Sunday, October 21, 2012

Grey Sky Hares

Its been an quiet year for hares but then again it has been a very strange year for weather.   I have certainly struggled to get any photographs of them in  sunlight but then when it shines so infrequently it is not particularly surprising that its unlikely to coincide with my visits. This one below being one of the very few taken with sunlight on a hare.

There have been two changes this year at the site where I have been visiting them over the last few years.  Firstly is the appearance of a few rabbits and secondly for the first year I have seen no leverets (young hares). Neither of these changes I see as a good sign. Despite this I have still managed to accumulate some photographs over the last few months although it has generally been under low light conditions.
A nearly but not quite boxing moment. Probably just as well for the light this day was particularly dire.

I have spent more time trying to get ground level images. A good rule in wildlife photography is to get down to your subject's at eye level. For small birds and mammals this means getting down low, very low. This has a number of effects to the resulting image in the creates diffuse foregrounds and backgrounds that isolate the subject. However, but most importantly this approach gives a photograph a much more intimate feel and a greater connection between the animal and viewer of the image. The difference can be seen between the following two photographs with the second being taken at ground level.

Anyone who tells you that photographing Brown Hares at ground level is easy is not being honest. It is very difficult getting close to the hares at their level and I have achieved this through becoming familar with their behaviour and the site through my regular visits over several years. The approach I use would not necessarily translate to success at another site.  In effect I have learnt over many hours to read a hares behaviour through its body language and how individuals are likely react to me in different situations.  Well as much as you can predict a hare anyway!

All the effort  and discomfort, as low level photography is a great way to get a bad headache from neck strain, is more than worth it. It is difficult to describe the pleasure to be gained from laying down face to face with a hare at close range and watching them go about their daily business. They are special animals and these encounters are very special moments so maybe I will share just a couple more photographs to finish off this post :)


Nancy J said...

My Favourites, ground level, with grass stalks, and those huge ears.Lovely series, and well worth any low lying in wet grass, I do like your words with the explanations.What we all need down here on what is called in NZ," Labour Day".Cheers from Jean

Dina J said...

These are very cool rabbits. They have so much more personality than the ones around my area. I love that look of the 2nd shot.

holdingmoments said...

Excellent as always Rich.
That last one is superb.

Jann said...

Wow, I love your shots of the hares!

Jenny said...

Aren't they beautiful! Superb shots, thank you so much for sharing.

El Mood said...

These are wonderful shots-haven't seen that many Hares either this year-not so good!

Rich Steel said...

Thanks for the replies. Unfortunately I heard some sad news recently that someone has been shooting these hares for fun which is illegal as they live in a public open space. So some of the animals here may no longer be around, all to satisfy some idiots few moments of fun. I had wondered why the hare numbers seemed lower. The problem is it is only a small population and so will not take many loses to tip it to extinction. The police are patrolling and I can only hope they catch the idiots in time.



Felicitas said...

These are great photos!

Felicitas said...

These are fabulous photos of hares! They brought to mind the Beatrix Potter books and, of course, Wallace and Grommit! Thank you for sharing them.
I hope the hares survived the gun-wielding brigade.


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