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…
The day after visiting Westonbirt Arboretum (see blog post and photos here) I popped along to Cotswold Wildlife Park. The weather was much chillier than the previous day and it was interesting to see how the animals outside were coping with the weather. Some seemed to try hibernation and just slept, and others seemed to be active to keep warm.
The red pandas were particularly active. So much so that they’ll get their very own blog post as I had so many photos of them. Keep an eye out for that post coming soon!
For animals who were behind glass my Lens Skirt came into its own. It really helped to cut out the reflections from the glass and get clear shots. In the monkey enclosure the monkeys seemed intrigued by the Lens Skirt and came right up to the glass to take a look. Unfortunately they were too close for the lens I was using at the time.
For this visit I was using my backup camera body, an Olympus E-PL3, with my normal lenses. I’m very pleased with the photos I got from this body, and it goes to show much of the quality comes from the lens you use rather than the body. The two drawbacks for me were the lack of viewfinder (using just the camera screen was quite awkward at times) and the body was too small to get a good grip of.
The reason I had to use a backup body was that my Olympus OMD E-M1 and shiny new 25mm f1.8 lens were off for repair – the body was suffering from intermittent shutter lockups since fitting the new lens. This was really annoying as it happened on a weekend away and left me with very few photos. Luckily the E-M1 came with a Service Plus warranty and when I called about the issues I was having, Olympus picked up the camera and lens, zoomed it to Portugal for repair, and a few days later it was back in working order. Great service!