Eastern Gray Invader

These squirrels and us have all but eliminated the native Western Gray Squirrel from this part of Washington State. They’re much more adaptable to human environments than the natives and also significantly more aggressive. Luckily, they don’t like the same kind of habitat as our Douglas Squirrel. Living on the prairie, I was hoping not to get these. It’s a hundred yards from the nearest real woods to the little patch of firs where I have my bird blind. I’ve seen this one coming to my bird feeders and pools the last couple of times I’ve been in the blind.

For this image, I’d had my lens at 600 mm for photographing Chickadees about two feet behind the squirrel’s position. I decided to take a few shots at that focal length, then zoom out. It turned out that in this pose, the shortest focal length of 200 mm wasn’t sufficient to get the entire squirrel in the frame, though it did change poses and let me get some full body shots.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Anything. I did modify the foreground a bit to eliminate a couple of out of focus rocks that were protruding into the edges of the frame. I’d like to know if the cloning looks realistic.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Anything. I cropped a bit off the left for this composition as I didn’t think the extra portion of the body added anything interesting and I liked the balance of this better.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Sony a6500, FE200-600 @ 600 mm, Tripod with ball head and Sidekick mount from blind, f/8, 1/640, iso 1600, manual exposure. Processed in LR & PS CC. See above for cloning information. Other than that, minor adjustments to white balance, slight micro-contrast adjustment to the squirrel to bring out more detail in the fur, and a crop from the left to yield a 5568x4000 image.

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Nicely done Dennis. This little guy looks very thirsty and thankful for the water. As far as cloning; even zoomed in on the large version I don’t see any signs of cloning. Works for me.

Beautiful image, and the crop and cloning work for me. Sorry these “invaders” are moving in and disrupting the ecosystem.

An excellent shot, Dennis. Everything looks great to me. Wonder how an Eastern Gray ended up in Washington State?

People brought them here for their parks. They’re all through the state.

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Solid techs and I just love that sparkling eye !
I may experiment with composition, taking some canvas off from the top left corner and adding to bottom right corner.