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Thread: Elusive Slender Squirrel Shot

  1. #1

    Default Elusive Slender Squirrel Shot

    This is a picture of a Slender Squirrel (Sundasciurus tenuis) which I took as the animal is going about foraging in the trees for food. I took several shots of this animal but this is the clearest of the lot as the animal is apparently fast and will not keep still. Had to use a fast shutter speed and flash as the squirrel is shaded by the undergrowth. At the same time, I cannot get close so I had to zoom in from far. I used my EF 55-250mm lens. I edited by editting only the contrast and the colour saturation. I want to use it as a specimen picture. A picture which will provide the viewer information of how a slender squirrel looks like. Wondering if this is good enough. What do you guys think? Do I need a better lens for a better shot? And how is the composition, is it good or do i can do better job?. Thanks for your input.

    Picture specs is as follows:

    Camera: Canon EOS 450D
    Exposure: 0.02 sec (1/50)
    Aperture: f/5.6
    Focal Length: 250 mm
    ISO Speed: 800
    Exposure Bias: 0 EV
    Flash: Off, Did not fire

    File Size: 2.9 MB
    File Type: JPEG
    MIME Type: image/jpeg
    Image Width: 2256
    Image Height: 1504
    Encoding Process: Baseline DCT, Huffman coding
    Bits Per Sample: 8
    Color Components: 3
    X-Resolution: 72 dpi
    Y-Resolution: 72 dpi
    Orientation: Horizontal (normal)
    Software: Adobe Photoshop CS Macintosh
    Date and Time (Modified): 2009:09:18 21:41:28
    YCbCr Positioning: Co-sited
    Exposure Program: Shutter speed priority AE
    Date and Time (Original): 2009:09:12 10:04:52+08:00
    Date and Time (Digitized): 2009:09:12 10:04:52
    Metering Mode: Multi-segment
    Sub Sec Time: 34
    Sub Sec Time Original: 34
    Sub Sec Time Digitized: 34
    Color Space: sRGB
    Focal Plane X-Resolution: 2569.47608200456 dpi
    Focal Plane Y-Resolution: 2575.34246575342 dpi
    Custom Rendered: Normal
    Exposure Mode: Auto
    White Balance: Manual
    Scene Capture Type: Standard
    Compression: JPEG (old-style)
    Global Angle: 30
    Global Altitude: 30
    Copyright Flag: False
    Photoshop Quality: 12
    Photoshop Format: Optimised
    Progressive Scans: 3 Scans
    XMPToolkit: XMP toolkit 3.0-28, framework 1.6
    About: uuid:a9c3b15c-a624-11de-b726-86f115147c1f
    Orientation: Horizontal (normal)
    Metadata Date: 2009:09:18 21:41:28+08:00
    Creator Tool: Adobe Photoshop CS Macintosh
    Format: image/jpeg
    Viewing Conditions Illuminant Type: D50
    Measurement Observer: CIE 1931
    Measurement Flare: 0.999%
    Measurement Illuminant: D65
    Color Transform: YCbCr
    Flash Return: No return detection
    Flash Mode: Off
    Flash Function: False
    Flash Red Eye Mode: False

  2. #2

    Default Re: Elusive Slender Squirrel Shot

    Wow.. your shot did not surprised me, but the details are.

    Anyway, you'd taken a shot in which I'd never even get a chance to come any closer to have a good look at these little fella, lest talking about taking their pictures.

    As this photo was taken in the natural environment, I think you had done fairly well. There were few factors which were beyond your control...which are...background, subject posing and lighting.

    So, here you are very lucky, and of course credit to your reflexes. I'm not too sure...maybe in order to take a very well composed, lighted up squirrel pic might have to set up some nuts to bait them at a specific spot and then wait patiently.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Elusive Slender Squirrel Shot

    To be honest, I am not really sure myself what most of the specs in there mean. LoL! But thanks for the comment anyways... Been tracking them for sometime actually. I just snap away and choose what is best of the shots I got... During the attempts, I realize something about these creatures though. They tend to vocalise and flick their tail early in the morning and when sun is setting (dusk and dawn) and sometimes in the afternoon too during its forage. Probably establishing its territory. This is a good time and the same time I took this shot. They will stay one spot and vocalise for a brief moment and then move on still chirping away. Was just wondering if this considered sharp enough though...

  4. #4
    Member Rendell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Default Re: Elusive Slender Squirrel Shot

    Nice shot as this is probably hand held, and the light in forage is not too good.


    1. Setting a smaller aperture to capture the full details of the creature (tail portion).
    2. Set faster speed to prevent motion blur.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Re: Elusive Slender Squirrel Shot

    Just a few personal opinions on taking specimen shots.

    Good specimen shots of a jumpy creature like squirrels are really difficult to get, and what you have is pretty good. It's important to have as clean a background as possible, which you've achieved really well considering the natural setting. I always get lots of stray branches that are not OOF enough. The strong highlights above the tail is a pity. A standard specimen shot will also have the whole creature in focus, so it would probably require a side view and not an isometric view. But I would think that it is most important to have any identifying features clearly visible, so sometimes you'll just have to adjust the POV accordingly. As for sharpness, again as long as the identifying features are clear enough, it should be good enough.

    Of course, I'm assuming that you're not trying to get it on the front cover of any nature/wildlife magazines.
    My photos - see just some or all of it =)

  6. #6

    Default Re: Elusive Slender Squirrel Shot

    Thank you for the advice guys. Will try again and get a side view instead this time around Gengh and will keep in mind about the side view thingy and of course tweak around with the shutter speed and the aperture. It makes sense actually, to have specimen pictures taken side view so that all of the animal body can be seen, which is essential for identification. I totally forgot about that in the midst of trying to get a decent picture of this squirrel! And no no, not for any magazine... LoL! Not Pro enough. Heh. The background was just pure luck for me I guess.

    Ok... I know this might sound silly, but am I right to assume POV is the acronym for Point of View?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Re: Elusive Slender Squirrel Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by biodeth View Post
    Ok... I know this might sound silly, but am I right to assume POV is the acronym for Point of View?
    Oh yes, POV is point of view. Don't worry, it's not silly, I lapse into abbreviations a bit too easily sometimes even when I'm talking to people who might be new to the forum.
    My photos - see just some or all of it =)

  8. #8
    Deregistered shaoken's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Clementi/West Coast

    Default Re: Elusive Slender Squirrel Shot

    Wah! So much data of the photo??

  9. #9

    Default Re: Elusive Slender Squirrel Shot

    If, to scrutinize...the camera angle could be just lift a little maybe.. 2cm so that the subject and the branch will have a wider separation. The plus point is the outlining of high light from the mouth down, sharpness wise or actually focusing , can be more precise. Out of focus backgrd is quite good except for those white spot around the tail.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Elusive Slender Squirrel Shot

    Sure Cabby, will do. Wait for my next post... if I can find the squirrel that is. Hehe. :P

  11. #11
    Member luntut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: Elusive Slender Squirrel Shot

    good shot.

    probably next time, set to Shutter priority mode, set to 1/125 or more, and boost ISO up. the tail seems to be a motion blur artifact to me.

    its better to get noisy but sharp pictures, then non-noisy, but blur pictures. one is usable, one is not.

    could maybe also do a lil cropping, to take the squirrel off center.. and get rid of the used space at the bottom left..

    good shot nontheless.
    Fast Camera. Fast Lens. Slow Me. Sigh.
    My Flickr

  12. #12

    Default Re: Elusive Slender Squirrel Shot

    Sure Bro... I do have this tendency to shoot objects right at the center. I always forgot abt the third rule. LoL. And yes, i think the noise is evident in this one. Think that kinda make it not "The Shot" I feel. But thanks for the advise bro...

  13. #13

    Default Re: Elusive Slender Squirrel Shot

    Good try dude! I for one do not want the squirrel to be frozen and tack sharp. That would mean that it's posing for you to snap. Work on the composition and improve on the angles. As long as the eyes and the body are acceptably sharp, the motion blur on the tail would mean that the squirrel is on the move and that how I'd capture


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