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Quality Family Time - Owlnet Photography

Quality Family Time

Quality Family Time

You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.

Spending quality time with my family is one of the most important parts of my life.  I have two fantastic daughters and four beautiful Grand Daughters, who live close by.  The one thing I have not done since I left home though, is spend some quality time with my siblings.

That was until last year, when I spent two days taking photographs with my big brother who lives in Kent.  We are both keen photographers, something we get from our father and spent the first day walking around the village we grew up in.  The second day, we spent the day on a Photography experience at Port Lympne (John Aspinall Foundation), in Kent, photographing wild animals and in particular,  “Lowland Gorillas”.

We enjoyed it so much, that this year we repeated the experience by spending a day at Dungeness, Kent followed by a day at the “Wildlife Heritage Foundation” at Smarden, Kent, on a “Big Cat Shoot”.

Dungeness is a headland on the south coast of Kent, formed largely of a shingle beach and is one of the largest in Europe.  It is classified as Britain’s only desert and it shelters a large area of low-lying land, Romney Marsh.  It is an important conservation site for plant and invertebrate communities and birdlife.

For the photographer it is a haven for all genre of images.  Drawn up on the shore are working fishing boats next to abandoned, rotting hulks.  Old machinery and remnants of the past from the fishing industry.  There are two lighthouses, a power station and a miniature railway.  I have put a few of my images from the day in my portfolio.

The Wildlife Heritage Foundation (WHF) at Smarden, is not a Zoo or a private collection.  It is conservation group dedicated to preserving endangered “Big Cats”.  Unlike a lot of these types of places, it is not full of visitors.  They regularly run photography experience days and this is what the two of went on.

In order to get impressive images of the Cats, you need to shoot right up on the wire.  So before we started we had a very comprehensive safety brief.  Then is was of for the shoot.  We were taken around by Chris and an assistant, both act as our safety for these cats can move fast, and get you through the wire.  I personally had a full grown Bengal Tiger think I was dinner as she jumped, with all four paws on the fence, only inches away from me.  Quite a heart stopping moment when you realise how big and powerful these beautiful animals are.  It was a day well spent and one I would do again.  These animals are all beautiful though I must say that the “Cougar” is my favourite.

This is the only way you should shoot Big Cats, with a camera.  Something that you can do over and over again.  How anyone can take pleasure in hunting them to extinction just to add a trophy on their wall is beyond me.  Man has so much to answer too!

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