Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The difficulties of photographing animals.

I have a secret yearning to be a famous wildlife photographer.  Actually, that’s not true at all, when I consider what’s behind those award winning shots: the before dawn starts, the endless hours stuck in a cramped hide, the repeated frustrations when the beast either doesn’t turn up, doesn’t behave as meant to or just turns his back and walks off away from camera.  I am hampered by a pathological lack of patience (poor Gabrielle) a lack of seriously long lenses and other expensive equipment and the stubborn refusal of wild animals to cooperate.

Let’s take, for example, the sweet little Jenny Wren.  This tiny bird possesses an enormous voice (which is what caught my attention) so perhaps I’d have been better off with a tape recorder instead of a camera.  Belt hung compact camera to the ready, zoom to 300mm equivalent, elbow steadied on oak post and click.  Spot the bird (hint: it's in the centre).

A better idea: we have a couple of peanut feeders outside our window and occasionally, despite some flappy bunting Gabrielle hung, we get one poor dear crash into the glass.  It usually takes them a couple of minutes to stop seeing stars before they gather themselves and fly off ... just enough time for me to get my camera out.  Telephoto lens?  No, I got right up close to the obligingly concussed subject and used the macro setting, waited for it to open its eyes and click.  By the way, it did fly away happily ever after.

And lastly, we’re proud to announce the first of 2011’s lambs and … it’s a boy!  Photogenic he may be, but it’s difficult to get the detail out of the shadow with a black sheep.  I twiddled around with the settings in iPhoto but then couldn’t resist making the grass greener and softening the edges! 
Award-winning photographer?  I think I’ll stick to the day job!