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  • Charlotte Chapple

Big Cats and Big Lenses

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been enjoying my time at home before returning to university. As summer draws to a close, and the Autumn season sets in, I really wanted to visit as many of my go to day trip places as possible. Due to the continuing Coronavirus pandemic, it has been a challenge to visit many of them as most have only recently started to open up again and require pre-booking to control the number of visitors. Luckily however, Chester Zoo has reopened recently and I have managed to pay a visit twice now. The zoo provides amazing photo opportunities, and the perfect chance to try an exciting summer investment; a Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary Lens with 1.4x Teleconverter.

I have been angling for a telephoto lens for a fair few years now and finally decided this summer was going to be the time to get one! As my main career aspiration is to become a wildlife and natural history filmmaker and photographer a telephoto lens would be an essential part of my equipment. The longer reach of a telephoto lens allows you to create beautiful shots of the subject set within a landscape or to fill the frame to create an attention-grabbing shot. Having the ability to capture images from further away makes it safer for the photographer when capturing images of what could be considered as a dangerous animal or when you would put yourself in danger to be up close. The distance also means the animal is less likely to be startled which will stop them bolting away quickly and potentially injuring themselves. This specific Sigma lens also works both on full frame and crop sensor Canon cameras, meaning if I was to upgrade my current Canon 750d to a full-frame camera, I would not have to buy a new compatible lens. Anyway, that is getting a bit of topic, I will save my gushing adoration over the lens for another post!

Wandering around the zoo, I snapped away for hours and captured nearly 300 photos in total. As always, the big cats were one of my main focuses. Whilst my parents would continue to walk on if the cats weren’t out and about, I would stay, waiting patiently. As I reminded my parents, patience is a virtue, and one you must have in wildlife photography. And my waiting paid off as almost all the big cats made an appearance, even the elusive Jaguars! It’s was quite a warm day so many of the animals where out sheltering in the shade or lounging about catching rays as cats are wont to do.

It was a lovely day spent with my parents and enjoying the weather before the grey cloud come rolling in. As I mention earlier in the post, I return to university soon for my final third year and whilst I might not update my blog as regularly as I have over summer, I will continue to update my Instagram and Facebook accounts regularly, so if you haven’t already please check them out: Instagram- Facebook- @cacchapplephotography.

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