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on Dec 21, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

When Do You Underexpose in Snow?

After my Podcast yesterday, I was flooded with emails about underexposing when shooting in snow. You’d think I’d said something really political by some of the responses. To start with, shooting with the D5 / D500, these three photos if I were to shoot them today (these are older images), I would dial in -2/3 exp comp to communicate the feeling you see in the images. And this is where most photographers get lost with my message. I’m not exposing for some graph or somebodies theory. I’m exposing for my heart because exposure = emotion. In telling the story, we must put what we’re feeling in the photo for those not standing beside us when we went click! The slight warmth coming from the rising sun on the Bison can be felt because of the overwhelming cold in the photo. The deer looks safe because of the overall warmth in the entire photo super imposes over the natural feeling of cold from the snow. And that tinge of warmth...

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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 15, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

Turnstone?

Turnstone, turnstone, what kind of name is that for a bird that is found most often on the beach? We have two turnstones in North American, the Black and Ruddy, this is a Ruddy. And their name comes from their constant habitat of turning over debris looking for food. Unlike many of its beach neighbors, Turnstones don’t constantly prob the sand looking for a bite to eat, but under debris where the rest of the birds never look. It always fascinates me to watch all the different species of shorebirds gather and feed with minimal competition in the same little patch of sand, all finding what they need to survive the day. Beautiful! In these first two photos you have two different stories of the Ruddy Turnstone. The above is your basic intimate with the subject shot, the bottom is the biology unfolding. While they were both taken with the D5 / 800mm w/TC-1.25x but the top one, the rig was resting on the sand with the Panning Plate...

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