Photographing all the cute critters this spring

Getting among cute critters this Spring, it’s not just about photographing them, but enjoying the experience and reacting with them on their level. On a recent outing to local botanic gardens, I was so fortunate to interact with a South Brown Bandicoot. These curious little critters were happy to pose for me.

The experience

I am so fortunate to live in Australia, we have some super cute and rather strange marsupials (animals). There are the ones most people know, the kangaroo and the koala, but I live in suburbia and to be brutally honest, we rarely see many of Australia’s iconic animals. When it comes to some of the lesser-known ones, that is even a rarity for us Aussies. Sadly so many feral animals that are not native are destroying the habitat of so many of our smaller species.

So to be able to view several Southern Brown Bandicoots in their home territory, which is totally protected is an exciting experience. They were curious, they were oblivious of my presence to some degree. At first, I was happy to just watch them. I didn’t want to scare them off or startle them. I actually saw five or maybe six different bandicoots this day. They were more interested in food than me and my camera.

Capturing and engaging with cute critters

I was very happy just to observe, but I finally remembered I had my camera with me. I slowly lifted my camera and started to capture them. I had my camera on silent shooting, but I doubt that they cared. I didn’t move initially, I allowed them to come to me and they did. I had my Tamron 70-300mm lens, but they actually came too close! Thankfully I had my second camera with the Tamron 28-75mm lens as well. I was also shooting on a midrange burst mode. As is often the case small animals can move quite quickly when they want to. I was shooting on Aperture Priority on f/6.3 to get as much as possible in focus and using Auto ISO and a minimum shutter speed of 1/125 seconds.

Leave no trace

As the days are getting longer and the weather warming up, these cute critters are coming out of their burrows and exploring the world around them. Depending on where you live, I am sure you have cute critters local and native to you. Squirrels, deer, or maybe even monkeys (saw great monkeys in Bali!). Be in the moment, enjoy the experience and appreciate the interaction. But leave no trace. Whenever you are enjoying nature, please enjoy, but leave no trace you were ever there. Let the animals enjoy their own space without human interference. Observing without distraction is the aim here and a zoom lens is great for that.