It was September of 2006 when I walked into a Tri-County Camera Club meeting in Nutley, New Jersey to judge my first photo competition. As a member of my own camera club, I had spent the previous six years listening attentively to other judges score and critique our own competition entries, some even offering suggestions on how to improve them. Not all judges are created equal and I didn’t always agree with what they had to say but I developed a thick skin and used many of their suggestions to help improve my own work. And now it was my turn in the hot seat. Continue reading →
I’ll let you in a little secret: I’m kind of an introvert. A life spent chasing bugs and toads doesn’t exactly translate to an explosive social life. So for the first few years of my career in nature photography, I avoided big photographic functions, preferring to put my head down and focus on the work that had a conservation impact in my home state of South Carolina.
It wasn’t until 2011 that I decided to take the plunge and attend my first NANPA Summit. I was a little over a year into Meet Your Neighbours, an international photo project that I co-founded in 2009, and I needed to recruit more photographers to join the effort. That year, the Summit was being held in McAllen, Texas, and as I rode the bus to the hotel—sweaty and disheveled from a day of flying—I wondered what I had gotten myself into. How could I know that moments later, a series of events would transpire that would alter the course of my life? Continue reading →
Autumn, (The Quiet Season). Yellowstone, the world’s first national park, holds an endless fascination for travelers from all over the world and for good reason. With its unrivaled natural geologic wonders and abundant wildlife the park is a magnet for people seeking adventure. The crowds pose a bit of a problem for nature photographers, who generally prefer to pursue their passion with a bit more solitude. Continue reading →
In my previous articles on the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs/drones) in aerial photography and videography, I concentrated on the ethical and legal considerations, the hardware capabilities of some popular brands, and exposure techniques for both still photography and video clips. In this article I describe some techniques that can enhance your shooting style when in video mode and can result in some dramatic and interesting footage.
First, satisfy all of the legal and ethical requirements for where you intend to launch.
Don’t start recording at takeoff and fly around without a plan until you run out of battery life. Before the launch, work out a plan for what you intend to capture during the flight. Sometimes it’s best to use a first flight to reconnoiter the area before hitting the record button. Decide on an interesting perspective, and practice the maneuver before recording a sequence. Continue reading →
California has nine national parks—more than any other state in the nation—and the southernmost of them, Joshua Tree National Park, is located near the northern end of the Mohave Desert. This great desert park is easy to reach, easy to hike and lots of fun.
The calm beauty of the desert is near its peak here. Being out and immersed in the delicious solitude present before dawn is one of the great joys of nature photography. In such special moments, it is easy to feel the rhythms of the Earth and reconnect with Nature.
Despite its name, the Joshua tree isn’t a tree at all. This somewhat strange looking plant is actually a yucca. More to the point—in the bright light of day—it is immediately plain to see that it is not all that photogenic. The best images of these unique yuccas show them in silhouette, emphasizing their interesting and graceful forms, which are often backlit against a brilliantly colored sky. Continue reading →
(before you give them a rake) Weeds- the bane of existence for every gardener. They’re invasive and take over our flowerbeds and carefully manicured yards. The definition of “weed” in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary reads as such: “a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth; especially: one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants.” Continue reading →