Join award-winning wildlife photographer and naturalist Jacqueline Deely for an inspirational weekend of photography amid a spectacular setting along California’s rugged central coast. Camp Ocean Pines in Cambria is a rustic camp sitting on thirteen acres of Monterey Pine forest that nearly meets the ocean shore. Wildlife abounds, with seals and otters swimming by, and deer roaming through the property.
Throughout the weekend, explore how we can connect with nature, learn about our environment and make a difference through our experiences and the images we capture. Field activities visit nearby locations with specific goals in mind. We will take advantage of optimal light in the early morning and evening and when wildlife tends to be most active. Classroom sessions include illustrated presentations and discussions evolve around our own unique moments and encounters in the wild. Sharing our work allows us to delve deeper into the thought process behind our photographs and the stories they tell.
Although not required, staying on-site at Camp Ocean Pines is highly recommended to enhance the overall experience. Accommodations are shared in comfortable straw bale cabins, engineered for passive solar efficiency, and constructed from timbers and siding milled from wind-felled trees on the property. It will be a wonderful way to stay connected with nature and fellow participants throughout the entire weekend.
All meals are included except dinner on Saturday night, which will be free for participants to visit and dine in the quaint town of Cambria. Alcohol is not available at the camp, but you are welcome to bring your own.
Transportation to the various field locations will be in our own vehicles with the plan to carpool.
This workshop is tremendous value and open to anyone with a love of nature and photography. All levels are welcome: however, students must have a basic understanding of how to operate their own equipment.
$402 with meals and lodging / $350 with meals and no lodging
If you’ve ever tried to shoot nature photos within an urban environment, you’ve undoubtedly asked yourself questions like these at one time or another. I often write about the difficulties of pursuing a career as a nature photographer in a large metropolitan city. It’s not always economically or logistically possible to escape city limits and venture into the wild to capture true nature. You sometimes have no choice but to shoot nature wherever you can find it—amidst all the inherent distractions of a concrete jungle.
I used to go to great lengths to avoid any man-made objects in my nature photos, believing that any hint of urban artifacts would lessen the impact of the natural subject. This would be true if the objects were only in the shot due to careless oversight. However, it’s an entirely different story if their inclusion is deliberate and done for creative purposes.
Cities come alive with color in the spring. You probably won’t have to go far to find a beautiful flower display. Instead of attempting to isolate it from its surroundings, try to incorporate the natural and the artificial worlds.
Looking down Park Avenue
In New York, colorful tulips adorn the median of Park Avenue for several miles. With the traffic zooming by just a few feet away, it’s amazing that they survive. Yet, not only do they survive in this inhospitable environment, they flourish. And for a couple of weeks during the season, they really put the “park” in Park Avenue. Countless tourists photograph these flowers each year, but very few hang around until twilight. That’s too bad (well, it’s great for me since I practically have the whole place to myself), because the city and traffic lights add a lot of vitality to the scene. Instead of waiting for the traffic to clear out of the shot in the photo above, I waited for it to enter. I wanted to use the light trails from passing vehicles as a dynamic framing element for the tulips, as well as a way to help draw the viewer’s eye into the shot. I chose this particular spot in between two glass towers for more symmetry and more colorful light reflecting off the windows. Lastly, I used a 16mm fisheye lens to emphasize the “tunnel” effect of the scene. Continue reading →
It is easy for digital photographers to get lazy out in the field — “Oh, I can fix it digitally, later. . . .”
There is nothing necessarily wrong with that approach, but I like to try to get it right in the field, preferably all in one shot. And sometimes that takes a few tricks.
Take the image below I just photographed.
A long exposure can give a nice abstract feel to an image. Using a polarizer slows down your shutter speed about 2 stops helps give you that longer exposure. Combined with a small aperture and low ISO, I had a nice long 30 second exposure to really abstract the water on the lake.
But what about the sky? It is a lot brighter than the darker foreground here and will overexpose. I could shoot it in two different exposures and add in the properly exposed sky later, but I’d rather get it one shot.
So I pulled my 3 stop Graduated Neutral Density filter out of my bag and held it over the lens to bring down the light in the bright sky and equalize the exposure. Voila – you get the image all in one shot. A little more work up front, sure, but worth it to me. (And less work on the computer, later!).