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The London Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre

Whether they quack, squawk or float serenely by, you will see many feathered friends at the London Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre in Barns. This Christmas, it is the perfect place to getaway to and see the beautiful birds living there.

Photo by simonh82

Whilst many keen bird photographers go equipped with a fancy DSLR with a fast 500mm telephoto lens, with autofocus, and shutter speeds in the thousandths of a second, I like to roll Lomo style. This is why I chose an entirely manual, 1940’s folding rangefinder with separate manual focus, shutter speed up to the blisteringly fast 1/125 and bellows that leak light. I also loaded it with Fuji Velvia 100F slide film and cross processed it. This is also why my pictures are not your typical bird photos, but I still love them.

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre at Barns in West London is a beautiful area of wetlands and lakes just to the south of the River Thames. If you want to see lots of visiting species it is best to go in the winter when you get a lot of migrating birds and they even have special events on over Christmas like husk sleigh rides. I last visited in the summer, but there was still plenty to see.

There are many lakes and hides to try to spot an elusive brown speckled something or other in its natural habitat and no doubt the satisfaction is enormous. However, if you like your birds a bit closer and easier to spot, you can go to the area where they keep a collection of birds from around the world in simulated habitats. None of these birds are caged and having them in one area is nice for the casual day visitor.

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust does some great work protecting water birds and their habitats, so check them out and take a visit.

Fuji Velvia is world-famous as the most saturated slide film that you can buy. Shoot this on a bright day and develop it normally, and the results will knock you head over arse. When crossed-processed, it gives you that wild Fuji green-blue colour shift that we absolutely love. See the whole range of colour slides in our Shop.

written by simonh82

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