Archive for Bear Woods

“When I look at other people’s pictures…”

Posted in Bird Photography, Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2017 by lilybug1960

“When I look at other people’s pictures…”
 
As an instructor one of the comments I hear that could be the worst thing you could do for yourself is “when I look at other people’s pictures, mine aren’t as good”. I hate to hear that statement most of the time. When you are just starting out, or even after several years, you should not compare your work to others (yet), but instead compare it to your own work from months or a year ago. As photographers, we should want to improve our skills, but with realistic goals. Those goals should be something along the lines of wanting to get one really good image each month or each outing. Eventually you want to get more “keepers” each outing. Most of all you want to get comfortable preparing for an image so that your settings become second nature and almost automatic. You want to start paying closer attention to detail and do editing before you release the shutter vs on a computer in post processing.
 
Once you take that step and make the decision to become a professional, the largest step to take is to be completely honest about your work. That is when you compare your work to your competitor’s work. With any other job, you are competing for work and if your work isn’t up to par with their work, you have to improve your work. I remember sitting with Art Wolfe in Fort Meyers, FL in 1995 having a conversation about all the people that were getting into photography as a profession. Art said something to me that has stuck with me, he said, “I see too many people see people above them and they try to bring that person’s work down to their level vs climbing up the ladder to a higher step on the ladder”. Incredible advice! Don’t try to lower the level of someone else’s work, improve your own to be better. Set that as a goal.
 
Don’t set standards too high for yourself when you just start out, but set really high standards when you intend to make your living off of your photography. It is simply growth in your confidence and skills.
 
Downy Woodpecker in snow. Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 1600, shutter speed of 1/250th of a second, Sirui P424S monopod and L10 head, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional
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These Holiday Treats!

Posted in Bird Photography, Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2017 by lilybug1960

These Holiday Treats!
 
This was an image I did this fall and when I was scrolling through images it caught my eye. This is how I think a lot of folks feel with all of the Holiday parties that happen this time of year! Unfortunately for us, we aren’t just fluffing our feathers to look big when another White-breasted Nuthatch approaches. These little birds are so amusing to watch and their games of dominance. Fluffed up he still isn’t the size of tennis ball, but no one messes with him. Try and stay unfluffed during the holiday! Happy Hanukkah to many of my friends!
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 720, shutter speed of 1/250th of a second, Sirui P424S monopod and L10 head, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional

Fire and Ice

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2017 by lilybug1960

Fire and Ice.
 
I couldn’t help but look at the sky last night over “The 3 Chairs” and think about the real fires to the west in California. I have many friends and family who live out there and hope they stay safe. They are always in our thoughts and prayers.
 
As the snow storm pushed off to the east, I knew the sunset would be spectacular here in Bear Woods. As the sun dropped below the cloud line the snow glowed with warm light. Evelyn saw it and ran to the door to make sure I got the shot. Even we professional educators need teachers and guidance…
 
For the image itself, I quickly recognized that this was a perfect time to use the Sirui Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter since the brightest part of the image was along the horizon, and then above it in the sky. I wanted to capture detail in the foreground so this filter was perfect to simply line up the darkest part where the sun was located in the frame. I really am loving this filter!
 
Tamron 18-400mm Di-II VC HLD lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 400, shutter speed of 1/15th of a second, Sirui W2204X waterproof tripod and K20 head, Sirui 3 stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter, processed in Lightroom Classic CC, #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional

For the Birds

Posted in Bird Photography, Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2017 by lilybug1960

For the Birds.
 
We were supposed to get about 1 to 2 inches of snow yesterday, but that quickly turned into about 10 by nightfall and we had several more last night. According to the news this morning we shattered the old record for snowfall in December! The sun isn’t up yet so I can’t see the beauty of the snow this morning. I spent most of the day yesterday keeping the wood stove fueled with logs, doing some things on the computer, and of course taking care of the birds. I always get concerned for their well being and ability to find food with all the snow. I put out mealworms and sunflower seeds on 4 different occasions and with the traffic I had at the feeders, I know it was appreciated. A couple of times the Eastern Bluebirds paused and posed in the Backyard Bird Studio for a few images. I still have around 8 Bluebirds wintering up here. Along with the Eastern Phoebe, Tufted Titmouses, Carolina Chickadess and Carolina Wrens, mealworms were in big demand. I saw more Dark-eyed Junco around the yard yesterday than I have ever seen before. I look forward to more chances for images today! I will share others in the next few days of the other birds as well. I have a beautiful scenic that I will share in due time…it is for a special day. To my fellow Georgians, stay warm, stay safe, stay at home.
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, 450mm, f8, ISO 1250, shutter speed of 1/125th of a second, Sirui P424S carbon fiber monopod and L10 head, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional

A Tip for Photographing Birds for Publication

Posted in Bird Photography, Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2017 by lilybug1960

A tip for photographing birds for publication.
 
I photograph a lot, and I mean a lot of birds. I offer my images for sale in publications. Most of the publications I deal with want to see details in the bird that will help to identify it. This requires photographing the bird in angles that aren’t that pretty portrait. It is hard to distinguish one bird from another when simply viewed from one angle. During my lectures I stress several points for those folks who are wanting to pursue photography as a source of income: leave room around the bird (it is possible for an editor to crop, but they can’t create what isn’t present in the image), make sure it is sharp, photograph the bird from different angles (even from underneath if possible to see the underside of the tail), and photograph the male, female, juveniles and seasonal plumage when you can. Explore online the avenues to sell your images. Look at field guide publishers to get information as to how to submit your images for consideration. Learn to live with rejection, many more images are rejected than accepted, so it is a law of averages, the more you submit, the better the chance of selling an image. Of all the tips probably the most important is to leave space. Clipping a part of a tail or wing is like going to get your family portrait done and the photographer crops you off at the knees for every image.
 
This is a Pine Siskin from 2 years ago in my original Backyard Bird Studio. Images made with the Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD lens on a Nikon D-800, Aperture Priority mode, f8, ISO 1600, shutter speeds of 1/250th (top) and 1/400th (bottom), Sirui N3204X tripod and PH20 Gimbal head, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #birdnirdvana

Glowing Skies

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2017 by lilybug1960

Glowing Skies.
 
As I looked out my back door yesterday morning, I realized another thing I am thankful for, Bear Woods. Living here has been such a great blessing for us. I have studied nature most of my life, but yet this place has taught me that I have so much more to learn. This year was so successful in attracting more wildlife to the yard by returning much of it to a more natural environment. The view on any given morning or evening is incredible, but on days like this when the skies glow with the first light of the day it is breathtaking. Being able to step out and capture an image of it is truly a blessing. I truly believe the view from “The 3 Chairs” could be my favorite view.
 
Tamron SP 24-70mm f2.8 Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-750, Manual Exposure mode, f5.6, ISO 400, shutter speed of 1/30th of a second, Sirui W2204X waterproof tripod and K20X ballhead, MindShift Gear TrailScape 18L backpack, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear

The Forest prepares to Sleep

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Macro tips, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2017 by lilybug1960

The Forest prepares to sleep.
 
I usually don’t get all deep and philosophical, especially on a Monday morning before I have finished my first coffee, but as I sat outside yesterday morning I noticed something new. I “listened” to fall. We all seem to use our visual sense for fall, but I discovered it is very much an audio sense as well. I even discussed it with a few friends yesterday. I had never just taken a few minutes to listen to the leaves fall, animals rustle in the fallen leaves and the occasional acorn falling. Then I spent time capturing images of the fallen leaves. It was foggy and misty so I wanted to capture that moisture on the leaves as well as I thought about what this all meant. Each and every day we prepare ourselves to sleep, and fall is the Earth’s way of getting ready to go to sleep. In our area the blanket of fallen leaves will decompose over the winter, the time of sleep, then in spring the leaves will provide the nutrients and energy as the Earth awakens. Sort of like my coffee, just grittier. Take some time today, step outside, listen to fall, look at the leaves on the ground, enjoy fall, it doesn’t last long enough in my book. I can now enjoy my cup of coffee…
 
Tamron SP 90mm f2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro lens on a Canon M6 via a Canon adapter, Manual Exposure mode, f16, ISO 200, shutter speed of 1/8th of a second, Sirui W2204X waterproof tripod and K20X ballhead, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional