Some of my favourite photos

Thursday 28 May 2015

BBOWT - photography course

 Yesterday, we visited Sutton Courtenay Environment Education Centre to do a photography course.
The sun was blazing, there were only a few clouds in the sky as well as a gentle breeze.
When we arrived we met Mark, a ranger for the centre, Paul and Corinne who were runnning the course.

On the way to the centre we saw this heron sat on an island in the middle of a pond in our village.

The first thing we did was played a game where we had to guide an adult round and position them to take the photo we wanted them to take, this involved moving their head, getting closer to the object and making sure the shadow wasn't in the way. It was to show us that the camera doesn't automatically know what we want it to take a photo of.

Metal dinosaur 
After the game we had half an hour to explore part of the site. We got taught to use the rule of thirds, they showed us examples in the BBC Wildlife Magazine, where the eyes of the animal were in the crossline of the top third. We also learnt that the eyes of animals are one of the most important things while taking a photo. An additional skill we learnt was to hold the button down half way to focus on the subject then you can move the camera slightly and it will still be in focus.

While we explored we saw two red kites, one of them was being attacked by a crow.

We got called back to be taught another skill. Macro. This involved gettting a close up picture of a small subject and it being in focus. We got taught to look at things in a different way or angle, also to not think of the obvious photo but the unusual one.
We then got half an hour to have a go at using our macro settings.

Brown Lipped Snail

Broad Bodied Chaser
Thick legged Flower Beetle (oedemera nobilis) on a buttercup

A jouvenile Leopard Slug

We had an hour to eat lunch and explore the whole site. We were watching the red kites when a bird of prey flew over our heads, we all thought it was too white to be a buzzard. We tried to take lots of detailed photos but as the air was so warm the bird rose with the thermals very high, extremely quickly. This is one of the photos we took.
When we went back to the base we talked to Mark and he said that there is a very pale buzzard who lives around this area who he sees often.

After the lunch break we had another game to pratice our stalking skills. The adults had to sit down with there eyes closed while the children had to creep up to them as close as they could and take a photo. 
My mum said it was amazing how loud the camera is when taking the lens cap off and turning around the screen, so we learnt to have the camera ready. Another skill we learnt was to move when there was other noise around, as my sister moved I moved, she got caught and I didn't. 

We also got a chance to see and take photos of some different types of newts. We were allowed to do this because Mark has a licence to handle newts.

Male Great Crested Newt

We then had another hour to practice all of skills together. We went to the grassland area of the reserve and took lots of photos of butterflies.

Common Blue

Grizzled Skipper

Another Common Blue

Beetle in the grassland

We witnessed, down by the pond a Broad Bodied Chaser layering her eggs while her partner guarded. 

 The Male Broad Bodied Chaser stayed on a particular stick while guarding the eggs, making it very easy for me to get a photo of him. - Also see better photo above

I had an amazing time at the reserve and can't wait for the Oxford festival of Nature where I am doing more activities with BBOWT.

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