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Out of the shadows

Three years ago I set myself three challenges, good photos of Black Grouse, Capercaillie and Pine Marten. The first two were hard but did not take too long to achieve. The third, Pine Marten, took much longer, until this month to be exact.

I know we have a few Pine Martens in Angus and I would be very grateful if anyone could point me towards them, however I have been mainly trying over on the West coast and finally I found a B and B where Pine Martens came to the door to be fed by the owner. This image was taken in front of a tyre (wild or what) as the Pine Martens fed on biscuits.

  

Ok so this is the full story, it was raining with little light and the buggers would stand fully in front of the tyre.

To deal with the lack of light I had to push the ISO up to 3200 which I was very pleased with the results from the 7D however there is a golden rule, when working at high ISO be careful, if you underexpose the image and have to lighten the shot on the computer it will look rubbish, check the histogram and check it again!

The next issue was the slow shutter speed, 1/60th of a second with a fast moving critter and a 400mm lens is a recipe for blurred shots, however IS a good bean bag and timing the photos for when the animal stayed still for a split second helped, eventually I managed about 5 sharp images out of 200.

Lastly I used the Lightroom to underexpose the green areas of the photo before increasing the black slider. To show the difference these changes make this is the original image