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Set Your Camera Like a Trap

Category: Ix On The Trail With Your Camera

Find the spot frequented by the animal or bird you are after, wait for
it to go away of its own accord while confident and unfrightened, then
set up your camera like a trap where the lens will point to the place
the bird or animal will probably occupy upon its return.

If it is a nest it will be easy, for you can be sure the bird will come
back there and can adjust your camera to take in the entire nest. Where
there is no nest, sight your camera upon some object between which and
the lens the creature must come in order to be within focus, and trample
down any undergrowth that may obstruct the view. Make sure that your
focus is correct for the distance and that the film will take in the
whole animal. You can provide for this by staking off the probable size
of the animal at the place where you expect it to stand, and then
looking in the finder to see if both stakes are in focus. You will
probably have to raise the camera from the ground and perhaps tip it a
little. For this a low tripod is best but if you haven't that, and very
likely you will not, a convenient log, stump, or stone will answer the
purpose. If even these are not handy you can build up a stand of stones
or small logs, or pile earth into a mound. Whatever material you use,
the stand must be made strong and firm. To have it slip or slide is to
lose the picture. Make your camera perfectly secure and immovable on the
stand, then tie a long cord to the release (the small lever which works
the shutter). The cord must be amply long enough to reach to the ambush
where you will hide while awaiting your game. The ambush may be a clump
of bushes, a convenient rock, or a tree behind which you will be
concealed. If there is no such cover near you can make one of brush and
branches. When the cord is carried from the camera to the ambush hide
the camera with leafy branches, leaving a good opening for the cord to
pass through to prevent it from becoming entangled. Then hie to your
cover and, with the slightly slack cord in your hand, await the coming
of your game.

Next: Taking the Picture

Previous: Shutter Speed

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