Written by Nina Bailey Wednesday, 03 June 2009 21:47
This image was taken on my last trip to Spitsbergen. Everybody was ashore at the time but I was the only one who got this shot, however, this time is was sheer fluke that I saw it.
We had climbed up a very steep slope to get close to a bird colony and were walking along it to get a better view, the stones were very loose underfoot and as I result I managed to twist my ankle. Now I am normally up for anything but walking along at the angle we were, was very painful and so I told the guide that I was going to head slowly down to where it was flatter and easier to walk.
As I neared the bottom of the very steep bit, I noticed something brown appear to my right from behind a bump in the ground, as I stopped and turned I saw it was an Arctic fox just standing there looking at me.
I tend to carry my camera around in wildlife sights with the telephoto lens fitted and with the camera set up ready to shoot so all I had to do was aim the camera and fire. I always carry the camera in my hand and not around my neck so it is always to hand.
By the time I had my camera pointed at it, it had started to run, but rather than away from me, its path took it closer before moving away, pausing briefly and posing in front of a mountain backdrop and disappearing down what I assume must have been another entrance to the den.
People are often surprised by the fact that we keep our cameras on 400 ISO – which they consider to be a high ISO, in fact it’s what the camera picks itself most of the time on the green square mode. They are also surprised that we shoot so much of the time on Program mode, that’s due to the fact that it works! If we had been on TV or AV mode in this situation then there is a good chance that the shutter speed or aperture would have been wrong to take the shot.
No! There would not have been time to change the settings, or even zoom the lens.
Luck had a big part to play in getting the shot, I was the only one out of 104 people on shore to see the fox, but it was keeping the camera set up for shooting that actually resulted in getting the shot and being quick to frame and fire.
The images are the full frame that was shot with one or two cropped either top or bottom to even up the framing.
The settings that the shot was taken at are as follows
The shots below are some other shots taken with the same camera, at almost the same time. Click on any shot to jump to the gallery where you will be able to see the settings that they were taken on.