Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 21/01/2012

Will it or won’t it work?


Eurasian Lynx, originally uploaded by http://andrewskelton.net.

I’m hoping that tonight you’ll have something a little different for your edification, something I thought about trying last year, adding video to this blog, but as my intentions were, and still are, to convert 2011 ramblings to a book of some form – trying to publish the video might have caused me a few problems. Today’s image.. sorry, force of habit… today’s video (providing this works) was taken last week at Whipsnade zoo when the low soft afternoon night was bathing the the Lynx’s enclosure with it’s heat, warming the cat as a house’s fire may furnish a domestic cat with heat. I often forget about video on the camera which is a shame as whilst my photos may capture the moment, there is something about watching wildlife. Perhaps that’s it, I spend a lot of time waiting for the opportune moment to photograph the natural world which involves a lot.. and I do mean A LOT.. of watching – I watch far more than I photograph so these videos allow me to relive my proximity to these creatures which a great deal to me.

The video of the Lynx brings to a close the batch of photos I’ll be uploading from my trip to Whipsnade last weekend, so I’m afraid my flickr account may be a little sparse in terms of new things to post. Whilst I’ve been carrying my camera gear around everywhere I go (with the exception of the bathroom) the camera has only found it’s way out of the camera bag on two occasions, one when I went out to scare local raptors and the second time to test the differences between the camera’s version of white balance against my own skills. Actually thinking about those two situations, it would probably have been better if I had left the camera in my bag in the first place.

I’m taking most of my camera gear to the training session I’ll be giving in just over a weeks time (gulp… have I mentioned I’ll be at Dartmoor Zoo? Oh, once or twice you say.. and there seems such vexation in your voice as well) so that any Canon users who attend the course can have access to equipment they may not normally have access to. I do this a lot when I’m out and about and someone comes up to ask me questions (providing they’re the right questions of course. Questions like “do you know it’s an offence to lean out of the car at 90mph with your camera whilst you’re driving on the motorway, Sir?” aren’t questions I really respond well to, and don’t really make me want to lend out my camera gear(or have it confiscated for that matter)*), if they have a compatible camera I frequently offer for them to have a try with what ever lens I have, or if not for them just to try the camera for itself. I’m pleased when people do, but quite often people are incredibly reticent to even touch the camera as if it might crash if they did. If they’d seen what punishment I’ve put it through then they might well be less apprehensive (though more than likely they’d laugh at my clumsiness; actually it’s not clumsiness it’s just you often need 4 pairs of hands when trying to hold the 600mm/1D combination, set up a tripod, balance a second camera over your shoulder – all of which is on uneven ground). I will of course be taking my portable airport security scanner with me to ensure that no-one leave here alive.. I mean with any of my gear; on that first point… it’s not.. laughs… like…laughs… I’m going to bore them to death with my training course…. is it?

* This is purely fictitious, and I don’t want anyone “trying it at home”.. or out of the home… or anywhere else for that matter!

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