A Year Ago

A Year Ago: Groundhog, Park Mont-Royal

Thrilled about the idea to start a series of posts, published not more than once a month, in which I discuss a photo taken the same month a year ago. I am curious if I can learn something and if will help me to improve my photos today.

For my repeating sidekick column, I thought to select the most popular photo. Flickr provides a view called “Camera Roll” where I can easily browse published photos by date and where they are listed conveniently with the number of views acquired so far.

Well fed, prepared for winter arriving soon.

Groundhog (Marmota manox), August 2015

The photo of this well fed groundhog has been taken on Park Mont Royal, Montreal at a late afternoon with my 70-300mm lense. I had to wait a while until it moved out from the shadow into the sunshine, allowing me to take this picture. I am always surprised how the groundhogs in Montreal don’t really fear persons passing by. I am used to the Alpine Marmot in the Swiss Alps. From those the only thing you may notice is their sharp, high pitched alarm call before they disappear into their burrows when you are getting close.

What would I do differently? Although I waited long time until the animal moved into the correct lighting, with a bit more of patience, I should have been able to get a shot of the groundhog looking up and a bit more from the front. I don’t like the impression that the animal seems to feed on a slope [not true; but due to camera holding]. I should have rotated the crop slightly. Further, as I started to use Nik Collection, now, I would reduce saturation of the foliage and lightened up a bit more the shadowy part of the animal.

Let me know what think I could have done better!

One comment

  1. Interesting idea you had on comparing year to year and seeing how one’s photography progresses.
    One can always do better of course. Some subjects are more inspiring than others. Our groundhogs in parks are used to being observed and it is often relatively easy to approach them…very slowly though…
    Personally, when possible, I like to position myself as low as possible on the ground and wait for the subject to raise its head and observe you back.
    Nik did a good job with this software. I believe they developed it for Nikon originally and Nikon was short-sighted and let it go.
    It is not however an all-around tool and personally I believe it is best used as a plug-in in conjunction with PS CC.


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