It often makes wildlife pictures interesting if you can capture them in natural behavior, not just sitting there. If you capture them while grooming or feeding, it adds a little action and a hint into their daily lives. I often get excited when there is a chance to photograph an animal in a moment that expresses their “natural history.”
Being able to see how this young raccoon holds its food in its hand-like paw adds a little story to the image. It makes the viewer wonder what it is eating, lets them see a little about what separates these animals from others. It sucks them in.
I’ve found that kayak photography is a good medium for photographing raccoons foraging for food, especially in the summer time, when there are fewer hours of darkness for them to hunt in. This can especially be true in tidal areas where raccoons like to search for crabs at low tide. During the summer, there won’t always be a suitable tide during the shorter nights, forcing the raccoons to forage near dawn or dusk if there is a low enough tide to expose the crabs.
The raccoon in this picture was photographed at such an early morning tide, while I was kayaking. It is a young animal- you can tell by its tail, if not its size. Notice how the tail seems kind of short, and the black stripes aren’t well defined? Young animal.
This young one was walking the shores with a sibling. I was able to capture images of them together and apart, but I really enjoy this image because of tue details of the body.
Camera setup for this picture was fairly standard- long lens, fairly open aperture and high shutter speed.