Polar bears

10 Countries, 10 Days, 10 Tips: Day 7 - Churchill, Canada

Rick Sammon photograph.
It's Day 7 of my travel series here on my blog. Thanks for joining me.

Location: Churchill, Canada.

Tip: Photograph the polar bears in winter, when there is snow and ice on the ground.

Rick Sammon photograph.
Photographers from around the world make the trek to Churchill to photograph the polar bears. Some stay in lodges, but I think you'll get a higher percentage of good pictures and have a better experience if you stay on site in a polar buggy or tundra buggy, as I did (see below).

Rick Sammon photograph.
If you do stay in a polar or tundra buggy, be sure to have toe-warmers. Even though the vehicles are heaters, your toes may get chilly . . . because it can be 35 degrees below zero outside.

Rick Sammon photograph.
When it comes to lenses, the longer the better. The polar bears come up to the vehicles, but photos taken that close look as though they were taken in a zoo.

Rick Sammon photograph.
You definitely want to photograph the animals from a distance.

Rick Sammon photograph.
Most of the time you'll be shooting through a window from the vehicle. But if it's safe, you might be able to shoot outside the vehicle. The photograph directly above illustrates a basic composition rule . . . the rule of odds. For more tips on composition, see my Composition class on Kelby Training.


When photographing white subjects, set your exposure compensation to +1 as a starting point for a good exposure. As always, check your histogram and highlight alert.

Rick Sammon photograph.
Above is a shot of our polar bear caravan. We had a vehicles for eating, sleeping, dining and partying. Good fun.


My favorite and recommended lens/accessory for this trip:

I hope to see you on one of my workshops someday.


Explore the light,
Rick

Family Photo Tips All This Week. Day 5: Add +1 When Shooting In the Snow and Sand

The Sammon MCS-5200 Snow Removal Machine. Power not included.
I am have fun getting my pictures and photo tips together for my talk on family photography at the Upper West Side Apple store on February 26th in NYC. 

While I am in the family photo mood, I thought I'd post some of my favorite family photos and tips here on my blog - along with some of my travel photographs that illustrate the same basic techniques.

Today's Tip: When shooting in the snow (or at the beach) set your exposure compensation at +1.

When shooting in the snow, or at the beach, set your exposure compensation to +1 for an accurate automatic exposure. Why? Because all that snow and sand can fool your camera's exposure meter into thinking that the scene is brighter than it is, resulting in an underexposed image.

Here is another tip: Spend as much time with your kid or kids as possible. And have as much fun as possible.

As illustrated below, you can use this technique when photographing animals in the snow, too!





I took the photographs above during one of my chilly photo workshops. :-)
All of these pictures were taken with my Canon 100-400mm IS lens:

Explore the light,
Rick

P.S. If you plan to shoot in the snow (or rain), check out the Op/Tech camera cover: