Well, what a lesson that was. And what an experience.
First, the experience. It was lovely. To see a fox so close and for so long.
When I first saw the fox he was just ten feet from me and heading towards me at a walking pace. I fumbled for my iPhone and then realised that I had my camera with me. So I fumbled for that, and meanwhile the fox ducked through a gap in the hedge.
It was not bothered by me at all. It was involved in doing something and I was just scenery in the landscape.
Then my slow wit realised that I could go through the gate and follow it. By that time it was further away, but still ‘just over there’,
The clearest shot was when it stopped to deposit a scent marking – or I think that is what it was doing. I think that little scrape in the ground was already there. And then it jumped up, putting its hind legs far forward, like a kangaroo or a greyhound in full flight. Except it wasn’t in full flight; it was just setting off. It jumped up off the ground as it did so, and then landed on its forefeet.
The third photo shows the full frame that I was shooting. The lens on the camera is 27mm (about 40mm full-frame equivalent) so it doesn’t have much reach.
What A Lesson That Was
And all the time I realised that I couldn’t both shoot quickly enough and at the same time change my camera settings quickly enough to capture sharp images by increasing the shutter speed.
I had the camera on Aperture Priority, so if I could have increased the ISO quickly then that would have automatically increased the shutter speed. But the camera does not have instant access to ISO, which its larger brothers do. As you can see from the photo below, it is a tiny camera.
I have set the function button on the top plate to adjust ISO, but I don’t know the camera well enough to be able to feel it instantly. So the moral of the story is to get to know your camera.
Now that the event has passed, I have been practising with eyes closed to feel the function button on the top plate. It is pretty obvious where it is – right in the corner of the top plate – but it wasn’t in my mind’s eye when I was shooting. In my mind’s eye I could see the shutter button and the ISO dial, but what else what there? I just didn’t know.
I could have taken my eye from the viewfinder to look where the function button is, but then I would have had to put the camera back to my eye to make the change because I had the camera set up so that the changes to the ISO value are only visible in the viewfinder. And the scene was changing so quickly.
Following up on what Deb has suggested, I went back to look at the depressions where the fox had stopped. There were two depressions and they were both fox latrines, half-full of fox droppings.
In my enthusiasm I called out to a couple who were passing. As the man walked near, it dawned on me that I was asking someone to come and look at fox droppings. 🙂