The Devils@Cradle Wildlife Park up at Cradle Mountain is a great place to visit and learn about Tasmania’s unique “carnivorous marsupials” – the well known Tasmanian Devil and the slightly less well known quoll species.
The Tasmanian Devil needs no introduction and spotting one is usually very high on a visitors list of things to do in Tasmania. Due to the contagious, and currently incurable, Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) and the fact that the Tasmanian Devil is noctornal makes spotting one in the wild very difficult – and photographing one in the wild next to impossible!
A visit to Devils@Cradle not only allows easy access to see and photograph these wonderful little guys, but your entry fee and money raised at the centre is used in vital conservation research into the disease. For more details on DFTD research including how you can help or donate visit the Save the Tasmanian Devil homepage.
Photographing the Tasmanian Devil
These images were captured with the K1 and the Tamron 70-200mm f2.8. The 70-200mm is a great lens (in all mounts) and well worth it as a close wildlife lens. If you are really keen on wildlife you will find yourself wanting something longer, but 200 mm in a wildlife park is quite suitable.
I shot using a flexible ISO (TAv on the Pentax System). I dialed in a wide aperture (eg f2.8~4) and a fast shutter speed 1/500~1/1000 and let the camera select the ISO based on the available light. This was a very useful shooting mode as the devils ran from dark shady corners to bright open sunny spots. I didn’t have to adjust settings at all, and the results included images with ISO values ranging from the low hundreds to the very high thousands (I set the ceiling at 8000 ISO!).
My 4 day Cradle Mountain photography workshops now include a visit to the Devils@Cradle Sanctuary. The next dates are May 1-4 2017. Contact me to book a place (currently there are only 1 or 2 spots left so be quick!)