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on Mar 18, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

Light’s Warmth

This is a real simple blog post, light and its emotional quality (warmth) has to be captured! This example shows what happens when lieing on the sand with a Sanderling when a cloud goes in front of the sun. The quality of light, both its quantity and its warmth disappears. The “blue” or cold tone brought by the cloud cover stops the photo from going out and grabbing heartstrings. With the sun out, that warmth opens the door letting the viewer quickly in to engage with the Sanderling. This is something that won’t improve with changing the WB in the camera or in post. It only comes from the sun and you must look for and embrace it when it...

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on Mar 11, 2019 in Landscape Photography

Little Barn on The Palouse

I am often asked if when I’m doing air-to-air work if I ever shoot aerials. It’s really rare as there is typically no downtime to do such but this weekend, I happened to have a moment. We flew over this barn and I thought it would make a cool shot. Too late though, we’d gone past it. Luckily we went by it a second time, really rare and circled it right when I had a moment to take a snap. I love The Palouse and this simple click was just another way of looking at this gorgeous landscape, from 3500...

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on Mar 8, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

Glass Balancing Act

Balancing image size between physically moving (be it feet or hands) or not is the balancing act we need to dance every time we’re shooting critters. Understand I have to critical precepts to my photography, the first is, NO photograph is worth sacrificing the welfare of the subject. None! Second, I get it right, right in the camera. I don’t crop in post. Right or wrong, that is just my SOP, has been forever. With that in mind, working or “hiding” behind our big glass is essential in getting close physically, isolating with our optics while not altering the behavior of the critter to get the images size we desire. It is, a glass balancing act! In this case, we have three, Rocky Mtn Bighorn Sheep rams coming down the slope to check out the ewes and see where they are going. I’m standing totally out in the open, they can see Moose with no strain. My moving though would have stopped their forward motion which not only is...

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on Mar 4, 2019 in Landscape Photography, B&W Photography, Digital Darkroom

ACR / Split Grad Anger

I posted this photo on my IG account on the 1st. It’s a real simple click taken jumping out of the truck shooting the Z6 / 180-400VR hand-held and then hopping back in the truck out of the -16 temps. The photo is right out of the Z6 which was set to Monochrome (here are my in camera B&W settings). The only “Post” was done in ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) using the Split Grad to make the clouds look angier. Below are those settings. And that’s it, easy...

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on Feb 28, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

Uncommon from the Common

We see the same things over and over again to the point that we don’t give them a second thought. It’s only when there is something unique about that common sight do we stop and think about them. At the beginning of my career, to say I was focused on just the glamorous species is an understatement. Those common critters I saw but didn’t point my glass at them. Thankfully, very early on in my career, it was graphically pointed out to me that most focus on the glamorous as well. There was money to be made shooting the common since nobody was. That’s when I realized that if I shot the common in an uncommon way, there would be even more money to be made. I like making money from my images. I share this very basic and simple concept with everyone I shoot with for many reasons, the main one being the photographic challenge in making the uncommon out of the common. Case in point … Last...

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on Feb 26, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

Polarizing Critters

“Do I need a polarizer?” This is a really common question that truly has no right or wrong answer. It’s truly up to you and the story you want to tell and how you want to tell it. This question rarely if ever come up when photographing critters though which kinda surprises me. This is because when photographing critters, there are many times when a polarizer can dramatically make a difference. Here’s a recent example of that, this Black-bellied Whistling Duck in a pond full of lily pads. If you look at the two photos, you can see how the polarizer removed from the majority of the pads the reflected gray skies. If you look at the duck’s bill, you can see where some the reflection was removed from it as well. The overall photograph has a “richer” look to it just from using the polarizer. So why not use it all the time then? The first issue is the polarizer isn’t a cure-all. If you look, not every...

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