The secret life of foxes: Nature photographer finds muse in quizzical creatures
Alex Geifman unlocked a secret world, and all it took was a closer look through his lens.
The software engineer and part-time nature photographer found an unexpected muse in the whimsical world of foxes, in what he calls "a coincidence of circumstances." Foxes are everywhere, especially where Geifman lives in Lod, Israel.
Geifman got his first camera almost 10 years ago, and he says it took years to figure out what his passion was. After trying out different genres of photography, Geifman discovered wildlife photography. "It was an instant click," he told From the Grapevine.
"Wildlife photography demands ... countless hours in the field," Geifman said, "and I actually like spending time in nature. It never bores me. So it worked well for me."
Over the course of four months, Geifman got to know a family of foxes quite well – five cubs and an aged "father fox." His photo series captures each of their personalities as they show a range of emotions.
"Frankly, I was amazed every time I observed their expression of emotions," Geifman said. "They are very charismatic animals. Each one is a personality."
Finding the foxes and spending hours quietly observing them isn't even the hardest part of being a nature photographer, Geifman said.
"The most challenging aspect of wildlife photography for me is realizing that missed opportunities will never occur again," he said. "Nature doesn't repeat itself."
Many factors come into play for the perfect wildlife photo, from the setting to the lighting to being able to recognize and capture the opportune moment.
The elements came together – opportunity, lighting, background – and Geifman conquered these challenges, with the result being an award-winning photograph put on display at the Eretz Israel Museum. Two foxes in a tree, and one just about to fall – what are the chances that he would be able to capture such a tense photograph? Geifman described his experience photographing these young foxes in the Ben Shemen Forest:
During my daily observations, I've seen cubs playing around. I've already seen a young fox climbing a low tree, but only one of them. This specific time I was following two of them playing in the area. They climbed the tree, and I was ready for [the] shot. I looked down to check [my] camera settings and when I looked back at the tree [I saw] one of the foxes hanging on a limb. I was kind of shocked and couldn't believe my eyes. I managed to make several photographs before it eventually fell down. After it slipped and hung on a limb, the hanging fox tried to pull itself up, but failed ... after [a] couple of attempts. No damage. The other one stayed on the tree for another minute and climbed back.
The culmination of all of those days spent with the foxes, Geifman titled this humorous photo "Hold on!"
Geifman says his favorite locations to shoot nature photography are Mitzpe Naftoah, a small forest with diverse wildlife, and Ben Shemen Forest, a nature reserve – both near Jerusalem.
"I'm looking forward [to] new encounters with wildlife in Israel," Geifman said. Always up for the challenge of photographing elusive species, Geifman will most likely point his lens toward wolves or hyenas next.
Scroll through to see more of our favorite fox photos:
MORE FROM THE GRAPEVINE:
Related Topics: Animals