I have been keeping an eye on the far side Levee, I caught sight of a furry animal running amongst the rocks and weeds. I have watched animals over there for several years being able to capture one image a few years ago. Yesterday I had a much better opportunity to do so, I was not caught off guard for a change.
I was expecting to see a Weasel, Mink or Chinchilla; what was on the rocks took me by surprise a bit. Ground Squirrels were running around atop the Levee, they blend in with the background. They were fairly easy to spot through my viewfinder with my 400mm lens, following them was a bit tougher. I decided to experiment by taking my settings off of one spot, choosing Manual Select Zone AF I proceeded to take pictures. I took 88 shots, keeping about 40 which is above my goal of 10 percent. It did not have anything to do with the focus selection as much as it did having a stationary subject.
I do not like that zone setting, this morning I returned to single point manual. The manual select zone AF is far too arbitrary for my taste, I cannot for the life of me figure out what it is focusing on. None the less I shot the entire set of Ground Squirrel pictures on that setting; every photo appears just a taste out of adjustment to me. As in the picture above the entire image including the rocks is a bit blurred. I may try that setting on flying birds against the undesirable deep blue sky background. That way there will be nothing behind the subject to confuse the camera which at times is smarter than I am.
The photos came out just OK, good enough for a story blog but not so to post in a gallery or enter into a contest. When the judges have to cross their eyes to make out the subject it kinda places the heeby jeebies on ones chances to rank high. A contestant definitely does not want to give anyone a headache from a picture.
I don’t like Ground Squirrels for a lot of reasons, the main one is I had a job years ago titled “Vector Control”. The largest part was eliminating over 1,000 of them in a 200 acre pasture. That is enough about that, all of the negative thoughts you are having are most likely pretty accurate. I will not be taking any more pictures of them or writing any more blogs about them if I can help it.
Jacques Lebec Shutter Flutter