I hid a $5,000 camera rig in Brooklyn

I hid a $5,000 camera rig in Brooklyn

When I think of wildlife photography, I think of powerful animals photographed using long lenses in epic environments. That was until I met ex-ventriloquist-turned-wildlife-conservation-photographer Carla Rhodes. She has captured over 25 different species of wild animals in the backyard of her Catskills home, and most of the time, she isn’t even there to hit the shutter button.

Carla Rhodes setting her camera trapping box.
A weather-proof flash attached to a tree, high above an animals eye-line.

A break beam sensor is used to trigger the camera.

Instead of camping out in a single spot and waiting for wildlife to walk by, Carla studies wildlife patterns and then places “camera traps.” Camera trapping is the process of leaving a camera, flashes, and a trigger system out in the wild in the hopes that an animal will walk by — long after Carla is gone — and trigger the system.

Because she is not there, the animals are typically photographed a lot closer to the lens, which makes for a far more intimate portrait of wildlife. I visited Carla in the Catskills to learn how she does it and then came back to my Brooklyn, NY home and tried it for myself. Tune in to the video above to learn more about Carla Rhodes and see what has been lurking in my own backyard.

Photos by Becca Farsace / The Verge

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