Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Photo of the Week! Willet

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 300mm f2.8 w/TC14e II, ISO 800, 1/1600, +1/3ev, SB800 for fill

Another Willet photo from my trip to Pensacola, FL last April. I was battling tough lighting conditions all morning with the bright sun in and out of thick clouds. This was the first true test on my Nikon D7000 and it's ISO capabilities. This photo was shot at ISO 800 and turned out very clean. It was defiantly a step up from my old D90 (which I loved).

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Conversation with Christopher Dodds

 I recently had the privilege to speak to Christopher Dodds of Nature Photography Blog talking about wildlife/nature photography. Chris' passion for nature and wildlife photography is undeniable, his photos prove that. I had set out to hold a question and answer format "interview" with Chris. It turned out of be a fun and informal conversation about photography ranging from favorite subject to showing your work online.

Christopher Dodds is a full-time freelance nature photographer, nature photography workshop leader, safari leader, teacher and lecturer specializing in birds. Many of his images have been published in world-class publications including: National Geographic, Outdoor Photographer Canada, Bird Conservation (American Bird Conservancy) to name just a few.

Chris first discovered his love of the great Canadian outdoors during family and boy scout camping, and canoe and backpacking trips, after moving to Canada from England when he was eight. By the time he was fourteen, Chris was thrilled at freezing fleeting glimpses of birds and the resulting ability to study every detail of their intricate beauty. Chris' passion for photography has taken several paths through the years; photojournalism, studio portraiture, commercial and wedding photography to name just a few. He apprenticed in colour and black and white chemical darkrooms, but today embraces the computerized, digital workflow. Chris is passionate about capturing images of nature in an artistic, yet technically perfect, manner.

What is your favorite subject to photograph?
Birds in general are among Chris' favorite subject to photograph. There are so many different species, coloration, and the best part they're always around!  Of the birds, sea birds such as Gannets located  at Bonaventure Island, Canada. 

Chris enjoys photographing Gannets at or near 7 weeks of age when they're at their most beautiful, interesting  in character, and  in the process of loosing their baby feathers. Chris likes to cover the spectrum of isolating a single bird along with interactions with one and another.

What is one of your favorite locations to shoot?
Iceland. There is great diversity for a photographer around every turn.  The more you move around, the more there is to see something new. From unearthly moon like landscapes, black volcanic sand, rough rugged landscape, mountains to seabirds. 

What motivates you the most to get up early to go out and shoot?
Creating an image in the camera, and not behind a computer. Chris went on to say "this is how it was in my camera, sparking emotion in that frame." I've got many quotes from Chris in this segment, but there is one I personally like, "spend more time in field not in Photoshop." Not that Chris has anything against Photoshop, but he believes that you can learn more and get better at your craft out in the field than you can sitting behind a computer. There is always a new opportunity to shoot each time you go out. “Keep the out in the outdoors.”

Now, what every photographer wants to know. What camera and lens combo do you most enjoy using?
Chris' favorite equipment includes: Canon 1DS mark III and Canon 1D mark IV professional digital camera bodies and Canon 500mm F4 IS, 300mm F2.8 IS and 70-200mm F2.8 IS II lenses. I have bags full of other lenses and accessories, but these are my favorite, most used tools.

One of the latest ways I have connected with Chris is on Chris and I both like this site for various reasons. Among those reason's, Chris likes to find photographers that aren't that popular or known around the internet. 500px is a great way to display your work and have great photographers like Chris see it and comment on it. 

Here are some of Chris' upcoming workshops.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Oxbow Bend

Oxbow Bend, Grand Teton National Park, WY
Nikon D90, 50mm, ISO 200, f14, 1/3 sec

This pre-sun rise at Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton National Park, WY was shot fall of 2010. As I mentioned in a previous post Ansel Adams I'm Not I went back through my folder from last years trip to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone Nation Park. I found a couple of photos (this on included) that I had originally passed on.

As fall closes in on us I have a couple of photo projects in mind and hopefully I'll be able to start posting more than once a week!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Gooseberry Falls State Park

Nikon D7000, Tokina 12-24mm @12mm, ISO 200, f16

After having a great conversation with nature photographer Chris Dodds (@chrisdoddsphoto on Twitter) I decided to pack the car and head to Minnesota's north shore for early fall colors. My goal was to find and photograph as many water falls as I could in one day. I started at Temperance River State Park then worked my way back south hitting Tettegouche, Split Rock, and finally Gooseberry Falls State Parks. 

This photo, was from my last stop at Gooseberry State Park. As I was walking to the falls there were a number of people making their way back to their vehicle since it was cloudy and the sun was all but gone. I made my way down to the falls to find almost off of the visitors gone. In the summer, this is a very difficult place to photograph due to the number of folks near the falls. I made a couple photographs and decided to move towards the lower portion of the falls. Once I was down there I was at the base of one fall and decided to do some minor rock climbing to get to the location of this photo. The best part was, I was there all by my self with low, but good light. I spent the next 30 minutes at this location taking a number of photos at different angles. This is the only photo that I have processed so far, so stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Photo of the Week! Canyon Pack Wolf

Cayon Pack Wolf, Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park
Nikon D90, Nikkor 300mm f2.8 w/TC14e II, ISO 500, f6.3, 1/400

Last fall in Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park we watched coyotes feeding on a elk carcass near the road. There were two wolves keeping a close eye on the coyotes for nearly two hours before making their move to the elk.

See previous blog post on our encounter!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Photo of the Week! Ansel Adams I'm Not

Ansel Adams spot, Snake River, Grand Teton National Park
Nikon D90, Tokina 12-24mm @24mm, ISO 200, 1/6, HDR with Photomatix Pro

I recently went back through my photos from my Yellowstone/ Grand Teton trip last fall 2010 and found/processed this photo. Not sure how I missed it, but I'm sure glad I found it!!

One thing I will add is shooting at this location that Ansel Adams made famous is extremely intimidating. It's intimidating for the simple fact that most people/photographers will recognize this location as the "Ansel Adams" spot. When Chad and I were there shooting there was a handful of other photographers and I remember feeling that there is no way I can create something that hasn't already been done. With that said, I think that's why I passed it over so many times in the last year. I'm defiantly not saying that is as good as the Ansel Adams shot that's hanging in my living room, but it turned out to be one of my favorites from that trip.

Be sure to click in the photo to view it larger!

Or view it in my 500px gallery at