 3 days a week we look after him. A popular choice, while he is just short of 3 years old and therefore free, is Marwell Zoo http://www.marwell.org.uk/zoo/. Lots of critters AND play parks! Not far from home either.
Downside? Lots of other people during the school holidays!
Quite how the animals cope with the noise and gawping humans I don’t know. For me, not liking crowds & noise, its an opportunity to practise losing myself in the moment focussing on the subject of interest, be it through the viewfinder or not while blocking out any distractions.
Some of the most popular and accessible residents are the meerkats. Doubly so since their appearance in t.v. ad’s! Thankfully, their habitat is free from wire netting, so photographing or videoing these photogenic little characters can be very rewarding. On the ground, they tend to zip around a lot but the ones on “watch” are not only more interesting but also easier to capture sharply and isolate from distracting backgrounds. Not having the fastest reactions in the world I find this an endearing quality!!
The penguins are another of my grandson’s favourites. There is one resident that, during its moult, sheds all of its feathers at once. At this point he is dressed in his custom wetsuit!
Since my last visit, new aerial walkways and viewing platforms have been constructed. This makes watching the giraffes a much better experience for both animals (who now have a large field) and visitors. It also makes possible fence free photography of these beauties . Such clarity and proximity does seem to show that someone’s not been flossing……………..
The challenge with our toothy friend here was that firstly he was hiding in a corner and secondly he was indoors where it was gloomy. Yet again though, its my kind of subject because they can remain immobile for hours and don’t need a very fast shutter speed! If ever a creature was made for black & white………just love the skin.
As always, thanks for looking.