Embark on a visual journey curated by the talented Swedish photographer, Johnny Kääpä, as he skillfully captures the enchanting world of squirrels and their rich tapestry of emotions. A stroke of serendipity blessed Johnny last year when his outdoor squirrel studio found its home adjacent to the new squirrel drey chosen by the endearing Wonky and her precious offspring.
Within the frame of his lens, Johnny unveils a realm where these charismatic creatures reveal their diverse range of emotions. Through his masterful photography, he delicately encapsulates the moments of joy, curiosity, and contemplation that animate the squirrel kingdom. Johnny’s extraordinary ability to connect with his subjects results in stunning portrayals that evoke a deep sense of wonder and kinship.
This unique convergence of opportunity and artistry allows us to witness the tender interactions and evocative expressions that unfold in the realm of these captivating squirrels. Johnny’s dedication to his craft and the remarkable bond he shares with his subjects transport us to a world where emotions are palpable and wildlife photography becomes an exquisite form of storytelling.
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“I’m thrilled to share my experience of observing and photographing my squirrel friend Wonky and her babies with you. Last year, I was fortunate enough to have my outdoor squirrel studio right next to where Wonky had moved her babies to a new squirrel drey. This gave me the perfect opportunity to observe and photograph them as they explored their new neighborhood.
Through my photographs, I aim to showcase the unique personalities and behaviors of these creatures. Each shot is carefully composed to capture the essence of the squirrel and the beauty of nature. For me, wildlife photography is a passion, and I’ve developed a close relationship with these squirrels over time. Patience, observation, and an open mind are essential when it comes to capturing the beauty of nature, and I hope this shows in the pictures.”
“I like to shoot against the light, so you need some light from the front to lift the shadows and get correct colors. I started out with a piece of tinfoil wrapped around cardboard as a reflector. Now I use two Rotolight Neo 2 and a Ledgo LED-panel on top. The challenge is, of course, to have them step into the studio with me sitting there. Whether it was time and patience or me sending out good vibes that made them come to me, I don’t know, but they eventually did.”
“I plan for the shots by arranging the flowers and greenery around them, but it rarely comes out as I planned. It depends entirely on where the squirrel decides to sit. I try to find the best camera settings and angles to see what I can get.
There are many memorable and interesting moments I witnessed while photographing squirrels. The greatest thing is, of course, getting a chance to capture playful squirrel babies. Some may worry that they would be disturbed, but if I get too close, they stop playing and just sit still. So, to get the playful pictures, you need a long lens, to keep still, and not have them notice you. This period doesn’t last more than 1-2 weeks.”
“There are a couple of key considerations when aiming to capture compelling images of squirrels. One of the most important ones is knowing the best time during the day to spot them. Squirrels sleep 16-17 hours a day, and the books say they are awake in the mornings and evenings. I don’t think they are all on the same schedule, but mornings are the best, as they have the best light.”
“They say that patience and observation are crucial in wildlife photography. However, I am not actually a very patient man. I prefer to visit the squirrels, get my pictures, and leave. Sometimes it’s just like that, and it’s fun. However, in summer, they sometimes won’t come at all. It’s just me and the mosquitoes. I could do without that. But now, I am much more at peace. I’m not waiting for the squirrels; I’m enjoying nature, living in the present moment. And when the squirrels come, I invite them to stay and have their portrait taken. It’s a good time for all.”