Weekly Photo Challenge; Reward

This week’s photo challenge is Reward, a theme that is so wide it in interpretation I had to think hard on what I would do. While brainstorming ideas a photo popped up on my Facebook feed by a fellow photographer in my city who had spotted squirrels in one of the parks. I really like photographing squirrels as they are a skittish bunch and it can be a challenge. I had photographed one in the autumn just before hibernation. I thought it would be great if I could photograph one now after hibernation.

Squrriel Reward

How does this link with reward? You may be asking yourself.
The reward was in getting the shot. Arriving at the park the squirrels were running around having a jovial time in the trees. I spent a bit of time shooting, watching and following them. Some were looking for food and one jumped up into a tree and sat still. Moving with some “grace” and “speed”, I approached him with my 300mm lens (to give him some room) and I burst shoot and moved, burst shoot and moved. The Reward for his and my patience was the photo above.

I love his eyes looking down, the sharpness of this claws/nose and the composition.
I used the shake reduction filter and Nik Define2 in Photoshop for capture sharpening and noise reduction. I then made basic adjustments in Lightroom.

I would love to know what you think of my interpretation of the challenge, let me know in the comments below.

Also check out how other photobloggers have interpreted Reward

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53 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge; Reward

  1. i agree. Photographing squirrels is rewarding. My husband and I just spend 6 weeks in Canada and loved taking pictures of them and watching them play especially in the snow. We don’t have them in Australia so they are new to us.

    • I have only just learnt that there are no squirrels in Australia, yet you also have lots of other cool wildlife we don’t have in Europe. The way they play looks really fun.
      Thanks for stopping by Max, hope you can pop back again in the future.

  2. Great reward Ben! You have got him perfectly framed in the junction of the branch with his tail as a backdrop and like you say, the sharpness of his claws and eyes is spot on. It looks like he has his reward too!

  3. Great capture, we do not have red squirrels where I live anymore, just grey 😦 Looks like we both had the same idea for this prompt, nothing better in my view than being rewarded by a good photo 🙂

  4. Great shot!! Before I read your explanation, I thought “reward” referred to the food this squirrel had procured for itself! I enjoy (and envy) the sharpness of this photo – I’m discovering that in my rush to capture most shots, I don’t pay close enough attention to where the camera is focusing or I’m moving myself and causing a slight blur to the whole frame. Thanks for sharing!

    • I was quite prepared for this but later in the day with them running around me I did miss quite a few. My tips for a dslr shooter is to use shutter priority and choose an ISO that gives you a bit of room for manoeuvre. If you use your phone or a compact camera have it in sports mode for quick animals. And hold the camera with both hands.

      • It is not to control focus but to reduce the chance of movement blur. The shutterspeed should not be slower than the focal length ie if the focal length is 300mm you should use a shutter speed faster or equal to 1/300 sec to have a sharp picture. Also because animals love fast you can set a fast shutterspeed to freeze motion without blur.

  5. Very cute. Squirrels are fun subjects. I like how sharp and soft this is. Your interpretation is nice, and I might add it seems the squirrel also has a reward in his hands, the interpretation I thought you were referring to. Well done. 🙂

  6. A great shot, after waiting and working on it in post-processing. Great clarity and I love how you framed the squirrel front and centre. It looks hungry. You’re right. Capturing a good shot requires a lot of patience. And of course, timing and luck.

    • hi Angelina, I thought it was an interesting way to view this theme. I was really lucky to get the shot and to be able to get so close. I am glad you like the picture and thank you for taking the time to comment.

  7. I LOVE this! It is a reward to get this. They are so hard to capture and this shot is so adorable. His eyes, little paws, and the all in the tree…. perfect! A reward for sure.

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