Tag: National Wildlife Federation

Photographing wildlife

Today – nothing to do with politics or the state of the world!

Millions enjoy taking photographs of wildlife.

So it was with great pleasure to come across a guest article on the National Wildlife Federation‘s blogsite called: 7 Wildlife Photo Tips to Never Forget.

Here’s a flavour of the article:

I’ve always felt great wildlife photography mapped well to the Chinese proverb “the journey is the reward.” While I obviously enjoy seeing the end result of my wildlife photography outings I get a great deal of satisfaction in the crafting of those images. My best images often rise to the top because of one of the following maxims: –

1. Backgrounds are Equally Important as Your Subject

Pronghorn Antelope (Antilocapra americana) Portrait. Canon EOS 1Ds III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS USM + 2x teleconverter, 1/250 sec, f/8, ISO 400
Pronghorn Antelope (Antilocapra americana) Portrait. Canon EOS 1Ds III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS USM + 2x teleconverter, 1/250 sec, f/8, ISO 400

The article goes on to offer these tips:

  • Embrace Serendipity When Photo Editing
  • Challenge Viewers with Anthropomorphism
  • Employ Non-Standard Compositions
  • Capture Your Subjects at Their Eye Level
  • Factor in Form and Pose
  • Utilize Negative Space

It has loads of fabulous advice plus some pretty neat pictures.

Take a look at the last tip:

7. Utilize Negative Space

Alert Sea Otter and Pup. Canon EOS 1Ds III, Canon 600mm + 1.4x teleconverter, 1/1000 sec, f/8, ISO 400
Alert Sea Otter and Pup.
Canon EOS 1Ds III, Canon 600mm + 1.4x teleconverter, 1/1000 sec, f/8, ISO 400

Don’t have a long lens? Fear not as images taken with shorter focal length lenses can help capture areas of negative space. By employing negative space you can enhance your subject by highlighting its place/scale, its environment and/or leverage contrasting color and textures to make your subject stand out.

Finally, having ‘borrowed’ these couple of images, it seems only proper to close the post with the last two paragraphs of the article promoting both the NWF and the guest author, Jim Goldstein.  If you own a camera and enjoy the great outdoors then do read the article in full.

Enter the National Wildlife Photo Contest

Be sure to read Jim’s previous post about selecting the right gear for spectacular landscape photography. And, after you’ve rented your gear, planned your trip, and taken your wonderful nature photos, remember to enter the National Wildlife Photo Contest. You could win part of $6,000 in prizes, including a Grand Prize trip for two to Churchill, Canada where you can see and photograph polar bears. There are wildlife and landscape categories, but the deadline to enter is July 15, so enter soon!

About Jim Goldstein

Jim Goldstein is a San Francisco-based professional photographer and author who has been in numerous publications, including Outdoor PhotographerDigital Photo ProPopular Photography and has self-published a PDF eBook Photographing the 4th Dimension – Time covering numerous slow shutter techniques. Follow Jim Goldstein on Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | 500px

 

And let me close with a favourite of mine – a dog photograph, of course!

Sunset Dog.
Sunset Dog.

Wildlife Photo Tips

A response to the many who enjoy the regular Sunday photo parade.

Jean and I have recently joined the National Wildlife Federation partly because there are times when it really does seem ‘wild’!  Anyway, I was trawling the NWF website the other day and came across this very helpful advice: 7 Wildlife Photo Tips to Never Forget. In view of the popularity of Sunday’s regular Picture Parade on Learning from Dogs, it seemed appropriate to dip into that section for today’s post. [Note: you will have to go to the website to read the full article as it would be wrong to republish the entire item without permission.]

7 Wildlife Photo Tips to Never Forget

This guest post by Jim Goldstein is sponsored by BorrowLenses.com.

I’ve always felt great wildlife photography mapped well to the Chinese proverb “the journey is the reward.” While I obviously enjoy seeing the end result of my wildlife photography outings I get a great deal of satisfaction in the crafting of those images. My best images often rise to the top because of one of the following maxims:

1. Backgrounds are Equally Important as Your Subject

2. Embrace Serendipity When Photo Editing

3. Challenge Viewers with Anthropomorphism

4. Employ Non-Standard Compositions

5. Capture Your Subjects at Their Eye Level

6. Factor in Form and Pose

7. Utilize Negative Space

I am going to republish just one of these tips to give you an idea, because the advice is stunning, in my humble opinion.

2. Embrace Serendipity When Photo Editing

Arctic Hare. Canon 1D Mark II, Canon 500mm f/2.8 + 1.4x teleconverter, 1/640 sec, f/7.1, ISO 400
Arctic Hare. Canon 1D Mark II, Canon 500mm f/2.8 + 1.4x teleconverter, 1/640 sec, f/7.1, ISO 400

When behind the camera, focus carefully on your subject. But when photo editing look for unique and subtle differences that might enhance or transform the story within your image. Case in point: this example image of a mosquito biting the nose of an Arctic Hare. My attention was on obtaining a razor sharp image and composing carefully, but when photo editing I found a couple frames that captured the biting mosquito that had been invisible to me at the time I took the photo.

Arctic Hare Being Bitten By Mosquito on the Nose
Arctic Hare Being Bitten By Mosquito on the Nose

Jim Goldstein is a San Francisco-based professional photographer and author who has been in numerous publications, including Outdoor Photographer, Digital Photo Pro, Popular Photography and has self-published a PDF eBook Photographing the 4th Dimension – Time covering numerous slow shutter techniques. Follow Jim Goldstein on Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | 500px

Do take a few moments and go across to the website and read the full set of tips.  If you have any interest in photographing nature and wildlife this is unmissable good advice.  Want to know more about the National Wildlife Federation?  More information here.

The Versatile Blogger Award

My rather slow response to my Versatile Blogger award!

Last Friday morning, the 16th, I turned on my PC to discover that lovely Kathryn Johnston of 4amWriter had nominated Learning from Dogs for the Versatile Blogger Award.  I was blown away especially as since then the connections I have made with other writers have been wonderful.

However, a more prompt acknowledgement on LfD seems to have escaped me until today.  I quickly learnt that there is a proper protocol associated with the response to the award.

  1. Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post.
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Pass this award along to 15 blogs you enjoy reading.
  4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

So here goes!

Award logo

So first, a very big thank you to Kathryn of 4amWriter for including me in her list.  As she said on her post, “This title says it all! If you love dogs, this is a must-visit!”  That’s generous of Kathryn.  Dogs are a very powerful reminder of an uncomplicated way to live, as described on the Home Page.  The Vision behind the Blog is:

  • Our children require a world that understands the importance of faith, integrity and honesty
  • Learning from Dogs will  serve as a reminder of the values of life and the power of unconditional love – as so many, many dogs prove each and every day
  • Constantly trying to get to the truth …
  • The power of greater self-awareness and faith …

Seven things about me!

H’mm, what to say.

  1. Born in London 6 months before the end of WWII,
  2. Been a business-to-business salesman most of my life,
  3. Started my own business in 1978 and remained in ‘self-employment’ until quite recently,
  4. Lived on my own boat, based in Larnaca, Cyprus, for 5 years,
  5. A keen glider pilot for many years at Rattlesden Gliding Club in Suffolk, later a private pilot,
  6. Always wanted to write,
  7. And, finally, happier than I have ever been being married to Jean, having met in Mexico in 2007, moving out there with Pharaoh, my GSD, in 2008 and subsequently arriving in Payson, Arizona in 2010 with 11 dogs and 6 cats!

So here are the 16 Blogs (I use that description loosely) that I wish to pass this award to:

  • Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism.  How Yves finds the time to produce the huge volume of articles and website links every day is beyond me.
  • James Kwak and Simon Johnson of Baseline Scenario.  James and Simon were, for me, an early source of openness about the key issues affecting the global economy that slammed into our collective faces in 2008.
  • Patrice Ayme of the Blog of his own name.  Patrice’s sub-heading on his Blog reads, “Intelligence at the core of humanism.”  Again, a prolific writer with a huge intellect that he puts to wonderful use.  Just pick anything that he has written to see that proved in spades.
  • Patrick Smith of Patrick Smith Photography. Just breath-taking photographs.  Do visit his website.
  • Bill McKibben of 350.org.  The headline on the website says, “We’re building a global movement to solve the climate crisis.”  Say no more!
  • Michelle of Dog Kisses’s blog.  Wonderful blog – just go there and enjoy it.
  • Sue of Sue Dreamwalker. Again, just a wonderful Blog – do please visit.
  • Vlatko, the owner of Top Documentary Films.  We do not subscribe to any television channels at home so Vlatko’s resource is so valuable for us.  Huge selection of free documentary films to watch.
  • Deanna Raeke and Andrea Rosebrock of the Blog For The Love of a Dog.  Very active in fighting all corners on behalf of man’s oldest companion.
  • Rob Hopkins and his team at Transition Network.  Rob is one of the leading voices for changing to a sustainable relationship with this planet.  He is based in Totnes, Devon, my local town for many years when I lived in the village of Harberton.  His books on Transition are masterpieces.
  • Victoria Brown, Daniel Honan and team at Big Think.  As their headline says, “A forum where top experts explore the big ideas and core skills defining the 21st century.”  Fabulous resource.
  • All the Directors and team at Sustainable Arizona.  As is described on their site, Sustainable Arizona is about, “Our nonprofit organization is made up of volunteers and professionals committed to making sustainable development possible. We accomplish this by encouraging businesses that add true value to our communities while preserving the environment.
  • Anthony Watts of Watt’s Up With That. With over 9,000 followers and over 98 million viewers this very reasonably can be regarded as the world’s most viewed climate website.  Anthony’s 3 million monthly visitors puts my 40,000 into perspective!
  • The whole team at the US-based National Wildlife Federation.  Their MissionAs America’s largest conservation organization, National Wildlife Federation works with more than 4 million members, partners and supporters in communities across the country to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future!
  • Peter Russell of Spirit of Now.  Peter writes on his Blogsite, “There are many observations I make in daily life—some profound, some mundane—mostly concerning the natural world around, or the nature of the inner world of mind. Some incline us to wonder and awe. Others make us think, and question our assumptions.”  Never before have we needed so much to think about the way we think!
  • Nakibul Hoq, blogging from Bangladesh in the city of Dhaka under the Blog name of Freedom to Survive.

I shall be passing on the ‘award’ to all bloggers today.

Let me close again by saying such a big thank you to Kathryn of 4amWriter and, from that, how quickly I came across Limebird Writers who, I know, will be a great source of support as I face 2012 and ‘the novel’!