Wildlife and nature photography

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1. Wildlife and Nature Photography Presentation by Drew LokerLake Travis, Tx All photos in this presentation were taken by and are Drew Loker, www.drewloker.com, unless otherwise noted. However, please feel free to distribute freely this presentation as long as the photo credits stay intact. 2. Wildlife and Nature is like the Rodney Dangerfield of Photographyno respect Some people view it as easy More to it than just being at the right place at the right time. Being prepared with the right equipment and knowing how to use it is essential. Slept in a car over nightwaiting for a campground. Jenny Lake, Grand Tetons 3. Know your location Where are you shooting and what time of day will be best for the location Use a compass to track the sun and determine how the lighting might change through out the day. Check sun and moon charts to know the exact time Texas City, just last night 4. What will you be shooting Determine living habits. Food Does it feed in the tree or on the ground Does it sing at the tops of trees, what kind of sounds does it make so you can flush it out What are its mating habits Cardinals mate for life and usually hang out togetherbut not to close to each other Dragonflies tend to return back to the same spot Know your subject 5. Clothing consideration Some obvious: Avoid bright colors, wear green, navy, brownnon-alarming colors Unless you are shooting on the side of the roadthen wear a safety vest and have cones. Avoid strong odors Wear glovesanimals will see your hands moving before they see the rest of you. Camouflage netting, build a blind Soft brim hat, shorts or loose pants Photo by Todd Hargis 6. Equip consideration Some obvious: Buy cheap stuff to get started, but budget to upgrade. Most of my first lenses came from pawn shops. Canon 500d vs. dedicated Macro Buy usedif it was good enough for a pro yesterday, it is good enough for me today. Find alternative uses of non-traditional items, making items if possible. Get extra lens caps Use UV filters for hazardous conditions. Camouflage netting, build a blind Hire a sherper to carry your equipment 7. Packing for a Trip Photography is always about compromises Will you benefit from any given piece of equipment on any given day? If it all possible, drive rather than fly so you can take all of your geardifferent hikes dictate different gear. Hiking 1-5 miles in to a remote location in Big Bend is going to be vastly different than driving up to the road side and taking pictures at the scenic overlook. Bring enough memory cards to try not to format Back up in the field to a portable device, like a laptop, portable hard drive or device that records DVDs in the field. Bring wet weather gear economy lens rain suitsaran wrap, or shower cap from the hotel room 8. Understanding ExposureUnderstanding Exposure Why use different Shutter Speeds and Apertures. Town Lake, Austin, Tx 9. Exposure Setting the exposure is like filling a bucket: How much you open the valve is going to determine how long it takes to fill. 10. Closing the aperture is going to make the exposure time longer. 11. Silhouettes Any time you have the sun in your picture, you are going to have a tough exposure. 12. The Camera is only as Smart as the Photographer 1/125 @ f/8 1/15 @ f/8 Left: Good sky Exposure. Right: Good Skins Tonesshirt blown out. 13. Except for the new SMART camerasthen it is as smart as the people in FRONT of the camera. 1/320 @ f/4.5 with fill flash Here the camera balanced the background with enough fill flash to expose for the foreground. Set the camera to M, set exposure for the background, then turn on the flash. Photo by Aimee Loker 14. Using Exposure Compensation Program and Automatic Exposure Modes do a pretty good job when the subject is evenly lit. But when the subject is off centeror much darker/bright than the back ground, you have to use the Manual exposure modeor dial +/- Exposure Compensation. 15. Using Exposure Compensation But which is correct? Depends on what you are looking for? Maybe you want a silhouette. Exposure Compensation is when you CHANGE the base exposure increasing or decreasing the total amount of light. 16. Equivalent Exposure (EE) is different than Exposure Compensation. EE is when you keep the SAME total amount of lightbut change the variables to either stop or blur motion, or control your depth of field. Using Equivalent Exposure 17. Using Equivalent Exposure Long Exposures allow for creative control. Left: 4 sec exposure allowed for people to blur as the walked through the image. Right: 2 sec exp. Allowed for zooming while exposing. 4 sec @ f/10, 38mm 2.2 sec @ f/10, 112mm 18. Dont Pass Up Shots Taken at Christmas time Shocked to see yesterday the picture doesnt exist nowand may never again. You may only pass a place once at the right time. 19. Bracket shots for tough exposure, or if your spouse is waiting on you 20. When hiking, try to walk by yourself Birds tend to come back out quickly after people have passed by. Just stop and wait. 21. Just dont get too far behind I really did loose Aimee on this hikeand really started to panic with a storm on its way. 22. Equipment Considerations Every hike is different. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer, and much of my equipment is duplicate in function but serves different purpose. Drive by vs. walking to Terrain Lighting Protection to equipment 70-200/2.8 vs. 70-300/4-5.6 70-200/2.8 with 1.7x vs. 150-500 400mm with 1.7x vs 600mm or 800mm Have your camera with you Heat is bad for the camerabut not having a camera is worse. Just protect the camera from extreme heat. On the way to work spare camera in car. A Quote I shared with my students today: Pictures hold life's experiences. And I feel that with every experience you learn something. Therefore, you learn something with every picture you take. - Anonymous

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