NB The date for this has changed - please update your diary.
Bushy Park is the second largest of London's Royal Parks, adjacent to Hampton Court Palace. It is home to hundreds of Red and Fallow Deer, as well as other wildlife, featuring woods, gardens and water features making it a Photographer's Dream(?)!!
We will be meeting up in the car park near the Diana Fountain and follow 2 walks that are listed on the park's website:
Firstly and hopefully we will capture pictures of deer roaming in the park. There will be babies (great for that Bambi moment) so we need to be careful as the mums can be quite aggressive at this time of year. There is quite a lot of other wildlife in the park with rabbits, other mammals and loads of species of birds.
Secondly we can walk to the western side and take in the Woodland Gardens with its ponds and streams which are fed from the Longford River which is really a canal built by Charles I to provide additional water to Hampton Court Palace. We will the walk north to see the recently restored Baroque Upper Lodge Water Gardens, originally built in 1710.
So the theme for the day will be Wildlife and Water and the challenges:
1) To produce the perfect wildlife picture - not only of deer but we may spot rabbits, a water vole or two and loads of birds - water fowl, possibly a kingfisher and parakeets galore.
2) To get a good water shot - whether it is a meandering stream, a pretty pond or even a shot of one of the waterfalls.
For the wildlife pics a telephoto lens will be useful but not essential - remember if using one handheld to keep the shutter speed a minimum of the same number as the lens' focal length - eg for a 200mm lens a minimum speed of 1/200 sec. For the water pics think of composition - rule of thirds, trying different viewpoints such as low on the ground or you could climb a tree (I am not recommending this and it's probably against byelaws!). Try to add something in the foreground to give more depth and interest to the shot.
Whether you have the top of the range SLR or a phone camera there will be loads of opportunities for great shots. remember you can take a brilliant picture with a small auto camera and a rubbish picture with an SLR. Whatever you have, come along because there will be loads of opportunities. If you have a long lens bring it and think about a tripod for stability and long exposure shots you might want to try with water. For those milky water shots you will probably need an HD filter and possibly a polarizing filter to reduce reflection from the water surface. Remember though these are just the frills - there will be loads of good shots from people with more basic cameras.
If anyone needs any help or tips please ask those with more experience and those with that experience please be there to offer that help and those tips - the whole point of the meetup is to meet each other but to further all of out photographic experiences.
This really should be a good day. The walks take about 2-3 hours and if you look on the links you can get maps of the routes and download an audio description. There are loads of facilities - an outdoor cafe for drinks and burgers and an indoor one in the Pheasantry Welcome Centre. (and also a playground if you fancy a swing or go on the slide). There is a carpark near the Diana Fountain - obvious on Googlemaps and I'll let you know exactly where to meet nearer the time. Travelling by car is best so plenty of time to get lifts if you need them. The nearest station is Hampton Court and a 15 min walk from there.
Lastly I haven't set the meetup time in concrete yet so one possibility would be to meet at 7am to see if we can get the deer in the mist - but a lot of people might find this time difficult and there might be no mist (and the deer might have a lie in)! Post your views and we'll see nearer the date.
Costs are £1 each - the fees go to Mandy who has paid the charges to the Meetup site.
OK Final notes (17/6/13)
The Meetup place will be outside cafe adjacent to Diana Car Park in Bushy Park at 10am with a view to moving off at 10.15 latest. I'll email my tel number to attendees before the day. As usual watch out for emails - I will cancel only if weather looks appalling - please keep an eye on weather and if it looks hot bring hat, cream and water! If wettish - bring a waterproof. Sensible walking shoes - the ground can be quite uneven. I have done a rough google map again - please read, and print and bring with you:
For the photos bring what equipment you have (photographic I mean!) but remember it is a long walk and you'll have to carry it.....I plan to bring a tripod and ND filters (these cut down the light so that you can take long exposures of the water to produce those milky shots - see
http://www.flickr.com/photos/34458921@N03/8670255901/ - this was taken in Bushy Park on my recky.
For those with no ND filter I have some adaptor rings to allow my ND filter to fit on other size threads and am happy for other people to try if it'll fit.
Also a telephoto lens and poss a wide angle lens to get the woodland and water shots. If you don't want to bring a tripod a monopod would be good for the telephoto animal shots.
For those of us with none of these - don't worry - pictures of herds of deer can be just as good as closeups and the shots in the garded/woodland/water areas rely mainly on good composition rather than fancy equipment - so give it a go and if anyone needs help with any of this please ask. See you all 10am.