‘Living in Harmony’ is an image that is very dear to me. Not because I’m in it but because the badgers that have been visiting neighbouring gardens for over 50 years, and I’ve been photographing for over a year now, have really made quite an impact on me. With badgers in the UK frequently coming under fire, an image that reminds us we can live side by side with our wild neighbours is more important than ever. And so having a photo that demonstrates that, gain some recognition in some way shape or form, is incredibly satisfying and a little heartwarming!
So, as a frantic start to the year came to a close, so too did the news arrive via email to inform me that this very image from my Back Garden Safari project had been Highly Commended in the Urban Nature category of the 2016 Asferico International Nature Photo Competition.
The image was taken using a camera trap setup with a Camtraptions PIR sensor connected to my Nikon D810. The image required two Nikon SB-28 flashguns with the first placed about six foot in the air firing almost straight down towards the ground to give some general illumination to the garden and the second, placed about five feet off the ground with a snoot over it, to add some side light and ensure the shadows were not too dark. It took a few attempts over several nights, over several months, to get the image right as camera trap work is rarely a quick process.
I put a handful of peanuts on the decking each night for the badger, foxes and other wildlife that visit the garden although the badgers in particular have taken to digging small holes in the lawn in favour of the worms that live there. That being said, I’d rather share my garden with these beautiful animals and sacrifice a few holes than have a pristine lawn but no wildlife around to enjoy it!
You can see more of the winning images on the Asferico website.
If you’re interested in finding out about the project behind this and many more images captured, please take a look at my Back Garden Safari eBook.