Archive for Nature & Wildlife Photography
It’s that wonderful time of year again when the garden shows are in full swing and I get to immerse myself in the fragrances, textures and visions of the gardens and planting.
This week I attended a press day at the BBC Gardeners World Live show and had a fabulous time exploring all the gardens. Though for me the magic is in the floral marquee; the textures of the flowers that exhibitors put together is so imaginative; sharp leaved thistles amongst soft vibrant poppies.
My favourite stand came from Cornwall, Kelnan Plants; it was full of exotic flowers and plants from South Africa, perfect for hot locations. The shapes, styles, colours of the plants featured there were just wonderful. The red and pink colours in petals went with the red that you could see in their neighbouring grass stemmed plants, and it was my first experience with a plant whose flower looked like cotton wool. Read More→
If I’ve timed this right then Autumn/Fall should be upon us, at least for those of us in the northern hemisphere. If summertime didn’t quite grab you enough to get you out of bed at ridiculous times of the day then autumn sure will. Due to the higher position of the Sun during the summer months the light is often very strong giving less definition to the landscape. In addition to this the grass will be green as will much of the leaves on trees and bushes, nice for us to look at but very often does not translate into photographs very well, this is because you end up with a mass of greenery in the picture and it becomes very difficult for us to see all the elements individually. During Autumn however, this all changes, with nearly all of the trees foliage gradually turning from greens through to yellow then to reds, and all at different rates.
This display of colours combined with the ever lowering position of the sun creates some of the most beautiful scenery nature has to offer. As I’ve said before, being out both during early morning and late evenings pays dividends for your photography as all these wonderful colours are brought to life, being more saturated with the warm glow of the rising/setting Sun. Read More→
Since August I have been working with a local farmer to start compiling photographs for a documentary series and exhibition, ‘A year in the life of a farmer’. I’m happiest when I’m working around farm animals be it in a field on a showground or on a farm; I find a lot of humour and character in their personalities particularly cows.
I’d had the idea a few months ago to find a couple of farmers who would be happy for me to turn up to take photographs at significant times in the year; ploughing, harvesting, calving, milking etc. There may be a little bit of artistic license in the sense that the farmer I’m working with has beef cattle, and to cover farming as a whole I would like to get some images from a dairy farm; milking and the like, to show the full scope of farming along with the arable side or the business.
Then a different opportunity presented itself a couple of weeks ago; working with a horsewoman who trains horses and shows them in hand and ridden. As I was talking to her this week, and she was explaining the intricacies of the job to keep the interest of the horse and teach it ring manners, I was taken by how much skill there is and how best to show that via photographs. Read More→
Impressionist painters were more concerned with colour than line. Their goal was to leave the viewer with an impression of the scene rather than a literal depiction and their works often included a sense of movement.
Photographers can also create emotional abstracts that leave only an impression of the original subject by using a slow shutter speed, from 1/50 of a second to 1/2 second, and moving the camera while the shutter is open or allowing a moving subject to pass in front of the camera.
This technique is fun because every frame turns out different. An afternoon can easily slip by as if moving on the waves of colour. There are 3 ways of approaching this technique:
1. Pan with a moving subject
When you move the camera while the shutter is open, it is called panning. With a moving subject, you want to pan at the right speed to keep the subject in the frame. Panning on a moving subject with a very slow shutter speed has a drastically different result than panning with a faster shutter speed. A faster shutter will have more sharpness in the subject and show some blur in the background. A very slow shutter speed is more abstract and allows you to really feel the movement while retaining just enough detail in the subject that you can still tell what it is.
Let me start by introducing myself. I’m a 30-something IT architect who lives in the densely populated west part of the Netherlands. I’ve been passionate about photography ever since my late teens and found my passion rekindled when I moved to a Nikon DSLR in 2005. The last 18 months or so I’ve been really into nature and wildlife photography and I want to share my passion and some of the things I’ve learned with you.
Even though I live in an incredibly densely populated area I am fortunate to have a small nature reserve at a 15 minute drive from my home. It’s an area that I like to visit at least weekly for a nice walk with my camera. Because that area is rather small and my time is limited I have decided to call my style of photography casual to distinguish what I do from the work of people like Thom Hogan, Moose Peterson or Brad Hill or any of the dozens of photographers who have access to immense areas of nature and the time to spent hours or even days to get that one stunning shot. I do not have the time (or, to be honest, the inclination) to spend hours or days in a hide 60 miles from anywhere. I also do not have the budget to buy a 600mm f4 teleprime and the matching tripod. Instead I will have to make due with an hour or two here and there in nature reserves within 3 hours driving of my home. I am shooting with a humble 70-300 on a Nikon D300. I Intend to show you that even in this limited way you can have fun and still shoot nice pictures.