Archive for May 8th, 2010



Chipper! (and grace)

Some would call it luck. I call it grace: an unearned and undeserved gift. I believe in grace.  If I where not already a believer, photographing wildlife would have made a believer out of me. 🙂 Sometimes the bird or, as in this case, chipmunk, just sits for its portrait beyond all expectation. I saw this little critter poking out of a hole at the base of the tree and got set up for a shot with my digiscoping rig (which takes a moment). When I looked through the scope she was gone. But no. She (for convenience sake…it is just as likely a “he”) had just hopped up a few inches and was clinging to the bark looking at me, half in sun and half in shade. Over the next 10 minutes I worked the angles and took way too many shots…even some video. She moved once, but only to an even more photogenic location on this little knob of wood with more even lighting. Sometimes!

Canon SD1400IS Digital Elph behind the eyepiece of a Zeiss Diascope 65FL for an equivalent focal length of almost 1700mm. Exif data recorded as f4.5 @ 1/250 @ ISO 400. Programmed auto. Limiting f-stop based on the scope computed to be f4.6. (I have to say, I am still learning this new camera, but this is very satisfying image quality for ISO 400.)

In Lightroom, a touch of Recovery and some Fill Light. Blackpoint to the right. Added Clarity and Vibrance. Auto White Balance (which this camera needs once you begin make adjustments.) Sharpen landscape preset.

Of course, I can’t just do one of the shots I processed from this session. Here is another pose.

And here is one from the first spot she sat…with the interesting light.

This was taken at over 2000mm equivalent @ ISO 125. It required more processing in Lightroom to balance the half-in-sun exposure, but it came out, I think, pretty well. I think that might even be me reflected in the critter’s eye. I’d like to think so. That would really be grace. 🙂