Posts tagged “Nikon

Waxwing (Two Photographs)

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In my experience, waxwings look great in black and white and I wanted to try a high contrast treatment. This bird was high up in a tree and was popping its head out of the leaves every so often and I took advantage. I have seen flocks of waxwings flying over head but this year only a few I could shoot.


Natural Flag (Two Photographs)

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By all means take photographs of flowers from odd angles, as the pundits suggest. I would also add that in doing so go for detail, like veins in the petals. Use some tonal contrast in post processing to bring out detail and correct colours.

 


Dragonfly (Two Photographs)

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I am a fan of shooting animals straight on. The challenge is that most insects, for example, dragonflies are not at all interested in sticking around and posing. Dragonflies and damselflies orient themselves so that their back and wings get the sun and energy. The more you understand an animal’s habits the easier it is to find shooting opportunities.


Shadow and Highlights (Two Photographs)

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Just some mallards with attitude. I like to experiment with ways to get better exposure both in camera and in post. One way is adjusting the shadows and highlights. The goal is to capture natural shadows and highlights that give visibility to a subject and create a bit of mood. This pair of ducks were opposite each other but the lighting on each was different.


Hover Fly (Two Photographs)

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There are definitely not as many insects as there have been in previous years. The spring flooding may have had an impact. These bee mimic hover flies are always great to shoot. They can look a little intimidating in Black and White.


Mallard and Chicks (Three Photographs)

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It’s always a treat seeing young ducks rush about and get corralled by their mother. They do tend to stay in a group, but the odd one wanders away. From a photographic perspective there are two issues here, getting detail over a broad area and different lighting on different subjects. My solution is to take many photographs. A higher ISO has made the colours a touch too dense in the first photo.


Observed Space (Two Photographs)

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These photos reflect exactly what I saw in my viewfinder. The few changes I made in post processing were to ensure that result in the final copies. As for the title, when I saw it once in a museum I guessed the artist had run out of imagination. I have borrowed that lazy out for impact but in truth it’s all about light.


Marsh (Two Photographs)

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When I narrow my focus I sometimes see the beginnings of an abstract composition. Here I wanted the plant to come alive within a composition that had no real boundaries, and that avoided deciding on a specific subject.


Little Wood-Satyr (Two Photographs)

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A Satyr, or wood spirit, how appropriate a name for such an elusive creature. They fly in and out of bushes, tempting you by setting down on the edge in broad daylight only to fly off. At the best of times they are often under cover making the light problematic. Regardless they are a sight to see.


Sparrow (Two Photographs)

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Thank goodness for the radial filter in Lightroom. The face of this bird was in modest shadow and all I wanted to do was even out the light over part of the body. The radial filter tool makes this easy (draw around your subject, change the exposure and make any other adjustments within that selection).

 


Nuthatch (Three Photographs)

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Nuthatches are quite common, especially when people are offering them handouts, but they move quickly and can be a challenge to photograph. They tease you, as you lift your camera they are already in another bush or tree. So getting a few good shots is a relief.


Black-Crowned Night Heron (Two Photographs)

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These herons sometimes remind me of the Penguin in Batman. Their poses and expressions, never mind the bright red eyes and often comical dance they do when walking along a log, are so penguin-like.


Butterfly (Two Photographs)

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I believe this is a Red Admiral Butterfly. I like face to face photographs with animals. It can make identification problematic but it certainly provides some drama. In addition, as I have only made a taxonomical guess, why not try it in black and white.


A Giant Swallowtail Butterfly (Two Photographs)

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I was trying various metering modes to capture this butterfly from a distance with my lens at 200mm. The results were unexpected though I think pleasing to the eye. A lepidopterist might question how the colours and detail came out. It raises the question, am I shooting nature photography or art photography.


Tulip (Two Photographs)

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I take a fair amount of flower photographs, either with my 105mm or my 200-500mm. Depth of field is key for good backgrounds, (large aperture, distance between subject and background greater than that between subject and camera). I also pick apertures where I will get the most detail in the subject, so not the largest aperture. In the end the photograph relies on colour or tonality for success.


Nuthatch (Three Photographs)

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Nuthatches are a common bird with a very point beak. It is therefore quite surprising to see people feeding them out of their hands and risking a good pecking. Most of the time these birds hang down from trees when they are trying to find insects to eat.


Not Every Photograph… (Two Photographs)

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Not every photograph turns out as intended. Clearly not the best shot of a Black Swallowtail butterfly, but interesting nonetheless. Taken from a distance with highlight protected spot metering, there is a lot of noise in the detail. My preference is the black and white version.


Black-Crowned Night Heron (Three Photographs)

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This year we have heard of more sightings of these herons than usual but they are still hard to find. Standing two feet tall, you would think they would be easier to spot, but for the most part they hang out in bushes along the river, stalking fish very slowly, or preening quietly.


Downy Woodpecker and Choosing Aperture (Two Photographs)

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More often that not I want a shallow depth of field that highlights my subject. That said I sometimes need a smaller aperture to ensure the depth of field captures all of my subject or important context. It’s not entirely guesswork, there is an element of skill based on practice. But it is something I have to re-learn every spring!


Monarchs Mating

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I have only rarely published photographs within days of taking them. I will make an exception here. Two days ago I was walking along a busy bike path and noticed a butterfly go by, and watched where it settled. I was pleasantly surprised to see two Monarch Butterflies mating. Not the first shots of mating butterflies I have taken, but the first of such an iconic butterfly. Made my day.


Canada Goose and A Perfect Foreground

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I was walking along the edge of a lake and saw this goose. I liked the reflection but my instinct was to think the reeds were a distraction. I took the shot anyway and I am very glad I did. Often the rules we make for ourselves need to be rethought.


Field (Two Photographs)

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I think these would make good murals. They are the kind of photographs that calm the mind. The background is important and because it’s farther away from the subject than the camera is, I used a relatively small aperture. I got a great out of focus background even with a cropped sensor camera.


Bee (Two Photographs)

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There are several ways to get close to medium sized insects like this bee. In my view one of the better ways is with a telephoto lens and a crop in post processing. Macro lenses, reversed lens etc. have their place but are used for the smallest of insects. Another way is to use a wide angle lens and while this brings you very close to the animal, most wide angle lenses do focus closer than most other types of lenses.


Female Hooded Merganser (Two Photographs)

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One of the challenges of the summer birding season are merganser ducks. They very seldom come close to shore and yet regardless we try as they are one of more beautiful ducks. These were taken at 500mm with a 200-500 mm lens.