Local Wildlife



Like so many others, I have been spending a lot more time close to home, fortunately, I have the advantage of several small herds of chamois living in the hills and forests around where I live.


As you may know from other blog entries, I made the decision to stick with the GFX50s as my one system and no longer switch between Fuji and Sony. Even though there is a limitation with long lenses a maximum of 350mm (277mm with 35mm equivalence) with the GFX50s, I found that I much prefer working with it. The image quality, functionality and ergonomics more than make up for the loss of focal length.


I have stuck with this decision, and since then I have only used the GFX50s, and I'm still happy with the decision. The images in this blog are all wildlife and all taken with the GFX50s.


The title image shows the main reason that I do not feel that I need a longer lens, this is the style of image that I'm looking for and the style of image that I feel is mine. Not in a possessive way, but in the way that this is the way that I see.


Of course I like to see images of creatures close up and centred in the frame, but these aren't necessarily images that I like to take. There are exceptions, but I see these as documentary images, that fit better in an identification book on local wildlife. I want to tell a story, I want to show wildlife in their environment, I want to bring across the feeling of where they are and of course, an emotion.


The title image fills these points exactly. It shows the harsh environment in which the chamois live, how they are perfectly adapted to this environment, and the fallen leaves, autumnal trees and the vertical cliff face brings across harshness and immense proportions of this environment.


The next three images show the other reason why I feel that I do without a longer lens. They are all from the same image file, and as you can see, the lack of focal length isn't an issue.


The chamois were moving with the light from the setting sun gradually higher up the cliff climbing effortlessly up a gradient that I would have found difficult with a rope. I was left in the darkening shadows below. With this image I've tried to capture the graduation of light across the cliff while showing the chamois in its precarious climb up the cliff face.


The images of the chamois were all taken in an area that I have seen them before but not at a time that I had seen them there before.


This next image is a crop, well not just your average crop, it's a tiny section of the full image. Obviously not great for a large print, but still enough for a web image. It was taken on the spur of the moment. I was preparing to leave the location for the day and had finished putting everything in the car when I noticed some far off movement. It was too late in the day and there were too many people starting to appear along the hiking trails so there wasn't any chance or time to get closer. So I took a few shots from a distance that was way too far away, just to try and see what the image quality would look like.


This image is also a crop of a slightly larger image, and as with the last image, this was also a somewhat unexpected meeting. I never find dippers in the places that I would like to see them. This was taken as usual next to a main road and from a bridge above the stream. In the second image the downward angle is more prominent, but the composition and crop of the second image gives the impression that it was taken from a much lower perspective.


Each of the images in this blog were taken at a time when I wasn't expecting to, and hadn't planned on seeing wildlife.

If you spend enough time looking a little deeper you may see a little more than you expect.