Zoo-ming in!

Photography students have been zooming in on our animals as part of an annual college competition to design a conservation poster.

And this year the Dudley College of Technology students have the expert help of a professional nature photographer who was himself a student on the course nine years ago.

Dan Everitt, who took this wonderful silhouette picture of deer under a tree, studied photography at the college when the course was based at Mons Hill campus and will judge the poster competition alongside DZG’s Assistant Curator Jay Haywood.

The partnership between the zoo and the college is now in its seventh year and involves a new intake of students coming on site throughout September to capture images and information about endangered animals for their posters.

This year there are 18 photography students on the two-year Extended Diploma in Photography and Graphic Design course and they range in age from 16 to 20.

Twenty-five-year-old Dan, who has won awards and had images printed in the BBC publication Discover Wildlife, came to the zoo with the group to give advice on how to get the best shots. He has also given a presentation and led a question and answer session with the students at the college.

Dan, from Birmingham, said: “It’s great to be back in Dudley and to be working with the students on this project, which will highlight the plight of animals in the wild.”

Head of Photography at Dudley College of Technology, Phil Brooks, said: “We are very lucky to have Dan working alongside us on the poster project this year and hopefully some of his impressive images will inspire our current students.

“One of the winning photos from last year’s students was made into a sign outside the bush dogs enclosure and that was the first place I brought the new group this year.”

A stunning photo by Cameron Whiteside, who is now in the second year of the Extended Diploma course, took top place in the photography section of last year’s competition and so impressed zoo bosses that it was made into a sign.