Monday, September 8, 2014

Stop And Smell The Flowers

When photographing in the Rockies or any place with sweeping scenics and breathtaking photo opportunities, you naturally expect to see big impressive animals to complete the scene. Bighorn sheep, mountain goat, elk, moose, etc. But don’t forget the little guys. They are just as important to the ecosystem and just as entertaining to watch and to photograph. While they might not be as impressive as the larger species, they can make for great photos nonetheless.

While hiking up a wide trail along the Continental Divide in Glacier National Park, I saw several Columbian ground squirrels zipping back and forth, and stopping to eat. They were not afraid of the people on the trail, which made getting some nice shots fairly easy.

I chose this shot for today’s blog because it looks like he is just smelling the flower, when in fact a moment later it became one of many that he devoured. That is one of the great things about photography – a photo can tell a story, and the moment the shutter is tripped can make all the difference.

When shooting wildlife, I always set my camera to rapid burst. Depending on which camera body you own, that could be anywhere from about 3 frames per second to many more than that. Rapid burst allows you to fire the shutter more quickly than you could if you had to depress the shutter button each time. This works well when shooting animals or birds in motion, allowing you to capture different body positions in quick succession.

Also, set your autofocus to AI Servo (Canon) or Continuous (Nikon). That will allow your camera to keep focused on the animal or bird as it moves.

Shutter Speed 1/1000 sec.  Aperture f/5.6.  ISO 400.  Lens: Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS, with 1.4x extender for an effective focal length of 266mm.  Camera: Canon 6D.  Handheld.

TODAY’S QUOTE: “Little things make big things happen.”  --Tony Dorsett

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