Roy Toft captures the true nature of a red fox hunting among the cranes

The red fox hunting in this photograph may not be looking at the camera, but that’s exactly the way Roy Toft wanted it. Here he explains this suspenseful and intriguing photograph.

In the Wild

Roy Toft: Moving on to this photo of a red fox hunting, we’re still with cranes but we have a mammal in the shot. Occasionally when you’re in certain areas with the cranes, you’re going to have foxes around. They’re looking to come in and maybe grab a weak animal or steal some food from them. If they’re catching fish or eating scraps, the foxes want to come in. (click the image for a larger version)

I love this shot, just because a lot of people would wait until that fox looked towards the camera but you have to think about what the point of the picture is. So often we forget that. The point of the picture is the fox is keeping his eye on these cranes. Where’s his opportunity if he’s going to go attack them? What’s he going to do? That only gets across if he’s looking at the cranes.

I have pictures of the fox when he was looking towards me but they don’t have any of that same drama that this picture had. It looks like a lurking fox ready to make a break on somebody if he has his opportunity. I just like this shot.

Audri Lanford: It really does look that way. The color contrast of the fox with the black and white cranes is also very striking.

Roy Toft: Thank you. Yes, it is nice to see that red. So many of the pictures we got from Japan are just with the white and black. People come home, and I come home as well, and love printing these photos that we shoot in Japan on unique paper.

If you have paper — like a watercolor type paper, and print these black and whites, they really look amazing. It’s almost like a drawing — it’s so monochromatic but very elegant so it makes some wonderful prints.

Certain types of wildlife photography make for wonderful fine art — something you’d want on your wall. Japan is it. Everything is so elegant, the dancing cranes, these wonderful landscapes, the portraitures of the snow monkeys.

You’ll find a lot of Japanese pictures hanging on your wall after a trip like this compared to going to maybe Costa Rica, where you might have a toucan you put on the wall but you’re not going to put a bunch of poison dart frogs or snakes on your wall. This stuff really lends itself to that.

To Conclude

The perfect picture isn’t always the picture that most would go for. Many photographers would have waited till the fox was looking at the camera to shoot. Roy Toft wanted to get the true essence of the scene, with the red fox hunting captured in all its glory.