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Spring foxes

Chance decisions can make or shape a significant amount of my work. It is true that I tend to try to plan well for the future but I also realise that I need to be flexible if and when an opportunity arises. I have tried hard for quite a few years not to follow the herd and charge all over the country either repeating myself or simply copying everyone else at the latest hotspot.

I am increasingly finding that I am working far closer to home and in most cases on subjects and in places no other photographers are aware of. It is almost like turning the clock back to the good old days, I know I shouldn’t view the world of photography through my rose tinted glasses, but it is often hard not too!

A month ago my partner’s sister popped round for tea and showed me a video she had taken of the foxes at her work.

Too good to miss, I arranged to go down the following day at dawn and see what the possibilities were like. I unusually took my camera (normally I would only watch for the first few mornings) as I had been told the cubs were used to people so I wanted to check their reaction to the cameras shutter (though it would be on silent drive). The fox cubs were fine but the light was challenging to say the least, sun through tree branches with a brick wall behind the earth.

Feeling a little deflated, on the way home I stopped at a large set of allotments. It simply crossed my mind that it would be an ideal site for a fox earth.

Sitting in my car I watched down a long pathway and literally within a few minutes a couple of cubs, bold as brass, strolled out of one allotment and sat on the path. A simple quick decision changed the course of my photography for the next month.

Every morning since then, apart from a trip to Hungary I have spent with the cubs. The photography is fleeting, I have to complete it before the allotmenteers appear for the day, and some are up surprisingly with the larks! The situation is also challenging with the direction of the light being tricky, yet I hope I have turned this to my advantage.

The cubs are five in number though I have only seen all five together twice.

I have also photographed a dog fox that turned up one morning, though I am sure he is not the cub’s dad.

The project progresses and I am now trying to think of new ways of photographing them. I have tried my gopro, fired with wifi from my phone but the range is incredibly short, far shorter than the info on the web led me to believe. This is a now a problem I will have to fix. I have another few ideas I am going to try, but the best bit is simply being there when the cubs are about, it is a great way to start my day.