For many nature photographers, there are few places on earth that can captivate the imagination and inspire us to get “out there” like the tropics. The biological riches of these exciting destinations are unparalleled and these regions are rife with opportunities for nature photography. Consider for example that tiny countries such as Costa Rica host more species of birds than all of North America, or that in just one square mile of rainforest there may be as many as 50,000 species of insects. The biodiversity of the tropics is truly incredible!
The reality however, is that many of these species can be difficult to find and nature photography in the tropics often presents special challenges. Tropical countries tend to be hot, humid and rainy. The local wildlife is often not used to human presence and are reclusive. Information may be scarce about where or how to find certain species. And, it is often the case that the areas where these treasures can be found are under towering forest canopies where slow shutter speeds are the norm. As a result, capturing pleasing images of the natural world in these places presents a challenge to even the most experienced nature photographers. The tips in this article represent a few of the lessons that I have learned during my time spent pursuing images in the tropics.
You spent big money on your new DSLR. Now consider spending just a little more to protect it.
A few months back, Scott Elowitz of LensCoat was kind enough to show me the BodyGuard Pro CB. It’s a neoprene cover that fits over your camera while attached to a lens. There is a clear back that lets you see the LCD, even while the cover is on.
The most compelling photos are those that create a connection between your subject and your viewer. This not only applies to wildlife photography, but just about every other type, such as portrait, wedding, human interest, travel, Photojournalism, etc.
As the old cliché goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”, so make sure your viewer connects with your image right from the get go.
The most effective way to create that connection is to maintain eye level with your subject, I am always amazed by how so many people will take images from a standing position without regard to their relative eye level to their subject. I see this all too often when judging competitions at local photo clubs.
If you’ve watched my online conversation carefully, you know I am a big fan of Think Tank Photo bags. They are designed by photographers for photographers. I’ve been using a Think Tank Airport Addicted as my main bag for years.
But for situations that don’t quite require such a big bag, there’s now an option. The Think Tank Airport Takeoff is a slightly smaller bag than the Airport Addicted.
I recently had the pleasure of photographing West Maui from a doors off helicopter. It’s not something I have ever done. I’ve photographed from sea planes and from a helicopter with doors on it but both are a different experience.
My pal Rick Sammon and I have been at this photography game for a long, long time – as is evidenced by our continually graying hair. (Hey – at least we still HAVE hair!)
Anyway, over the years, Rick and I have compiled a bunch of sayings we use to help people improve their photography. We promised several podcasts back that we’d post a list of some of the more prominent ones and here it is. Enjoy. (NOTE: Some of these sayings were inspired by other quotes or photographers and some of these we made up. It doesn’t matter which is which – only that you learn from them.)