Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Alverstone Mead Hide

Hey there photography peeps.

As you can see, I've had some fun recently photographing red squirrels. It all came about from a holiday in Center Parcs where a forest ranger there told me about how abundant red squirrels are on the Isle of Wight.

We all as my father-in-law lives there and I knew I would be going there soon, I did a bit of research and found a hide at Alverstone Mead that apparently had an abundance of red squirrels using the feeders. The hide has a wooden walkway to it and as I was walking to it, red squirrels started popping their heads up to greet me!

They were tricky to photograph as they wouldn't stay still for that long and ended up coming so close to you that you would struggle to get all of them into the picture! My big problem was getting the images sharp. Photographing on a cropped sensor using a 70-200mm lens meant I had to use an f-stop of around 11 in order to get the animals sufficiently sharp. That was tricky considering it was an overcast day. I had to boost the ISO to 800 in the end and got some satisfactory shutter speeds.

My personal criticisms of my photos of these squirrels are: 1) the backgrounds aren't focus enough and 2) I crop my photos too tight missing off bits of the squirrel like its ears or tail! You can see more of my squirrel photos at: Please go on to the photos and leave any constructive comments you like. I appreciate honest feedback.

The hide is a wonderful place to go to so make sure you visit it if you are ever on the island. Type Alverstone Mead Hide into Google and you should get a location map of where it is. Otherwise, just send me an email and I'll send you more info!