Great Smoky Mountains Fall with Tom Mace

Come join us on a breathtaking journey as we explore the Great Smoky Mountains as Mother Nature colors the landscape for truly remarkable photo opportunities. This 3 ½ day 4 night trip will give you opportunities to not only capture the essence of fall, but a great chance to photograph wildlife in fall back drops. We have scouted the area and know where our clients can achieve the best success in photographing wildlife and surreal landscapes. Some of the best Fall colors in the world occur every year in the Appalachian Mountain Range; photographers can spend a lifetime and never capture it all. We will also take you on a drive that will afford opportunities for mountain views, waterfalls, and much more. This is such a popular trip, we scheduled 3 of them in a row. Tripod Travelers provides all ground transportation, meals, hotel, and most importantly coaching on different photography techniques to ensure you go home a better nature photographer with memories to last a lifetime. Not only are your group leaders experts in photographing and navigating these magnificent landmarks; they pride themselves on maintaining and respecting the natural environment of all parks they visit.

This is an all inclusive workshop. All workshops, ground transportation, hotel, meals, fees, and the little things are included in this price.

Grand Tetons Fall with Tom Mace

Fall in the Grand Teton National Park is a gift to any photographer attempting to capture nature at its finest. The colors of the park dramatically change establishing astonishing landscape settings with the dominating Tetons as a backdrop. Bears are fattening up and actively feeding in the lower elevations while Elk and Moose fiercely compete for mates as the Rut swings into high gear. As the bugling of the Elk warn all that winter is coming, you can’t help but slow down and appreciate the opportunity to capture this magical time of year with your camera. That is where Tripod Travelers steps in. We plan several trips to the Grand Tetons each year during Spring, Summer, and Fall as the park offers many unique perspectives as the seasons change. Our Fall Trips focus on the Rut, Bears, Moose, and Elk. We get our clients in safe positions to learn, appreciate, and capture these incredible animals as they prepare for winter. Whether Bears digging up Tubers, Elk beginning their annual migration to the Elk reserve or Moose competing in a marsh for their companion; we do our research and leverage our experience to teach our clients how to locate and photograph these animals as they all focus on the next 6 months of surviving the harsh cold that lies ahead. The landscape is also quickly transforming with Fall colors making for incredible landscape opportunities. Based on the time of year, we know the specific locations animals frequent throughout the park and we get you safely in position to seize the opportunity of photographing nature at its finest. Not only are your group leaders experts in photographing and navigating these magnificent landmarks; they pride themselves on maintaining and respecting the natural environment of all parks they visit.

This is an all inclusive workshop. All workshops, ground transportation, hotels, meals, fees, and the little things are included in the price.

Glacier National Park with Tom Mace

This unique National Park offers endless sunrise and sunset opportunities; whether back dropped against a mountain range, reflections on water, or sunrise in an open field of elk it is truly awe inspiring. There is an abundance of wildlife throughout the park; Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goats, Elk, Moose, Bears (Black and Grizzly), Deer, and Birds to name a few. If you are looking to learn both landscape and wildlife photography, this may be one of the best places in America to achieve both. Not only are your group leaders experts in photographing and navigating these magnificent landmarks; they pride themselves on maintaining and respecting the natural environment of all parks they visit.

This is an all inclusive workshop. All workshops, ground transportation, hotel, meals, fees, and the little things are included in the price.

South Africa Safari with Tom Mace

What is Included?
• Round Trip Airfare from Atlanta GA to Johannesburg South Africa (15 hr non-stop flight)
• Overnight Stay at Hotel D’Oreale Grande, in Johannesburg
• Transfer to Makutsi Game Reserve
• 7 Nights, 8 Days
• Daily Game Drives
• Breakfast and Dinner Included, Lunch is on your own at restaurant on site
• Lodging in a South African Rondavel (bungalow), including 2 natural spring pools, bar and restaurant.
• Dedicated Photography Instruction, including post processing and critique
• No Single Supplement Charges!
• Non-Photography Spouses/Travelers Welcome

Join us on an amazing photography Safari in South Africa. We will be in a setting where your opportunity to photograph lions, leopards, elephants, rhino, and buffalo (Big 5) are amazingly accessible to our photographers. Giraffe, hippos, crocodiles, cheetah, and many other hoofed and clawed animals will be on show during this excursion. Our visit in late August is during the dry season where the grasses are short and the wildlife congregates around water. There will be ample opportunities to capture the rich diversity of nature from our open top Safari vehicles to the back porch of your Rondavel. Our lodging is a unique private reserve with over 9,000 hectares or roughly 22,000 acres of vast African nature, about an hour drive west of Kruger National Park. The surreal camp is not fenced, which allows wildlife to roam and offers client’s unique possibilities to photograph from their deck. Whether you are an experienced or hobbyist photographer, this trip will afford you incredible opportunities to capture wildlife photographs of a lifetime. During this trip, Tom will be instructing you on both the technical and creative aspects of wildlife photography while at the resort and on Safari. He will spend time supporting you and your attempts to capture amazing pictures, regardless of subject and setting.

Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks with Tom Mace

Leg 1: Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Daddy of all National Parks is a nature photographer’s dream come true. With lush forests, thermal geysers, broad valleys, lakes, rivers, and a large diversity of wildlife; a photographer can immerse themselves in what many believe is the most complete photography experience of all the national parks. The park is uniquely laid out, allowing visitors to safely gain access to large concentrations of wildlife without disrupting their natural environment.
Leg 2: The Grand Tetons is a photographer’s playground. From capturing the abundant wildlife to the magnificent landscapes with the Tetons as your backdrop; our clients will have ample opportunities to explore everything this amazing National Park offers. Grand Teton National Park is very accessible and most wildlife and landscape photography happens directly outside our vehicle.
We plan several trips to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone each year relying on our experience and success we have had photographing in these parks in the past. Our itinerary is designed to give our clients a one of a kind experience and the best of what Yellowstone and the Grand Teton National Parks have to offer. From landscape photography to understanding the best areas to photograph wildlife, we put you in the right place at the right time to maximize your visit in the parks. Not only are your group leaders experts in photographing and navigating these magnificent landmarks; they pride themselves on maintaining and respecting the natural environment of the parks.

This workshop is all inclusive, all ground transportation, lodging, meals, snacks, park fees, and all the little things are included in this price. See our website for more details.

“Bosque Wildlife” at Bosque del Apache NWR with Sandy Zelasko and Irene Hinke-Sacilotto

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.

Beyond the Perfect Portrait

Story and Photography by D. Robert Franz

Alaskan brown bear © D. Robert Franz

Alaskan brown bear © D. Robert Franz

 

 

Text and Images by D. Robert Franz

For many aspiring wildlife photographers capturing beautiful portraits of their favorite birds or animals in the wild is often their primary goal. This is certainly an understandable and a worthwhile endeavor. When I began photographing wildlife over thirty years ago, I was inspired by the striking wildlife photos of Leonard Lee Rue III and Erwin Bauer. I carefully studied how they used the light, controlled backgrounds, and placed their subjects in the frame to create pleasing wildlife portraits. I pursued the perfect wildlife portrait relentlessly and over time accumulated a large collection of. As time passed I became less and less satisfied with my wildlife photography. I desired more evocative images with impact. I felt as though I really needed to elevate my images to a higher level. I will discuss some of the methods I’ve used to achieve that goal and continue in my evolution as a wildlife photographer. Continue reading

A SURPRISE PARTNERSHIP: COYOTE AND BADGER by Kathy Lichtendahl

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February 2013

I live in Wyoming. Anyone who has visited the state knows it has a lot of open space. What many people don’t realize is that the area in which I live – the northwest part of Wyoming – is almost always drier and more temperate than that to the south. So when I finished several days of meetings in Casper a couple years ago, I was anxious to make the 5-hour drive home to my own bed despite the dire warnings of an incoming snow storm. I knew that if I could make it the hundred miles across the sagebrush plains and then north through Wind River Canyon, I would probably leave the worst of the winter weather behind me. Before leaving the city, I consciously packed my camera gear in the back of the car, not wanting the temptation to stop along the way.

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NATURE’S VIEW: Photographing the Virginia Rail of Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Story and photographs by Jim Clark

The notes of the rail came loudly to my ear, and on moving toward the spot whence they proceeded, I observed the bird exhibiting the full ardor of his passion. Each time it passed before her, it would pause for a moment…and bow to her with all the grace of a well-bred suitor of our own species.—John James Audubon, 1840

What Audubon witnessed is something most folks will never see as this secretive marsh bird is heard more than it is seen. In 1926, ornithologist Arthur Cleveland Bent wrote this about how to see a Virginia rail: “Take up one’s station near a pond or marsh frequented by them and watch patiently, silently, and immobile….” Wow, patience. What a concept.

Virginia rail at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Maryland.

Virginia rail at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Maryland.

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Balancing Flash and Ambient Light by Charles Glatzer

Image by Charles Glatzer

Image by Charles Glatzer

Text and photographs by Charles Glatzer

When I hear someone say, “I hate flash images,” it typically tells me they feel uncomfortable or do not fully comprehend how to use flash effectively.  Many people state that they can always tell when flash is used as the images have a “flashed” look to them. By this they mean that the subject appears overly bright and unnaturally lit within the image. By applying varying levels of flash output, we are able control the degree of subject illumination independent of the ambient light. Keeping the flash and ambient exposure separate in your mind will help you better achieve your goal.

The image of the heron on the nest (above) is a good example of how I use flash to balance ambient light. Here are the steps I took to make this image using flash.

1. First, I used my in-camera spot meter to check the yellow background highlight and I set my exposure 1.3 stops above the mid tone (in this case, my exposure was 1/250 sec at f/8 at ISO 200).

2. Next, I focused my lens on the subject and read the distance scale on my lens (in this example, 10 ft). Since my flash was on the camera, the flash-to-subject distance was the same as the lens-to-subject distance (10 ft).

 

Where to check the focusing distance on your lens.

Where to check the focusing distance on your lens.

3. Then, I set my flash to manual mode, which allows me to control the flash output independent of the exposure. I used the Select button on the back of the flash, turning the dial to place the black bar even with the subject distance. (Note: Strobes will vary by manufacturer. Some use buttons, others wheels, or a combination of both to alter the flash output.) Altering the flash output moves the distance scale, and that is what you are concerned with at this point. Do not be concerned if the scale says 1:1 or 1/128. Just make sure the distance appearing on the scale (10 ft in this example) is the same as the focus distance on your lens (10 ft).

A few examples of where to find the focusing distance on your flash. Flashes set to manual.

A few examples of where to find the focusing distance on your flash. Flashes set to manual.

 

TIP: When you zoom to alter your lens focal length, the flash will also zoom to evenly illuminate the field of view. If you take a given quantity of light and squeeze it into a narrower or wider area, the output of the flash (known as the guide number) will vary. Thus, you will need to adjust the flash power each time you change the focal length of your lens. I suggest you manually fix the flash zoom to the widest focal length you plan on using. No worries if you are shooing a fixed lens.

If all other factors remain constant (f/stop. shutter speed, ISO and background illumination), both the background and the subject will be perfectly illuminated.

If you want to get a firm grasp on how to use flash effectively, consider taking Charles (Chas) Glatzer’s STL Tech Series Flash Seminar. Chas’ work has been celebrated internationally with over 40 prestigious awards for superior photographic competence demonstrated through photographic competition, advanced education, and service to the profession. His images are recognized internationally for their lighting, composition, and attention to detail and have appeared in many publications worldwide including National Geographic, Outdoor Photographer, Popular Photography, National Parks, Discover Diving, Smithsonian, Professional Photographer, Birder’s World, Birding, Nature Photographer, EOS, Digital PhotoPro, and many more.

Visit http://www.shootthelight.com/ to learn more.