Squirrel, Unterhaching, Germany

MAY 2022 – A squirrel sits on the branch of a green tree, illuminated by the sunlight on a clear spring day in Unterhaching, Germany. Photo © Mark Zanzig/zanzig.com


The story behind the image

Squirrels are funny, yet incredibly quick and cautious animals. At least here in Unterhaching, where we live. I always had wanted to capture a stunning photo of a squirrel, but I never made it. Until yesterday. We were enjoying the late afternoon sun and then a squirrel hurried up the tree. It stopped for a short rest in a branch near the top, watching the activity below. The light was awesome.

I hurried to the house, grabbed the EOS M6 Mark II, mounted the EF lens adaptor to the body and the 100-400 “Bazooka” lens to the adaptor and hurried back to the tree.

Incredibly, the squirrel was still sitting there! And I did a couple of excellent shots.

Now, the first thing to note is that this image is almost straight out of the camera. All I did was to resize it for web use, slightly sharpen the resized image, and apply the logo. Done. No corrections of color, brightness, or contrast whatsoever. I think it looks fantastic.

Second, the combo of EF-L lens and EOS M6 Mark II works well. The camera body is capable to deliver fantastic results – if you mount a decent lens to it. While the camera looks more like a bulky lens cap on the EF 100-400mm, it still delivers the quality I am looking for. The autofocus works fast and well. At f/8 the lens delivers a good balance between sharpness of the main subject and blurred foreground and background.

Third, for this photo I extended the lens to its maximum focal length (400 mm) which behaves like a 640 mm lens (compared to a full frame sensor) on the smaller sensor of the M6 Mark II. For me, it was quite a challenge to balance the heavy combo of camera, adaptor and lens in the hand, pointing up the tree, and keeping the image steady. The image stabilizer of the lens helped a lot, but even then it’s difficult to find the image you are looking for and keeping it steady. My arm got tired quite quickly. Next time I need to grab a tripod as well.

What counts is that it’s a really nice image series.

A cut-out of the larger photo shows the star-shaped sun reflection in the eye of the squirrel. Shot with Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM mounted to Canon EOS M6 Mark II. Photo © Mark Zanzig/zanzig.com

The high resolution image

Capture Date & Time26-MAY-2022, 17:00
LocationUnterhaching, Germany
CameraCanon EOS M6 Mark II
LensCanon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, with Canon Mount Adaptor EF-EOS M
ISO800
Exposure1/320 sec at f/8
Digital Image Source FormatCanon Camera RAW (CR3)
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions6960 x 4640 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/zanzig.com

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