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Thread: Less than Bashful Arctic Fox Pups

  1. #1
    Member Floyd_Davidson's Avatar
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    Default Less than Bashful Arctic Fox Pups

    A polar bear was cruising the Browerville (eastern) side of Barrow yesterday, but I have no pictures because I was safely camped down the beach on the west side of town, looking for wildlife...

    Amongst other things (owls, a walrus, and seals) we spotted 5 Arctic fox pups on the cut bank of a lagoon. So while everyone else watched (quite soon with considerable awe), I tried to see how close I could get. It turned out... One of the pups came up and circled me two or three times at a distance of about 12 feet! Eventually I walked right up to their denning area, and took these images (the time interval from the first to the last is about 50 seconds, and there were several other images that are as good nearly as good as these).








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    The first one is real nice, and my favorite. The dark background works on its favor.

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    Nice pics, but what's up with the post processing? The blur/sharpness thing that's going on with their feet does not look natural at all.

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    Member Floyd_Davidson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zissou View Post
    Nice pics, but what's up with the post processing? The blur/sharpness thing that's going on with their feet does not look natural at all.
    I would not suggest enlarging any of the images I post on the Internet! :-)

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    Floyd, what I believe he is referring to is the foot of the fox on the third photo, which may be the result of a slow shutter speed, coupled to the background lighting (sunlight) that is projected toward the camera, perhaps within an angle of 90 degrees or so. I could be wrong, of course.

    But the first one is beautiful.

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    Member Floyd_Davidson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayfromAK View Post
    Floyd, what I believe he is referring to is the foot of the fox on the third photo, which may be the result of a slow shutter speed, coupled to the background lighting (sunlight) that is projected toward the camera, perhaps within an angle of 90 degrees or so. I could be wrong, of course.

    But the first one is beautiful.
    I assume that's what he is referring to. And your analysis is absolutely correct. The Exif data is included with the images, so anyone can look at it. The shutter speed was 1/160, and the animal was moving. The panning movement of the camera isn't much except for that foot, which I certainly do not find objectionable. (In fact, if something is moving it usually looks strange if there is no motion blur... Foxes don't stand like that with one foot out there in front of them!)

    Regardless of that, the comment about enlarging is one to take serious. I make an effort at processing in such a way that hopefully limits the usefulness of the images posted to merely looking at them on the web, though I don't always manage to accomplish that. For example, I downsize them rather than post a larger image and allow the server to downsize it for viewing. Things like bluring, sharpening and USM are all done with the downsized image specifically with the intent to make it correct at that size and too much or too obvious if it is enlarged.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RayfromAK View Post
    Floyd, what I believe he is referring to is the foot of the fox on the third photo, which may be the result of a slow shutter speed, coupled to the background lighting (sunlight) that is projected toward the camera, perhaps within an angle of 90 degrees or so. I could be wrong, of course.

    But the first one is beautiful.
    I'm referring to the first photograph. It just looks unnatural for the grass to be blurry under and around his feet, but the grass going over his feet is sharp, with jagged edges. I don't think it's a DOF/focus issue because the fox is tilted toward us, and the grass under him is blurry as well until it gets to his back feet. So at all four feet the grass looks out of place. I know it's a real photograph and I'm not questioning that, it's just whatever post processing he has done has made the feet almost look like they were cut out. But he didn't ask for C+C, I was just pointing out that it was noticeable.

    That or maybe I'm just seeing things. Anyway don't mind me, I wish I could get close to some foxes.

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    Member Floyd_Davidson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zissou View Post
    I'm referring to the first photograph. It just looks unnatural for the grass to be blurry under and around his feet, but the grass going over his feet is sharp, with jagged edges. I don't think it's a DOF/focus issue because the fox is tilted toward us, and the grass under him is blurry as well until it gets to his back feet. So at all four feet the grass looks out of place. I know it's a real photograph and I'm not questioning that, it's just whatever post processing he has done has made the feet almost look like they were cut out. But he didn't ask for C+C, I was just pointing out that it was noticeable.

    That or maybe I'm just seeing things. Anyway don't mind me, I wish I could get close to some foxes.
    You are not imagining things! That is indeed intentional post processing! It's a matter of taste, of course, but I slightly blurred everything except the fox. It keeps the viewer's attention focused on the fox rather than all the harsh detail of grass etc. I might print that particular image, and if I do I'll probably have to do a lot more work on those feet, including either bluring or just cloning out the blades of grass that are in front of the paws.

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    Really nice shots Floyd! I'm envious, would really like to get a chance at photographing Arctic fox.
    http://www.pbase.com/tull777

    http://www.eddiefisherphoto.com/


    "If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out. ....."Tight Lines & Best Fishes"

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    Quote Originally Posted by tull777 View Post
    Really nice shots Floyd! I'm envious, would really like to get a chance at photographing Arctic fox.
    Barrow is a photographer's delight! Not that there are more things to photograph here, because that probably isn't true... but the things one can photograph here are uncommon and in many cases very special!

    I didn't previously have a good picture of an Arctic fox, and just like you I was envious of those who have gotten the chance. Actually, I still want to get a good picture of an adult hunting lemmings under the snow when the wind is blowing! I've seen pictures, and I've seen lots of foxes (when it's dark they show virtually no reaction at all to being illuminated by the lights from a car or truck, and if you catch one in your lights it's a great experience to sit and watch them), but I've yet to be in a position to photograph one in that way.

    The ones I have taken pictures of, in October, didn't work out well. I can drive out of town and at that time of year it is white but the foxes are not, so they are easy to spot in the evening when the sun is low. But by that time they apparently have all been shot at. I can watch them without much effect, but pointing a camera lense at them causes them to take of like a shot!

    That's why that bunch really surprised me with their reaction. But they are a good ways out of town too, so they haven't seen a lot of people yet.

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