Learn the basics of photography and start yourself down the path toward great photographs.
1. Learn how your camera “sees” and how you can use this knowledge to improve your images.
2. Learn what all those dials do and which ones “really matter”.
3. Learn fundamentals of aperture, shutter speed and depth of field.
4. Learn fundamentals of composition.
5. Learn what camera and lenses are best for you.
6. Learn to develop your eye.
7. Learn how to get the best exposure in every situation.
8. Learn how to recognize beautiful light.
Excellent opportunity to photograph many beautiful warblers: colors and patterns, as a group, unmatched.
The Eastern Upper Peninsula at and just north of Lake Huron can be spectacular for northern warblers at the time of this trip. 24 species breed in the area and 3 more migrate through at this time. Scarlet Tanager, Indigo Bunting, Baltimore Oriole, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Blue-headed vireo, and many others join them. Many of the 24 species of warblers have a breeding range extending further north. And many individuals stay around the lake shore after crossing Lake Huron to feed on the super abundant midge hatches. The midges feed the incredible population of spiders, which the warblers also love. There is so much food around for warblers that their territories are often shrunken. On a 1.5 acre lot where I live we have had 7 species of warblers breed for over 15 years! The past few years there has been a Spruce Budworm outbreak along the lake front and in areas we will visit inland. The outbreak will continue this year. Spruce Budworm specialists such as Cape May and Tennessee Warblers are abundant, and many other species such as Blackburnian, Magnolia, Canada and Black-throated Green Warblers have increased their numbers. Last year a Bay-breasted pair attempted to nest.
Here is an animation of migrating birds in the western hemisphere that clearly shows that Michigan funnels migrating birds (especially northern warblers) through the area of this workshop at the time of the workshop: mid-to-late May.
We will strive for images with excellent composition, not just a bird on a stick large in the frame with a clean background. The types of opportunities you will have on this trip can never be found at a migration hotspot such as Magee Marsh or Pt Pelee, where there can be plenty of warblers but you can only hope that a bird might be close enough and land on a unblocked perch with a decent background. At these excellent viewing locations good photographic opportunities are often days apart. But we will have many excellent opportunities most days.
At the time of this trip the aggressive experienced males, which are in their brightest plumage, provide abundant opportunity in their breeding habitat, especially because of all the migrants of the same species around.
Human vision has a lot to take in and process, with the result that our brains are constantly on the lookout for low-risk shortcuts as they assemble our visual representations. Magicians and other entertainers routinely use this fact to trick us into seeing what should be there, rather than what really is there, and making a visual error. Continue reading →