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A few days in the french vosges

a few days in the french vosges

My wife, our two dogs Turbo and Peanut and I spent a few days in the french vosges. Besides spending time with the family I had some time exploring the area.

a few days in the french vosges

A FEW SAMPLES

I wasn’t that lucky with mammals – maybe not true, as we saw wild boar. But they were very spooky as they had young ones and I therefore decided not to chase them. Remember to always respect animals specially if they are with babies.

It all started with this little guys. Male and female red-backed shrike.

a few days in the french vosges
Red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio) | Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 800

 

a few days in the french vosges
Red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio) | Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/4.0, 1/1000, ISO 640

 

For many days we had a lot of fog that made it tricky to do early morning shots as there was basically no light available.

a few days in the french vosges
Nikon D750 70-200mm f/2.8 | 70mm, f/7.1, 1/400, ISO 500

 

a few days in the french vosges
Nikon D750 70-200mm f/2.8 | 80mm, f/7.1, 1/400, ISO 500

 

The magpie’s and jay’s were all over.

a few days in the french vosges
Eurasien magpie (Pica pica) | Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/7.1, 1/4000, ISO 1250

 

a few days in the french vosges
Eurasien jay (Garrulus glandarius) | Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0| 500mm, f/4.0, 1/1600, ISO 1250

 

The redstart’s were very spooky and difficult to catch.

a few days in the french vosges
Black redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros) | Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/4.0, 1/2000, ISO 800

 

a few days in the french vosges
Black redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros) | Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/5.6, 1/800, ISO 800

 

I only spotted nuthatches once and was able to take decent photos. I love these little guys. They look like micro woodpeckers.

a few days in the french vosges
Eurasian nuthatch (Sitta europaea) | Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/4.0, 1/1000, ISO 1250

 

a few days in the french vosges
Eurasian nuthatch (Sitta europaea) | Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/4.0, 1/1000, ISO 1250

 

a few days in the french vosges
Eurasian nuthatch (Sitta europaea) | Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/4.0, 1/1000, ISO 1250

 

This little guy every now and then showed up and said hello.

a few days in the french vosges
Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/4.0, 1/1200, ISO 800

 

The gang was too fast for me. I so badly want to photograph wild boar and this would have been the chance. But again, as they were with young ones I decided not to chase them through the woods. Remember always to protect wildlife if they need protection – and with young ones they always need protection.

a few days in the french vosges
Wild boar (Sus scrofa) | Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/7.1, 1/2500, ISO 1250

 

This little guy every now and then showed up and said hello.

a few days in the french vosges
European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) | Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/8.0, 1/1000, ISO 1250

 

I saw a couple of years ago mating snails and ever since have been waiting to capture this wonderful image – until now. When I got up on a morning ready to check on the woodpeckers, I almost fell over these two.

a few days in the french vosges
Nikon D750 50mm f/1.8 | 50mm, f/2.8, 1/800, ISO 320

 

While walking through the amazing woods of the Vosges a well known sound has drawn my attention – the sound of young woodpeckers screening for food. Lucky enough the hole was not too high up but well hidden behind trees and branches. This made it very difficult to get a good angle and even more to get light. Speaking of which, light was here the biggest challenge. At no time of the day (and I checked the hole on three different days on different hours) was enough light available. The first challenge with woodpeckers and chicks is to make sure the adults are not being distracted by the photographer. I have been wearing my ghillie suit (camoflague suite) and just sat there for an hour or two without doing anything. Even in full camo, the woodpeckers noted me and in the first half an hour were a bit suspicious. However, they understood quite quick that I am no danger to them and with this have given me the permission to take some pictures. Important is to limit the sessions to a minimum a day in order not to distract to much. If you look at the camera settings you can see the light situation. In order to support a (minimum) shutter speed of 1/1600 an ISO of 4000 was necessary. I could have reduced the ISO by shooting wide open but the sharpness of such a fast moving action with all the leaves and branches that distract the auto focus would have suffered quite a bit (I of course tried).

a few days in the french vosges
Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)| Nikon D750 70-200mm f/2.8 | 200mm, f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO 2500

 

a few days in the french vosges
Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)| Nikon D750 70-200mm f/2.8 | 175mm, f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO 2500

 

a few days in the french vosges
Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)| Nikon D750 70-200mm f/2.8 | 112mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO 4000

 

a few days in the french vosges
Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)| Nikon D750 70-200mm f/2.8 | 140mm, f/6.3, 1/1600, ISO 4000

 

a few days in the french vosges
Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)| Nikon D750 70-200mm f/2.8 | 102mm, f/6.3, 1/2000, ISO 4000

 

Last but not least a very nice picture of a little fairy hunting for prey. What a love about this picture is that the white wagtail is a very common bird and nothing special at all. However if you look at it I am sure you agree with me that the picture does not look boring at all. This tells us again that we can take picture of common species and make it look beautiful.

a few days in the french vosges
White wagtail (Motacilla alba)| Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/5.6, 1/4000, ISO 1250

Let me know your thoughts

I hope this article was helpful for you. I will keep going through my archive and keep sharing my thoughts. If there is anything you are looking for, please let me know and I try to find examples to discuss.

Love an protect wildlife

Animals are awesome and need our protection. Don’t hurt, kill or eat animals. Its wrong.

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