Authentic voices. Remarkable stories. AOL On Originals showcase the passions that make the world a more interesting place.
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Okay, so we’re now got back from the red squirrel shoot and I had the chance to look through the images secured. Overall I have to say, I’m a little bit disappointed in what I managed to get. The light was quite changeable, it has quite a bit of sun filtering through the forest and in the middle of the woodlands, especially, that quite dense woodland, that can often result in contrast problem. But I did manage to get one or two, and this is probably my favorite shot. It’s not perfect but it gets the eye over the idea of the squirrel coming down the log and straight at the barrel of the camera. Now one criticism with this is that the squirrel is actually looking down at the log as oppose to into the camera. So just looking at one that I’ve done from this particular hide previously, you can see the difference here. It’s the same sort of shot, same sort of composition, but the squirrel looks much more alert, much more engaging in terms of it looking down the barrel at the camera. Of course the snow adds extra dimension as well, both in terms of the overall appeal of the picture and in terms of balancing the light back into the frame. So, that was something more a keen to what I had in mind during the main shoot. Another approach I’ve used from that same hide in the past is a more wide angled approach, this one again obviously using quite dramatic adverse weather. But this is placing the animal in its environment, in its habitat, and giving it some context. So, same set of absolutely the same set of just a different lens, a much wider lens and just taking in a lot more of the background to incorporate the fact that it’s a forest habitat and also obviously a forest habitat in winter, with the heavy snow fall. Elsewhere of course and part of the reason for the red squirrels demise is the abundance, they introduce North American grey squirrel. The rights and wrongs of that aside, photographically this provides anybody with a great opportunity to photograph a rismic confiding mammal in parks and even in your own gardens. So the techniques that were described today happen to be for red squirrels in Scotland that can be equally applied to gray’s throughout the rest of Britain. Male2: So as Peter said, the same techniques that can be applied to a native red squirrel can be applied to gray squirrel in parks and gardens. And here we are in my honey back garden and I’ve been feeding grays here for rather last 5 or 6 years. Initially, not on purpose they help themselves and often, anything else they could find on the bird table. They come in regularly to various feeding stations that I set up around the garden. I’ve rig here just a feeding post with a nut feeder behind, using the same lens combination as Peter’s, 70 to 200 zoom lens. And you can get the same type of shots as Peter got in the wild with gray squirrels that you’ll find anywhere across the country.