Jim Clark

NATURE’S VIEW: The Lowdown on the Slowdown by Jim Clark

With neutral density filter (c) Jim Clark

With neutral density filter (c) Jim Clark

Variable Neutral Density Filters Expand Horizons for Landscape Photography

Story and photographs by Jim Clark

For years I was a devoted citizen of the basic rules of landscape photography. Images were sharp and focused throughout, and I photographed only during early morning, late afternoon or during days with overcast skies. I wouldn’t have dared to photograph during the mid-day hours when there were clear skies. I did not step outside this zone of comfort fearing somewhere in some international doctrine of nature photography I would be prosecuted to the fullest extent. Yet, I wanted to add a bit more spark to my images. Read the rest of this entry »

NATURE’S VIEW: Photographing from a Boat During a Cold Alaskan Rain, Part 2, by Jim Clark

Sea Otter 08212013 Southeast AK (c) Jim Clark

Sea Otter 08212013 Southeast AK (c) Jim Clark

Story and photograph by Jim Clark

In the last issue of eNews (Part I), I wrote about a private cruise along the Alaskan Coast where I was invited to teach photography. In that piece, I emphasized the importance of keeping your equipment and yourself safe and weatherproof when photographing from a small boat. Now that we are warm and cozy, and our equipment is protected from the fickle elements of the weather, let’s explore some shooting techniques.

Unless you are photographing from a ship (remember, a boat fits on a ship, but a ship cannot fit on a boat), a tripod is not going to be useful. There is too much wave action and other vibration-causing variables, such as boat motors, breaching whales, splashing seals and such. Handholding your equipment is the way to go on a small skiff. Having the luxury of great technology today is helpful in achieving sharp images when handholding gear. Read the rest of this entry »

NATURE’S VIEW: Photographing from a Boat During a Cold Alaskan Rain, Part I

Story and photograph by Jim Clark

Stellar Sea Lion next to Boat, Brothers Island, Alaska, (c) Jim Clark

Stellar Sea Lion next to Boat, Brothers Island, Alaska, (c) Jim Clark

I haven’t made much of a go at photographing from a boat, but when invited to teach photography during a private cruise along the Alaskan Coast last August, I couldn’t resist.  I soon forgot about that imbalance in my ear.

I captured many wonderful images from the 120-foot-long mother ship, Mist Cove, but I also photographed from smaller skiffs that could easily maneuver around the islands we explored.

The weather was unpredictable. Many times we encountered rain and fog. So, based on my experience, here are some suggestions for photographing from a small boat in the often chilly and wet conditions of coastal Alaska. In Part I, we explore how to prepare you and your equipment to ensure a safe and fun experience, while Part II—to be published in the next installment of eNews—will cover shooting techniques. Read the rest of this entry »

NATURE’S VIEW: Getting to Ground Level

by Jim Clark

Oystercatcher_20120429_001(c) Jim ClarkOf all the genres of nature photography, my most challenging one is wildlife photography.

Challenge one: the primary subject is mobile and doesn’t tend to stay in place very long unless sleeping, resting or nesting.  Challenge two: the primary subject is more wary than a landscape, flower or inanimate abstract subject. Challenge three: The primary subject has eyes. It may very well be watching your every move.

The first inclination of many aspiring nature photographers is to remain standing to photograph a critter that is much smaller than they are. While I, too, will stand to photograph a smaller animal the first time I encounter it, I then make an effort to change my perspective and get lower. Read the rest of this entry »

NATURE’S VIEW: Know Your Subject


by Jim Clark

Eastern Amberwing Skimmer  07232013 Banshee Reeks (c) Jim Clark_5Welcome. What an honor it is to share with other NANPA members my love for nature and nature photography through this column. As the title attests, my columns will focus on techniques you can use in the field to capture images that convey a true sense of place. After all, the joy of nature photography begins with our time in the field. Without nature, there is no nature photography.

What makes nature photographers unique in the world of photography?  It boils down to three words: knowledge of nature. The more you know and understand nature, the better you become as a nature photographer. I guarantee it! Read the rest of this entry »

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