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Squirrel takes centre stage as I was admiring the view.

Squirrel takes centre stage as I was admiring the view.
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Winner in Animal Kingdom Personalities Photo Challenge
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Exceptional Contrast
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Jaw Dropping
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12 Comments |
jodiwebb PRO
 
jodiwebb September 06, 2013
You can't plan these ones! Great moment!
HaliSowle
 
HaliSowle October 25, 2013
This is just adorable. Awesomeness!
Jacc
 
Jacc December 02, 2013
Love it
heathermcfw
 
heathermcfw December 02, 2013
perfect timing on a complete random timing shot…….Love it.
jleiweke
 
jleiweke December 02, 2013
Congrats!
mloiz
 
mloiz December 05, 2013
Amazing capture!!
JDLifeshots
 
JDLifeshots December 05, 2013
Very cute capture! Congrats.
heatmeik
 
heatmeik December 07, 2013
Too cute!
nemethp
 
nemethp December 15, 2013
voted...love this one
carolcardillo PRO+
 
carolcardillo January 03, 2014
Great! Excellent detail. He looks so curious. Congrats on your well deserved Award!
clownsonvelvet PRO
 
clownsonvelvet June 03, 2014
Cracked me up!
CharJones
 
CharJones January 30, 2016
Love it! Great shot!
See all

Behind The Lens

Location

This photo was taken on a trip to Grand Mesa in Colorado. It is an amazing area of Colorado full of lakes, lookouts and wildlife! I was at a high point looking out to a spectacular valley and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison off in the distance.

Time

I took this image around midday as we were looking for a place to have lunch and i think this little guy was hungry too!

Lighting

The lighting that day was pretty flat with some fairly heavy clouds about. Flat light is not so great for landscapes but for animal and portrait photography it can work work really well. No harsh shadows and you can isolate your subject from the background by using a wider aperture.

Equipment

I had a whole backpack full of my Nikon cameras and lenses but surprisingly I took this with my little Panasonic Lumix ZS20! I always keep it in my pocket just in case I need a quick shot and don't have time to pull out my DSLR. It actually takes great macro shots, probably this camera is at its best when it is in closeup mode.

Inspiration

I was actually almost forced into taking this image! I was looking for a spot to take a good shot of the valley and this little guy kept following me and popping his head up like a cartoon character. I was finding the light uninspiring for a scenery shot and this little squirrel was much more entertaining. I pulled out my Lumix and he came right up!

Editing

I adjusted contrast and curves in Lightroom and thought it would have more impact in black and white. Small amount of sharpening on him to really bring him to life.

In my camera bag

My camera ban always has 2 Nikon bodies in it. I have a D700 and a D600. I put my 80-200mm f2.8 Nikkor lens on the D600. Because the D600 is a 24mp camera I can crop the frame and still have plenty of pixels left to maintain quality. On my D700 I have a 17-35mm f2.8 for wide angle landscape work. I also have a 50mm f1.4 Nikkor which I love. It has an amazing sharpness and can get really great shots in low light with the f 1.4 aperture. For most of my landscape work I use a Manfroto Carbon Fibre tripod and ball head.

Feedback

Be ready...thats the first thing! Study the animal first if you have a chance, learn how it moves, they usually have a pattern. That way you can predict a little more which way they will go or what they will do . Get down on their level so you are looking right into their eyes. Squirrels are usually very inquisitive, especially if they think you have food. I don't entice wild animals with food but if you are prepared you may get a couple of shots off before they move on to another more promising tourist!

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