A Few Foxes and Gannets from Newfoundland June 2019

pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooterwestern IndianaPosts: 14,417Super Moderators moderator
edited July 7, 2019 in Wildlife

My spouse and I spent 11 days in and around St John's Newfoundland recently on a Muench Workshop with Kevin Pepper and Greg Vaughn - David Rosenthal was one of the planned Pros for this trip and I looked forward to seeing him again, but he had a cold, and Greg graciously stepped in as an alternate.

I have never been to the far eastern Canada area before, so I was expecting mostly foggy landscapes and light houses, not wildlife, but life sometimes has other plans for us. We spent a day at St Mary's - a local avian preserve along the south western portion of the island, photographing gannets. The gannet colony, and offshore island, was nicely viewed from a point on shore which was slightly higher than the colony itself. This offered the opportunity to shoots BIFS from above the birds, a view we usually don't get to see - usually we see birds in flight from the side or below. I got some interesting image. which I'll post a bit later, and as we were walking out past the visitor center, we happened to see three fox kits come out from under the wooden viewing deck there, and romp in the grass among the dead wings and spines of birds there were feasting on. These fox kits were VERY used to seeing people, and not terribly alarmed by our presence in the late afternoon sun.. Opportunities to see real wild wildlife up close and personal in almost perfect light are rather rare - I speak in jest here - they are very rare opportunities indeed. Here a a couple examples of what I captured.

Artic fox kit. ISO 400 f 8. 1/1000th. 5D MK IV with an EAO 100-400 IS v2

Red fox from the same litter - there were two red kits and a a grey one with typical arctic colors. ISO 800. f 8 1/1000th

Red and grey kits ISO 320 f8 1/1000th 400mm

A couple days later were were chasing fog on the other side of the island,and heard a rumor about a litter of foxes under a shoreline storage shed, so we we went searching for it, and found it. The light was much poorer, grey, overcast, foggy even along the shore, and these kits were more "wild" and far less tolerant of people nearby or anywhere. They lived in a small community, so they were aware of people, but very cautious about them

These were shot with an EOS 100-400 v2 on an APS-C Canon 80D body at much higher ISO - ranging from 2500 and up

This first image is a red fox kit cautiously sticking its head out from under the shed to see If it is safe to come out and explore. The den under the shed was not the primary den, but a resting place away from momma we were later to learn

80D. ISO 2500. f5.6. 1/200th and has been edited with a touch of haze removal due to the ground fog present while we were there

It was a little nervous as there were 4 - 6 photographers looking for her - mostly folks from another Canadian workshop

80D ISO 800. f5.6 1/500th

I may be criticized for this image not being sharp - but the light was falling fast and the fox had decided it was time to leave and return to mama and was booking along the shore line

80D 400mm ISO 6400 f5.6 1/160th handheld - who ever thought we could shoot APS-C bodies at ISO 6400 handheld

I have lots more images here - https://pathfinder.smugmug.com/Travel/St-Johns-Newfoundland-Muench-WS-June-2019/

I encourage opinions and genuine critiques and suggestions of my image here -

Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin

Comments

  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,417Super Moderators moderator

    I almost binned this image when I first looked at it in LR, but then I wondered if it might be interesting with a touch of editing and sorting of the exposure levels - I rather like it now, even if it could be a tad sharper. - my preference for birds in flight these days tends toward Manual mode 1/2000 or whatever is needed. f8 or f5.6 unless the lens is faster which is rare Auto ISO. If the sky is bright or the bird is back lit, I will add +1 stop of Exposure comp as well. Not all cameras offer + Exposure comp in Manual Mode but my 5D Mk IV and 1 DX Mk II to permit it and I like it.

    Canon 5D Mk IV - not my usual BIF camera, so I had to make a few adjustments in its set up - mostly medium RAW to keep the buffer over flow down - ISO 100 f5.6 1/1600th. at 278mm

    I do like this image of a gannet coming in to land - ISO 500 f8 1/2000th 400mm

    Here is a typical gannet flight - image ISO 640, f8 1/2000th. 400mm

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • StumblebumStumblebum I shoot, therefore I am Posts: 7,593Registered Users Major grins

    Great series Jim! #4 is sweet and best!

  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,417Super Moderators moderator

    Interesting, I would have thought # 2 or # 3 of the fox images would be most favored. I do like all three gannet images also.

    I have several more like #4, but they all suffer from low light challenges a bit.

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • CavalierCavalier Life is a Bokeh Foresthill, CaliforniaPosts: 2,024Registered Users Major grins

    The fox series pulled at my emotions and love for the animals. Great set - can't really pick a favorite, but #3 with the extemporary poses and #5 peeking through the grass - excellent.
    And the Gannet series - the second shot (coming in for a landing) is superb! I rather like the first one with the heavy bokeh too.

  • StumblebumStumblebum I shoot, therefore I am Posts: 7,593Registered Users Major grins

    Jim, Fox series is exceptional, but if I could only have one, then #4, rest are pure joy! The Gannet shots for me have very busy background.....first one might be pretty background, but still busy......just how I perceive it.

  • JuanoJuano Major grins Brasilia, BrazilPosts: 3,619Registered Users Major grins

    Good work, on the foxes 1 and 5 are my favorites. I agree with Jo on the second gannet shot, excellent!

  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,417Super Moderators moderator

    Taz, I agree the gannets backgrounds are busier than I would prefer - but the only shoreline we could photograph from was actually about 15-20 feet higher than the gannet colony, and the cliff to our left was even higher - so It was very difficult to capture them with the nice clean backgrounds one might prefer. I almost binned the shot with all the specular highlights over the ocean surface, but on second thought, grew to rather like it for what it is.

    The foxes in the sunlight was just a gift from the capricious god of photography. Such sweet light, and such sweet cooperative subjects.

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
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