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Behind The Shot: “The Secret Life Of Foxes” By Alex Geifman—Ben Shemen Forest, Israel
In May 2013, I found a pack of foxes with cubs. The burrow was located around 15 meters from a dirt road, and I used my car as a hideout for photographing them. A week or so later, the foxes disappeared. What a frustration! It took me a month to find them again. They moved several hundred meters to another den located very close to another dirt road. Because of this closeness, the foxes got used to the bypassing cars and cyclists, and I was able to capture their behavior from my car without attracting their attention at all. At the same time, I had the flexibility to move on this dirt road with my car and select an appropriate angle for shooting.
All this took place at the hill, and fortunately, the den was located on its western slope, so at evening the light was just there! In addition, the not-so-dense forest supplied a great background. It took me around four years of scouting to find foxes at such a dream location.
The foxes stayed for a month at this new den and then moved away, but all the time were coming back to the site. I was attending the place on a virtually daily basis for more than two months. Usually I came over around 5:30 p.m. and stayed until late evening trying to grab pictures in the sunset light.
All this took place at the very crowded forest. People and cars were passing by every five to 10 minutes. So I think this kind of magic can be found everywhere, if you’re searching for it hard enough.
What is good about foxes is that they live everywhere. I shouldn’t drive for many hours just to encounter them. They’re very charismatic animals—each one has its own personality. So I never bored to observe them, let alone to photograph.
During my daily observations, I sometimes happen to see one of the cubs climbing a low tree, but never two of them. This specific time I was following two of them playing in the area. They climbed the tree, and I was ready for the shot. I looked down to check the camera setting and when I looked back at the tree, one of the foxes was hanging on a limb. I was kind of shocked and couldn’t believe my eyes. I managed to make several photographs before it eventually fell down.
Equipment and settings:
Sleeping foxes: Nikon d7100, 500mm f/4.5, ISO 250, 1/200 sec, beanbag for support.
Standing foxes: Nikon d7100, 500mm f/4, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, 1/640 sec, beanbag for support.
Foxes on tree: Nikon d7100, 500mm f/4, ISO 800, -0.3 EV, 1/320 sec, beanbag for support.
See more of Alex Geifman’s work on his Facebook page.