Squirrel at Ladybower.
I am fascinated with the wildlife of the British Isles and love to photograph and paint them.
This little lady is not everyone's cup of tea. The Grey Squirrel gets bad press as it is an invader to our shores that has taken habitat that native Red Squirrels would occupy and is doing much better. My thoughts are, that if humans hadn't deforested so much of the islands there would be room enough for both.
To get a shot like this you need to find somewhere the wildlife you want to shoot is accustomed to people being around. In this case, it is a car park nestled in trees above Ladybower reservoir in the Peak District. Here, nuts and seeds are put out for the birds and other wildlife, which means you can get close, really close.
I took about 30 shots, quite a few of which featured just a disappearing tail or an empty branch. I have about 8 shots that I'm really pleased with.
I chose this one as the squirrel seems to be laughing as she carries off her hoard of "stolen booty" - peanuts to you and me :-)
It works well because the closer eye is in sharp focus with a lovely catchlight to give it life and show the form and because the the main feature - the face is in a pleasing area of the picture - technically on a third. I love the detail in the fur and the natural background. When I get round to photoshopping this image I will clone out the metal wire which holds the feeder.
What are your thoughts on your own local wildlife? Do you help it out in cold weather by having a feding station?
All the best,