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on Dec 16, 2016 in Landscape Photography

The Season of B&W …. White!

It’s not rocket science, it’s winter and with winter comes snow. What we affectionately call, the white stuff. That abundance of the white stuff is our hint to think B&W when we’re shooting our landscapes. The trick? Use the white to support the other elements in the frame and not make white THE element in the frame. Even if the subject is the snow, keep in mind that the other elements in the frame are what say it’s snow, the white stuff. This means having detail in all the snow is not required to say it’s snow. Let the imagination fill in the blanks and your landscapes, your B&W, your snow will be visually stronger. Oh ya, remember to dress warmly...

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on Dec 13, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

Bosque Blastoff 360

So, what’s a Bosque Blastoff really like? Sorry to say this video doesn’t show you as we never had a giant blastoff of the past which when shooting with the Keymission 360 would have been spectacular! But what the video does show (be sure to use your cursor to move the image around) is a glorious sunrise and how my dear friend Harry and I worked it. You can see below the stills of the sunrise itself and the geese shot on the horizon. This is my typical Bosque gear set up: the D750 / 18-35AFS just for that sunrise and the D5 / 800m just for the birds. But as you can see in the video, I spend as much time just watching it all as much as shooting. It’s simply good for the...

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on Dec 13, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

Where’s the Eye Going?

Just where does your eye go in your photos? We want the eye of the viewer to go to our subject first and then wander around in the photo, comeback to the subject and then wander off again. This is how we tell the story we want to tell about the subject. It’s why we select the lens, the f/stop and place we place the camera, to tell the subject’s story. The one element many photographers miss though is the light and bright, the one element that EVERYBODY’s eye goes to when they first look at a photograph! If that light and bright is or near the subject, perfect. But if it’s something that takes the eye away from the subject, then bad. Here is a simple example shot at Bosque two weeks back. The top photo was taken only 3 seconds before the bottom photo. The range of light is such that the horizon is blown out creating artifacts while taking you eye away from the exploding geese....

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on Dec 5, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

The Moment of Elegance

Sandhill Cranes fly with amazing elegance and grace! Their long wings grab so much air with each stroke, it sends them gliding through the air with little effort. Watching them fly, it’s very easy to see this grace but when you stop it with a camera, the motion and grace is often not captured. Is there a trick to this? Is there a wing position in flight that says this more than another? In saying this in a photograph, I tend to try for a couple of things. First, I try to start firing the camera when the bird is at the top of their wing stroke (crane on the right). I don’t know what it is but it seems to work out when you rip the shutter to capture the best wing strokes. The other thing I do is go for synchronized flying. Shooting with the D5 / 800mm (so I can shoot with Auto Area AF), I look for two birds flying together. They tend to at...

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on Nov 26, 2016 in Landscape Photography

Heat Shimmer … Good?

Heat shimmer especially with long glass can cause a real issue with sharpness. But isn’t there times when we want to limit sharpness? First thing that comes to mind is DoF, something we use very mechanically to limit the focus to help tell the story. So why then couldn’t heat shimmer do the same thing? Here, the Very Large Array, those dishes way in the distance are blurred out by the heat shimmer. But do you need to see them sharply to know they are there? Doesn’t it add mystery to this mysterious place with them being out of focus, kinda “out of this world” mystery? So shooting D5 / 800mm / TC-14eIII then not only compacts the three miles of track, but brings into play the heat shimmer to finish the storytelling. Just a...

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