I’m always looking for something different, so when your offered a chance to shoot some otters at night, well I’m not going to turn that down. Having never seen an otter in the wild, a few caged ones, I didn’t know how they were going to react. Even more so with chucking the flash in.
I arrived early to get a position, once I was settled in the hide, the lighting was set up. The lights were set at 45 degrees to where the subject would be, four in all, around the pond.
For this evening I had two cameras set up, there was also a chance of a tawny owl turning up, the Canon 7d2 was fitted with the 70-200, while the other Canon 1DX mk1 was fitted with the 100-400. Both would have the reach to cover both the areas. First up were the herons, they spent around an hour stalking and feeding around the pool. At times with a light mist coming of the water, others with a perfect reflection.
A few hours later the first of the otters started to show, quick swim around, eat a fish then off. The visits continued throughout the night, even two at a time. About one visit an hour, with two visits from the tawny owl during the evening.
Being able to shoot nearly water level was a great advantage, made focusing in these conditions slightly easier, also a better point of view. The lighting worked superb, one small led light to give me a way of gaining focus, then the four speedlites to light up my subject. It also gave me some great effects when capturing the droplets of water, the ones above the water line were frozen droplets, where the ones below were lines. Have a look at some of the images, the answer, the droplets are column droplets or stem droplets.. You’ll have to Google it..
I had so many amazing images, there was even one visit where I just sat and watched, these creatures are stunning. One I will be going back too, soon.