Butterflies at RHS Wisley

 

Giant Owl (Caligo telamonius memnon) – ISO 1600; 60mm macro; f/2.8; 1/160 sec (click image to view larger size)

This week I paid a visit to the RHS gardens at Wisley in Surrey, where up to 6000 butterflies will be flying around inside the glasshouse. Officially opening on Saturday 14th January, I went a few days early after a tip from a fellow camera club member that they would be in place before the opening and hopefully not so busy. It certainly was fairly quiet and they may not have had all 6000 in flight, as I imagine most are still to be released into the glasshouse, but there were enough to provide a challenge at photographing them!

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In search of deer … and light!

Stag or Stick?

Stag or Stick? – 135mm; ISO 400; 1/25 sec; f/5.6 (click image to view larger size)

One evening last week I took a stroll with my camera in Richmond Park, hoping to find deer in a pleasing woodland setting with some nice late sunlight. It was a venture destined with failure!

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The day I became a wildlife photographer **

Autumn in the woods

Autumn in the Woods – (ISO 400; 250mm; f/6.7; 1/350 sec)

The day was October 2nd 2011. I can remember it as if it was yesterday. Which is strange, as quite often I can’t remember what I was doing yesterday!

It started off just like any other photography outing. I was in Richmond Park before sunrise, a routine I had become well accustomed to.

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Bellow in the mist

Bellow in the mist

Bellow in the mist – 300mm; ISO 100; 1/90 sec; f/11 (click image to view larger size)

Richmond Park is a wonderful location, especially in the autumn when the Red Deer rut is on. I’m sure most wildlife photographers would admit that the combination of rutting deer, mist and soft dawn light is definitely a winner!

On the morning I captured this image, the mist was so thick you could not see the deer. Luckily there was plenty of bellowing, so following the sound I knew I would find them easily enough. The hard part was avoiding walking into them!

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Purple Dawn

The story behind the shot:

Purple Dawn

Purple Dawn – 18mm; ISO 100; 1/2 sec; f/8.0; -2EV (click image to view larger size)

For some time now I’ve enjoyed photographing at Pen Ponds in Richmond Park (see location map at the end of this post). It’s usually quiet around sunrise and weather conditions can be great in September.

The overnight weather forecast predicted clear skies and I knew from experience that this location might have some mist, so I decided to head out early the following morning.

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