Groundhog Day with a Photographer

Groundhog by KB Digital
Groundhog by KB Digital

How to shoot groundhogs

Okay, before everyone starts panicking, we do not mean shoot as in kill but instead shoot it with a camera. You know, take a picture. Sorry for the confusion, but that’s just photography slang. Alright, now let’s get into it. First thing you’re going to need is a long lens, preferably a zoom lens so it gives you a little flexibility as the groundhog could move closer to you at any given point in time. Another reason is, well, you kind of might want to keep your distance from them. Now, we’re no animal experts but it’s safe to say that wild animals can be… wild.

Groundhog by KB Digital

What you’ll need

Well, obviously a camera! Also, depending on the distance your shooting and your lens length as well as your stability, you might want to bring a monopod. If you’re thinking “I don’t have one, I’ll just bring my tripod”, don’t! Groundhogs are very active and you’ll need to be mobile if you want to get some good photographs. In that case, just increase your shutter speed to cancel out as much motion blur as possible. Another important thing you’ll need is patience. Lots of it! As mentioned, they are very active creatures but they also like to hide, especially when they sense people. So be kind and just keep you finger on the shutter button at all times. One thing we suggest, and this all depends where you live and what time of the year you go, is to bring something long sleeve to wear. This is just personal preference but usually there’s bugs out and you don’t want them annoying you and it could also serve as an added protective layer if somehow the groundhog gets close enough to you or even worse, attacks you.

Groundhog by KB Digital

Did you get it?

We’re not just talking about the instructions here either. Did you really shoot a groundhog? What do we mean by that? Well, groundhogs are often confused with beavers and vice-versa. They both look very similar to each other and act the same as well but there’s one sure way to tell what it is. The tail! Groundhogs have short, fluffy tails while beavers on the other hand have wide, flat tails. Also, if it’s in the water it’s most likely a beaver since they love to build dams. This is another reason why groundhogs are sometimes refereed to as “land beavers”.

Groundhog by KB Digital

What you won’t see

This is really simple. You most likely won’t see Bill Murray or Punxsutawney Phil. If you’ve never seen Groundhog Day the movie… this would be the time. Also, Punxsutawney is a little town in the state of Pennsylvania but the movie itself was filmed in another tiny town, just a few hundred miles west called Woodstock, Illinois.

Published by KB Digital

Photographer and Graphic Designer

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