Storm Fox By Jonny Armstrong (USA), Highly Commended In Animal Portraits
The fox was busy searching in the shallows for salmon carcasses – sockeye salmon that had died after spawning. At the water’s edge, Jonny was lying on his chest, aiming for a low, wide angle. The vixen was one of only two red foxes resident on the tiny island in Karluk Lake, on Alaska’s Kodiak Island, and she was surprisingly bold. Jonny had followed her over several days, watching her forage for berries, pounce after birds and playfully nip at the heels of a young brown bear. Taking advantage of the window of deepening atmospheric light created by a storm rolling in, he was after a dramatic portrait. But working with a manual flash, he had to pre set the power for a soft spotlight – just enough to bring out the texture of her coat at relatively close range. Now he was hoping she would come closer. As she did, his companion and fellow researcher raised up the diffused flash for him. It was just enough to pique her curiosity, giving Jonny his atmospheric portrait – studio-style – moments before the deluge of rain.
Canon EOS 7D + 17–55mm f2.8 lens at 17mm; 1/250 sec at f8; ISO 400; Nikon SB 28 flash; radio-triggered Photek Softlighter.