Red fox sitting in the woods

Photographing wildlife is not easy. Unless you visit a wildlife park or similar, most wild creatures are elusive and difficult to find, let alone get a shot of. You can spend hours traipsing around, searching and find nothing. Then another time, when you least expect it, something will appear as if from nowhere from behind a tree or out of the water or sky.

To photograph wildlife you always have to have a camera and appropriate lens mounted, charged and ready to go. The lens choice might not be ideal but you learn to make the best use of what ever is loaded, just to capture something and hope you can crop, straighten or lighten afterwards if you’ve managed to get something worth keeping.

Aside from the challenges however, it is one of the most rewarding genres as when you do capture something, you remember afterwards exactly how it happened. There is no posing or taking multiple angles. I don’t subscribe to the ‘machine-gun’ approach of just firing the camera in the hopes of capturing something. I prefer to take one shot at a time, without disturbing the wildlife and hope I get something for my trouble.

These are a few of my most favourite moments, each one of those ‘surprises’. Each have been published in magazines, book covers and also as prints and/or greeting cards.

Red squirrel standing at tree stump

This was a good example of an unexpected moment – I was walking through the woods at Formby, walked into a clearing and there in front of me was this cute little guy with the sun just catching him. It was a glorious moment but he was gone within seconds, scampering back into the woods.

Similarly this lovely deer, who appeared from behind a hedgerow as I was photographing insects, clearly as surprised to see me as I was him. A quick refocus just captured the look of surprise in his eyes before he was off.

Young male Fallow deer emerges from vegetation
Snail exploration
Wasp gathering nectar on purple Aster