Bird Photography

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Pro tip: When and why to use a tripod

bi_prplegal_0325Photographers have all sorts of opinions about tripods. Some won’t use them, some won’t shoot without them, and most of us use one sometimes. Especially with image stabilization and high-ISO options on modern digital cameras, tripods are not as essential, nor do they need to be as heavy, as they used to be. But they still provide value in many cases – some obvious and some not so obvious. It is worth going over the advantages of using a tripod so you can make an informed decision for yourself: Read more »

Wildlife Photos: Subject + Light + Background–Painted Bunting

_dsc3212When most people think of wildlife photos – whether of Mammals, Birds, or Reptiles – they think of the subject. But there is a lot more to making a compelling photograph of an animal in nature than the subject. Light plays an essential role, for starters. Dull, drab, images are seldom capable of commanding our attention. Backgrounds, while under-rated, are also key. All three came together in this image of a Painted Bunting from our Hill Country bird photo workshop this week. Each element plays a role… Read more »

New Nikon 80-400mm AF-S VR Lens adds fast focus to arsenal

_djc6688 as smart object-1I’m continuing to enjoy shooting with the new Nikon 80-400mm AF-S VR Lens.  I’ve already written about how pleased I am with its sharpness, and how effective it is for capturing sports from the sidelines. To evaluate its focus capability further, I took it down to the Baylands – our local birding hotspot – and gave it a bit of a workout. Read more »

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 »

South Texas Birds--Rio Grande Valley Private Ranches May, 2015

2015-05-05 16:00 - 2015-05-11 09:00

Maximum 8 photographers (usually sells out) 

[After a very successful 2014 event, we're looking forward to 2015]

This Harris Hawk image from our Rio Grande Valley Photo Safari won the Grand Prize in the 2012 National Wildlife Federation Photo CompetitionBased on the continued success of the Lens and Land (Images for Conservation) ranches in the Rio Grande Valley and the great trip we all had this year and last year (a sold out safari with a full set of satisfied participants), I'm pleased to announce that I'll be leading another photo safari to the Lens and Land ranches next May. We'll have 4 full days (and an optional 5th full day) of private shooting at the premier award winning Dos Venadas and Campos Viejos ranches which are only open to guided groups. Hardy Jackson, our co-host, won the most recent Valley Land Fund photo contest on his ranch, Campos Viejos so you'll have every chance to take similar award-winning images (most recently this Harris Hawk image won the Grand Prize in the 2012 NWF Photo Contest.)