© Carl Monopoli, Red Fox, Plainfield City, New Jersey, USA • Canon 80D, Canon 500mm f/4L IS II, Canon 1.4X teleconverter, f5.6, 1/400sec, ISO 320.
Most Memorable Moment
A year ago on a clear January morning, a red fox I call Bright Face walked across the frozen pond surface directly at me. He came so close he went out of range of the lens, then noticed me only inches away and ran off.
I shoot 95 per cent of my stuff in my backyard. It is by far my favorite spot due to the variety of subjects - fox, deer, duck, hawk, heron, raccoon, coyote, bat, frog, snake, insects and obviously, it is great for convenience.
What's in Your Bag?
Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM
Canon 1.4X teleconverter
Pentacon 50mm, f/1.8L
Canon 10-18mm f/4.5
Canon 17-55mm f/12.8
When did you start photography?
I was about 10 years old when I got my first camera, but have been serious about it for about three years.
Latest wildlife picture?
I just shot an extreme close-up of a red fox I call Cody only last week. I was shooting a cardinal from my window when Cody, who must have been stalking without me noticing, shot forward to catch a squirrel in the vicinity. I was so out of position when I pressed the shutter I had to significantly turn the frame in lightroom to bring any sense of balance to the picture.
Who are your heroes?
Thomas Shahan’s dogged determination is inspirational. Jacques-Henri Lartigue’s sense of subject was unparalleled and he gets extra points for documenting one of my favorite periods.
Best piece of advice
Knowing your subject is a wildlife photographer’s best piece of clichéd advice because it really is imperative. Knowing when, where and how a particular animal will act is enormously important. Shots can happen spontaneously but this is very rare. Specific knowledge has allowed me to catch and compose so many subjects. This is a second piece of advice but beginners can easily and cheaply dip their toes into macro photography. Cheap manual aperture lenses are easy to find and this type of photography allows for subjects to found anywhere. Winter, of course can present a challenge, but allows for the experimentation with composition, lighting and technique and necessitates only the cheapest of camera bodies.
Foxes are by far my favorite subject because of their expressiveness. It is easy to anthropomorphize them which always is endearing.