British Wildlife Centre residents (image heavy)


Link Posted 31/03/2013 - 10:48
Hello again all. Following on from the thread of the Barn Owl at the British Wildlife Centre in Surrey, I thought I would share a handful of portraits of the various creatures there. It's a great place to go if you get the chance to do one of their photography days. On the day I was there severe weather warnings were in place across the country and many places were shrouded in snow, but miraculously the weather at the centre was mostly not-too-bad... (ish)

1. Me me me... (Red Squirrel) (DA*300)

2. Busted (A Fox called Frodo) (DA*200)

3. Waiting (Tawny Owl) (DA*200)

4. Kevin the Barn Owl (in Colour) (DA*200)

5. Can you see me? (Hedgehog) (DA*200)

6. Proud Whiskers (Otter named Elwood) (Sigma 100-300 f4)

7. Kendra steps out (Wildcat) (Sigma 100-300 f4)

8. Ow ow ow... (Harvest Mouse) (Sigma 180 Macro) - he was TINY (about the size of a 50 pence piece)

9. Pop! (Weasel sniffing at some catfood on a log) (DA*200)

10. Polecat stare (DA*200) - the light was failing considerably by this point and I reckon B/W works a bit better...

11. Bright-eyed Stoat (DA*200)

12. Brock (Badger) (DA*200)

Hope you like these. I lugged a range of lenses around around with me and have noted which lens was used. I especially enjoyed the DA*200 - I always think it is a real beauty whenever I use it. As ever, there are a load more pics on my flickr if anyone wants to see more.

Mat W

My Flickr: link


Link Posted 31/03/2013 - 11:01
Excellent set of images, long time since I've been there, think I need to go back

" A Hangover is something that occupies the Head you neglected to use the night before".

K1 - Sigma 85mm F1.4, Pentax DFA 150 -450 F4.5 / 5.6, Pentax DFA* 24 - 70 F2.8

Samyang 14mm F2.8, Pentax DFA* 70-200 F2.8

K3iii + K3ii + K5iis converted to IR, Sigma 17 - 70 F2.8, Pentax 55 - 300 F4.5 / F5.6 PLM


Link Posted 31/03/2013 - 12:10
Super images with faultless detail.

Best regards


Link Posted 31/03/2013 - 12:11
Lovely set of images. I especially like "ow ow ow..."

I should go visit...!

Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website


Link Posted 31/03/2013 - 12:34
Too Old To Die Young


Link Posted 31/03/2013 - 12:57
Superb set Mat, I really must take a trip down there, seems silly not to! when its only 20-30 minutes away from me.
Regards John/Jumbo


Link Posted 31/03/2013 - 13:46
Really lucky to have such a facility nearby Mat and you've definitely done it justice. excellent set.



Link Posted 31/03/2013 - 13:48
Blythman wrote:
Really lucky to have such a facility nearby Mat and you've definitely done it justice. excellent set.




Link Posted 31/03/2013 - 14:36
Great set of images Matthew.

I have a question for you. I note the focal length(s) used, (predominantly 200mm), but what in your view would be best?

In longer lenses I have DA* 300 and 50-135, DA 55-300, and then most focal lengths down to 10mm.
Last Edited by JohnX on 31/03/2013 - 14:38


Link Posted 31/03/2013 - 15:18
tyronet2000 wrote:
Blythman wrote:
Really lucky to have such a facility nearby Mat and you've definitely done it justice. excellent set.


K10D, K5 plus plenty of clueless enthusiasm.

My Flickr site link


Link Posted 31/03/2013 - 18:15
What a great place to shoot. Love them all....and the titles/descriptions.


Link Posted 31/03/2013 - 19:41
Thank you very much everyone for the kind comments. It is a great place to go for British animals. The opening hours are unconventional (I think it is only open at weekends unless otherwise specifically arranged - e.g. for a photo day or a school party visit), but the keepers are great and knowledgable - and interested in photography - and on an organised day you can go inside the enclosures and get up close with the animals, which is a treat.

John - interesting question on focal length. I started with the DA300 (red squirrel), and found actually I might have been better with something a little shorter as I was able to get very close indeed (at one point one of the squirrels was on my head!), so I switched to the 200mm for most of the rest of the time, which I thought was a good focal length. Looking at what other people were using (mostly Canon users), there were several using 70-200mm lenses, one with what looked like telescopic 100-400 (or something like that) and one guy with an impressive tripod mounted monster 500mm f4 prime, which I think cost more than all of my kit, and my car (and possibly most of the rest of the contents of my house!) - although it did in fairness seem to deliver pretty stunning results.

The lenses you mention would all work well, and you could probably get some funky shots really close up with a much shorter length as well - there are some brilliant shots on the forum here of red squirrels taken with a 10-20 lens, for example. In the afternoon when I was there and the weather was deteriorating, I was pleased to have the wide aperture of the DA*200 - the pic here of the weasel was I think taken fully open at f2.8.

Cheers again all
Mat W

My Flickr: link
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