Nothing can really beat that feeling you get when you wake up with the sun streaming through the crack in your curtains hiding a beautiful blue sky and promising warm temperature. Being on holiday in Normandy, everyday seems to promise such wonders, so why not make the most of it and go to the Zoo.
One of my favourite places to go when I am out in France is Champrépus Zoo in La Manche. Split into three sections, the zoo hosts a range of animals from Giraffes to Guinea Pigs. I took this opportunity to take a few pictures myself to play around with my settings and angles as well as letting my friends have a go, which is a nice change but also terrifying as my camera, like most photographers, is my life.
With my experience this summer of in hand showing of horses and sheep, I have realised that I really love the interaction of humans and animals. I have also realised my love of goats, being slightly creepier but friendlier version of sheep. This may be due to their tameness at the Zoo, or the personalities these french goats have, but I can safely say that we spent a good hour with these fellas. This shot is of Paola and her friendly bar standing goat.
Being another gloriously hot sunny day, I had the luck to get perfect lighting through the trees to capture this little gem just hanging out on a rock. This type of lighting is always fantastic as it creates that bokeh effect that is seemingly adored in the photography community. In this photo I was using my canon 70-200m f/2.8 lens, using the wide aperture to it’s advantage. Can definitely add goat portraits to my photography repertoire, expanding on my ever growing livestock animal theme…
The rest of this area allowed you to feed animals such as small enthusiastic sheep, chickens, a million guinea pigs, pigs, cows, brittany donkeys and geese. Unlike most zoos I have visited, Champrépus is highly interactive with demonstrations, feedings and guides throughout.
After spending over an hour with the goats, sheep, guinea pigs and donkeys, the park leads to an Asian themed area with a koi pond, gibbon island and their arguably cutest attraction, red pandas. Being a sweltering day, one of the pandas was fast asleep in the shade of a tree while the other was walking round the enclosure showing off and posing for all the visitors.
This area is looking to expand as well with breeding programs for tigers and leopards, adding to the many breeding programs of rare species it already hosts.
Handing my camera over to Tom I trusted him with my 6d with the rest of the park. My favourite pictures he got was of these two meerkats, having a little relaxation and then a little spat in the late afternoon.
Feeling the end of Summer blues now looking back at all these sunny photos! But do not fear, if you are in the Manche Area, Champrépus Zoo is open until the end of October and is very good value! I certainly will be going back in October half term!
And as always, thanks for reading and have a great day!
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