Archive for June 2nd, 2010



Little Red

I was walking up a trail at Laudholm Farm with my digiscoping rig over my shoulder, making one last loop around before heading home, when this Red Squirrel hopped across in front of me, picked up something from the ground, and sat up to eat it. He was no more than 20 feet in front of me. Nice! I don’t see that often. Generally Reds are up a tree chattering at me, around on the backside of the trunk or limb, or scampering away so fast there is no hope for a picture, and it would be tail-shot at that. So I watched it as it calmly searched, found another whatever, sat up and ate it…and another….and another. I knew that as soon as I moved it would be off up the tree and gone. I kept thinking of pulling the scope down off my shoulder and trying for it…but, nah, it would be an effort in frustration, right? So, about the third time I found myself talking myself out of it, I finally thought, “oh, why not?”. I did not make any real effort at stealth. I mean I was 20 feet from the critter, standing in plain sight, right in the middle of eight feet of open trail. I just pulled the scope down, spread the tripod legs, got the camera out of the way, focused, swung the camera back in, turned it on, set the zoom…and, as you can see, the squirrel was, contrary to any reasonable expectation, still sitting there, eating its whatever. Click.

For the next 10 minutes I took a lot of different images of this squirrel.  It was like a studio shoot, with a paid (well, captive and trained) model. Turn to your right. Now turn back. That’s good. Hold that. A lot like that anyway. If I didn’t like the pose, I just had to wait a moment and the squirrel would find something more to eat and strike another one.

The light was not great, open shade, fairly deep, and I knew I was pushing the limits of shutter speed, so I took a lot of pictures, hoping at least a few would be sharp. A few were…

Which just goes to show: sometimes it is worth trying!

Canon SD1400IS behind the eyepiece of a Zeiss Diascope 65FL. Equivalent focal length about 1500mm-2000mm. At f4-4.5 @ 1/125-1/200 @ ISO 320 (top two) and 400.

In Lightroom, a bit of Fill Light and Blackpoint right. Added Clarity and a touch of Vibrance. Sharpen landscape preset.

From Digiscoped Around Home.