Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's Their Natural Defense

We live in the suburbs, but pretty near the edge of any kind of dense population. To the north of our subdivision is miles of Forest Preserve. To the south, until they built the Auto Mall, it was cornfields for miles once you crossed the edge of our subdivision two hundred yards away. Now it's an Auto Mall and cornfields. So we get critters. Possums. Raccoons. Deer and coyotes in the Forest Preserve. Most of them don't get too close to the house, except the possums and the raccoons. Possums I despise. Raccoons I also despise but I do admit that they are cute. And I have no objection to putting them to work.

Namely, trying to get some cute pictures of the ones who live in a nearby garage to sell for stock. A sample from tonight:

The mother had just left the babies to go and look for food and water when I took this picture. I used a 300mm zoom lens and a flash enhancer called a "Better Beamer," which was invented by the husband of a friend of mine. It's a collimator - it refocuses the light from the flash to help illuminate objects which are too far away to be illuminated by its normal dispersion pattern. Works pretty good, huh? That picture was exposed at ISO200, 1/200s (that's my camera's maximum sync speed) at f16 - essentially, a daylight exposure. It was almost full dark - I could not see the babies through the viewfinder at all. But if anything, I had a little too much oomph.

It was the first time I'd used it... I will have to play with it some more.


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