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|Category:||Animals / Wildlife|
What to shoot in December - Ian Andrews offers some advice on what to shoot in December and where to go to shoot it.
Over the last month the weather, despite the somewhat Indian summer we have had, has been getting noticeably colder. The nights and early mornings have been drawing in and will continue to do so almost until Christmas. (What is that I hear you screaming, Not Christmas already!) Any heat that is in the sun, when we get any, will have little effect on the countryside and frost hollows will stay, often, throughout the day. Shadows will stay long throughout the daylight hours and in many places, the fog will refuse to lift. This is undoubtedly Jack Frosts month!
Animals and Birds
Imagine also, having to eat food straight out of the freezer without the aid of a microwave! Even herbivorous mammals will be having a crunchy time of things. The advantage to the photographer is two-fold. Firstly it is easier to see signs of the activities of these creatures and secondly, they will be more willing to be slightly more adventurous in their search for sustenance. I have mentioned before in this column about feeding stations and that once set up, they should be maintained throughout the colder months, and now is not the time to lose your resolve. Over the next three months or so, it is vital that any stations set up are kept supplied.
Additionally, if you live in a location that you can visit a suitable area on a regular basis, say two or three times a week, then any non-processed scraps can be left out. This will be rewarded by mammals visiting the area you leave the scraps (put out in the early morning so they dont freeze too) and you can photograph them from your downwind hidden position!
Landscape and Habitat
Contrasts are also a tool that can be used to your advantage with coniferous trees and shrubs mixed in with the deciduous varieties holding snow off the ground and keeping the woodland floor clear of snow that can be feet deep a few meters into the clearings and fields. Mist and fog can add atmosphere to a scene that would be extremely difficult to replicate accurately in Photoshop!
Despite the cold, make the effort to get out in the countryside this month, wrap up warmly and pack a spare set of batteries, preferably in an inside pocket, and look for the patterns in nature as well as the spectacular colours of the mornings and evenings.
This brings us to the end of the wildlife year, one that has passed very quickly for me and I hope has been worthwhile for you all. A dozen articles totalling around 10,000 words, some 60 odd pictures, plus a few from some friends to whom I am extremely grateful, have gone into this column.
If any one of you would like to let us all know what you get up to over your photographic year, perhaps on a different subject, Im certain Pete would love to hear from you. For now, I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous New Year.
|A year of wildlife
This month I have chosen a few of my favourite images of the last twelve months and give the reasons why I chose them