widlife photography

Day 5: 5 Days of Bosque del Apache Images and Tips

It's Day 5 in my series here on my blog: 5 Days of Bosque del Apache Images and Tips. I'm running this series in preparation for my 2015 Bosque workshop (which is full) and my 2016 Bosque workshop. Click here to see all my 2016 workshops.

Feel free to drag my images into Bridge or Lightroom for metadata.

Opening image: This photographer is shooting with a super-telephoto lens and a telephoto lens. Most photographers at Bosque shoot with two lenses. Me? I always have my wide-angle zoom and telephoto zoom handy.

This photographer is also dressed in camo gear, which is good for photographing wildlife.

Parked behind this photographer were about 20 white, red, blue, silver etc. cars. Standing next to the cars were people wearing brightly colored jackets. So, I am not sure the camo gear helps, but it can't hurt.

Well before you leave home, pack your camera bag. Make sure everything fits and make sure you have everything you need to make great pictures, and process your images on site.

If possible, bring a back-up camera and back-up lenses. There are no major camera stores Bosque. The closest ones are in Albuquerque.

I took this shot of my car’s dashboard with my iPhone. I included it here as a reminded of just how cold it can get in the mornings during November and December. Dress warmly and in layers.

Remember that you are in the desert. By lunchtime, you may be in a t-shirt.

Don’t have super-telephoto lenses, or super-wide-angle lenses for that matter? If you are a Canon shooter like me, join Canon CPS (Canon Professional Services). If you get approved, you can borrow lenses, as well as cameras.

Borrowlenses.com is the company I recommend for renting cameras, lenses and just about anything photographic you need.

Bird photographers need to look up for two reasons: One, to look for photo opportunities; two, to look out for birds flying directly overhead. Overhead birds can mean falling bird poop.

That’s bird poop on my pants in these photographs. I should have been more aware of what was happening overhead!

Looking up is worth it. Check out the shadow on the wing of this sandhill crane. Talk about "dumb luck" shots.

I hope to see you in Bosque sometime. If we meet, remember to keep your head down!

Explore the light,

What's new? My 36th book: Creative Visualization for Photographers.


Five Ways to Learn Bird Photography

Like to photograph birds but need some help turning snapshots into great shots? Here are three options:

1 - Attend my free bird photography seminar on April 7 at 7 PM at Teatown Lake Reservation in Ossining, NY.

2- Check out my Master the Art and Craft of Bird Photography on-line class.

3 - Join my December Bosque del Apache, New Mexico photo workshop.

4 – Check out my Make Better Bird Photographs blog post, which features tips on sharpening, daylight fill-in flash and links to some educational videos.

5 – Read this post: Best lenses for bird photography.

Explore the light,

Friday's "Photo Failed It To Photo Nailed It!" Capture a Bird in Flight

From time to time here on my blog I'll run a post: Friday's "Photo Failed It Photo To Nailed It!" The concept is twofold:
1) I'll share a pair of pictures, along with tips, that illustrate how you can nail a shot;
2) You'll see that pros don't always get it right the first time. :-)

This post: Capture a Bird in Flight (BIF).

I took the opening photograph on one of my Alaska photo workshops. I feel as though I nailed the shot because:
• I had the focus point set on the gull;
• Auto focus was set to AI Servo - which tracks a moving subject;
• I got a good exposure – by checking my histogram and highlight alert;
• My camera was set at high-speed continuous shooting.
• I captured animal behavior;
• I was in the right location for the right light;
• The background was not distracting;
• And . . .  I was damn lucky to get a perfect silhouette of the gull's head on its wing.

The funny thing about the photograph: the gull did not "nail it." He dropped the fish after a brief catch!

My gear for the shot:
Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 100-400mm IS lens.
Exposure Info: ISO 640, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec., exposure compensation: -0.33 (to preserve the highlights while shooting on the Av mode).

Above is one of my Failed It shots from the same shoot. The failure was caused because:
• My camera was accidentally set on One Shot AF;
• I did not have the focus point set on the gull:
• My camera was not set on continuous shooting.

See what happens when you "shoot before you think" - and don't double check your camera settings! :-)

Learn more about bird photography in my on-line class, Master the Art and Craft of Bird Photography." Save $10 with code: rsbirds1.

Explore the light,