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on May 23, 2012 in Wildlife Photography

Background, Background, Background!

Here’s the deal, backgrounds are everything! No matter the subject matter, the background not only sets the stage for the subject but also tells the rest of the story. How simple or complicated a story is up to you since it is your photograph. Here’s an example of what I mean. You basic Pronghorn doe in the Blackhills last week during our K&M Adventures. Shot with the D4 and 200-400VR2 shooting out the window of the van (BTW, love the D4!). The gray sky, generally not a good background for critters visually wraps around the prong enveloping it rather then making it pop. Not good. With the same focal length, subject to camera distance and exposure, look at the difference just moving 15′ can make in the background and to the point, the subject! The eyes are sooooo important. Look at how the darker background makes the darker eyes pop. Logically, you’d think the lighter background would make the darker eyes pop but such is not the case. That...

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on May 23, 2012 in Landscape Photography

Short Lenses Work Magic!

The 400mm lens taught me so much about wildlife photography! I chronicle many of its lessons in my book Captured, the most important is getting close physically. If you are 60′ away from a subject and you get closer cutting the distance in half to 30′, you have more then doubled the focal length of your lens. And the best part, it didn’t cost you a dime! Then when you are closer, you have to think about the background to visually make the subject pop. You need to add to that light, gesture and color and you have the makings of a clean critter photo. That’s exactly what I did here with this Mountain Bluebird. Shooting with the D4 and 200-400VR2, I simply cut close physically to make the shot! These are skills that take time in honing. And before you can hone them, you need to have the basics in which they work so you can hone them to fit your style of photography. That’s why we came...

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on May 22, 2012 in Camera Tech

D4 & HDR

I like this bottom frame the best, I just like how the leading lines go with the color. The way I like to use HDR is not the “Elvis on Velvet because I can’t make a picture any other way of a boring scene rather then walk on by method,” but rather to compress exposure. Inside like at Sanfords, you have the bright lights and the dark shadows, seems like a natural for HDR to pull the information from both extremes. But what I learned about the D4 this past week is, HDR unless in real extreme conditions, you doen’t need to do HDR to make the image work. The D4 can do it in one click! You’re looking at two examples of what I mean right here. These are just 1 image clicks taken with the D4 and 24f1.4AFS handheld! As I’ll discuss in the upcoming BT Journal, the D4 has what I feel is a 6stop dynamic range and that makes all the difference in the world...

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