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I remember the only time I was in Yellowstone. There was a female moose down on her front knees grazing. I walked very slowly without looking at her, but for quick glances through my lashes.  I made it to a large tree, stood behind it, still 50 yards from her. Took my shot, then edged slowly with my head down walking backwards. Never turned my back on her. 

She wasn’t bothered, but my heart still pounded.

Then there was the waterfall I wanted to photograph. I had a wide angle lens, so needed to get close. The bank was only about 8 feet of fairly packed mud between the water and dense woods. 

I took my shots, then on the way back, I paid closer attention to where I was walking. Before, my eye was on the waterfall.  I saw fresh grizzly tracks in the mud, with the claw marks inches from the pad prints. 

I’m not real sure my feet touched the ground as I sped back to the road, my hair standing on end. That bear had to be standing almost beside me in the cover of the woods. In my imagination!  :D  I remember telling my husband people had to be total idiots to camp there. If you have a stick of gum in the tent, they smell it.

 

In retrospect, I was probably in more danger from the moose. At the time, I was younger and stupid, but still very cautious. There were people much closer to the moose than I was. The moose ( and other snappers) were so distant in my shot I was disappointed. Oh, for a zoom lens, but all I had was a film Canon Sureshot with, I think, a 24 or 28mm lens.

Betty

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Posted (edited)

It's a coincidence that the topic of disturbing animals has come up, because I was just feeling guilty the other day when I drove into a city parking lot and was surprised to see what I think was a mother duck and her very small ducklings just sitting on the ground basking in the shade provided by a car one space over from me. I didn't want to take the time to put my telephoto lens on because I was afraid they'd disappear before I had a chance, plus I didn't want to draw attention to myself from the people in the area. So at first I rolled down my passenger window, leaned over, and took a few shots with my kit lens; but it was difficult not getting the car interior in the shot. So then since they didn't seem to be moving, I got more courageous and got out of the car and took a few shots. They still looked too distant, so I gingerly moved a little closer. They had been watching me the whole time, so I didn't think they'd feel unsafe; but I guess mama felt I got too close with my last move. She turned her head and communicated with her children, and everyone slowly got up and ambled underneath the car. I felt guilty for having disturbed their chill time just sitting out unprotected, feeling carefree enough to be in the middle of a lot enjoying the beautiful day. And then the whole family had to relocate under a greasy car because of me! I hope they moved back after I left.

 

So now if a similar situation happens I'm going to take a few medium shots with the kit lens, then stop and take the extra time to put on that telephoto!

Edited by KHA

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2 hours ago, KHA said:

It's a coincidence that the topic of disturbing animals has come up, because I was just feeling guilty the other day when I drove into a city parking lot and was surprised to see what I think was a mother duck and her very small ducklings just sitting on the ground basking in the shade provided by a car one space over from me. I didn't want to take the time to put my telephoto lens on because I was afraid they'd disappear before I had a chance, plus I didn't want to draw attention to myself from the people in the area. So at first I rolled down my passenger window, leaned over, and took a few shots with my kit lens; but it was difficult not getting the car interior in the shot. So then since they didn't seem to be moving, I got more courageous and got out of the car and took a few shots. They still looked too distant, so I gingerly moved a little closer. They had been watching me the whole time, so I didn't think they'd feel unsafe; but I guess mama felt I got too close with my last move. She turned her head and communicated with her children, and everyone slowly got up and ambled underneath the car. I felt guilty for having disturbed their chill time just sitting out unprotected, feeling carefree enough to be in the middle of a lot enjoying the beautiful day. And then the whole family had to relocate under a greasy car because of me! I hope they moved back after I left.

 

So now if a similar situation happens I'm going to take a few medium shots with the kit lens, then stop and take the extra time to put on that telephoto!

For what it is worth near me there used to be a mummy duck who chose to have her nest in one of the flowerbed divider strips in a supermarket carpark.  The one closest to the supermarket and furthest from the river obviously.   She would get nearly stood on by people - who would then dash to the supermarket to let them know they had a duck nesting.  They did already know (they got told a lot lol) but tried to minimize drawing attention to her by not putting up signs warning of her presence.  She was obviously comfortable very close to people - and I am guessing found nearly being stood on safer than nesting closer to the bank (animal rights in the 60s decided to release the mink from a farm - I wish they could spend some time seeing the damage those non-native little beasts do)

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Nice trip to Lands End today in Cornwall to see the sights. For overseas readers one of the attractions is a signpost pointing back to where you come from. The deal is you pay the photographer cash, he puts the name of your home town on the sign post and the mileage, takes your picture and then sends you a print by post. It's always been there. This time I saw something new. After they had their picture taken "properly" each party of tourists passed their phone's or little silver digicams to the photographer to take their picture again. I sat for 15 minutes watching this over and over again. I don't think it really means anything or it's a portent of doom, just a reflection on the way we do things now.

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Thanks, Starsphinx. I guess if there's a chance it's a regular outing for them I don't need to feel as bad. And it occurred to me that they have no idea what I'm doing when I'm standing there taking pictures -- she might think I'm just taking my time preparing an attack, and a DSLR aimed at them could look pretty threatening.

 

In general, though, animals seem to trust me, and I feel like maybe they sense my harmlessness as a vegetarian.

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7 hours ago, KHA said:

Thanks, Starsphinx. I guess if there's a chance it's a regular outing for them I don't need to feel as bad. And it occurred to me that they have no idea what I'm doing when I'm standing there taking pictures -- she might think I'm just taking my time preparing an attack, and a DSLR aimed at them could look pretty threatening.

 

In general, though, animals seem to trust me, and I feel like maybe they sense my harmlessness as a vegetarian.

I have long come to the conclusion that animals know full well the difference between gun and DSLR - and especially DSLR in the hands of someone seriously interested in their photo.  I have had woodpeckers land within feet of me in the car at traffic lights and start pecking - no way of grabbing the camera without seriously upsetting other motorists.  I have been trying to get a shot (any shot) of a jay for several years - so they only appear when I am driving, or they go from leafy branch to leafy branch and shout at me (in case I am not sure they are there) or the specialist landed directly between me and the sun.  
The favourite of all animals seems to be the pose perfectly right up until the microsecond before the shutter is clicked and then move - I have a huge collection of perfectly framed and focused twigs, branches, patches of grass, stones etc from which whatever was sat on (and had been for enough time to set up and frame the shot) has suddenly moved just as I take the shot.
Mummy duck was far more likely to be pulling your string than scared lol

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On 28/07/2019 at 06:21, Thyrsis said:

 

Our paths may have crossed!

 

We moved from London to Oxford in 1979.  When we ran our own studio Ian was interviewed on Radio Oxford by Dave Freeman, must have been mid to late ‘80’s.

 

Edit: I found our tape recording of the interview - 6th June 1984!

 

I heard David interview a photog before I went on his show. Did you have a storefront operation in Oxford? 

 

Edo

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Posted (edited)

Back in 1963 I lived in Headington in Oxford doing Photography at the Tech/Art  Scool. More recently I kept hearing about Oxford Brooks and thought they must have built a whole new University. Turns out it was my old college evolved and upgraded in several stages to become Oxford Brookes University. Some wags in The Dreaming Spires down the hill refer to it as The Early Learning Centre. How cruel! But to be fair, they have some reason to take a few shots at the "campus" at the top of the hill, I just checked the web-site for Brookes and the first images used are from the wonderful architecture down in the famous colleges. 

Edited by Robert M Estall

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4 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

I have long come to the conclusion that animals know full well the difference between gun and DSLR - and especially DSLR in the hands of someone seriously interested in their photo.  I have had woodpeckers land within feet of me in the car at traffic lights and start pecking - no way of grabbing the camera without seriously upsetting other motorists. 

 

Wild animals/birds etc. are genetically programmed to fear the human form and probably not what we might happen to be holding.   Using your vehicle as a photo hide/blind is a common technique - as well as fixed or portable/popup hides/blinds.  The moment your human shape is noticed puts the critters on high alert and likely to vacate the area.   

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I am acting like a tourist in Lincoln and area at the moment and have found the residents most accommodating, often stopping and waiting so they do not walk in front of my camera when lining up a shot.  Of course I smile and thank them and they smile back and say, "That is alright."

 

In fact I even feel at ease asking to taking photos of complete strangers. Not been refused yet either. No they did not ask for payment!😋

 

Allan

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 11/08/2019 at 11:36, Ed Rooney said:

 

I heard David interview a photog before I went on his show. Did you have a storefront operation in Oxford? 

 

Edo

Edo: We had a commercial photographic studio on the outskirts of Oxford. Ian talked about general commercial photography  and about his specialism which was car  work for several of the major brands. For example:

s-l1600.jpg

Edited by Thyrsis
added image

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21 hours ago, Phil said:

 

Wild animals/birds etc. are genetically programmed to fear the human form and probably not what we might happen to be holding.   Using your vehicle as a photo hide/blind is a common technique - as well as fixed or portable/popup hides/blinds.  The moment your human shape is noticed puts the critters on high alert and likely to vacate the area.   

Another distinguishing feature of humans is a sense of humour - and the ability to mock themselves.  

Many animals and birds are also intelligent - corvids especially do know the difference between a gun and a camera as well as having the ability to recognise individuals.  I am well aware that there is nothing personal in mother natures twists that screw up my careful plans - but I find it amusing - or I find me amusing.

And one day I damn well am going to get a photo of a Jay.

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No, I didn't hear your interview, Ian. 

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