Monday, 23 January 2012

Red Squirrel

In pretty gloomy conditions neither of these images – both of captive individuals – should have worked (1/85th sec is way too slow for predictable results at a focal length of 400mm) but what they lack in sharpness they more than make up for in their sense of intimacy. The key, I think, with captive animals is to compose the shot in such a way that the setting appears as natural as possible, paying as much attention to the background as, for example, to what the animal is doing. I do think both of these images look as if they may have been captured in the wild. Also, if you have to shoot through the wire mesh of an enclosure (as I did here), get the front of the lens as close as possible without the risk of scratching the glass and ensure it is absolutely flat to the fencing. That way, the wire strands will virtually disappear, too close to register in any intrusive way.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/85th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 400. Distance to subject: c 4m

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/85th sec, f/5.6, 370mm at ISO 640. Distance to subject: c 3.5m


  1. Great shots Tim, great result at 1/85th

  2. It is lovely to see intimate images of an iconic creature, such a shame that the only way to see them is in captivity. I know there are pockets of them in the wild but not as many as previously.

  3. I know that it,s an overused word but these images are truly AWESOME