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on Sep 18, 2018 in Landscape Photography

Fall Help

The light is making that move towards lusciousness as we approach the first day of fall. I love this time of year as I talked about on my Podcast yesterday. And that brought up some questions in folks, in the form of … help! My first recommendation is to watch my class on KelbyOne on Fall color. This class goes through everything from gear, tactics, finishing and to answer a number of your questions including places to go on the Eastside for fall color. The most important thing to think about when shooting fall color is looking for color contrast. Now color contrast can be the yellow leaves against the blue sky, red against yellow and the one I think is essential, red+yellow against green. What’s important is making that fall color pop in the viewfinder not depending on post-production so when you do go into post, you need just a touch to finish it all off. In this process, the polarizer can be an incredibly useful tool. It...

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on Aug 16, 2018 in Wildlife Photography

A Moment with Hummers

I had a ton of fun this summer photographing hummingbirds. The thought crossed my mind to use the “slow motion” video mode in the D850 for the first time and record their flight in and out of the feeders. This was a helluva learning experience for me. For example, while it’s obvious, at the time it didn’t occur to me that shooting at 1920×1080 30p x4 sound wouldn’t be recorded. Duh! So while shooting stills with the D5 / 180-400, I had the D850 / 70-200f4 just running. I came back with 1TB of video from this experiment, yikes! I edited it down for a little fun. You can see some of my Hummer stills here at my AZ Bird Portfolio....

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on Aug 15, 2018 in Landscape Photography

Black & White … HELP!!!

“Moose, help … I suck at B&W!” That email came in this past week and echoes what many others ask seeking help with the most romantic medium available to us. The help these folks are asking for is not so much in the post-processing, but “Seeing” B&W when they are looking at a scene and through the viewfinder. There are many ways you can TEACH YOURSELF to see in B&W, here’s the current method I’m suggesting to folks. Standing up on Steptoe looking over the spectacular Palouse, the pallet of colors is, gorgeous! Taking in visually all those colors and condensing them down to just shades of black and white mentally when we see ALL colors is the challenge. Having done this process for nearly fifty years and having an amazing teacher when I started out, it’s real easy for me. You can get yourself there by providing yourself a visual guide you can look at real-time. Head into your Picture Control settings and switch to Monochrome. This is...

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on Aug 9, 2018 in Wildlife Photography

Alvin Jr!

It started long ago, a tradition from back in film days and thankfully it’s continued this summer. Alvin Sr. is an Allen’s Hummingbird and at the end of most summers, fledgling Allen’s come to our feeders in good numbers. But not every year do we have ones with the character of the original Alvin. This year’s crop of hummers have been a bit funny, I think in part because of the heavy days of wildfire smoke and our warmer temps. Things started to settle down this past week and when it was all done, well, there was Alvin Jr! He’s quite a character even chasing the Mtn Chickadees that come near “his” feeders. Finally, I got some Alvin time in and he’s a hoot to work with! With the smoke being the heaviest in the afternoons, I changed up my shooting to the AM. There is a small window of time when the light comes in and backlights the perch I’ve got stuck in a Justin Clamp. The piece...

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on Aug 6, 2018 in Landscape Photography

You a Moth?

Sunsets can stop us dead in our tracks! I remember not too long ago how a whole beach of folks stopped to watch the setting sun, its splendor simply couldn’t be ignored. So it is no wonder photographers want to preserve that moment photographically. With that being said, ever noticed how many sunset, or sunrise for that matter, photographs simply don’t measure up? This could be your own impression of your photograph or the lackluster response from others. Ever wonder why that is, why when sunsets can stop folks in their tracks, your photo is, blah? Could it be you’re a moth? You’ve heard the old saying, “Attracted to a flame like a moth.” We are really no different than a moth with our attraction to a bright light source and that often blinds us to the rest of the elements that need to be in the frame. The first and biggest one is emotion! Everyone on the planet, photographer or not has a sunset that brings back special,...

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on Aug 1, 2018 in Wildlife Photography

The Elegant Trogan

Back in 1988, we went on our first hunt for the Elegant Trogon. With Brent in a backpack on my back, in the cool of the morning, we hiked up that canyon. Far off in the distance, we could hear its call ever so faintly. Up we went along the trail but it eluded us that week, never ever getting a glance of it. It would be another thirteen years before I would get glass on one with only one click being somewhat decent. And so it would be until last month. The Elegant Trogon is a rare bird in North America where its northern range stops at Madera Canyon, SW Arizona. Over a foot long with a 16″ wingspan (big bird), its colors and rarity are what drives birders nuts trying to catch a glimpse of this gorgeous bird. Your best bet of finding them is in spring when the male’s loud call rings through the forest giving away its location. You would think a bird this big,...

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