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Photo Information
Copyright: Hollie is an SLR novice (slrnovice2) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 331 W: 31 N: 344] (1197)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-01-01
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon 20D, EF 75-300mm IS USM, Hama Skylight 1-A
Exposure: f/8, 1/250 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2006-01-05 12:37
Viewed: 4753
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I know this is not a good shot of a fox but it is special to me because it is my first attempt at 'capturing' the fox I've found visiting my front garden in the very wee hours of the morning. I haven't had a full night's sleep in a week but what a way to spend your time :). I only got one shot and it took off so no chance to experiment. My focus was off but it's so hard to focus in the dark. I'm experimenting with props at the moment: torch for a reference point, chair, bucket and teddy to try and judge focus distance and DOF in the dark so that I'll be better prepared for next time - if I get a next time.

Red Fox

Well I think most of us are familiar with the look and size of a fox but did you know anything about its varied diet? Workingforwildlife.co.uk says "Foxes are highly adaptable and live mostly on earthworms, rodents, beetles, rabbits and carrion. Obviously the diet varies considerably depending on the local environment but, in most cases, the largest prey taken by the average fox would be a rabbit or weak hare." According to Andy Rouse ("Photographing Animals in the Wild"), foxes are also keen on custard cream biscuits. I've seen images of foxes eating wild blackberries and my partner and I were first alerted to the presence of this fox in our garden by the large tooth marks in the apples we put out for the birds plus the complete disappearence of half apples (birds do not usually take half an apple away with them!).

'Our' particular fox has been doing well, it looks pretty fat and it is going to get fatter if my local butcher and I have anything to do with it. I've never been to my local butcher before and felt a bit foolish asking for bones for a fox but it turns out the butcher is a keen wildlife enthusiast and had lots of information and local tips to exchange.

I'm trying to read up on night photography but if anyone has any tips I'd be glad to hear them. As well as experimenting for DOF with props I'm just feeding and watching the fox. I plan to introduce a light source soon (it is already used to our house light which is set off by a motion detector). I think it was frightened off by the sound of the shutter release on my camera rather than the light. Any ideas for dealing with this? My partner suggested making a recording and setting it going at night. Then there is the open window and human scent problem to overcome. Also, I only have one flashgun at the moment so more lighting suggestions would be welcome.

Wish me luck!

Robbrown, Runnerduck, Dave, Janice, liquidsunshine, scottevers7, zenitlady, Luc, PDP has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Pesky_Polecat: Fox(es)slrnovice2 2 01-09 02:56
To mrcrow: Fox Shotslrnovice2 2 01-07 04:50
To scottevers7: Shot in the Darkslrnovice2 1 01-06 00:01
To Robbrown: Lightingslrnovice2 1 01-05 14:25
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Critiques [Translate]

Nice one Hollie, apart from the shadow thrown from the right (Which you could lighten with Shadows and Highlights) its a pretty good capture.
A thought crossed my mind if the light from the right is strong enough, get some extention cable for your flash and set it up seperatly, closer and to the left so it lights the area you are getting the shadow.
you could set up portable lamps of the sort builder use to light the left they can be quiet cheap to buy (expensive to run though) and if you are baiting the fox it will soon get used to the extra light I am told or you could put a fader switch in the circuit so you start low and work upto a brighter light slowly?
TFS yours Robert

Hi Hollie, good to see you posting again.
Considering you only had one chance to get this, I think you did a bloody good job! Great detail, and what a pose! Brilliant, good advice from Rob as well, although I think I can offer some better ....... GET SOME SLEEP *LOL*
Thanks for posting.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-01-05 15:11]

Hi Hollie, good to see you, and your red fox. I know nothing about these animals as we don't have them in NZ. So I am pleased to read that you want to look after him. Very good catch of him for the conditions. TFS.

  • Great 
  • Dave Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 503 W: 43 N: 657] (2178)
  • [2006-01-05 15:14]

Fascinating reading Hollie! I couldn't begin to offer the first tip, but I'm all ears.
I have to agree with Julia, "Considering you only had one chance to get this, I think you did a bloody good job!"
Very nice!

I would have a fit if I find one in my garden. I found a genet the other day and had one... extatic! Thanx for sharing.

great attempt and i bet you will get better..my friend had a fox and badger visitors
he used an old camera to rig up a 'fox-talbot'
shot...it was a winner...
he used some slave flash bits and bobs and i think a remote main flash...somewhere in a tree...his garden was like a stage set..
my ws attempts to sharpen and clone out the..garden!!

Well captured Hollie,
Good detail and colours. Great POV and sharpness.
Nicely composed and good exposure. Don't give up, good luck for the next visit.
Thanks for posting. Enjoy the rest of the week.

Good capture. Great pose. Your perseverance is paying off. I've had no night photography experience so will learn from you. Even if focus is a little off it is still a worthwhile photo of a wild animal. Just for fun I did a workshop on it but have reached my photo limit for today and will post it tomorrow. I cropped out some of the distracting foreground and dulled the highlights on the greenery so focus would be on the fox. Looking forward to evidence of your next night time safari.

Hi Hollie,
You are so close to this guy that you do not need the big glass! ( I got your e-mail story on that one, and I am still dreaming of a 500mm f2.8L) I think you did an outstanding job under the conditions you had to shoot under. I did a couple night shots of deer in my yard. I set a high ISO so I could get alot of flash and DOF. I picked a spot where I had manually prefocused the camera. When they walked there I popped one off, cause thats the only chance you get. It still looked like the classic deer in the headlights shot. I would say your auto focus hit that shed door as it looks sharp. The fox is so close to that, he is still in the pretty good sharpness area. I think Geof's workshop helps quite a bit.
I think this is worth 10 points for the effort alone.

Keep feeding it, and it will become a regular feature of your garden becoming more and more used to your presence. Hopefully as the spring/summer come and the daylight hours get longer you might get some good shots in good evening light. I used to know someone who used to feed his foxes each day, and eventually they would sit there waiting for him quite openly and very relaxed...though that took years to achieve!

Hello from Ontario Canada, Hollie! Congratulations on persevering to get Mr. Fox! We have both coyotes and foxes in our area, but knowing how shy the foxes are, I say, well done!! The texture of the fur is surprising, I thought it was smoother. Great job in the limited light. TFP!

Hi Hollie!
Sorry, I missed your cute photo. But today I tired to look at "fluffy" mammals and I I found your great photo.
Just superb!

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2006-01-26 17:16]

HI Hollie, it's a great capture considering. I often see them in my street. My ex girlfriend lives in Denmark Hill, next to a pub called Fox on the Hill. There are some very well fed foxes there, so well fed that they often spend their days lazing on the garage roofs in the sun. I must think of an excuse to see her again to photograph the foxes :-)

Lovely shot and I hope you get some better ones. Well done.

Hi Hollie

OK, so the focus point is a little out, but I still think it's a pretty good shot with good lighting. You don't really want any more light than this or it would spoil the atmoshpere, it's supposed to be night time! The flash is just enough to light his white underparts. As for focussing, does your lens have a distance scale on it? If so, you could manually focus purely using that. You'd have to know the distances to different parts of your garden off by heart, though!

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2006-03-24 20:48]

Une autre très bonne photo.
Merci Hollie.

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2006-03-25 14:18]

Hi Hollie,

Biy oh boy, I wish I had such animals walking through my frontyard! Excellent! Of course the quality of the picture could be a little better, but thumbs up for catching it on your sensor. I also like the light a lot. The fox looks a little spooky because of it. I hope you will succeed in getting more shots of this nice animal. TFS!


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