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Merganser Chicks (Four Photographs) and a Tip

Wooducks 1To view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

I took about twenty shots of this scene over a short time; few of the subjects remained still. There is a lot going on in the first photograph and it may not be as impactful on the web as it is on a large monitor. Each of these photographs is unique and all I have done is crop into the photos to get a different story. You could also do this with one photograph, isolating details by creating different crops. This is not quite what happened here, nonetheless had I left all four at full frame the photos would have looked very similar. Just some food for thought on cropping.

 

Wood Ducks-3

Wood Ducks-4

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Long-legged Fly (Two Photographs)

Long-Legged FlyTo view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

The Long-legged fly common in North America is usually found near water and it eats small insects and mites. While I have seen many of them, this is the first time I have had any luck at one staying still long enough to get a shot. It’s great to get an insect face-on but it’s not always possible. I am sure it could see me but it may have been as fatigued from the heat as I was. Taking insects like this requires a macro lens and even if this was not taken at 1:1, they are simply too small to get detail with other lenses.

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Female Red-Winged Blackbirds (Two Photographs)

Female Red -Winged Blacl birdsTo view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

I have seen male red-winged blackbirds in groups (they can be feisty) but never more than one female at a time. Like female cardinals they are elusive and very skittish. So when I saw a pair on the same tree, I had to have the shot. The light was not at its best and leaves were blown by the wind and covered part of the birds. Given the circumstances I was not surprised the photo needed careful contrast adjustments, as the original had a flat cloudy touch. Often when shooting two subjects under these circumstances the light is different for each of them, and I had to change the exposure on the bottom bird to balance the photograph. Just so you can see the difference between the male and female blackbirds, I’ve included a photo of a male red-winged black bird.

Male Red-winged Blackbird

Rising Turtle (Three Photographs) and Thoughts on Sequences

TurtlesTo view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

When I have an interesting sequence I look carefully over the shots. I had ten shots of the turtle in various positions. Going over them I realized I could tell the story in just three shots. The same process was used for the Heron hunting a fish earlier this week, how many do I really need to tell a tale. When in doubt I think most of us err on the side of caution and include a few more shots than necessary, but if your audience falls asleep on slide five it is defeating. Erring on the side of fewer and better in my experience works very well, hard as it may be to decide.

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An Assassin Bug (Three Photographs) and a Word on Reality

Assasin BugTo view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

These true bugs’ main diet is made up of aphids and other small insects. I am impressed by people who can get photographs of insects in the wild without flaws, surrounded by a perfect background etc. I assume it is easier in tended gardens, but in the forest there will always be some detritus and other elements that make the photos less than “clean”. It also amazes me that some photographers get greater depth of field without the softening effect of diffraction. On the detritus, it’s probably more luck than anything but on the depth of field I suspect it is the quality and length of the lens. With bugs like this I take it for granted that not all the antennae will be sharp and that the leaf will have some junk on it. Think assassin in a dark alley, as opposed to the Waldorf-Astoria.

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Assasin Bug-3

Downy Woodpecker (Three Photographs)

 Downy WoodPeckerTo view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

When foraging for food woodpeckers are great candidates for photography, their preoccupation with their endeavor means you won’t be disturbing them. However, they do move at a rapid rate hammering away to get at insects. A high shutter speed, 500 to 1000th of a second catches the bird in motion. In post you can address any noise. They are not rare birds but they are interesting to watch and as you can see, like all woodpeckers they have a long tongue (which I hope was not aimed at me).

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Downy WoodPecker-2

A Squirrel (Three Photographs)

Squirrel-3To view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

I read a lot about photography, too many articles deal with how to take better photographs. One common theme I would like to see in these articles is that regardless of subject, situation and camera we have choices. It’s not that the perfect set up is a studio where everything is in our control, or that we have little say over circumstances in nature. Taking photographs in nature, still offers the choice of background (if only by narrowing the depth of field), the opportunity to get the right light, and position to get the best perspective etc. In these photographs I have included one where the background was not ideal, too much of a bright spot behind the animal’s head. However a bit of patience on my subject’s part allowed me to move slightly, wait for better light and enabled me to get better shots. A choice of shots provided the opportunity to choose the best position and expressions. Often the explanations I read have a lot of technical and post-processing hints and only a few discuss making a photograph regardless of the technology used and eventual editing and that is a shame.

Squirrel-2

Squirrel

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