Friday's Fab Photographer: Laurie Rubin

It's Friday - time for another Friday's Fab Photographer here on my blog. This week, the fab Laurie Rubin. For past Fab Photographers, type Friday's Fab Photographer in the search window of my blog.

Take it away, Laurie.

As the Education Project Manager for Nik Software, I get the privilege to demonstrate our award winning software and work with some of the giants in our industry (including Rick Sammon). 

Nature photography is a passion of mine and I seek to capture the moment that speaks to me and hopefully to my viewers. In particular, I look for behavior in animals that express emotion or action.  The key is to find the "story" in an image and not just take a snapshot because it is there. An intense connection between the animal or landscape that I am photographing sometimes just takes my breath away.  

For example, there have been times when I've photographed a lion or bird and they are as intense and interested in me as I am in them. When the sky opens up and the light falls on a single tree in a forest or when there is the perfect light, pose or a behavior that is evoked that I couldn't have choreographed if I had planned it are the types of moments I seek.

I recently returned from a trip to Africa where I was able to experience the vast landscapes and animals in Kenya. From the elephant herds dusting themselves in Amboseli to the crossing at the Mara River, it was an incredible experience that will change me forever as a photographer and as a person.

The herds in Africa are amazing and getting the environment in the shot is important. I tend to focus in on my subject, so being reminded to include the landscapes in some of my images helps to show the place and time.

Being able to position yourself so that the herds were walking toward you is key to getting an interesting photograph. Having an experienced guide with you makes all the difference!

Animals such as lions tend to sleep most of the day, so it takes a lot of patience to hang around to capture that special moment. In this image, it was beginning to rain, so the lions took shelter under the bushes. The rain helps to bring out the saturation of dark green the background.

Capturing special moments such as a rainbow with animals and interesting clouds was a real treat. This can also be a photographic challenge when you have the bright sun and deep shadows. Something that I learned on this trip was to overexpose by 1/3 or 2/3 of a stop to bring up the details in the shadows. You can also use software such as Viveza 2 and the Shadow Adjustment with Control Points to selectively enhance certain areas of your image. Detail Extractor, one of the new filters in Color Efex Pro 4, helps to bring out the details in the clouds and the colors of the rainbow.

Isolating your subject can create an interesting image. Often times the animals will be grouped together, so again, patience is the key to getting that shot. You will be rewarded more often times than not by taking a few more minutes to wait and see what unfolds before you.

- Laurie A. Rubin, Education Project Manager, Nik Software.

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Laurie A. Rubin is an award-winning photographer specializing in nature and landscape photography. 

As the Education Project Manager for Nik Software, the makers of award-winning software for photographers, Laurie oversees all of Nik’s acclaimed live Guest and Master training webinars and is responsible for creating and coordinating educational content and projects. 

Laurie teaches a number of Master Classes and Seminars herself on enhancing landscape and wildlife images, and co-hosts guest webinars. Her passion for photography and sharing with others, skill behind the camera and vast post-processing experience in the “digital darkroom” makes her a sought out favorite for educational webinars and seminars.

"Photography is art - whether it is realistic or artistic, it is your vision, what you saw at that moment. You can choose to leave it as is, or enhance it to bring out the feeling of the moment. The choice is yours." 

- Laurie A. Rubin, Education Project Manager, Nik Software

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Thank you, Laurie!

Readers: You can get a 15% discount on all Nik Software if upon check out you use this code: RSAMMON.