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February 6th Talk at BABP in Palo Alto on ‘Creating Award-winning Photography’

I’m pleased to be returning to one of my favorite local photo clubs, the Bay Area Bird Photographers, next week. I’ll be giving a presentation (which I first gave at B&H in New York last October) on Creating Award-winning Photography – with a focus on wildlife and bird photography. If you enter contests, or have thought about it, there will be plenty of advice. Even if you just shoot for yourself, there will be lots of pointers to help improve the quality of images you capture. Read more »

Bird photo blinds: Studios or Habitats?

This Summer Tanager was photographed in a tree along the Guadalupe River, without using a blind or artificial perch of any type.Having just returned from two weeks of really fun and very productive photography on some of the best private ranches in south Texas, I’ve had a lot of time to think and rethink about the design of the bird blinds we used, and some of the others we saw in use. In this case I’m not talking about the physical blind structures where we, the photographers, sit. That part of the blinds has continued to evolve for the better over the six plus years I’ve been shooting there. They are more comfortable and better positioned than ever. No, in this case I’m talking about the part of the blind where the real action is, the “stage” where birds and mammals hopefully appear and are photographed… Read more »

Some raptors are friendlier than others–”rehab” Harris Hawk

_djc1228cWe took a break from songbird photography this morning during our workshop at BCNA for a great session with John Carter and some of the raptors he works with at Last Chance Forever. These are birds that are either imprinted on humans or for some other reason can never be released. He brings them to schools for educational programs – and out to let us photograph them from time to time. This Harris Hawk was getting some “flying time” while she was out, and decided that my camera made a great perch for her. Fortunately neither claws nor sharp beak took advantage of the camera, and the bird was polite enough not to soil it. It made for a fun moment, though!

Sweat The Details in Your Photos: What a Difference A Shadow Can Make

bi_gfwoodpkr_0487There is a lot to keep in mind when you are photographing any moving subject, especially wildlife. Your choice of subject, background, composition and most importantly the light. And then there is the waiting for the moment of action and a pose which creates interest. But even with all that in place little things can keep you from getting a great photo… Read more »

A Gray Owl for A Gray Morning

_djc9014We had some early clouds on our South Texas Photo Safari this morning so I decided to take advantage of the very even light to see if I could get some good shots of an Eastern Screech Owl that nests near where we were shooting. Not only do owls seem to be more cooperative on gray days but the fact that the owl’s hole faced North wouldn’t matter so much since the clouds would scatter the light just about evenly all over.