Archive for Georgia Nature Photographers Association

Natural Insect Control

Posted in Bird Photography, Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2018 by lilybug1960

Natural Insect control.
 
Tonight I am doing lecture for the Griffin Chapter of the Georgia Nature Photographers Association on things we have done here in our yard that not only improves my photography but makes it a more natural order in life. I am doing a version of this lecture in Jackson, WY Sunday as well. It is titled “Avoiding a Silent Spring” and is how we have taken to heart some of the subjects that were talked about in Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring”. One of the points was how widespread we humans treated and still treat for Japanese Beetles. We treat the plants and soil with chemicals, but to no avail. Here in Bear Woods, we don’t treat with any chemicals, we use a product called Scarlet Tanager. The Tanagers love eating the beetles and I simply sit on the porch and photograph them as they come in for their meals. This will start to occur around the end of June, beginning of July and continue for a few weeks. We have slowly, 4 or 5 years, worked on returning many parts of our property to more natural settings and in doing so attracted a tremendous amount of migratory birds. My presentation talks about our efforts and how we have set up bird photography studios to capture the beauty of the visitors we have attracted. I will show lots of pretty pictures of the birds and help to give you ideas of how to do some simple common sense things to do the same, regardless of the size of your yard. It will be worth the time for you if you simply love seeing beautiful birds, photographing them, or just simply want to make your yard a safer, chemical free place to live.
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 1000, shutter speed of 1/125th 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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Great Egret in Flight

Posted in Bird Photography, Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2018 by lilybug1960

Great Egret in Flight.
 
First, I want to thank the New Jersey Federation of Camera Clubs for hosting myself and Ken Hubbard for their Photorama 2018 yesterday. There were about 150 folks in attendance for our presentations. I met many new friends and was treated like family from the minute I arrived. A special thanks to the Photo Center and to Patty from Tamron for all her hard work in setting it up and helping to make it happen. Lou from the NJFCC was a great organizer and made the show run smoothly. I look forward to coming back up in the future. Today it is time for a little bird photography on Cape May! I have been studying eBird and have some specific birds to look for today!
 
This is an image from Harris Neck NWR during the Georgia Nature Photographers Association Annual Expo. The birds in the rookery started taking flight and I had just talked with the group about setting for birds in flight and this Great Egret decided he wanted to help our group practice! My settings for birds in flight are typically no slower than 1/500th of a second and f8, I will utilize the auto ISO feature of the camera if the birds are traveling from shadow to light or in and out of shadow. I prefer 1/1000 or even 1/2000 of a second. Larger and slower birds are fine at the minimum speeds.
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 140, shutter speed of 1/500th of a second, Sirui N3204X tripod and PH20 Gimbal Head, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional

Who delivers babies to Storks?

Posted in Bird Photography, Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2018 by lilybug1960

Who delivers babies to Storks?
 
So the question is this, if Storks deliver babies to humans, who delivers babies to Storks? I waited to find out while I was at Harris Neck NWR watching the Wood Storks on their nest, but never found out the answer. This was an image from our field trip to Woody Pond. It is a great place to see a lot of nest with adults incubating eggs and we even got to see several times when the adults came into feed the chicks. I will really have to look at doing a workshop at Harris Neck NWR, it is such a great location.
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 500, shutter speed of 1/500th of a second, Sirui N3204X tripod and PH20 Gimbal head, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional

Mom has my back!

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2018 by lilybug1960

Mom has my back.
 
While our group was at Harris Neck NWR last Friday, we were entertained with a moment of nature. We could hear the grunts of baby alligators but had not seen them until we saw movement from a White Ibis. There were 2 very nervous young alligators on an open area and a White Ibis was foraging the shoreline. The gators were backing up as the Ibis approached, but then Mom emerged from the water on the bank and one of the baby alligators suddenly became brave and started leaping at the Ibis. The Ibis stopped in its tracks, stood still for a little while, weighed out its options, and flew off. It is amazing how possible prey becomes predator when Mom shows up!
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 800, shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second, Sirui N3204X tripod and PH20 Gimbal head, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional

Tips for shooting at Driftwood Beach

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2018 by lilybug1960

Tips for shooting at Driftwood Beach.
 
I just returned from 5 days on Jekyll Island while attending and presenting at the Annual Expo for the Georgia Nature Photographers Association. I wanted to share some of my observations as tips for shooting on Driftwood Beach and some notes on the Expo as well.
 
Driftwood Beach is much like shooting on any beach with some special subjects to consider. The trees, or driftwood, is a key to the composition so make sure you scout to find the tree that appeals to you the most. The trees will be on dry land except for rising or falling tides near their peaks. I personally like to have swirls and wet sand around the wood to reflect the morning sky. Using a simple App to determine where the sun will rise on the horizon will help you to get set up for that perfect image. Plan to be able to shoot on a couple different days just in case the weather conditions are perfect. Lower humidity will hopefully eliminate some of the haze on the horizon and help if you want to shoot sunstars. A slight breeze will help with the gnats, and believe me, you want the help with the gnats! I put some type of bug spray on every 15 minutes, and if you miss a square inch, they will find it. I like the smooth water so for me using a Neutral Density filter is a must. A circular polarizer will remove the reflection, so an ND filter is better. You will want either a 4 stop or 6 stop. I use the square filters from Sirui. When the sun is rising and the detail in the foreground and sky are so dark due to the sunlight, a Reverse Graduated ND filter is needed. I used a 2 stop Reverse Graduated ND filter for my images. A good tripod is needed as well for longer images. Watch the legs to make sure they aren’t in the water because it will sink in the middle of your exposure and cause blur. Be ready to run around and work other trees as well, and most of all have fun.
 
The GNPA Annual Expo kicked off Thursday with some pre-conference classes and workshops. I taught a Macro class and then we went out to shoot around the building. On Friday I took a group to Harris Neck NWR, which is an incredible location and everyone should visit it, even if it is just to see the birds that visit and reside there. Once the Expo started officially and all the presentations were in one location, the break out sessions and meetups were great because you got to meet so many new folks, shoot with friends and people who share the same passion for nature. The Expo, to me, isn’t about all the presentations or workshops, its about the sharing of knowledge between photographers, the camaraderie that is there. I never leave one of these events that I don’t see the formation of lifelong bonds and friendships. For me, seeing so many people that come hoping to walk away with more knowledge is a personal goal to make sure I do my best to give them that which they seek. I hope most of all to inspire people to try new things, shoot new places and most of grow their passion for photography and nature. I hope everyone will check out the GNPA or NANPA, or the local equivalent, wherever you live. Go to their meetings and conferences, you won’t regret the experience!
 
Tamron SP 24-70mm f2.8 Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-850, Manual Exposure mode, f22, ISO 64, shutter speed of 15 seconds, Sirui 4 stop Neutral Density filter and 2 stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density filter, Sirui N3204X tripod and K30X ballhead, MindShift Gear PhotoCross 13L slingbag, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear

Driftwood Beach Sunstar

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2018 by lilybug1960

Driftwood Beach Sunstar.
 
I have shared the experience leading up to this image, shooting the Milky Way, then sunrise, now walking off the beach, and it was just a perfect ending to a perfect morning of shooting. When the Sun had appeared over the horizon it was behind some haze, which made for some great imagery, but I couldn’t put a sunstar into my frame because I needed a clean light source. As my friend and I started to leave we approached the tree where we had started our morning’s journey, the sun emerged from the haze and became a point source of light. Knowing if I could place that light partially behind a branch, I could achieve the sunstar I was hoping for all along. I found a nice perspective to place the burst in a hole between branches causing some nice diffraction of light, set my aperture to f22 to get nice length in the burst’s spires, quickly metered and adjusted my shutter speed, and “click”, done!
 
I talk often about a photograph being nothing more than a “moment in time”, and I try to teach my students to improve their photography, think of every click as creating an image vs simply capturing a photograph. I tell them an image has a process the photographer goes through to capture it, the thought, the selection of a lens, the position we place our cameras, we try and capture our feelings and emotions in our images. I tell them to improve, stop taking photographs, start creating images. I feel that instead of capturing a moment in time (whatever that shutter speed is), start capturing and creating a memory of that moment or of that event. Start creating an image that you can share that memory and evoke the emotions of the viewer to feel they were there with you when you created that image. I will have vivid memories of the morning each time I see one of the images I created, and remember the people we met, and the experience we shared, and I will remember walking off the beach seeing the sun shining through the window of the branches.
 
Tamron SP 24-70mm f2.8 Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-850, f22, ISO 64, shutter speed of 4 seconds, Sirui N3204X tripod and K30X ballhead, Sirui 4 stop ND filter, MindShift Gear PhotoCross 13L sling bag, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #SiruiFilters, #MindShiftGear

Driftwood Beach Sunrise

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2018 by lilybug1960

Driftwood Beach Sunrise.
 
As the Milky Way disappeared and the Moon was rising higher into the sky, color began appearing on the horizon. I looked around the beach for other subjects for my foreground for my “perfect” image. I saw this great driftwood log laying about 15 feet from a tree in the surf. There were other photographers gathered near it but no one shooting with it in their compositions. Like a wish come true, they all stepped away from it as the sun started to rise over the horizon. Luckily no one had left foot prints beside it. I ran over and started working it into my scene. The light started getting brighter so I placed a 4 stop Neutral Density filter in front of the lens and was able to keep my exposures long enough to give the water some movement. This was critical for what I envisioned for my image to reflect the warmth of the sky. I hoped for a wave to come up and touch the end of the log and my patience paid off as for one exposure during my shooting, a wave did just that. I was covered in sand after getting the perspective I needed for the image, but I could have cared less, sand washes out of your clothes! We spent a few more minutes on the beach before starting to head back to the car. One final image would complete the morning, but you have to wait until tomorrow to see that one!
 
Tamron SP 24-70mm f2.8 Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-850, Manual Exposure mode, f11, ISO 64, shutter speed of 2 seconds, Sirui 4 stop Neutral Density filter, Sirui N3204X tripod and K30X ballhead, MindShift Gear PhotoCross 13L sling bag, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #SiruiNDFilters