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Why I love spotlighting!

June 18th, 2010

Spotlighting is awesome! Whether it’s a freezing cold winter’s night – when the weak stay at home or whine about how cold it was later – or a warm summer evening when sweat pours off me as I stay focused on finding more elusive critters. There are many animals that live after business hours, and some well after that, depending on the time of sunset and total darkness. In summer, most spotlighting would start between 20:00 and 21:00 (8pm-9pm for the dummies 😀 ) but winter’s king for early starts as today as I am typing, by 18:00 the land was enveloped by darkness.

I have many favorite locations to engage in this exciting activity. From Cattai National Park to Warrimoo in the Blue Mountains and any spot with bush and trees in between. The locations often dictate what species are more prevalent than others. When I want to show a particular species to a good friend whom I trust not to blabber their mouths to the rest of the world, I often know which location would be best visited to deliver the goods – or so to speak.:) have seen snakes, lizards, owls, nightjars, lots of obscure insects, mammals and marsupials all at one spot and spread out among many of them too. Some nights are fabulous and few are mediocre. Even my most favorite spot at times stays a little quiet, which is understandable. But more often than not this spot turns up the good stuff! Where is it? Be assured that those I know whom I can trust know already. 😀

Let me share a few of my fave images from spotlighting adventures. Most of my settings on the camera are the same. I use manual mode, usually ISO400, anywhere between f/5.6-11 for larger animals like mammals. For close-ups I generally stop aperture right down and use my trusty Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 macro lens.

In the case of close-ups, I need to maximize my depth of field, which is not as big a deal when you are using a super telephoto for a larger animal such as a possum and shoot from a little further from the subject. Anyway, enjoy these images of my local night time gangsters.

Wishing you wonderful light!

Ákos

European Red Fox

Common Ringtail Possum

Red-crowned Toadlet

Southern Boobook

Eastern Barn Owl

Nature Photography

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