Saturday, February 15, 2020

NEW WORKSHOPS - Bosque del Apache, NM & White Sands, NM, December 2020


TWO EXCITING NEW WORKSHOPS JUST ANNOUNCED! 


Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico, 

famous for its tens of thousands of Snow Geese 

and Sandhill Cranes, incredible sunrises and 

sunsets, and unique photo opportunities. 


And White Sands National Park,  New Mexico, 

known for its pristine white sand dunes, 

undulating abstracts, and wild beauty. 


At Bosque del Apache, one of my favorite places for bird photography, you will have numerous opportunities to witness and photograph the famous awe-inspiring lift-off at dawn of thousands of Snow Geese, plus the graceful flights of the beautiful Sandhill Cranes. Improve your bird photography skills, learn tips and tricks to get the best shoots, and learn artistic creative techniques that result in images that go beyond the ordinary. We will shoot lift-offs and flight images in the mornings and late afternoons / evenings. Mid-day hours will be filled with classroom sessions for Lightroom and Photoshop techniques, plus image critiques.

At White Sands, a beautiful and surreal location with dramatic photo opportunities in every direction, we will photograph in the mornings and afternoons / evenings in order to capture the best directional and most beautiful light for sand dunes, and spectacular sunsets. Mid-day hours will be filled with classroom sessions for Lightroom and Photoshop techniques, plus image critiques.

These two workshops run back-to-back. Take either one, or both. The Bosque workshop runs from December 1 - 5, followed by the White Sands workshop December 6 - 9.


BOSQUE DEL APACHE Wildlife Refuge details:

WHEN: Tuesday, December 1 through Saturday, December 5, 2020

WHERE: Our base will be Socorro, New Mexico, about a 20 minute drive from the Refuge

LIMIT: maximum of 12 photographers

FEE: Early sign-up fee of $1995 if you register by March 20. After that date the regular workshop fee of $2495 will apply. Special Combo rate of $1695 for each workshop if you take both workshops. Must register for both workshops by March 20. Fee includes all entry fees to the Refuge, in-depth training and coaching for bird photography, breakfasts (at the hotel), personalized attention, creative techniques, guide service, and image reviews and critiques. [Not included are lodging, lunches, dinners, transportation, and personal incidentals. Special hotel rates are being arranged.]

DEPOSIT:
A $500 deposit will reserve your space.

ITINERARY (subject to change):
Tuesday, December 1 - Workshop begins with a Welcome and Teaching session at 7PM in our hotel.
Wednesday, December 2 - early morning start so we can be on location before sunrise to catch the famous Snow Geese lift-off. Return to the hotel between 9AM and 10AM for breakfast, optional nap, download and edit images. Lunch on your own around noon. Afternoon classroom teaching session will run from 1:15PM until approximately 3PM. Return to the Refuge by 3:30PM for late afternoon / sunset shoot.
Thursday, December 3 - same as above
Friday, December 4 - same as above
Saturday, December 5 - early morning shoot at the Refuge, then return to the hotel for breakfast and a  final workshop wrap-up session. Workshop will end by 11AM.


WHITE SANDS National Park details

WHEN: Sunday, December 6 through Wednesday, December 9, 2020

WHERE: Our base will be Alamagordo, New Mexico, about a 20 minute drive from the park

LIMIT: maximum of 12 photographers

FEE: Early sign-up fee of $1995 if you register by March 20. After that date the regular workshop fee of $2495 will apply. Special Combo rate of $1695 for each workshop if you take both workshops. Must register for both workshops by March 20. Fee includes all entry fees to the National Park, in-depth training and coaching, breakfasts (at the hotel), personalized attention, creative techniques, guide service, and image reviews and critiques. [Not included are lodging, meals, transportation, and personal incidentals. Special hotel rates are being arranged.]

DEPOSIT:
A $500 deposit will reserve your space.

ITINERARY: (subject to change)
Sunday, December 6 - Workshop begins with a Welcome and Teaching session at 6PM at our hotel.
Monday, December 7 - leave the hotel early enough to reach the Park when it opens at 7AM. Shoot until the light is no longer good, return to the hotel for breakfast, optional nap, download and edit images. Lunch on your own around noon. Afternoon classroom teaching session will run from 1:15PM until approximately 3PM. Return to the Park by 3:30PM for late afternoon / sunset shoot.
Tuesday, December 8 - same as above
Wednesday, December 9 - early morning shoot at the Park, then return to the hotel for breakfast and a  final workshop wrap-up session. Workshop will end by 11AM.

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO REGISTER,

EMAIL

or  CALL 757-773-0194


Monday, February 10, 2020

Happy Surprise



I was happily surprised to start the day with a notice from the North American Nature Photography Association  (NANPA) that this image is being showcased on their homepage this week. Here is the link http://www.nanpa.org

When you get to the homepage, several images will cycle through so you may have to wait a few seconds for this one to come up.

I was thrilled that this image was selected as one of the Top 100 Images Of The Year.

Here is the caption that goes with the image:
"This pair of Horned Puffins posed themselves beautifully on their rocky perch during breeding season. While their colorful bills were beautiful, and their black and white feathers in lovely contrast to one another, this monochrome artistic rendering brings out the texture and contrast more clearly than what our eyes see in a color image., Bird Island, Cook Inlet, Alaska"

TECH SPECS
1/1250 sec at f/8, ISO 800. Canon 100-400mm f.4.5-5.6L IS II lens set at 400mm on Canon 7D Mark II body. Handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "All photo competitions are a gamble. You never know how your images will do. It is best to accept the wins with humility, and the losses with grace."  --Mollie Isaacs 

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Small Touches Make a Difference


I am still enthralled with all the sights and sounds of my December trip to Antarctica, and penguins top the list of appealing subjects. They are gawky and comical on land, but sleek and elegant in the water.

This Gentoo penguin had been fishing and was just returning to the nesting area. While this is a simple, basic shot, several things help elevate it to a higher level.

First, the composition. The penguin is nicely separated from the background. The color of the water, along with the horizontal ripples, are a nice counterpoint to the smooth black and white body. And the slant of the rock creates an oblique angle which is an added element of visual interest. Also, the hint of a reflection adds a sense of depth.

Next, there are several small details that help this image. There is a sense of motion created by his foot being raised, ready to step on the rock. And because he was just exiting the water you can see water droplets on his head and bill if you look closely.

Finally, the color contrast between the cool tones of the water and the warm tones of his bill and foot are the finishing touches.

So the big question is - did I have any control over these elements? Clearly the answer is "no." BUT we always have a choice regarding which images stand out above the rest. If you look for small details in each image that sets it apart from others, and determine whether the composition is appealing, you will be able to find the images that stand out from all the hundreds or thousands you shoot. And to maximize your options, it is best to shoot a lot of images of each subject from different angles.

TECH SPECS
1/1600 sec at f/8, ISO 800. Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens set at 100mm, on Canon 7D Mark II body. Handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "No photographer, no matter how talented or trained, has a 100% success rate. If you take 1000 images that result in 50 good ones, consider that a great success."  --Mollie Isaacs