Christmas was nine months ago, but that's when this story starts. Last year the christmas present from my wife was the chance to visit the British Wildlife Centre in Surrey and get up close with the animals. If you've not heard of The British Wildlife Centre, here's a link.
For a few days every year the wildlife centre closes it's door to the general public and opens the enclosures to photographers. Living only a few miles from centre, I'd been there before, but getting the chance to go inside the enclosures was a little out of the ordinary.
This was a photography day, not a guided course so there were no rules on the standard of camera to bring. I packed my trusty Canon 40D and a 100-400 IS lens and I felt confident I had the right equipment for the job. My fellow photographers (there were around 20 of us) sported a wide variety of equipment ranging from the professional wildlife gear complete with camoflaged lenses, right down to the happy amatuer with their point and shot digital compacts. Everyone was welcome.
What equipment should I take? A DSLR is the minimum I'd consider and learn how to use the burst mode before you leave home. A lens at least 300mm is required if you want to fill the frame. Finally bring lots and lots of memory cards, you'll be taking many hundreds of photos.
Would I recommend this day to other photographers? Yes as long as they had a fair level of camera skills. If your looking to receive training or guidance you'd be better booking for one of the workshop days run by outside companies. Of course you could always ask me to tag along...