24 June 2014
Region: South East
The RPS Nature Group organised two Field Trips to the Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve on 10 and 13 May, and I attended the first day, which fell on a Saturday. Although the weather forecast wasn't looking too good, we were able to enjoy this fantastic nature reserve, only 5 min away from town.
Cow parsley looking up
Organised by Graham Saxby and with three other members in attendance, we visited one of the seven hides where you can watch the birds comfortably. There were also some birdwatchers when we arrived.
Graham Saxby carrying nature photographer's gear
Graham had provided us with the following information: 'There are seven hides ranging in size from tiny (2 or 3 people max with very narrow openings - too narrow for a 500mm f4 and too small for a tripod) to a large hide with plenty of room for several people and tripods'.
It was really interesting to see, for the first time in my case, what 'bird photography' is all about. There were Canada geese and goslings, cormorants, swallows, lapwings, and many more that I didn't see. The hide is very cozy, and I managed to have some coffee and biscuits (never leave home without my flask!), we talked with birdwatchers, who were in the hide when we arrived, exchanged tips and we had a good laugh. I, personally, learnt a lot from the explanations about best shutter speed, ISO and aperture settings to get super sharp images when photographing birds from a hide.
Birdwatchers and photographers exchanging views
One of the great advantages of these field trips organised by RPS Special Interest Groups is that you meet people who share your interest, or you can have a taste and learn the basics of an aspect of photography that you have never tried before. It was a great experience!
The Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve is open from dusk to dawn, and the visitors centre opens at 10am. See website here.
Photographs by Chelin Miller