I have an old Samsonite roll-aboard suitcase that I put a padded divider set in to hold camera gear. The wheels are terrible, the handle is rickety and it tips over when it’s loaded. I was preparing to lead a workshop in Costa Rica recently and I…
This is the time of year I get tired of winter up north here in Michigan and have to get creative to shoot. The University of Michigan runs a Botanical garden so I will go there some days, or I shoot some stuff indoors at home like feathers, agate slab stones, flowers, sea shells, butterfly mounts, leaves I've dried from the fall, etc.
Gerbera Flowers shot with Tamrom 60mm macro
Using Stacks in Lightroom is a convenient way to group similar photos together in grid view and the filmstrip. This is especially helpful if you regularly end up with multiple images of the same subject. You may have multiple shots of the same pose from a portrait session, a string of images from shooting wildlife, or you can even group your bracketed shots together for your HDR work. Stacks are also a good way to manage virtual copies, or different treatments of the same image.
Chris and I are scouting new locations for future workshops on our way to Roma and boy, did we find a gem.
I went to this property last month, and we wanted to check it out again.
Here is a post I did after my last visit.
The owners of this property have been putting out fruit every morning for years, and at about 7 am each morning like clockwork, the birds arrive. There were over 30 Kiskadees flying in to pick up grapes, along with three Altimira Orioles fighting over oranges, and at least half a dozen Golden-fronted Woodpeckers. About a dozen Orange-crowned Warblers would feed on the suet. Mockingbirds would land and grab berries, then fight for positions on my perches. On one day, there were four rare Clay-colored Thrushes coming to feed on the grapes.
You never know what can happen at a photography workshop. last April I went to St Augustine, Florida to attend a workshop taught by Rick Sammon. Before I left, I joked with my wife that Rick and I would hit it off and be good friends.
I won a contest the first day by getting a shot of a galloping horse with all four hooves off of the ground. The next day I volunteered to help teach Lightroom and HDR techniques, and Rick used my HDR images as examples for the class.
I had a great time, and Rick and I actually did hit it off.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your next photography workshop.
Think back to a recent time when the weather was nice and you were in a pleasant park area. The sun was out, the clouds were fluffy, and the birds were singing (a rainbow and some happy skipping may have been involved too but we won't go there…). During this joyous day, recall how many people you saw making photographs. My guess would be quite a few. In general, people like making images when the weather is nice. Yet, when the weather becomes inclement, we tend to stay inside, and far fewer photographs are made.
The world doesn't stop when the weather is bad. As photographers, neither should we.
Since Chris Klapheke and I are heading down to Roma, Texas for one of my workshops, I thought it would be good time to post a few tips on using water drips to attract birds. In Roma, we put a water feature in front of every blind. Due to the dry climate and the sound of the water dripping, we get lots of different drinkers and bathers.
I have been a user of Gitzo tripods for many many years, and have been very fond of their carbon fiber models.
Carbon fiber is the preferred material to use for making durable yet lightweight tripods, however, they are typically very expensive. A few years ago Gitzo developed a new material that offers many of the same advantages of carbon fiber, but at a fraction of the cost.
Check out this video where I explain a bit about the tripods that I am using now made from Basalt, and why I now prefer them over the carbon fiber models.
You can see Gitzo's new line of basalt tripods in the store here: Gitzo Basalt
I've shot a lot of images from my car over the years, but I have to say that I really don't care for it. Yes, it’s nice that you can drive around and sneak up on your subject. Your camera is supported by the car, so you don’t have to carry your gear over your shoulder. You are sitting in a nice leather chair, with maybe a little snack sitting next to the soft drink in the cup holder.
But for me, it totally limits my style of photography. My camera is five feet off the ground and I have limited background options. I can’t get closer that the car can be parked. This was the situation when I tried to photograph a Long-billed Curlew in a field next to a road. The bird was used to traffic so I felt confident that I could drive up as close as the road would permit. I waited untill the evening so the sun would be behind my back (or the back of the car), but when I pulled up, the sun was behind clouds. I fired off a few frames and got the following image.
Nothing too wrong with the image. The bird is nice and sharp. The head angle is good with the bird making eye contact.
I'm heading out to Reno for the North American Nature Photographers Association annual Summit!
The Summit is great get-together of many of the nation's premier nature photographers for presentations, workshops, socializing and exhibits.
In addition to attending some of the presentations and scouring for new products, I'll be helping out our good friend Scott Elowitz in his LensCoat booth. We'll have plenty of LensCoat product to sell, and discount coupons for the OPG Store to hand out.
If you are attending or in the area, stop by and say hi!