On camtraps

Camtraps (trail cameras, sensor cameras) are set up along a trail or at a water hole … or wherever the user wants to deploy them to capture photos of unsuspecting subjects.  I had one in the roof of an old barn to get pictures of the Barn Owls occupying the loft. The shutter is then set off by either movement of the subject into the area under surveillance or the body heat of the subject (if it is an infrared camera).

Pictures taken with these cameras are therefore not always that clear and sharply focused as with a camera operated by human… But every time I visit my cameras I am looking out with expectation to the surprises captured in my absence.  I share the pics (with the capture data) on this blog without changing or cropping them – I may just twitch a bit on the contrast and saturation – but no Photoshopping.  It is part of the adventure to look at the pics as the cameras captured them.

Sometimes when the settings are too sensitive you may get 100s of photos of the vegetation moved by the wind.  In the roof of the barn the batteries ran flat by taking more than 1500 pics – the varying temperature under the tin roof was too much for the infrared sensor (OK, the batteries were not fully charged as I just set the camera up in an experiment!).  By experimenting with the settings and placing of the cameras I have learned a few tricks to overcome this kind of “flooding of the data card”.


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