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Thread: Twin Fawns hiding in the brush

  1. #1
    terrib's Avatar
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    Terri

    Twin Fawns hiding in the brush

    First I'll say that these images are not tack sharp but I thought it was worth posting as a learning/teaching moment for wildlife photography (plus they're just cute ). The reasons (or excuses if you like) that these are not sharp are 1) handholding a heavy 100-400mm lens in a half crouch 2) manual focusing with my stupid glasses on 3) about a 50% crop with relatively high ISO

    I first spotted the ears of one twin. They were behind shrubs and the ground slopes significantly. So I checked location of sun and figured out which direction I could go to get a clearer view without putting the sun in the wrong place. I spent about 10 minutes slowly creeping, not directly toward, but at an angle to get closer. Finally I found what I thought was probably going to be the clearest shot, at least while they continued to lay on the ground. Tried squatting for a lower angle and to rest the lens on my knee but that just put more shrubs between us so I had to balance halfway down. Before I could do more a loud truck drove nearby and spooked them.

    The main reason they are cropped so much is because there were so many bright spots or trees reflecting light that it was easier to crop than try to make lowered highlights look natural.

    Anyway, I'm still fairly pleased to have the photos. Now, I need to work out those leg muscles for steadier crouching and more stealthy stalking.

    Twin Fawns hiding in the brush

    Twin Fawns hiding in the brush

  2. #2
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Twin Fawns hiding in the brush

    Terri, I think they are beautiful photos.. Pretty special peeking out from behind the grass. I also think you blurred the background nicely... Thanks for sharing.

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    Re: Twin Fawns hiding in the brush

    Very cool, Terri. Sometimes the technical aspects have to be compromised due to circumstances. I for one am glad that you shared your experience. That must have been awesome to see these little guys. I've spent countless hours in the woods, hunting in my younger days and then with camera, and one thing I have never come across is a fawn hiding in cover. I've seen them afoot but never bedded down. Congrats on the experience and thanks for sharing.

    Regarding the shakiness with squatting etc, I have only one word for you..... monopod. I have one that is designed to be used with a rifle. It has a pistol grip at the top and you squeeze a trigger to extend/shorten it. It came with a v-shaped rifle rest on top attached via standard 1/4 in threads. I used it like that for a while but now I use it with a ball head which I simply leave loose to allow swivelling/pivoting. I also use a quick connect mount so it can be disconnected rapidly if desired. Works good.

  4. #4
    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Joe

    Re: Twin Fawns hiding in the brush

    Great capture and images Terri. You and I have the same problem regarding crouching, creeping and laying down, years to do take their toll. After reading your commentary I wondered why the manual focusing. DSLR's are not the best to manual focus. They do not have the ground glass prism that SLR's had. I use manual focusing to get it close then I turn it over to autofocus. Anyways, beautiful capture and a time to remember.

  5. #5
    PRSearls's Avatar
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    Re: Twin Fawns hiding in the brush

    A very nice set of photos. Sometimes you don't have the time to set everything up. I think you did very well. A few years ago, we had triplets like this one in our back yard. I didn't get a very good shot of them before they left, at the urging of their mother. Sure cute.

    Paul S

  6. #6
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Twin Fawns hiding in the brush

    Thank you Christina and Paul for the nice comments and for taking the time.

    Dan, thanks for your comments as well. There is no telling how often we have probably passed fawns without knowing it. As I was moving toward them, trying not to make eye contact, I kept losing them. First they were there, and then they weren't! Nature has really provided good lessons for them on how to stay safe. When they spooked, they didn't go far although they did get out of my sight. Quite a while later, mom returned and they came bounding up the hill for a meal. I'd already put the camera away so I just stood and enjoyed the moment. Great idea on the monopod. I have one but don't have a head on it yet and I forget about it.

    Joe, thank for your comments also. Yes, I do miss the old 35mm manual focus spot! The reason I was manually focusing is because of all the grass, shrubs etc that were in front of the fawns. The autofocus kept catching on those things. I might have been able to change the focus point to an ear or something but I'm not sure.

  7. #7
    Digital's Avatar
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    Re: Twin Fawns hiding in the brush

    Terri, great photos.

    Bruce (wanna-be wildlife photographer)

  8. #8
    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Re: Twin Fawns hiding in the brush

    Terri, really nice shots. They are cute! I know all about the conditions you described. Wildlife / nature is a challenge, for sure, but that's part of the reason it's so rewarding when you get nice shots.

    You may know this already, but for the sake of helping anyone that may not... on the 7D, there is a feature called "spot AF" which allows you to turn your focus points into "pinpoints." This is fantastic and I use it all the time. It lets you thread the needle with your focus, through grass and branches, a lot better than the normal focus points, anyway. Obviously you would want to select only one focus point. Generally I use the center focus point with BBF and then recompose.

    For spot/pinpoint AF, I forgot which custom function it is, but I recall it is kind of confusing to set up. There is a menu where you put checkmarks by the focus point options you want, but you also have to select "enable" or your checkmarks don't do anything! It's crazy because I thought I was using some of the extra focus point options for quite some time and then I realized it wasn't enabled, and suddenly it made a lot more sense. Boy did I feel stupid. But anyway, once I enabled the other options such as spot AF and focus point expansion, etc, I am loving them. If you haven't learned or used these, read your manual and set that up. The point expansion is great for BIF.

    Monopods are great if you have a sturdy one and a good head on it. IMO most people use monopods incorrectly. The common belief and most obvious usage is holding it in front of you like a pole. That would be the worst way to use it since you have no lateral stability. The method I use can be found in a video on the bottom right of this page: http://www.carolinawildphoto.com/podtechnique.htm (although I have a different monopod and much smaller lens, the technique is the same for all gear. The key is angling the monopod properly, leaning it against your inner thigh at an angle. Seems silly, but if you practice it and get the feel for it, you'll see it really is way more stable)

  9. #9
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Twin Fawns hiding in the brush

    Matt, sorry I'm late responding on this but I wanted to thank you for the tip on the pinpoint AF. I did not have my camera set there as the manual said it made focusing more difficult in some situations that I thought applied to me. I changed it and tried it and like it better. I like it more if I'm using a tripod.

    Another reminder that when you get a new camera, read the manual. (which I did) And when you get somewhat comfortable, read it again. (which I did) And when you think you've got it down, read it again. There's more to learn after your level of understanding rises. Some things make sense now that didn't really in the first (or second) reading.

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