I finished trouble-shooting my SLR camera trap just a few hours before leaving for my research site in the Kalahari. The potential for environmental portraits of noctural creatures is unparalleled in the area, ranging from small antelope, through aardwolves and aardvark to leopard, lion and the Kalahari special, the brown hyena. In setting the trap, you're effectively setting up a wild studio in to which your animal must walk. I look principally for that rare congruence of an active trail for the target animal and an immediate background that conveys something of its context; the goal being to produce an intimate environmental portrait that a traditional long-lens approach would struggle to capture. Keeping the camera close to the trigger line, using a wide angle lens, and lighting the scene with wide-angle off-camera flashes that leave light levels falling off at the edges of the frame can all help to capture these quiet moments in the darkness. I was stoked with both of these images for quite different reasons. I built the trap using Emmanuel Rondeau's outstanding guide here.
WiLDiMAGES - Andy Young Photography
I am an evolutionary biologist seeking to capture something of the world.
My research frequently takes me to Africa's wild places, but much of my photography involves hunting for peculiar mammals on other continents. I have a particular interest in camera trapping and noctural photography. My two primary subjects are Humans and The Wild.
Follow me @animalsocieties
Want to fit all of this kit in to your hand luggage and then lug it around the bush in comfort at the other end? Then take a look at the F-Stop Loka. Tagging some photography on to a research trip invariably leaves me squeezing as much gear as possible in to as small a space as possible and a recent trip to the Kalahari was no exception. My experience with a new bag left me sufficiently stunned to put a note on here - this bag is a TARDIS. I managed to fit all of the above, plus a spotlight, in to my hand luggage for international and internal flights, no questions asked. Designed to fit neatly in to an overhead locker while providing the space, padding and environmental protection needed when lugging your kit in the wild, this bag does an exceptional job. It should cope equally well with the lugging of nappies, squeezy-food, soft toys and optics, all in a vomit-proof container - ideal for supporting the free-ranging antics of the grubs in the wild!
I've recently started a new photography project close to home in Cornwall. With a view to capturing some environmental portraits of elusive local mammals, I'm building a dSLR camera trap, using a great guide by Emmanuel Rondeau here. While I amass the necessary bits and bobs and break out the soldering iron and sealant gun, I've been deploying all-in-one Bushnell camera traps across some promising wild sites nearby to find the best areas for deploying the real deal once its finished. Fingers crossed...