Beaver, Photography and the Story

beaver-head

What I find really important…

is leaving my cameras on and ready to go, which means being at a starting setting. For me, that’s 1/800 sec., ISO 200 or Auto ISO when it is working, continuous mode, f/8, and 9 point focus. The settings are the Sunny 16 rule for shooting wildlife in action. I know exactly where I’m starting so there are no surprises, and I can start shooting immediately.

I change my settings often, but I always begin at the same place. I always start ready. This particular beaver popped up out of nowhere, did a quick survey, flapped a tail, then dove back in. No time for screwing around with settings.

If I had to consciously think about how to push a button and spin to ISO 400 and then wheel around to get an aperture of f/8  and then dial up exposure compensation to account for the snow and white ice, that’s a lot of thinking, and I would have missed the beaver appearing moment. It’s important to change my shutter speed, f-stop, ISO settings, and zoom in or out without ever taking my eye from my view finder.

beaver-swimming

That is why being ready to shoot comes in handy. It is why knowing my camera helps too.  I sat at this location for about an hour and a half. I did not know what and when to expect anything to happen, but it was a pretty day and scenic location. The beaver actually caught me off guard when it appeared.

beaver

That is why I clipped the tail. When I am shooting, I get so engrossed in the sense of place, I forget what lens is on my camera sometimes. A bit too much glass on the beaver.

It’s not about your adherence to the rules. It’s about being in a beautiful or interesting place likely to find a story, being prepared when you arrive, and being patient while you wait for the magical moment. Ok, a beaver is not much magic, but it seemed that way to me while I was waiting. See the post on Garden walk Garden Talk on using the rules of composition. It is a post not to miss if you like doing photography.

beaver-splash

This entry was posted in Nature, Photography, Photos, wildlife and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Beaver, Photography and the Story

  1. fantastic images! clear, sleek, texture….. amazing!

  2. beavers are strangely elusive; nice to see your impromptu shots.

  3. Sue says:

    Great shots! I especially love the first photo of the close up.

  4. Sharp images, nice and close and great advice for being “ready to go.” I am starting to remember to reset my camera at the end of a shoot, especially a night shoot. It hurts to miss a golden opportunity due to poor settings.I usually use center focus, do you find all-over that effective? Regardless, it is an opportunity to “play around ” with my camera, because they all work differently.Thanks for the tips.

  5. aussiebirder says:

    Well said Donna, so true it is about catching that magical moment which is yours alone. This is why I don’t use a tripod or camera strap, I am looking for that special moment also, which can be lost in less than a second. Love your beaver shots, how lovely to see them in the wild.

  6. That’s good advice. It’s so difficult to take photos of animals. Unlike plants, they move!

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