Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 29/06/2011

In Absentia – Day Two



Raccoon

Whilst I’m away I’ve decided to write about some of my favourite images that I’ve posted to Flickr, why and how I took the photo and how I might do it different next time.

Today’s image is another one taken at Dartmoor zoo, but this one was less impromptu than the photo of the Cheetah you will have seen earlier in the week. I had a very definite photo in mind when I saw the hollow in the middle of the tree but as is usual with many of the nocturnal creatures I didn’t know whether the inhabitants of the enclosure would be awake enough or play ball at all.

I couldn’t have asked for a more awake and amiable animal and whilst I’m sure it couldn’t read my mind I had high hopes when I watched the Raccoon wandering around its environment. Sure enough, after only a little wait the creature walked up a plank to the reverse of the tree. With camera ready, I held my breath and sure enough it poked its head through the gap.

The low light ability of the 1D4 still get’s me every time and whilst I didn’t use a particularly high ISO (ISO 800) it was still higher than I would have tried with my previous camera, a 5D. Hand held at 1/400th of a second, the image stabilisation of the Sigma 80-400mm lens was of great help at the full range of the lens (actually the lens won’t retract less than 300mm due to “a hardware issue).

This image will be part of the set I’ll be exhibiting when I return from Kenya. Printed on A3 paper, the striking image fully portrays the animals mischievous nature as well as it’s ability to find its way into any environment.

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