I currently creating a Gloucestershire series of mugs and jugs. All the photos I use will be taken in Gloucestershire woods, common and private land. That’s easy for sheep, cows, and horses which are contained in a field but not so easy for wildlife. Typically where I have taken photos of wildlife before it’s been in a hide or in a location known for relatively easy access to wildlife – for example, the Exmoor Stag.
I’m after deer, foxes, stoats, badgers, kingfishers, owls – and have started with deer, foxes, and badgers. None of these are particular favourites for the farmers so getting permission to access land to see them can be tricky. However, I’m been lucky to be given access to a couple of private woods which means I can put up my wildlife camera. The videos from these are no good enough for painting but from watching behaviour I can start to predict what time and where to wait to increase the chances of getting good photos. I’ve seen foxes and deer in these woods but they spook so easily I need to sitting still in the right place.
My first attempt was disappointing, the camera was out for a couple of weeks but didn’t capture anything at all. After a week of videoing myself in the garden and testing the settings, I was ready to start again. Another 2 weeks… this time there were lots of little snippets. It’s so stupidly exciting pressing the button and seeing what’s there. I’ve taken a few of these and made a 3-minute video (my first video – took ages as I’ve never done that before but got it cracked for the future).
The Gloucester wildlife project is on hold now as I’m off to Africa to photo lions. I’ve got a fantastic opportunity to work with the researchers at Lion Alert Zimbabwe for 2 months. If you are interested and would like to receive my photocards sign up here. Photocards are electronic postcards sent directly to your inbox and share what I’ve been seeing and doing.