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on Dec 23, 2014 in Landscape Photography

Landscape or Wildlife?

Might seem like a really silly question, is it a landscape or wildlife photograph? But asking that and answering it for your photography just might make the final photograph more powerful. How? The answer to the question can effect everything deciding what is the subject to placement of the subject in the frame to exposure. For example, if the towering thunderhead in the New Mexico sunset is the subject, then you frame it in your viewfinder and let the Gtr Sandhill Crane fly into the frame and into place. If the Sandhill Crane is the subject, you might just pan with it and click when you see in the background the form of the thunderhead you like. And while the final photo might look exactly the same, how you came about it is different and that difference will effect the story you tell. The funny thing to me is, most of the time when I show these types of images to folks, they think of them as a landscape...

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on Dec 22, 2014 in Wildlife Photography

Another Kind of Reflection

This trip to Bosque brought a new idea to my photography, critter reflections. Ya, I’ve played with them before but this time I find a couple of more pieces to the puzzle so the photos are good enough to finally post. Ya, that means I’ve had a whole bunch of failure playing with this but I keep working it. Now shooting long and in this case shooting D4s / 800mm, moving quickly to get the reflection of the critter and the reflection of the background all at once is key. Then there is the percentage of reality left in with the illusion. Like I’ve said, there has been lots of failure but I do enjoy this one success. (BTW) You can see the background I had that I left to capture the ripples in this...

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on Dec 22, 2014 in Wildlife Photography

Ripples of Blue Water

Reflections bounce their magic in our photographs in many different ways. A way I like to play with them when working water birds are ripples of blue water. The ripples are created by the critter in the water but they only show up by using reflections to bring them out. It starts by picking the right background. Dark is best so in this case, I moved laterally with the D4s / 800mm to the right so the Black Mountains were the reflection in the water. Where I was standing I only saw blue water and some scattering of white clouds reflected in the water. You need the dark reflection because the ripples are going to be lighter tones. You need apposing tones to make it work. While this will work with overcast skies, who wants to see gray water. Na, we want our water to be blue so we need blue skies. That’s because the ripples are reflecting the blue skies, it’s an old principle in photography … angle...

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on Dec 20, 2014 in Aviation

Just Passin By

So have a moment to myself and was lookin at images from a month ago. I don’t post many shots of jets in part because I don’t have that many that really say flight. I have lots of images of jets, but they just don’t say visually they are flying. What does it take, at least for me, to have an image saying a jet if flying? Well one of the first things I need in the photograph is a background. Blue skies by themselves just don’t cut it for me. Next there is the light. You might think light should be the first and it is, it’s the reason the camera went up to my eye in the first place. But in communicating flight for jets, it needs a little something extra to bring across the illusion of flight. I say illusion because it is a still of a moving object. I’m shooting with my normal rig, D4s / 200-400 and since I’m shooting jets, I’m in Aperture...

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on Dec 19, 2014 in Wildlife Photography

Elegance While Slipping

It was one of those magical mornings at Bosque when the night time temps went down for the count so at sunrise, it was a brisk 19 degrees. While the cranes and geese stay warm, the water does not and ice forms. Not thick enough to form around the birds but enough of a freeze to create a thin layer on the pond. So thin that bigger birds punch through and lighter birds walk on top. Thin over the deeper portions of the pond and thicker nearer the shallow portions. The cranes which slowly move from the main flock to wake up, socialize and then take off have to negotiate this ice field and while they have big feet for walking in muck and mud, they are not made for ice. You can hear the laughter amongst the photographers as they watch all the slipping and sliding as the cranes try to maintain their elegance while falling on their butt is quite loud. And once the cranes are in...

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