Richard Peters Photography


Foxes in the dark with the D3
August 26, 2008, 12:23 pm
Filed under: Photo Shoot Stories, Wild Foxes Project | Tags: , , , ,

*** My blog has moved home, for the most up to date version and comments for this article please click here.***

Lets be honest…no photo taken at ISO 25600, f4 at 600mm with a shutter reading in the viewfinder of LO is going to be ‘good’. In fact when viewing these at %100 my reaction was along the lines of ‘bluuurrggghhh’. However, the fact the D3 could lock focus when I myself was even finding it hard to make out the foxes is something to be impressed by and has allowed me to capture the first shots in what will hopefully become a successful project to photograph foxes in the wild.

Nikon D3, 600mm, f4, 1/10, ISO 25600

Nikon D3, 600mm, f4, 1/10, ISO 25600

Private property, no people, foxes delight!
A good friend of mine has access to a private field at the back of his work and, through the use of a motion detecting trap cam, has been monitoring a small family of foxes playing about just before dark and well in to the early hours of the morning. This was one of the very first evenings trying to spot them ourselves and unfortunately they did not come out until the sun was well and truly gone for the day. In fact as I said above, by the time we took our final shots I could hardly even distinguish between them and the dark bushes and tree’s in the background. Were it not for the amazing low light abilities of the D3 I would not have been able to capture these record shots of one of the first evenings with them.

More D3 ISO 25600

More D3 ISO 25600

What are those two blokes doing in that field, on their own, in the dark, in a blacked out Range Rover?
On this evening we were parked at the edge of the field tucked along near the tree-line in my friends window tinted Range Rover. We had the side windows down, myself in the back resting the camera on a small plank of wood balanced between the top of the front seat and the rear seat (so that there was no lens barrel sticking out the car, otherwise I would have used the window sill) and my friend in the front using a home made rest for his 600/4 VR, again so there was no lens sticking out the front. Camo netting on the rear side of the car to stop our outline showing through the windows behind us and we ourselves had all of our bare skin covered to try and limit the chances of having any flesh colour waving about – these foxes are very shy! We waited for a good 2 hours, watching the last warm rays of sun go and the cold blue light of dusk creep in. You can go slightly stir crazy sitting for that long but we kept ourselves amused, mainly by laughing at what the security guard back at the entrance must be wondering what on earth the two of us were up to! I had my camera set to auto ISO but by the time the foxes came out all I was getting was a reading of LO in the viewfinder. Looking back at the images later they were all captures at 1/10 of a second which is either the lowest shutter for auto iso or the one I had set previously. But due to this the darker it got the more underexposed (and even noisier) the images became. My friend, who was not set to auto iso, took his last shot at 1/2.5 second!

Low light

Low light

Watch this space
We spent about 25 minutes watching these foxes playing and going about their business which was an excellent experience and, as time goes on and we start to learn the patterns they follow, we hope to try and have the camera’s hidden away, using flash guns and fired remotely to capture more intimate and properly lit images. It is my plan to be able to show our progress via my blog so that you can see how things are going from these very early days right through to the (hopefully) successful days further down the line when we have gained more experience in photographing these foxes in the wild.
Getting very dark now!

It's getting very dark now!

Part 2, can be read here…

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1 Comment so far
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This is really interesting as we have a den right behind our house and sometimes we get foxes on our doorstep which winds our dog up.

Comment by nick lewis




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