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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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on Nov 9, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

Working Birds on the Beach

There is NO one way to work with wildlife, this is especially true with birds! There are many paths to success so then the way to find your path should include the fun factor. When you include that, then lying on the beach has to be one of the best techniques (Kelby class on the technique). We’re working with birds about the size of your fist darting about a world that is full of visual distraction. To make them visibly pop, we need to either make them larger in the frame or remove the visual distractions. Getting down on their level accomplished both with a lot of fun mixed in. Here’s a video showing you the technique in action a few days ago. The video was shot with the new Nikon KeyMission 360. It was attached to a flash arm over the 800mm lens. It’s a 4k video (be sure to set it to 4k when viewing) resized down from 2.1Gb to 524MB to upload quickly to YouTube. Clicking...

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on Oct 28, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

The Legacy We’re Leaving … or Not

Adorable American Pika Is Fast Disappearing, And We’re Doing Nothing To Stop It is a headline that should stop us and make us think at the very least. And it’s not just the America Pika but Collared Pika as well. Seeing firsthand populations disappear literally in my own backyard, it saddens me to no...

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