Beaver, Yellowstone NP, Summer 2007

Beaver, Yellowstone National Park, Summer 2007

This was one of the fattest beaver I had ever seen, and certainly the friendliest. On a tip that the beaver frequented the same spot on the shore at the same time every day, I watched for it three times. The first time I was on a tripod with a telephoto lens, but it was so unafraid of me that it came much to close to photograph–so close, in fact, that it was at one point standing on my foot, at which point I stopped trying to be still and startled the animal so much that it left. The second time, it showed early, and I missed it. The third time, I put on my 100mm macro lens and lay down on the ground, to avoid the problem of the first time, but still I had trouble with the animal coming too close, even after I retreated several times.

To compound the problems associated with depth-of-field at close distances, the animal was late this time, and the light was fading, necessitating a lower shutter speed and larger aperture than I would have preferred, making for a lot of missed frames.

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