Learn practical field, compositional, and technical tips that will Raise the Level of your image creation. In this 5 hour seminar we will discuss dozens (more than 40) specific ways you can improve the technical, and artistic level of your photography.
While designed primarily for outdoor and nature photographers, many of these ideas can be applied to your image making regardless of your area of photographic interest.
• Maximize image sharpness
• Avoid common stumbling blocks to good photography
• Leave locations with more and better compositions
• Bring more art, style, and technical quality to your images
If you think you’ve “seen” Glacier Bay from the deck of a cruise ship, be prepared to be pleasantly surprised and amazed by the things you’ll see on this trip. Glacier Bay is one of the largest national parks in the United States and yes, it does feature a lot of ice. However, there’s so much more. Traveling on a 50-foot boat that we use for our sleeping and eating, we take up to eight passengers. You’ll get closeup photos of humpback whales, sea lions, sea otters and often, brown and black bears as they forage along the ocean shoreline. Although we can get many amazing photos right from the deck of the boat, we’ll also kayak and do short hikes. I’m partnering yet again on this trip with Juneau resident and photographer extraordinaire Mark Kelley. Mark is a NANPA member who has been a Showcase winner many times. He has produced numerous coffee table books and calendars on Alaska and is an all-around nice guy. This will be my seventh trip to Glacier Bay. Our parent company, Dolphin Charters, has been traveling Glacier Bay for some 40 years. The captain knows the area intimately, and as a former whale biologist, intimately understands the behaviors of these magnificent marine mammals.
My spring 2018 Tangier Island Photo Workshop features photography of a unique waterman community and local wildlife. Just south of the Maryland line, in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, lays Tangier Island, VA. Covering approximately 1.2 square miles, Tangier Island is actually a series of small islands connected by narrow wooden bridges spanning marshes and tidal creeks. Tangier is a charming community of waterman and shop owners. Many inhabitants make their living, as did their ancestors for more than 400 years, by crabbing, fishing, and oystering. Each day we will rise before dawn, hoping to capture sunrise images and photos of the waterman as they man their skiffs and works boats, heading out to their offshore crab shanties to gather up their crab pots, scrapes, floats, and other gear for the day. For photos from the water, Saturday morning I chartered a boat for a trip around the island with the hopes of photographing the docks, waterman at work, and local birdlife.
During our stay, we will explore the beach, tidal creeks, and wetlands in search of wildlife. Ducks, geese, herons, rails, shorebirds, skimmers, terns, and pelicans take advantage of the rich food supply that the island and its surroundings afford. There is also a healthy population of ospreys nesting on nearby platforms and jetties. It is not uncommon to see one fly overhead with a fish in its talons..
Includes: One-on-one instruction; image critiques; two night’s accommodations at a B&B; full breakfast; boat charter trip to photograph crab shanties, waterman and ospreys from the water; and transportation around the island by golf cart.
West Virginia is Almost Heaven, and some of the most beautiful sights are located within our State Parks! We’ll be exploring Pipestem Resort State Park, as well as Bluestone Lake State Park, and some other special locations along the way!
Pipestem Resort in southern West Virginia will be our base for the weekend, with discounted rooms at the Lodge, which also has a fine restaurant and meeting space for us. The Lodge overlooks the Bluestone Gorge, and the Bolar Lookout Tower at 3,000 feet provides an inspiring view, as well. It’s not uncommon to see eagles at Pipestem, and we’ll also trek to Bluestone State Park, where Park Naturalist, Julie McQuade, has recently spotted eagles! We will also visit the historic community of Bramwell, where coal barons built lavish mansions during the coal boom; and we’ll feature a visit to the abandoned Lake Shawnee Amusement Park, as well as some additional attractions.
Amanda Haddox and Ron Gaskins, our Instructors, will provide techniques and share their experience throughout our weekend! It will be an exciting and full one, with many locations to see and opportunities to learn.
Most nature photographers go out of their way to avoid the harsh, unforgiving contrast of direct sunlight. The resulting blown highlights and blocked up shadows have ruined many potentially great photos. This type of lighting may work for certain landscape images, but for floral portraits, the soft, even light of an overcast day is generally preferred.
Situated along the Rio Grande River, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge covers more than 57,000 acres and is a major wintering ground for cranes and waterfowl. Refuge personnel manage the water levels of its wetlands and impoundments to simulate what was once the seasonal flow of water from the Rio Grande before the river was damned and the flow altered. To feed the huge number of birds visiting the refuge each year, nearby fields are planted with corn, winter wheat, millet, and other grains. Loop roads transect the refuge marshes and fields and provide prime sites for wildlife viewing and photography. Species that may be seen include shovelers, buffleheads, pintails, teal and other ducks; bald and golden eagles; kestrels and other hawks; turkey; meadowlarks; quail; roadrunners; coyotes; mule deer; and more. In November, large flocks of snow geese and sandhill cranes will be present. At night to escape predators, the birds flock to the marshes and shallow pools. With dawn, the snow geese and other waterfowl rise in mass from the wetlands and sweep overhead on their way to nearby fields to feed. Each day we will spend the early morning and late afternoon hours at the refuge photographing birds and many other species of wildlife which are present at the sanctuary.
Many years ago, I was walking through a lovely old-growth stand of northern hardwoods on a glacial moraine hillside in northeastern Connecticut, conducting a bird survey for a proposed residential subdivision. With each step, my mind slipped deeper into despair over sacrificing this beautiful woodland habitat for human housing. Continue reading →
When spring/summer rolls around, I always start to think about the songbird migration – especially my experiences with warblers on Monhegan Island, Maine. The first time I set foot on Monhegan Island, I needed a pinch to make sure I hadn’t died and gone to heaven. Walking up the hill from the ferry into the village was like going back fifty years in time: dirt roads, handmade signs, and wooden buildings. It was like a Winslow Homer painting had suddenly sprung to life before my eyes. If this wasn’t enough—flocks of colorful songbirds flitted about all over the place, perching on trees, rooftops, fences, anything that was standing upright. The only things for visitors to do on the island are paint (Monhegan supports a summer art colony, including many famous artists like Jamie Wyeth), photograph (every well-known bird photographer visits Monhegan from time to time), and watch birds—lots and lots of birds! Continue reading →
Experience has taught me to exploit compositional techniques that help my nature images take on a more compelling story-telling quality. One such technique that I employ frequently is juxtaposition. This fancy word is formed by joining the Latin root “juxta”, which translates to “next to”, to the word “position”. Compositionally speaking, this means placing the subject next to some object in order to set the stage for a compare-and-contrast scenario. In some cases it is the similarity of the subject to the secondary object, whereas in other cases it may be the difference between the two that is stressed. More often than not, what results is a more inviting look and feel to the final image. In this article, I will delve into more detail about juxtaposition and highlight some examples from my own images. Continue reading →