21 wildlife photos you can barely believe are in London
Wildlife photographer Niall O'Laoire captivated us with his stunning photos of the deer in Richmond Park. He shares his images and his experiences with Time Out
But in Richmond Park, things look very different
Richmond Park is no secret – at almost 2,500 acres it’s three times the size of New York’s Central Park – but still, many Londoners never visit. With lush foliage and a landscape that changes as you move through the park, you're very likely to spot deer whenever you visit.
Niall O’Laoire, a contributor to our Flickr group, has spent the last few years capturing their lives. Below, more of his incredible photos, and few words from Niall himself.
A doe, a deer
Safety in numbers
Let it snow
‘It’s disappointing when BBC weather gets it wrong and the soft light I hoped for doesn’t materialise. I also turned up once only to find a notice on the park gates telling me that the area was closed due to the biannual cull. Mental note to check the website!’
Richmond Park views
Fending off the competition
‘As I was completing my post-grad in London the recession hit, and so I wound up working in Cyprus. I was fortunate enough to see the surrounding countries, and the quality of the soft light in the desert and along the sea fronts made me wish all the more for a better camera. So when I returned to the UK – and after saving up a bit – I bought a Nikon in 2011. I had read photography magazines constantly over the years, and so I knew how to dive in without using the automatic mode. The world is a very beautiful place, and photography – being quite technical – has let me capture that, and add a personal artistic flair to it.’
Without it, you can miss a lot of photographs when the subject is moving and then stopping constantly. Back button autofocus focuses on the subject whatever it does, leaving the shutter button to only fire the shutter. There are lots of YouTube videos showing how to set this up on various camera bodies, and most people who try it never go back to using the ‘old’ method! Trust me – it’s easier than it sounds!’
Discover more about Richmond Park
Richmond Park is the largest of the Royal Parks, occupying some 2,500 acres. There are hundreds of red and fallow deer roaming free across it, presumably much happier without having to listen out for the 'View halloo!' of one of Henry VIII's hunting parties.
Within the park's bounds are the Palladian splendour of White Lodge and Pembroke Lodge, childhood home to philosopher Bertrand Russell and now a café. From the park's highest point, there are unobstructed views of St Paul's Cathedral, over 12 miles in the distance.
And don't miss the fantastic hidden garden within, Isabella Plantation, which in spring and summer is a riot of colour from azaelias and rhodedenrons.
After all that exploring, you can treat yourself at one of Richmond's great pubs or restaurants.
Discover London in photos
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