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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 812
Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
I haven't posted squirrels in a long time...so here are some of my recent squirrels!

Taken with my NEX-5N and 55-210mm lens:

Hanging on a palm tree:
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Got any peanuts?:
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No, really...got any peanuts?:
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Who are you?:
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Eating a sunflower seed:
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They love coming to drink out of my pool...even with me in it!:
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Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 200-500mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony NEX5N / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / Pentax K adapter / Konica K/AR adapter / bunches o' Konica & Pentax lenses!

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 10:34 pm
Posts: 1417
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Nice shots Justin, I really liked them :D

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:32 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:34 am
Posts: 178
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA
Gray Squirrel, Door County, Wisconsin:

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 10:34 pm
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Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Good shot, but I believe that the lighting was too poor, colors look quite dull in my opinion

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:19 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:34 am
Posts: 178
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA
Thanks Pier,
I do appreciate your comments. It helps me to improve.
It WAS very foggy the morning I took the picture of the squirrel, and yes, the lighting was poor. I often have days here when it is rainy or foggy, snowing or just plain wet. I enjoy getting out anyway. Very few of my pictures are edited in any way. I'll be working with that more this winter.
X


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:06 am
Posts: 1976
Hi X... looking at your pics it is easy to see you have a love for nature and an eye for photography. As mentioned by others I think what is holding you back at this point is a better camera... especially seeing you shoot a lot in cloudy/foggy/rainy conditions... I like shooting in these conditions as well.. hell I like shooting in any condition.. but it can be a challenge.... especially fog... that can be a nightmare but it can also lead to amazing results and a good camera will of course help with that.

Just as importantly however can be your softwear for post processing.

Lastly no matter how good the camera you still always wanna try for the best light angle even when it is cloudy at times like under high clouds... some light still penatrates.

wildlife photography is hit and miss on the best of days not only because you can never guarentee a wildlife encounter but even if you do the light may be off or completely wrong which will take away from the pic no matter how good your gear is. All you can do is be aware of where the sun is at any given time and try your approach as best you can. Like I have said many times in the past.. we all want those eprfect pics but any pic is better than no pic and at the end of the day.. even if you get no pic but you still have a cool encounter the outing was more than worth it.. in my opinion anyways.

There have been days when I have seen some amazing creatures and the light wasnt right or just downright bad so I took the best pics I could and left happy... on other days I have had an animal 50 meters aways from me in a direct line and the light way bad but I had the chance at a better angle by walking way arround making a hike of a kilometer or even more some times but again the pics were worth it.. you just need to look at the land and figure out an approach that will get you to where you wanna be for the best light when it is possible. Just never do anything that may put you or the animal in danger... a few years back I seen a grizzly off the road and watched it for some time... the sun was directly behind it making the shot so bad it wasnt even worth the attempt... I waited.. watched... and decided to try and walk around him and sure enough I got into the perfect position.. I got some good shots but when he seen me he looked up and when he did I could see the road where my car was directly behind him... IF he would have chosen to attack I would have been seriously injured... I preach and preach about safety but every year or so I do something really stupid myself.

All that being said I did get out today and got some cool shots of a little 8 point buck I will post soon... I say little because I have a 18 pointer roaming around the property where I live but have yet to see him in the day... so far I have seen him 6 times always around midnight and always on my property or within a few kilometers... I just need to find him during the day :twisted:

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 10:34 pm
Posts: 1417
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
I have to agree with what Wolfsong said. First, you do have a love for nature and good eye for photography and that will get you quite far into improving your photos. Shooting in tough weather is a challenge, but as Wolfsong said, you can get some pretty good results.
Also, I think that post-processing your shots could help a lot, even minimal post-processing can get a picture to look a lot better.

I agree with Wolfsong when he says that any shot is better than no shot. Also, I admit I have had a lot of fun having encounters with wildlife and that even if many times my pictures were not the best (that's why I don't post a lot, also because I spend a lot of time post-processing my shots, but that's another story), most of the times when I have those ugly shots, it still reminds me of that awesome experience when shooting, and that's the main reason that I do wildlife photography, not because of the results, my results are crap, but because of the experience I have when shooting.

I'd like to tell you my rule for photography, even if it might sound like a cliché: Have fun. That's the point of it, not to get an amazing shot (although that is great :D ), but to enjoy it, and you do seem to enjoy nature and taking photos of it, and that's awesome.

Also, I'd recommend you listen to Wolfsong, he has a lot more experience than I do and he knows a lot, I admire him, he's a great photographer :)

Cheers

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:43 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:34 am
Posts: 178
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA
Thanks Pier and Wolfsong! No editing yet, but here's another gray squirrel. Picture taken near Green Bay, Wisconsin:


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And one seen in southern Indiana in August:

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And this little guy. I am never sure if I am seeing a ground squirrel or a chipmunk, or if there is even a difference between the two:

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Canon Powershot SX 150 ISO


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:51 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:06 am
Posts: 1976
X... hope you dont mind but I took your second image and spent exactly 1 minute doing some some really quick processing on it... this is the difference softwear can make... if I spent 3 minutes on the full sized file it would be a lot better... working on a small file like that was really reduces resolution and that limits just how much you can do

Image

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Reflections On Canadian Wildlife
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Last edited by Wolfsong on Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:16 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:34 am
Posts: 178
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA
No, I don't mind. I like that picture a lot, and you made it better. It also shows me what you would do to improve it.

I take pictures every day - lots of pictures usually, and use them with seniors who have dementia. We drive all over, then I put them on the computer and we review our day, week, year.. I use them in slideshows, for puzzles, for photo albums of things we've done. Animals, clouds, trees, buildings, boats, sunsets, flowers... the subject changes depending on who I am working with, or what I am trying to accomplish. At first, I was just doing it to help my clients. Now I am doing it because I enjoy it, and it has really helped some of my clients. It helps them to get out of the house and it helps their memories to review the day in this way. An added bonus is that they enjoy the pictures. I usually do not get a whole lot of PC time, but it is nice to know that the editing can be so quick.

Nice picture Wolfsong! :)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:59 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:06 am
Posts: 1976
once you know the program(s) it can be really quick.. what takes the the longest 98% of the time is figuring out the right crop for the best composition when cropping is required. In this case the crop was easy.. the main eye is at the upper right intersect point of 2 of the 4 lines and the squirrel is pretty well centered to the pic so the crop was easy to make appealing... other than that i hiked up the contrast a lot... added some saturation, sharpening... especially around the main eye, brought up the blacks to help with the contrast, tweeked the green of the plants to make them pop a bit more, did some noise reduction, darkened the entire image a bit, enhanced the iris and I think that was about it... it sounds like a lot but it seriously took me 1 minute as that is all I wanted to spend on it so I timed myself to see what I could do in that minute.

it is funny you mention seniors... as a few know here that is what started my path to making some money off my photography. I used to oversee the F&B operations of several seniors complexes where I lived at the time.... after a while they all knew that I went on 2 or 3 photography vacations every year and soon asked the tenant services coordinator if she could get me to put on slideshow presentations of my trips. I agreed and before you knew it one of the managers from one of the properties asked if she could but up a display of my prints in the lobby which I agreed to and seeing she payed for all the prints I told her to give them away as prizes to the seniors. After that a few schools heard about my presentations for the seniors and asked if I would do them at the schools for their photography courses and I agreed but this time I asked to be paid and they agreed... next someone asked if I would be willing to put on a wildlife photography workshop in the field for a weekend.... and it grew from there.

Im still not in it for the money and never will be but all my photography trips now are payed for as is most of my gear so for all purposes it is a free hobby which includes 8 weeks or so of trips a year on a normal year to some of the remotest places in canada.... ideally that is all I ever want it to be.

and it is your pic.. I just pulled out some of its potential :wink:

speeking of which.. I have a few rodent pics I need to post from a few weeks back....

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:41 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:06 am
Posts: 1976
So a few weeks ago I was driving home late at night and we had an ice fog settle in for about a 5km radius around my home... knwoing that in all likelyhood the next morning would bring around a vertual winter fantasy land I decided to get up early and give my pathetic landscape photography another try. Sure enough the ice fog had coated everything with a layer of ice and even though there was a high cloud cover that morning I decided to go out and try to catch some of its beauty... the first pic although not good will give you an example of what everything looked like that morning...

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I had driven just a short distance when I noticed a round mass in a shrub about 120 meters off the road so I turned the car and checked it out... sure enough it was a porcupine dining on the bark of the narrow branches. Thinking back what happened next must have been hillarious if there would have been an onlooker watching...

I make my way over the barbwire fence and to the bush and sure enough there he is chewing away... as always I stop a bit farther off than I know I can go before I enter his comfort zone and snap 2 quick pics (pics 1 and 2). As I take a few steps closer he quickly goes into defensive mode and repositions himself in the bush with his back to me but as he is doing this I manage 5 or 6 more quick shots of his underside as he is turning (pics 3 and 4).... these first 10 pics were all taken within the first 30 seconds of the encounter...

Now he is in position with his back to me so I settle in for a few minutes to let him relax and I try to move around him with no luck as he moves with me keeping his back to me... over the next 40 minutes or so I try everything.. I go in one direction, then the next, I back right away and wait, I go back, I circle left, I circle right.. wait some more... all to no avail. All this time he managed to keep his butt to me without a glimpse of anything else. So after all this time I stop and take a breath... I look down and laugh to myself.... during this time I had worn a well worn path in about 45cm deep snow completely around the bush 360 degrees. It looked like 10 people had played ring around the rosie for an hour.. I swear. With that I admitted defeat and let him be with him having won this encounter. To an onlooker I must have looked as if I was doing some kind of wierd circle dance with a blob in a bush.

With that the 4 pics to follow, some of my best porcupine pics to date, were all taken within the first 30 seconds of about a 45 minute encounter... after that 30 seconds and for the next 45 minutes I was schooled and embarressed by a porcupine in -18C and snowy weather :oops:

If you look at the branches you will see the ice from the previous nights ice fog covering all of them that havent been chewed

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Last edited by Wolfsong on Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:54 am 
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Location: bit east of Melbourne
Nice one Wolf, sounds like the porcupine was a bit camera shy or had you dancing to his tune.

Never really seen a porcupines face before, not what I pictured.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:25 pm 
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Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Nice shots Wolfsong, the story is just hilarious, I loved it :D

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:06 am
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I may have this little guy firgured out now... I have been watching him from afar for a week now and I know where his den is and the trees he seems to like to feed on... so I figure if I play my cards right and dont bug him too much for the winter I may well have a porcupine subject for a while... at least til he runs out of food here...

I only managed this one shot as right after I arrived the sun dipped behind some clouds for the rest of the day.

Image

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