Who’s stalking who?

While I like to think I’m an open book when it comes to photography genres, I have to admit that I’m far more comfortable taking certain shots than others. Not wholly based on my skills, but more a case of me being able to connect with the subject, I’m sure later on in this post I’ll regret wording it that way, but that’s how I feel about it right now.

One subject matter that I’m eagerly working on is portraits; having to photograph a wedding is maybe still something that unnerves me for now though. I’d say I’m a sociable type of person, easy going and comfortable arounds people I’ve only just met. However, give me towering architecture or quaint cottage and I’m more confident I can work some magic with it. Granted, the imposing walls of a prison with bars for windows is not going to turn out to be the most photogenic of structures, but a bit of Photoshop and a flip over to black and white may give you a gritty, moody shot.

Landscapes are also something I love and feel at home with, but they do rely a lot on the weather to complete that balanced look. There’s nothing worse than having rolling green hills, wonderfully carved rock faces and then a grey, overcast sky to pretty much ruin the whole shot for you. OK, a bank of  grey cloud can add to the atmosphere, I guess it’s what kind of feel are you going for at the time, but it can be frustrating. There is however one more subject that I will go out of my way to snap a photo of, almost to the point of feeling like a stalker; and that’s wildlife.

I’m not lucky to live in a country where I can walk out of my back door and be met with a wide open wilderness, although I do like my city life and there would have to be a multiplex cinema somewhere. But some people do have great scenery and wildlife almost on their door step and I envy them greatly. Yet that doesn’t stop me in my search for something furry and cute to fill my frame with, probably something else I’ll regret writing. I am however lucky to live near a large public park, which is literally overflowing with grey squirrels; hoards of the lovely little vermin, as some would describe them. For me, they’re entertaining, comical, photogenic and will pose for mere peanuts, quite literally.

So on a sunny day at the weekend, you may find me in the local park … hold on, how do I word this without sounding like I should be arrested? The local park is great for photographing squirrels? My latest experience though was a bit of a table turner. I started off early, well 9:00am is early for me on a Saturday, to beat the crowds of screaming children and shot stealing dogs. As soon as I’d walked in, trusty camera in hand, I was met by the inquisitive stare of a tree hugging friend.

Frank, I’ll call him, as he seemed like a Frank; decided that I was his new best friend without any question. Not only did he pose for me and work that camera, but he followed me around, from one spot to another, obviously eager to star in the next snap, or was it the peanuts that I was liberally scattering over the ground? Along the way Frank had decided to invite some of his friends on this little adventure, and 30 minutes later I had roughly eight squirrels scampering at my heels. I’d like to say I felt like the Pied Piper, but actually I started to feel like I was the one being stalked, not the squirrels, so eventually I beat a hasty retreat back to the car-park, leaving a disappointed group of peanut hungry friends behind.

Hopefully it was worth it though, here are a few of my nut driven photos:

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