Showcase 2021 Winner: Marie Read

Black Skimmer Carrying a Fish, image by Marie Read
Black Skimmer Carrying a Fish, Long Island, New York, 2021 Showcase Judges’ Choice, Birds © Marie Read

Artist’s statement

Through my photography I try to portray the character or spirit of a bird. Often that involves capturing behavior that represents some distinctive aspect of that particular bird’s lifestyle. It’s extra rewarding if I can achieve that vision in a unique or artistic way as with this black skimmer in flight. We see the astonishing blade-like bill with which it skims the water’s surface to capture fish, a bill so thin in cross-section that, seen from the front, almost disappears from view. The unusual head-on view, the symmetry and verticality of the wings, the shallow depth of field drawing attention to the bird’s eyes—factors that all came together to produce a compelling image. Framing a bird flying toward you at close range can be extremely difficult, but I love a challenge and in this case the reward totally outweighed the effort.

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Top Six Tips for Standout Bird Photographs

Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) feeding on crabapple fruit in late winter, Ithaca, New York, USA. Canon EOS 7D, EF 500mm f/4 IS USM lens, 1.4X extender, Gitzo tripod. 1/1250 second, f/5.6, ISO 800.
Cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) feeding on crabapple fruit in late winter, Ithaca, New York, USA. Canon EOS 7D, EF 500mm f/4 IS USM lens, 1.4X extender, Gitzo tripod, 1/1250 second, f/5.6, ISO 800. © Marie Read

By Marie Read

Whether beautiful or bizarre, colorful or cryptic, exuberant or elusive, birds captivate us with their spirited ways and fascinating lifestyles. It’s no wonder they top the list of favorite subjects for many nature photographers. That’s been true since the dawn of nature photography, even more so since the digital age brought getting great photos within reach of anyone with a camera. The result is a world saturated with gorgeous bird imagery. So, how do you create images that stand out from the crowd? Once you’ve mastered the classic portrait, take your photos to the next level: make more meaningful images by showing the bird in its habitat or by capturing its behavior. Here are a few tips to help you.

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Six Tips for Standout Bird Photographs

Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) feeding on crabapple fruit in late winter, Ithaca, New York, USA. Canon EOS 7D, EF 500mm f/4 IS USM lens, 1.4X extender, Gitzo tripod. 1/1250 second, f/5.6, ISO 800.
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) feeding on crabapple fruit in late winter, Ithaca, New York, USA. Canon EOS 7D, EF 500mm f/4 IS USM lens, 1.4X extender, Gitzo tripod. 1/1250 second, f/5.6, ISO 800.

Story & photos by Marie Read

Whether beautiful or bizarre, colorful or cryptic, exuberant or elusive, birds captivate us with their spirited ways and fascinating lifestyles. It’s no wonder they top the list of favorite subjects for many nature photographers. That’s been true since the dawn of nature photography, even more so since the digital age brought getting great photos within reach of anyone with a camera. The result is a world saturated with gorgeous bird imagery. So, how do you create images that stand out from the crowd? Once you’ve mastered the classic portrait, take your photos to the next level: make more meaningful images by showing the bird in its habitat or by capturing its behavior. Here are a few tips to help you.

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NANPA Weekly Wow: Dec 19-25

Intergalactic lens zoom of the Milky Way, Acadia State Park, Maine © David Francis

Intergalactic lens zoom of the Milky Way, Acadia National Park, Maine © David Francis

Each week www.nanpa.org highlights 7 images from the top 100 submissions of the 2016 NANPA Showcase competition. This week’s images are by:

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NANPA Weekly Wow: Sept 12-19

© Marie Read

© Marie Read

Each week www.nanpa.org highlights 7 images from the top 100 submissions of the 2016 NANPA Showcase competition. This week’s images are by:

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This Week’s NANPA Showcase Images

 

Showcase7Each week www.nanpa.org highlights 7 images from the top 100 submissions of the NANPA Showcase competition. This week’s images are by:

David Francis – “Intergalactic lens zoom of the Milky Way, Acadia State Park, Maine”

John Norvell – “Waterfall in heavy rain, Davis, WV”

Marie Read – “Cedar Waxwing eating crabapple, Ithaca, New York”

Stephen Weaver – “Mammatus clouds over the prairie, El Paso County, Colorado”

Jerry Bauer – “Olive ridley sea turtle, Playa La Flor National Wildlife Refuge”

Mary Louise Ravese – “Himalayan Blue Poppy flower close-up, Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA”

John Trone – “Polar bear rim light portrait, Svalbard” Continue reading