Tiny Dancer – 180/365

The UK was boiling hot all over today, and we took the chance to take a picnic to one of the local parks for the afternoon.

The park we went to is great, it’s just the other side of Frodsham, and it’s got two play areas, a bowling green, foot ball pitch, ice cream cafe, art studio, ponds, tress and squirrels! It’s a great place, and it’s where I’ve photographed squirrels before, in the blog post “Small Wonders“.

Back then I struggled with my long lens, my Tamron 70-300mm, so I decided to take my camera on our picnic and have another go at photographing the squirrels.

The spot we chose to picnic at, was just on the edge of the woods, so offering some sun and some shade should we need it.

It also had a tree cut down to about three feet near by; this was ideal to hatch my squirrel photo plan………

My plan was to get some nuts, and set my camera on a little patch of them where the squirrels could ind them. I couldn’t get any nuts however, but I could get a flapjack, and with it being oats and honey, I thought it would be a nice treat for the squirrels.

I set my camera up a few feet from the log, sprinkled some broken up flapjack on top of it, and went back to enjoy our picnic.

Amazingly, it didn’t take long for the first squirrel to arrive, and I got a couple of good shots in between the girls scaring them away.

55mm – f/5.6 – ISO400 – 1/60 shutter

I was really pleased with the shots, and I took quite a few.

It was tricky though using my 18-55mm lens, because I was literally a few feet away, and the girls wanted to join me, but weren’t quite stealthy enough for the squirrels liking.

So, I bit the bullet and put my long lens on.

Leaning from my previous experiments, I set the aperture to f/11; and, I got some shots that I am really pleased with!

300mm – f/11 – ISO400 – 1/13 shutter

Squirrel shots done, and picnic devoured, we went off to let the girls have a play on the play ground and grab an ice cream.

That brought us close to the old house, and the chance for a few more photographs…..

Amazing family day, and I am so pleased with both my close range, and long(er) range squirrel shots.

I think the squirrels enjoyed it too, when I wasn’t photographing them they were pinching bits of flapjack, running off and playing all over the park around us. They even came right past us a few times chasing each other. It was so nice to see.

300mm – f/11 – ISO400 – 1/15 shutter

Learnings – I’m slowly coming to appreciate the intricacies of my “long lens”, and whilst it’s not the easiest to get sharp shots with, the distance it gives when photographing things like squirrels, is pretty useful.

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