Gorgeous is Foxy

Bristolero

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
May 15, 2017
Messages
625
Location
Alaska/New Zealand
She eventually got to about 15 feet from me and that is when the fun began.

View attachment 789796Gorgeous 013 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

View attachment 789797Gorgeous 014 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

View attachment 789798Gorgeous 015 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

View attachment 789799Gorgeous 016 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

View attachment 789800Gorgeous 017 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

After getting to about 15 feet she started jumping around, getting low to the ground and often sticking her nose into the snow. It really reminded me of a puppy trying to get someone laying on the ground to play with it (the other photographer came to the same conclusion as me about her behavior). She jumped around and did this for a couple of minutes before taking off when a cyclist came down the trail.

View attachment 789801Gorgeous 018 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

View attachment 789802Gorgeous by Phocal Art, on Flickr

It was also at this point that I wished I had brought the 2nd EM1 with the 150/2 attached to get full body shots. After she took off a couple other photographers showed up and we chatted for a bit and she finally made a cautious return visit.

View attachment 789803Gorgeous 019 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

It wasn’t long before she came out into the open.

View attachment 789804Gorgeous 020 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

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View attachment 789806Gorgeous 022 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

View attachment 789807Gorgeous 023 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

Finally she trotted off down the trail to disappear for the day.

View attachment 789808Gorgeous 024 by Phocal Art, on Flickr
One thing I love about my job is the non-standard work schedule and the ability to have week days off. Well I had two days off in a row and the weather report a week out had both days being sunny. Needless to say I was really looking forward to getting some great shots of the Foxes in sunny conditions with the bonus of actually having snow on the ground.

But......................

Ended up with cloudy and snowing................

I wasn’t looking forward to the overcast skies because I knew it would push my ISO up, possibly beyond my comfortable limit. Snow is just rain in a different form and while living in Texas I had developed a love of shooting in the rain. So as I headed out that first morning I was hoping the snow falling would add that little bit of pop to the photographs to help overcome the higher ISO’s.

I arrived a little before sunrise and the female (who I have named Gorgeous) was already out doing what Foxes do in the morning. It was way to early to shoot, so I watched her for about 45 minutes before she disappeared in the woods. During that time another photographer showed up and we spent some time chatting before I decided to walk down the trail to a pond that a pair of Bald Eagles like to hunt, their nest is somewhere nearby (I haven’t really looked for it yet).

The eagles were not around and when coming back I noticed the other photographer down the trail pointing his camera into the woods. I was a good ways off so I started to slowly move forward. I got about 95 yards (distance is per EXIF) away and moved off the trail, down the bank (the trail follows a creek) before laying down to watch the Fox. What happen next is something I should have expected but wasn’t really thinking about, I was just wanting to get my typical low perspective.

View attachment 789784Gorgeous 001 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

Over the years I have noticed that animals who are habituated to humans (especially their young) get really interested in a human when they lay down. I can only assume it’s because they are use to seeing humans walk by, but laying down on the ground is not a normal behavior. Since they are not really afraid of humans, this unusual behavior makes them curious. Especially if they are an animal that is curious by nature, like the Red Fox. Once she noticed me laying down, her curiosity got the better of her and she came out on to the trail and sat down to watch me.

View attachment 789785Gorgeous 002 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

It didn’t take but a minute before she decided to investigate the strange behavior of the human and she headed my way.

View attachment 789786Gorgeous 003 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

I moved a little to get into a better shooting position and it spooked her. Not enough to take off, but enough for her to move along the edge of the trees.

View attachment 789787Gorgeous 004 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

It was only a brief stop before she decided I wasn’t a threat and kept coming towards me.

View attachment 789788Gorgeous 005 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

View attachment 789789Gorgeous 006 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

Her approach wasn’t a non-stop trip, she made a number of stops trying to decide what I was doing.

View attachment 789790Gorgeous 007 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

View attachment 789791Gorgeous 008 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

View attachment 789792Gorgeous 009 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

View attachment 789793Gorgeous 010 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

It was about this time that I started to get a little nervous because I had no idea what she was up to. By this time she had gotten within 55 feet and seemed determined to get a lot closer.

View attachment 789794Gorgeous 011 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

View attachment 789795Gorgeous 012 by Phocal Art, on Flickr
Ronnie,
Great photos. I know the light wasn't great, but I really like these shots with the falling snow. Looks like AK in the winter! And I love the low angle perspective. Great, and I look forward to seeing more,
Take care,
E
 

Bristolero

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
May 15, 2017
Messages
625
Location
Alaska/New Zealand
It was a great experience watching/photographing her and one that I hope to have again. I did go back the next day because we actually had some sun. When I get a chance to edit the photos (only got a few) I will add them to this thread. I also went back with both cameras and lenses (300/4 and 150/2) and was able to get images with both. So stand by for the addition to the thread in a few days.

The high ISO and weather conditions sure did suck a lot of detail from the photos. But overall I am happy with them given the shooting conditions. I have also not setup my desk, so these images were editing using my TV as the monitor, so I am not perfectly happy with edits. Once I get a desk and my computer setup properly I will re-edit the ones I plan to print. I also think a few need a bit more straightening.

I guess that is about it for now. Hope to doing more posting as I adventure around my new state.

As always............all comments are welcomed.

Phocal
Ronnie,
This November weather has been about the worst I can remember. Down here it has either been wet, windy, or wet and windy. Last week we had the worst easterly that my neighbor has seen in his 35 years. We lost several large spruces, and a couple fell on my neighbors boathouse. Another's boat came loose from its moorings and blew clean out of the bay, and conditions were just too gnarly to attempt a rescue. And lots of rain--at least our water tanks are full...
Hopefully things will settle down soon and we can enjoy some sun.
E
 

Phocal

Mu-43 Legend
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Messages
5,329
Location
Anchorage
I've recently realized that sitting curiosity behavior also, but not in such a location. Thanks for sharing these most gorgeous photos (such detail, color and location) and even more is the descriptiveness coming along for the ride.
It definetly works and allows the animal the choice to get closer if it want’s.

You are welcome and I am glad you enjoyed the story as well.
 

Phocal

Mu-43 Legend
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Messages
5,329
Location
Anchorage
Those are about the best shots of a fox I've seen!

I would not worry about having to go higher ISO than what you're used to using. We do what we have to in order to get our images. When you get to looking at your take on a monitor I think you'll see you haven't lost enough resolution to be bothersome.

Enjoy Alaska!
Thank you, really appreciate the comment.

ISO is always my concern, especially with m4/3. These shots were at my maximum, with a few actually going over my typical max of 1600 for wildlife. She also has this log she likes to get on so I plan to set up a flash or two and hope she moves into the right position. I am hoping they look better on my monitors, which I hope to have a desk this coming week. I sold everything that wouldn’t fit into my car or a 4x8 U-Haul trailer. Basically I only brought my camera/computer gear, outdoor gear, cloths and some of my kitchen stuff. Everything else I sold, which included 2 kayaks and 4 bikes (only brought one bike with me).
 

Phocal

Mu-43 Legend
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Messages
5,329
Location
Anchorage
Thanks, looking forward to seeing what I can find to photograph.

Ronnie,
Great photos. I know the light wasn't great, but I really like these shots with the falling snow. Looks like AK in the winter! And I love the low angle perspective. Great, and I look forward to seeing more,
Take care,
E
Thanks. The snow added exactly what I was hoping for, made them a lot better than if they were just shot in overcast conditions. If it’s going to be cloudy, I want precipitation in the air......either rain or snow will do.

I try to shoot exclusively from the eye level of my subject. Still personally believe it makes for much more engaging photographs. Every single other photographer I have seen out there photographing the foxes is standing and shooting down at them, I just don’t get it. You don’t get the separation of subject to background when shooting down, so you don’t get that beautiful blurred out background to make the subject pop.

Ronnie,
This November weather has been about the worst I can remember. Down here it has either been wet, windy, or wet and windy. Last week we had the worst easterly that my neighbor has seen in his 35 years. We lost several large spruces, and a couple fell on my neighbors boathouse. Another's boat came loose from its moorings and blew clean out of the bay, and conditions were just too gnarly to attempt a rescue. And lots of rain--at least our water tanks are full...
Hopefully things will settle down soon and we can enjoy some sun.
E
Damn, it has been way worse down your way. Hopefully it all normalizes pretty soon. I have learned where to find the white bunnies and I am hoping we get some more snow so I can go after shooting them. Not super interested in photos of them not in the snow. In the same area there have been a couple of Lynxes seen, not surprisingly since they are probably there for the white bunnies.
 

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