Squirrel Grooming

The very first rule of wildlife photography, including squirrels, is to see the animal’s eyes.  The eyes should always be focused and sharp.  Then again, once in awhile you manage to catch a pose that you just can’t pass up.  I certainly wasn’t looking for this pose, I mean how could you even do that?

The little guy was just hanging out on a relatively low branch, relaxing and tending to some grooming.  I just happened to have a long lens on the camera, so the opportunity was there.  In a situation like that you more or less have to take the shot and hope for the best.  The result is a candid shot of an squirrel.

That day I was experimenting.  I was using the Sony A77 which is a crop sensor camera, along with a Sigma 120-400mm lens, and to top it off, a Sigma teleconverter.  That all adds up to 840mm in full frame equivalent.  That’s a lot of glass.  I had used the combination a few times before.  You can get good shots, but the slightest movement and the shot is toast.  Everything gets magnified.  And you’re never going to come close to the sharpness of a shorter focal length prime.  That’s the bad news, the good news is that when everything works, you can get a shot that is otherwise totally impossible.  Breaking the rules can be fun.


Eastern Gray Squirrel on Animal Diversity