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  • Sydney Daniels

two cameras, one location

I've had my mind set on writing a blog like this, but I have never gotten around to taking someone out to shoot with. Luckily, I have a partner who is also slowly falling in love with photography! We took to Cambridge to visit the Butterfly Conservatory for a fun photography date. Please enjoy our photos!

My photography journey started many years ago when I learned to shoot subjects like trees and plants. While I've never had any formal training, I have had several years of practice. My partner on the other hand, just picked up photography. We started going out birding and the more we did, the more he wanted better quality photos of what we saw.

His point of view

I got him an attachable zoom lens for his phone to get him started, but we soon realized that the photo quality wasn't cutting it. He did manage to capture some great photos early on, but there was a lot of room for growth. Not long after, his dad was sweet enough to lend him an old camera. Funny enough, it's the same camera that I use.

Because the butterfly conservatory was a challenge for both of us, here are some of his previous. Above are some of the 138 bird species he captured this year. I honestly love watching him learn how to take photos, because he's managing to capture amazing photos with great composition while not knowing composition is a thing.

My photography training took more of an artistic focus, to learn what makes good composition and go-to angles for solid photos. In recent years I've expanded to more wildlife snapshots rather than focusing on nature. If whatever bird or animal is willing to pose aesthetically for me, that's a bonus but with the creatures I'm trying to capture, I can only ask for so much.

His photos: the butterflies

Trying to photograph butterflies was a challenge, to say the least. With these tiny little insects moving constantly, it felt like I was spinning in circles half of the time. Plus, the environment was not in our favour. The conservatory was very humid and kept fogging up our lenses.

My photos: the butterflies

I was also very nit-picking about the photos I wanted. Several blue morpho butterflies were flying around us, which was stunning to watch. That said, these guys were hard to capture because they did not stop moving, and on the rare occasion that they did, they closed their wings so I couldn't see their iridescent blues.

I was hoping to capture a photo that looked the same as the butterfly emoji, but alas that was not the case. Regardless, it was still magical being in this room surrounded by butterflies. If you're even planning a visit, I highly recommend wearing a warm colour, chances are you'll get some little guys landing on you.

His photos: the birds

My partner learned how to use his camera by photographing birds. At the butterfly conservatory, he was very excited to get good photos of their birds to add to his life list. His bird photos certainly turned out better than mine, but it's what he knows best.

My bird photos were not nearly as good as his, but I was paying extra attention to their resident parrot. His name is Cheecho, he is a sweet green-cheeked conure who loves playing with his toys. One of the staff members came to fill up his food dish which he was thrilled about.

My photos: the birds

I recently lost my pet bird, Pickles, after 9 loving years spent together. Hanging out with Cheecho was really nice, I have been missing hearing Pickles' chirps around the house. I know this bird is bringing lots of joy to everyone who visits the conservatory, the way my bird did when friends came over to see him.

POV: you were our third wheel (sorry)

Photography is such a unique art form that genuinely has no rules. Of course, there are "guidelines" to follow for good composition and all the technicalities, but picking up a camera and shooting whatever you want is so refreshing because you never really know what you capture until you look at them later.

My partner and I love sharing our photos with each other, it shows how we see the same spot in a different way, which I love because I can see how he views the world. I hope you enjoyed seeing our different perspectives on the conservatory.

If you like this style of blog, we will happily go on another photography date for you!

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