Archive for #MindShiftGear

Under Mom’s watchful eyes

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2017 by lilybug1960

Under Mom’s watchful eyes.
 
I posted an image to some of my social media yesterday of an article in the inaugural issue of Tamron Magazine. It features my work with the 18-400mm Di-II VC HLD lens in Zoos and Nature Preserves. When Tamron had asked about images, I knew I needed to take a trip down to Zoo Atlanta for a variety that would meet their request. As I walked around capturing images, I was pleased with a few and kept a count in my mind as to how many I wanted and sort of rated them. When I was working on capturing an image with this pair I saw the infant gorilla gathering leaves and walking toward Mom. All of a sudden light shined down on the Mom’s face throwing beautiful highlights into her eyes. After I captured the sequence, I looked at the back of the camera and knew it was “the” image from the trip. When I sent it into the editor of the magazine, the reaction was what I had hoped for, they were as pleased with it as I had hoped. I decided not to share the image on social media until the magazine was released.
 
The Tamron Magazine will be available at shows and events where Tamron will be exhibiting, as well as local camera stores. I hope to be able to talk them into having them available at events where they are sponsoring my appearance. Post comments about the magazine on social media with the hashtag #tamronusamagazine. Thanks again Tamron for featuring the article with all of the images!
 
Tamron 18-400mm Di-II VC HLD lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 500, shutter speed of 1/125th of a second, handheld utilizing the Vibration Compensation feature of the lens, MindShift Gear PhotoCross 13L Sling bag, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #tamronusamagazine, #mindshiftgear
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Looking Back

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2017 by lilybug1960

Looking back.
 
The title has double meaning in regards to this image. First, this time of year is a time I don’t get out to shoot much. I spend time catching up on unfinished business, planning things for next year, and simply evaluating where I am, where I have been, and where I am going. Photography, like sunsets, often will give you an idea what it is going to look like on the horizon by watching what it does to the landscape behind you. In order to see where my skills need to improve or my focus needs to be for next year, I have to look at the previous year. Did my skills improve? Did I lose focus or did my focus improve on what I wanted to achieve for the year? When I first started doing photography professionally, I loved doing landscapes although my income came from portraits. As I chased my dream of being a nature photographer vs a portrait photographer, the income shifted as I progressed. I am able to continue with nature photography while picking and choosing what portrait work I want to do, and in turn produce a better body of work. As I move forward I want to keep the trend constant and produce better work, while being pleased with the balance of photography I do. Sort of like having a great sunset behind you, then looking forward and seeing the sunset you hoped for develop to your liking. In reality though, could there ever be a bad sunset or sunrise?
 
Sunset, Bosque del Apache, New Mexico. Tamron 18-400mm Di VC HLD lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 100, shutter speed of 1/25th of a second, Sirui N3204X tripod and K30X ballhead, MindShift Gear FirstLight 30L backpack, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear

Preparing for Winter Photography

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2017 by lilybug1960

Preparing for Winter Photography.
 
I get this question often as folks prepare for trips during the winter months. My winter photography trips usually entail outings that last a couple hours of exposure to the elements (at most), so these tips are based on my experience. For longer adventures, I think these principals will work, but I can not speak from experience. Earlier this year my trip to Wyoming confirmed my research and advice from friends. Winter is tough on photographer more so than gear. The biggest issue noticed was battery life. Your camera battery’s life will drop as it gets cold. I carry no less than 2 or 3 extra batteries in a pocket that is close to my body for warmth. One thing I noticed is if you have a camera mounting plate that does not allow the battery door to open easily without removing it will make it a little more difficult. You would have to remove the plate, change the battery, then replace the plate. I use “L” brackets that allow me to change the battery without interference. One way to improve battery life, during prolonged breaks from shooting, I keep my camera under my jacket to keep it warm. This won’t work with long lenses obviously if you are shooting wildlife.
 
I have been told that sometimes the LCD screen will turn a slight “blue” tint, but that goes away when it warms back up. Be careful taking your camera to and from cold to humid interiors. Condensation forms and that becomes ice when you go back outside. Let your camera acclimatize when you go out to shoot. When our group traveled to our morning shoot (that is when it was coldest) I would leave my camera out of the bag while we drove, this helped. Unless we were traveling more than 30 minutes the car never reached a warm temperature that would cause condensation. Camera lenses seemed to function very well and we had no instances of any problems with the functioning of lenses. There were a couple times though the contacts between lens and body caused an error on the photographer’s camera body. Re-seating the lens usually fixed the problem. I tend to use manual focus for landscapes, so focus was not an issue either. For wildlife, my Tamron SP 150-600mm G2 lens never failed or had any problems. Most of the time we were in temps below zero degrees.
 
My Sirui tripod worked flawlessly. I prefer tripods with twist locks, which for me in cold conditions is much easier to operate. On the coldest of mornings, -30 degrees and colder, the ballhead became a little stiff but was still operable. It just took a little time to set up the composition.
 
As for the photographer…dress warm, and dress in layers. I use 2 sets of gloves, a thin layer then a normal glove. When I am shooting I remove the thicker glove from my right hand. Dress as warm as you need to dress to stay comfortable, but make sure you can move. You don’t want to trip and fall with your gear. Face planting in the snow is not fun, I tested that theory one time. My feet on a -34 degree morning got a little chilly, so in the off season I purchased a pair of Sorel boots to combat that. One photographer, not with our group, actually got frost bite on his cheek from pressing his face against the back of his camera for a prolonged time. We saw him later in our stay and he showed us his “spots” on his cheek. Be careful. And oh, try not to breathe on the viewfinder while standing there, condensation on the viewfinder means frost, you have to clear it to see!
 
Have fun and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me. If I don’t have the answer, I will direct you or get the answer for you if I can. Winter can be a great time to capture really unique images, so get out there and enjoy!
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 1600, shutter speed of 1/500th of a second, Sirui W2204X waterproof tripod and K20X ballhead, MindShift Gear FirstLight 30L backpack, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear

Setting Super Moon

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2017 by lilybug1960

Setting Super Moon.
 
Let me start by saying, this was not last night, it was this past January. I was not able to go out and shoot the “Super” Moon last night, but I did notice that there is going to be 2 more in the next two cycles. I won’t be in Wyoming for the full moon, but a day or so after, so I will see if we can’t incorporate that big moon in some landscape. This was a special morning though. The Snake River Overlook, snow and minus 28 degree temperature, harsh conditions but well worth getting out there! We don’t force our workshop attendees to go out in these conditions, but we give them every opportunity to capture images that will be a lifetime of memories.
 
We are still finalizing more dates for 2018, and hopefully they will be posted within the next few weeks. We are looking at some local, southeastern US, north Georgia, north Alabama, southern Tennessee workshops that would be one or two day workshops. I wanted to make sure we do some smaller group things, but intensive workshops, meaning everything from basic exposure to composition to finalizing your image. I am planning on opening up the Bear Woods Backyard Bird Studio for morning sessions of bird photography as well (coffee included). We will keep you posted.
 
Tamron 16-300mm Di-II VC USD lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 100, shutter speed of 1/15th of a second, Sirui W2204X tripod and K20X ballhead, MindShift Gear FirstLight 30L backpack, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear

Just a month away

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2017 by lilybug1960

Just a month away.
 
In just a month from now, we head to Wyoming for our annual Winter in the Tetons Workshop. So far this winter the snow has been sparse in the valley, but that is supposed to change overnight. We want some snow out there. It has become one of, if not my favorite workshop Cecil and I do. The conditions can be tough, but very rewarding. I teach all the time that the best compositions in nature are those with simplicity as a theme. Simply using the blank canvas of snow to isolate a bare tree is, to me, a very pleasing visual composition. The negative space of the snow leads you to the tree and no where else. Simplicity.
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 800, shutter speed of 1/800th of a second, Sirui N3204X tripod and K30X ballhead, MindShift Gear FirstLight 30L backpack, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear

Javelina

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2017 by lilybug1960

Javelina.
 
One little animal you can seeing running around Bosque del Apache is the Javelina, or collared peccary. They look like little pigs, and are distantly related to them but very different. You can see them running from field to field in groups sometimes. On this particular day, Ken Hubbard Photography and I were making the loop when we spotted them running beside a gravel crossroad at the end of a field. We could see they would probably cross the road ahead of us so we pulled over and parked. I was shooting the new Tamron 100-400mm so I thought it would be a nice photo op to test the lens, as they ran through the grass and crossed the road. Everything was good, then the last little one in the group paused as it started to enter the field to our right. It started staring at us. It walked slowly at us for several steps, stopped and stared, I am convinced he just wanted to see the new lens. After satisfying its curiosity he made a sharp left and wandered into the tall grass. It was after this image and looking at my LCD I realized just how incredibly sharp the new lens is going to be. I look forward to more time capturing images with it, hopefully in January during our trip to the Grand Tetons!
 
Tamron 100-400mm Di VC USD lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 220, shutter speed of 1/500th of a second, handheld utilizing the Vibration Compensation (VC) feature of the lens in Mode 1, MindShiftGear FirstLight 30L backpack, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #MindShiftGear

Northern Harrier

Posted in Bird Photography, Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2017 by lilybug1960

Northern Harrier.
 
One of my pet peeves, sort of…”you were in the right place, at the right time”. Often as a photographer people will look at an image and say those very words. I want to correct them and say, “no not at all, I put myself in the right place, waiting for the right time”. Notice the subtle difference? I wasn’t randomly standing someplace and a Northern Harrier flew by, instead, I went to an area that the Harriers and Eagles fly by often, hoping they would come by while I was there. Harriers don’t wait for you to set up, you have to be ready…quickly. As I stood at an opening in front of a large wood snag, I noticed this juvenile Northern Harrier approaching from my left. As soon as it cleared the brush, I panned with the bird as it flew by me. It even looks like he is saying hello as he zips by my location. This all goes to my teachings that the more you learn about your subject, the more you will “put yourself in the right place”, and when you do, well, you capture images you hope to capture. Now there will be times you were in the right place at the right time, like all the images of Bigfoot we see…
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 400, shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second, Sirui PH-20 Gimbal head on a Sirui N3204X tripod, MindShift Gear FirstLight 30L, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear