July 2015

Cotswold Lavender – a bit of Southern France in Britain

Cotswold lavender field shot with OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OMD EM1

Cotswold lavender field

Mont Ventoux on the horizon, bees humming, the sun is shining and the air is engulfed with the smell of lavender – southern France.

Wait, no mountains in the background, but lovely lavender fields and great photo opportunities. Snowshill lavender farm near Broadway in Worcestershire. If you want a break from city life and experience a lovely getaway around the West Midlands this is the place to go right now until the harvest in early August. Entrance fee of £2.50 per person is well worth it if you find a day of nice weather. The whole area is saturated with the lovely and calming smell of lavender and the exemplary rows of lavender at the entrance show the many varieties available.

The main attraction are sloping rows of heavy purple flowerbeds that slope up a field that is bordering grassland which houses sheep. Also you will hear the song of skylarks, see the odd pheasant fly by and have a chance to see whitethroat (Sylvia communis) and yellowhammers.

Visit the Snowshill lavender website and learn more about this gem in the midlands.

The shot presented was recently popular on 500px – Lavender fields 1 by Christian Hauzar and was shot with the following settings:

Cotswold Lavender fields portfolio

Colombian Black Spider Monkey – Zoo Photography

Many people out there dislike zoos. Animals are trapped in small cages, exposed to loud masses of people and doomed for a life in prison. Who wouldn’t understand that position? I personally like a good zoo with a plan for keeping endangered animals alive and in a best case breeding to restock natural populations. Not to forget the educational effect a zoo has. Looking at an elephant or a giraffe in a book or the internet is one thing, but who does not remember the jaw dropping moment of seeing his first Loxodonta africana in real life. Size matters.

Ateles fusciceps ssp. rufiventris as the latin name goes, is a critically endangered. This subspecies to the black-headed spider monkey has experiences an 80% population decline in the last 45 years, suffering from deforestation and hunting. It is native to north-western Colombia and eastern Panama.

During a recent visit to the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park I spotted this Black Colombian Spider Monkey on 500px sitting in his enclosure, looking rather disillusioned. An looking how his kind fares in the wild, we can feel with him.

Colombian Black Spider Monkey (Ateles fusciceps rufiventris) in his enclosure at Birmingham Zoo

Colombian Black Spider Monkey (Ateles fusciceps rufiventris)

When doing zoo photography, I like to show the zoo environment more than hiding it.