Three years ago, I built a hedgehog house, and (more importantly) dug a gap under our garden fence, in the hope of attracting hedgehogs to our garden. And last summer, we discovered the house had been in use and we started to see them regularly, throughout the spring and summer. Well they’ve been back this year too, and last weekend, I manged to get my first hedgehog photos.
I’m still learning about them, and how much disturbance they’ll accept from me, before they run off. I started off using remote triggering, but after some problems with the auto-focusing, I discovered that they will tolerate me out there with them, provided I’m very quiet. So I’m getting used to them, as they get used to me. I’m also learning how to use a flash, having bought one with primarily this project in mind.
Originally, I had black and white photos in mind for hedgehogs, but these seem to work better in colour. In black and white, they don’t actually stand out from the surroundings particularly clearly. So I’m re-thinking lens choices and camera settings to address that next time around.
I struggled with the fairly long grass in the garden, so mowed I it last week, with this weekend in mind.
They’re not especially interesting photos at this stage. I need more practice with any species which is new to me, and learning to shoot in the dark with a flash is also a steep learning curve.
Did I mention that you should also make sure your garden has hedgehog access? It’s really not difficult. All you need to do is scrape some earth out from below the garden fence, and your local hedgehogs will find you. If you want to leave food out for them, then that’s great too. If not, then just a shallow container of water is often the best thing you can give them, for those warm summer nights.
I’m hoping to try some more photos again this weekend – weather permitting – and hope to get something a little more interesting and original over the coming weeks. I have a couple of shots in mind, and will be doing my best to get them, but only time will tell.
Post by George Wheelhouse, 2014.