Your pho­tos

Hav­ing just re­turned from Africa, Richard Lane went from pho­tograph­ing lions to cap­tur­ing wildlife na­tive to Bri­tain. While the lat­ter was very dif­fer­ent, it was equally re­ward­ing…

NPhoto - - Over To You... -

An N-Photo reader shares his ex­pe­ri­ences of pho­tograph­ing the wildlife of Bri­tain fresh af­ter re­turn­ing from sa­fari in the wilds of Africa

Hav­ing just re­turned from a long trip to Kenya pho­tograph­ing the fab­u­lous ar­ray of wildlife that it has to of­fer, I went back to pho­tograph­ing one of my favourite closer-to-home sub­jects, the rab­bit. Crawl­ing through the long grass with my Nikon D800 and Nikon 500mm f/4 lens, I created a nat­u­ral frame around the rab­bit us­ing the fo­liage [1]. I would have pre­ferred the rear rab­bit to be in a bet­ter po­si­tion, but you can’t al­ways get what you want. It was cer­tainly a con­trast to pho­tograph­ing lions in Africa.

The photo of a fal­low deer buck [2] was the first I took on my new Nikon D500 and Nikon 300mm PF f/4 lens. I had been look­ing for­ward to favourable con­di­tions to co­in­cide with the deer rut. That morn­ing saw a nice mist lin­ger­ing, giv­ing a lovely dif­fused and muted light that stayed for the best part of the morn­ing. The deer in the for­est can be re­ally hard to stalk and they of­ten run a mile at the first hint of peo­ple nearby. How­ever, I was in place well be­fore dawn at the edge of a clear­ing. I knew, from pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence, that they feed there, and the bucks usu­ally strut their stuff be­fore fight­ing. As the mist lifted slightly and the light lev­els grew I could make out a lovely buck feeding in the clear­ing. He walked in front of me and stood up show­ing his full antlers, pos­ing beau­ti­fully for the cam­era.

Squir­relled away

It’s not just the south of Eng­land that I pho­to­graph around. On a

visit to Scot­land I spent three days in a hide renowned for its reg­u­lar red squir­rel vis­i­tors. They usu­ally come down from the for­est to visit the hide’s re­flec­tion pool. But even the best laid plans of­ten go awry when you work with wildlife. It took three days sat in the hide from dawn ’til dusk un­til I even­tu­ally saw a sin­gle red squir­rel at the pool [3]. Even then it stayed for only 15 min­utes. Thank­fully though, the light wasn’t too bad and I man­aged to come away with a few shots us­ing my old, faith­ful Nikon D3 and Nikon 200-400mm f/4 VR.

The main dif­fi­culty with a shoot like this is mak­ing sure you are alert and ready when your sub­ject ap­pears af­ter such a long time with noth­ing hap­pen­ing. I could only imag­ine how frus­trated I would’ve been if I’d fallen asleep dur­ing its short visit.

With my lens wide open at ISO1600 I man­aged to cap­ture the im­age at a shut­ter speed of 1/500 sec, which was fast enough to freeze the squir­rel’s move­ment as it ate and drank. I in­creased my fo­cal length to 290mm to get a tighter crop and po­si­tioned the wa­ter­line in the mid­dle of the frame, to en­hance the sym­me­try pro­vided by the re­flec­tion.

These images just go to show that you don’t need to travel half way around the world to pho­to­graph beau­ti­ful sub­jects; some­times your own back yard is the best spot (turn to page 106 for more back gar­den wildlife pho­tog­ra­phy).

It took three days in the hide from dawn ’til dusk un­til I even­tu­ally saw a red squir­rel. Even then it stayed for only 15 min­utes

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.