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Night Time Digger

Night Time Digger
Photo Information
Copyright: John Plumb (JPlumb) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-04-04
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Nikon D200, NIKKOR AF-S 18-200mm F3.5-5.6 ED DX VR
Exposure: f/11, 1/90 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-05-27 21:25
Viewed: 3819
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
We took a drive along the Great Ocean Road last month (I highly recommend this if you have the chance) and stopped in at The Arch near Port Campbell. There is a path running from the parking area to the ocean. Walking along this path we came across this Echidna. He was digging just under the fence (it wasn't there for him, but to keep us on the path) at the edge of the sidewalk. He very generously lifted his head at one point to let me get a shot of his dirt covered snout. It was getting dark so I had to use a flash.

The Short-beaked Echidna is a monotreme (like the platypus). The animals in this family of mammal lay eggs and produce milk for its young. Also, like the platypus the males have a spiny spur on its ankle. With the Echidna however this does not carry poison.

The Echidnas are sometimes referred to as Spiny Anteaters. They feed predominantly at night on ants and termites. The tip of its snout is sensitive to electrical signals from an insect body, so it can “sniff” out ant and termite nests. It catches its prey with its fast flicking sticky tongue. They do not have teeth; instead they crush the insects between horny pads in their mouth.

At breeding season the Echidna female produces a pouch. The egg is laid into this pouch and hatches 10 days later. The young blind hairless Echidna attaches itself to a milk patch on its mother’s skin in side the pouch and feeds here for the next 8 to 12 weeks. Once spines develop the young are evicted from the pouch but remain in the nest. They may remain here, still under their mothers care for the next 6 months.

Their body is covered with 2 types of hair; a normal short course hair for warmth and hair which has developed into the spines you see in this shot. The spines have a consistency similar to our fingernails.

Much of this from: http://home.iprimus.com.au/readman/echidna.htm

Workflow was as follows:
Shot in Raw (with flash) - Adjusted NEF shadows and highlight
Treated shot for “red eye” due to flash
Adjusted levels
Adjusted curves
Used overlay layer with 5% opacity brush for “burning and dodging”
Over applied Smart Sharpen on a separate layer
Used layer mask to tone it down for selective sharpening
Added layer for saturation (+20) – to counteract flash washout.
Saved as tiff
Reduced image size, further sharpened (slight) framed and saved as jpeg for this post

Adanac, dew77, blakitan, gypsygirl58, lawhill, glazzaro, deblink, mlines, Royaldevon, pierrefonds has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-05-27 22:03]

Hello John,
What a strange looking pin cushion you have here, good focus and fine exposure in this composition, thanks John.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2007-05-28 2:21]

Hello John,
Beautiful capture.POV,lighting and framing are wonderful.I liked camouflage also a lot.

Hello John,
Those fellows are always so cute with the pointed nose!
Well framed situation, where the little fellow seems to be a bit reluctant...
Good colours and details, presented in a fine composition!
Pablo -

Hi John,
Well captured, nice natural colors.
Great shot.


Hi John,
Great capture of one of our Echidnas! Well spotted, great details and sharpness(in more ways than one)!! I have actually seen one of these but not quite this close! Well done and TFS Cheers Tina :-)

  • Great 
  • Ken52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
  • [2007-05-28 11:16]

Hi John,
Interesting animal and yet another whose colors blend well with environment. Nice focus where it needs to be. Exposure is excellent showing very natural shades of brown.

Hello John,
Great shot to this guy, nice colors and focus
TFS, Lawhill

Would love to get a shot of one of these guys, nice work.


  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-05-29 11:40]

Hello John

A very interesting shot of this little critter.I have never seen one of these on TN before.Very good detail ,that's quite the nose.TFS


  • Great 
  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2007-05-29 22:30]

Hello John,
A very interesting capture of the Echidna.
Nice PoV and lighting.
TFS & Cheers

Hi John,
I love Echidna's, pity it didn't come out of the hole so that people could see its whole body. I used to have one that visited regularly on my property at Birdwood. It is so strange how they have no fear of human's and they go about their business as if you weren't even there. Great image of a wonderful animal.

Hi John. Very clear shot of this Echidna, we saw one at the golf course in Anglesea a few years ago and was very much like this one. Excellent clarity and good notes about it. TFS. Murray.

Hello John,
Delightful capture! It is lucky the echidna was digging as it is so well camourflaged that you might not have seen otherwise! Lovely detail and composition.
Best wishes,
Bev :-)

Hi John,

A nice image of the Echidna, the photo has a good composition, DOF and nice colors. Thanks for sharing.


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