A new venture in wildlife photography
With me being an amateur wildlife photographer, most of our holidays include me trying to capture some images in that time. We had booked a cottage in the Brecon Beacons in Wales. About a week before we were due to go, I got a phone call from a good friend of mine, Lewis Phillips.
We had met years before. Lewis owned quite a few birds of prey. I was a member of Maidstone Camera Club and instigated a new group in the club for wildlife photographers. We had several organised days out with Lewis and his birds. This group has been very successful and about half the club are passionate members now.
Lewis moved to the Brecon Beacons from Kent a few years ago. He informed me that he and a couple of friends were starting a new wildlife magazine, and asked if I would be interested in taking some images for their new venture. We arranged to meet up the following week in the Brecon Beacons to discuss this new venture.
One of the projects was to take images of the newly born bison at Wildwood Wildlife Park near Canterbury, Kent. I was informed that this had to be kept a secret until the launch of the magazine. When I returned home from holiday a meeting was arranged with Mark Habben the director of operations at Wildwood, and Ben, a friend of Lewis’s at Wildwood Canterbury.
We discussed taking images for this new magazine of their wild cat breeding project and the newly born bison calf. We then went around to the wild cat breeding pens and I took serval images of the cats and their new breeding structures. As these wildcats are behind wire mesh, I did not want to show this in my images. I managed to get some images without showing the mesh using some camera technology I have learnt.
An unexpected delivery in Kent
We then proceeded to the new bison enclosure which was still under construction and would shortly be open to the public. We arranged for me to come back at first light a few days later to capture images of this newly born bison calf. A few days later I returned and was met by the ranger who looks after the bison. Luckily the weather was favourable and soon there was a break in the clouds to allow some sunshine through, which helped to get some amazing images of the baby calf. I only had a short time to get my images before the bison disappeared into the wooded area inside their enclosure.
Being my first project of this type, taking wildlife images for a magazine, I was concerned the images would not be suitable. But having reasonable light and few years of experience you can see they fulfilled the criteria which was a real relief. The added bonus of this venture was that I was the only public person allowed in to take images of this newly born bison calf.
The newly created wildlife magazine had its launch at Wildwood’s other centre in Devon on 26 November 2022, which my wife and I were invited to attend. This new magazine is named “Woop Woop”; the title comes from Australia meaning, “A place far away, unfamiliar and difficult to get to.”
I had front page image on the magazine and the first article. I also had images of the wildcats further on in the magazine. So you can imagine how thrilled I was, as this had been my first project taking photographs for a magazine.
This magazine is published three times annually, so the next issue comes out in March 2023. Hard copies and digital copies are available from this website, which you can access by clicking the picture above.
If you are interested in seeing any more of my wildlife images click here.