Cotton Carrier Camera Vest System Review

May 27th, 2011 by Jerry Monkman
Skiing with the Cotton Carrier Camera Vest.

Skiing with the Cotton Carrier Camera Vest.

A couple of months ago I was asked by OPG to try out a new camera carrying system by Cotton Carrier.

Their Camera Vest system works much like a Baby Bjorn for cameras, holding a camera snug to your chest and distributing the weight comfortably on your shoulders and torso. When I am on my shooting adventures, I usually carry my camera and a spare lens or two in a waist pouch, which I position so that the gear compartment is in front of me. This has always seemed to be the best way to have my camera easily accessible for action shots, but either I'm getting older (o.k., I know I am) or my gear is getting heavier because I'm finding the waist pouch option is increasingly putting pressure on my lower back. I was eager to try out the Cotton Carrier vest to see if it fit my shooting style. After a few outings over the winter and this spring, I've decided it will be my "go to" system for adventure shooting.


May 24th, 2011 by Steve Gettle

Here is a series of pictures I made a few years ago. The pictures show the main stages of a monarch caterpillar turning into a beautiful butterfly. This group of pictures was made over about a two week period. All of the action takes place at the beginning and end of that two week period. Near the end you can tell when the butterfly is about to emerge because just before the hatch the chrysalis becomes transparent allowing you to see the butterfly inside.


I came home early one afternoon and found a transparent chrysalis, I knew that the butterfly was just about to emerge. So I got my gear ready and kept a close eye on things. As the day went on I could see the butterfly moving inside struggling to break free. About ten o'clock that evening I had myself completely convinced that it was going to happen very soon. At midnight, (twelve hours in now), I'm quite certain that the chrysalis is just about to burst. By three in the morning I'm seriously considering using a razor blade to perform an emergency butterflyectomy. Well, five am comes and I certainly can't go to bed, I had already spent fifteen hours waiting for this thing! I could not imagine going to sleep and missing it at this point!  The clock on the mantle announces eight in the morning, and still no butterfly, OK this is just getting ridiculous!  In the end the butterfly you see here was 'born' at 11:00 AM on a beautiful July morning, after I had spent just over 23 hours on stakeout!

Metamorphosis 2


I can tell you that I took a much deserved nap that afternoon.

People Need A Connection To Your Images

May 23rd, 2011 by Mike Moats

When I started in the art show business five years ago it was my first experience at selling nature photography, I thought that the art shows were a place where people came to find contemporary abstract art, so I loaded up my booth with abstracts and soft focus images.   It didn’t take long to figure out that the people that attended these shows were not interested in the abstract images.  What they were buying was the images that is called realism.  Everything in focus images of subjects that people could identify and relate to. Images of reality.

After about five or six shows, I pulled out most all of the abstracts and replaced them with realism.  My sales shot up dramatically.

So why do people like realism over abstract?  Not everyone likes realism, there are the people that like abstracts, but they are in the minority.  I’m in the minority because I tend to prefer the soft focus abstracts, or images with patterns, shapes, soft blurred colors.

One thing that I have learned from talking with the people who buy my images at the shows is that they usually have a connection to the subjects in the image.

Take this Lily of the Valley flower in the image above.  One lady buying this image told me that her grandmother had a patch of Lily of the Valley flowers in her yard, and every time she sees this flower she thinks of her grandmother.

Quality Time

May 20th, 2011 by Steve Gettle

Editor's note:  Welcome Steve Gettle to the blog!  Steve has been a professional wildlife photographer for over 25 years.  Hailing from Brighton, Michigan, Steve has traveled the world to acquire stunning images and to teach a wide range of workshops.  Steve's work has been featured worldwide as well, from the Museum of Natural History in London, to the National Center for Nature Photography in Ohio.  Steve has been a multiple award winner in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest as well.  Make sure and take some time to browse Steve's wonderful images, read his blog, and learn about his incredible variety of workshops at his site!

A few years back I had the privilege of spending some real quality time with a Sandhill Crane family. I have photographed cranes on the nest on several different occasions but this situation was about as good as I could imagine. The nest was located in Kensington Metro Park (a park very close to my home). The nest was very near the Nature Center so the birds were extremely acclimated to the presence of people. This was a good thing because at times there were more than a half a dozen people enjoying the experience. Over the course of about a month I spent dozens of hours photographing this incredible situation.

I found the nest early on and was able to photograph the adults as they incubated and turned the eggs. The incubation period for Sandhills is about 30 days, during that time one of the parents was with the eggs at all times.

How to create an Identity Plate in Lightroom

May 18th, 2011 by John Batdorff

lightroom identity plate setup


I’ve fielded quite a few questions about how to place a logo into Lightroom’s Identity Plate, so I put together a quick video tutorial. If you’re reading this in an RSS feed or email then you’ll need to go HERE to watch the video. I hope you enjoy, John


Learn more about John, view his images and check out his blog here.


Neos Adventurer Overshoes Video Review

May 13th, 2011 by Martin Bailey

This is a short video to show you how I used my Neos Adventurer All Season Overshoes from Outdoor Photo Gear to keep feet warm and dry while in Antarctica and the Falkland Islands recently. It’s not an incredibly difficult subject but it took me a few times to get my head around the process and be able to get this footwear on quickly and out to the Zodiacs waiting to take us ashore.

You can also view the embedded video on your iPad, thanks to Vimeo!

Don’t forget to hit the full-screen button Full-Screen Button in the video window to view the video full-screen.

Note that there is an iPod/iPhone version of this video in iTunes, which is good for portability, but if you’re watching on a computer, the video above is better.

Neos Adventurer All Season Overshoes:

Baffin Boots on Amazon:

Note: These are affiliate links. The cost to you is unchanged of course, but you will be supporting the Podcast by buying with these links. Thank you!

Follow Martin on twitter here:

Check out Martin's blog here:

And finally, get info on Martin's workshops here:

Hi there, I’m Martin Bailey, and today I’m going to show you how I kept my legs and my feet dry when I was down in Antarctica last month.

What we’re going to look at, basically, obviously you need some footwear. These are Baffin Boots. They’re good down to like minus 70 degrees Celsius. These are my winter weather, insulated boots, that I use anywhere it is going to be cold.

But when you are going to be jumping in and out of zodiacs, or I’m doing beach landings, you want something to keep the saltwater off of these and also to give you a little bit more height.

These are basically what I bought. They’re Neos Overshoes. These are the Adventurer All Weather Overshoes. I bought these from Outdoor Photo Gear. I’ll put a link in the show notes and in the video.

Basically, these are what we’re going to put over the boots. Nice and big so that you can do that. And then to stop water to get in even

Snakes on a Focal Plane!

May 12th, 2011 by Matt Dennison

Our local pal and great customer Jason Holzworth from Louisville, KY recently ventured to Costa Rica for a photo excursion. Jason's a fan of snakes and of OPG and he decided to mix the two in a few images.  One of the best pics of our hat we've seen!

Jason engages in even more dangerous photo ventures every week:  weddings!  You can check out his site and his images here:  and join him on Facebook here.  Thanks Jason!




Putting The Early Morning Sun To Work

May 10th, 2011 by Mike Moats

Well, well, turns out there IS a sun, (we haven’t seen it much this spring) and it was out the other day.  I got out early to beat the wind.  Once that sun gets up and heats up the air, it starts the wind moving.  

Depending on what I’m shooting, I may use the sun for some backlit images.  Not a lot of plants up yet, but have enough Skunk Cabbage and May Apple plants to work with. 

Here is the patch of Skunk Cabbage that I’m working.  In another few weeks when these plants are full grown you won’t be able to see the ground.  They grow in swampy and river bottom areas, and you can see a little bit of the swamps water in the background of this image.  You can see the low angle sun touching some of the plants.  

I usually walk towards the sun studying the leaves to find the best looking backlighting.

The sun needs to be at a low angle to get good backlighting on the leaves. Below, processing  was done first with the Solarization filter in Nik Color Efex Pro, and then some fine tuning in Nik Viveza 2.

The more deeply furrowed the leaf is the more highlights and shadows you get.  I shot this at f/32 for full depth of field.

Think Tank Retrospective Bag Review

May 6th, 2011 by Juan A. Pons

In this video, Juan takes you through the cool features of the Think Tank Retrospective line, and compares the Retrospective 10, 20 and 30.  Think Tank has just released the Retrospective 5 with the same features in a size smaller than the 10.