Photography 101

© Sharon Sawyer

Photography 101

Sharon Sawyer level-classic 6/30/2011 9:40:22 PM

...that the squirrels in the park might pick up my camera if I baited them with peanuts. So, I removed the chain, bagged up some fresh peanuts, found the scotch tape, grabbed my camera gear and headed out the door to see if my plan would work.

I went to a spot in the park where I had fed and photographed squirrels before. The light was good and there were no people around so I unloaded my backpack, pulled out my Ollie and gathered up my props. My little buddies were nowhere in sight so I put out a few peanuts to see if I could attract one. To my delight it didn't take long and my subject showed up. What wasn't expected was that several seagulls, crows and ducks were also interested in the snacks and we had about ten birds coming at us from all directions. I found it a fine balance between scaring them away, without frightening the squirrel away as well.

Continue in new thread. #1389429

Sharon Sawyer level-classic 6/30/2011 9:42:27 PM

The squirrel quickly ate the loose peanuts while I taped peanuts to the back of the camera and placed it on the ground near the other nuts. After a short time he noticed the camera and started to figure out how to get at the peanuts. He pushed it with his nose, put it in his mouth, held it in his paws and turned it left and right. All this time, I was busy photographing him when the unexpected happened, the squirrel got spooked and took off up the tree with my camera in mouth. LOL. I just had to laugh and so did the people that had gathered to see what I was doing. Luckily the squirrel got startled again and knocked the camera off the limb of the tree and I promptly rescued my now prized possession. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to photograph him up there, as it all happened so fast! He did return to the ground searching for more peanuts and I continued with my photo shoot. #9498359

Sharon Sawyer level-classic 6/30/2011 9:50:52 PM

He eventually removed the tape with his mouth and his paws and then blissfully ate his reward.

I learnt a lot that day about photographing squirrels. They are unpredictable so be prepared to expect the unexpected. They are fun to watch and interact with, plus they are smart... the squirrel also figured out how to remove the tightly fitting cover to the battery compartment of the camera. I didn't even notice it was there or I would have used it for the stash. If try this again in the future I'm sure I will experience a whole new and exciting adventure. :)

I also want to state, “no animals or birds were harmed during this photo shoot.” No scotch tape was digested and the tape on the squirrel's paw I removed while he was preoccupied eating peanuts. Yes, he let me get that close... he's my buddy.


Hope you enjoy my photos and my story.

Thanks for looking and have a great weekend!!!


Kitty R. Rodehorst-Hanna 7/2/2011 7:25:17 PM

FANTASTIC in everyway possible, Sharon! :-) k #9502842

Ann Coates level-classic 7/3/2011 8:26:50 PM

Love how you managed to pull this off. It certainly worked and you got some fantastic shots. #9504781

Courtenay Vanderbilt 7/7/2011 5:13:50 AM

Love your whole story and all the images, Sharon! What a wonderful idea, executed perfectly! #9513143

Sharon Sawyer level-classic 8/24/2012 11:37:32 PM

Thank you Kitty, Ann & Courtenay!!! #10289051

Christine Lobsinger level-classic 8/25/2012 9:47:04 AM

Hi Sharon, this is the FIRST AMAZING story I'd ever read here at BP...
Love your commentating and photo gallery and text!
Smiling Christine

PS you should enter this complete package in a magazine! #10289537

Sharon Sawyer level-classic 9/24/2012 12:50:45 PM

Christine, thank you so very much for your kind words and support!!! I'm so pleased you enjoyed it as it did take a bit of work to set up the photo shoot and commentary with photos. I really appreciate your feedback!!! #10336563

Carolyn Vickers 9/24/2012 12:54:23 PM

What a wonderful story! And what fun you must have had. Thanks you for the illustration as well. The photos are wonderful.
And thanks for your comments and congrats about my photo.
Good luck! #10336601

Heather Loewenhardt level-classic 9/28/2012 8:24:07 PM

Great story of what lengths a photographer will go to just to get the shot lol. Congrats and good luck on another fine finalist. #10345732

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It's only natural for a squirrel to have a camera in his paws... if there's peanuts taped to it. :)
The camera is natural and not photoshopped.

I had been thinking about June’s monthly theme, "Only Natural," and what to photograph for it when I came across Michelle Altons' moving story on squirrels titled "BIZARRE." Reflecting on what she wrote, and how I felt about my furry friends, I thought I would try setting up a few shots with the squirrels in Beacon Hill Park.

I had received this camera key chain as a gift this past Christmas and didn’t really know what I was going to do with it as it was too large for an actual key chain for me. It's one and a half inches by two inches. As I looked at it on my book shelf, I got the idea...

To read more please see discussion thread.

6/30/2011 ~ Cateogry ~ Monthly Theme ~ Only Natural

Uploaded on 6/30/2011 9:35:32 PM Editor's Pick

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