Valentine’s Day at Beale Park

In the midst of one of the rainiest and dullest winters I can remember, today, Valentines Day, was forecast to be nice and the sun was due to put in a rare appearance.  So I headed to Beale Park in Berkshire to see and photograph some of the many animals they have.  Love was in the air…

A Photo Walk Around Bristol

Yesterday I went on a photo walk around Bristol organised by Olympus and London Camera Exchange.  The walk was led by professional photographer and Olympus ambassador Robert Pugh.

I’d met Robert at Gadget Show Live earlier this year, and apart from being a thoroughly nice chap he knows all there is to know about the camera I have as he uses the same camera day-on-day-out as a wedding and portrait photographer.  I learnt a few neat tricks from Robert along the way about quick access to menus, using small focus points, and he even showed how he accessed all the key menus using just two fingers whilst also using the viewfinder.  It might take me a while to figure that out!

The group doing the walk started out from London Camera Exchange and walked to the market on Corn Street to start our photography, then through the city centre water features to the Watershed area, and onto @Bristol and the ice rink.  We were out for two hours, and although it was a tad chilly and grey, everyone in the group really enjoyed themselves and learnt some new ideas.

Robert mentioned that the Olympus stand at Gadget Show Live in 2015 will be bigger than this year and he’ll be running some live sessions showing how photographers work from setting up lighting, photographing a model, through to printing the finished product.

Bristol Zoo

A couple of weeks ago I decided to switch off from some recent stressful events for a few hours and head to Bristol Zoo.  The Zoo is home to a variety of animals in a relaxed and quite spacious area.  It’s hard to pick a favourite animal, but the red pandas, meerkats, gorillas, all seemed to be popular on the day.

The weather forecast for the day wasn’t great, but luckily it was wrong and I was treated to sun for most of the day.  This meant that most of the photos I got were better than expected.  For photos where the animal was behind glass I used my Lens Skirt to cut out the reflections.

The Twilight World section doesn’t allow flash photography, so I decided to play with the camera settings see what I could capture in the dark.  Hand-holding the camera I was relying on built-in image stabilisation along with appropriate manual settings (ISO of 25600, speed no slower than 1/60 second, and maximum aperture) to get the best photos possible using the display screen rather than viewfinder.  It’s fair to say that low light photography is challenging, and it’s one area where I expect cameras to improve in the future.  But the photo of the slow loris below is pretty impressive given how dark it was.  Someone walked past as I was taking photos and commented “That guy’s got a night vision camera”.