1 Jun 2014

Remote camera mission

Over the past few weeks I have been trying to perfect my 'remote camera' work. I have been using my older 40D body, along with an inexpensive EF-S lens, to try and capture an up close and personal view of the Brown Bears. After two failed attempts due to snowy conditions, frozen equipment and obviously, dealing with wild animals, I was finally able to achieve - to some extent - what I set out to capture. 

Third time lucky

The above image was taken at approximately 22:00. I used the TV (shutter speed priority) function on my body, to ensure that the shutter speed was sufficient enough to hold the detail sharp, even with the movement of the animal (1/100 sec). Due to my 40D using a prehistoric image processor, 'low light capability' is something of a dream. I manually set the camera up for ISO 1250, which after testing seemed the highest I could get away with, before destroying ALL of the detail in the RAW files. Due to using TV mode, the aperture was left to fluctuate along with the available light, this was necessary as the Bears can come at any time, along with any amount of light. My best case scenario was that a Brown Bear would arrive in 'good' light, so that the camera would have to 'stop down' to achieve the correct exposure. As I had manually focused to a distance I felt was likely, by the camera stopping down - due to a good level of ambient lighting - the plane of focus would be deeper, and thus, more likely to keep the animal in focus.

Big foot

One morning after spending a night in the forest hide, I decided to take a quick walk deeper into the forest to search for some nice tracks on the fresh snow. I found a large collection of tracks from; Bear cubs, Wolverine and adult Bears ranging in different sizes, one trail of prints in particular caught my eye. This was likely to be Brutus' hind paw track, just by looking at the shear size of the print. I can now fully understand the legend of the Bigfoot if you were to see these tracks in the middle of the wilderness, and even slightly resembling a human track. In terms of size, my boots are UK 12 / EUR 47, so you get some idea of the mass of this animal.

Frozen in time
Brutus please, it is not a toy