Our GCSE Photography students recently took a trip to the Tropical Butterfly House, Anston.
During the visit they were given the opportunity to photograph the vast array of animals that live there.
Year 10 student, Ellie Hallam gives us her report of the day.
“The purpose of the visit was to photograph the wildlife we found there. Surprisingly, we found a varied range of animals, including small animals such as chipmunks and guinea pigs, birds of prey, owls and all manner of insect species that you can think of! The name (Butterfly House) was deceptive as this attraction clearly had more to offer and was very popular, as many people could be seen enjoying the sights. It’s important that the public continues to support these kind of venues, ensuring the protection of the various species, some of which are endangered.
The Butterfly House is keen to welcome groups and schools for educational visits and can even organise VIP experiences with the animals, where you are able to get closer than most. As well as the animals, birds and insects, they have a café and gift shop to explore. Children’s parties and celebrations are very much welcomed as this goes a long way to raising funds to support the upkeep of the operation.
I think my favourite experience at the Butterfly House has to be when we witnessed a large owl, with a mouse in its mouth, fly down onto the metal cage above our heads. It gave us the opportunity to see its huge wing span and its quick beady eyes. Its vicious talons wrapped tightly around the bars of the cage, securing its position whilst we photographed the amazing creature.
The meerkats and otters were fascinating, I’ve never had the opportunity to see these animals in real life. Both species seemed to live in an extended family environment where they all looked after each other.
From a photography point of view, capturing images of the animals through the constraints of the cages and windows was tricky. I found the best way to overcome this was to either stand away from the cage, so the lens focused on the subject or I got as close as I dared and tried to peer through the bars. The reflection on the windows also caused havoc. On top of this the creatures moved - but there wasn’t much I could do about that!
This was a Saturday morning well spent. I feel I took some interesting pictures that really showed the animals characters.”