This upcoming Tuesday morning, Feb. 21, 2006, a group of diehards, who have signed up in advance, will be meeting me at 6:30 a.m. at the entrance to the “Wako” boardwalk for an instructional photo session. This early morning instructional photo session is booked up, but at 9:30 a.m. I’ll be giving a slide presentation next door at the wetlands offices & training center. The presentation titled, “You’re Strictly For the Birds” is an extension of my original “A Mixed Bag of Birds” presentation which shows wildlife and scenics from various parts of the world I’ve traveled on my Instructional Photo Tours. I will also be including a short presentation on facts and images from the beautiful country of Ecuador. This is free and open to the public, so please do come---bring a friend or two---and let’s have fun and enjoy some interesting photo experiences. Hopefully this will be a great learning experience for you all, and that you will want more sessions of its kind. Or possibly you photographers and non-photographer/nature lovers would just like to have more slide presentations. I am more than willing to accommodate, but it would be helpful if you contacted Brenda Duffey at 561-801-6306 and express your wishes.
"Looking Out My Backdoor”
This is what happens when I stay near home for a few weeks…bingo!! There are great images to be photographed such as this Great Horned Owl and her chick in the nest at the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (Boynton Beach/Delray Beach) off of SR 441. Of course shooting into the darken, thick wooded area, at a bird so incredibly camouflaged is always a challenge. It gets even more difficult when we have to consider the construction of this particular specie of bird’s eye which is the cause of the much dreaded ‘red-eye’ when we use flash etc. There are a number of answers to this problem, such as; don’t use the flash, wait until the light is right, use the flash and block in the eye with black magic marker on the print (!!! just kidding!!!) and of course to all the digital/computer users just simply say my six-most-hated-words “I can fix it in photoshop.” To me, the purist, that is not THE solution, but it certainly is A solution. Another pretty good answer is to have a photo buddy hold the flash out and far enough away and to the side of you to just put a ‘fill-flash’ on the bird, or attach it (the flash not your buddy!) to a tree limb, twig or another tri-pod. One needs to experiment with this, but I also suggest that you will probably want to compensate the flash itself to -1 1/3 during the stronger daylight hours. Also, consideration for the type of camera being used (digital or standard film) can be a factor---this could be another whole day’s workshop. Once again, I couldn’t resist showing a shot of the Burrowing Owls. They are ‘Looking Out Their Backdoor’, while I’m stretched out on my belly to try and peak in their back door.
NANPA and ECUADOR:
North America Nature Photographer Assoc.’s annual summit meeting was a very successful event for me as the response to my endorsement of Neblina Forest Tour Company of Ecuador was very positive. As most of you who know me are aware, I would never endorse, or promote anything I do not know anything about and/or believe in. I was proud to introduce them to NANPA and introduce NANPA and many of its members to Neblina Tour Co. Plans for a November 2006 trip to Ecuador’s Amazonian area rain forest and cloud forests are being finalized. If you are even remotely interested, pencil in the dates of November 4—14th. Detailed information will be forthcoming, but if you want immediate data, just give me a call. Take a peak at some images on my web site in the Ecuador gallery:
While at the NANPA Summit meeting, I took advantage of some expert instruction on macro photography from Nancy Rotenberg. This all-day seminar was so much fun, and a very, very humbling experience!! But WATCH OUT, I’ve found another whole world to capture with my lens, and it isn’t underwater or in outer space----phew, that is such a relief!!! Much, much more on this subject to come later.
For me one of the biggest rewards of NANPA is to share time with the students that have been selected to be part of this summit. They are the “cream” of our future in photography…the best of the best. I first met Evan Graff & his dad while at Wakodahatchee Wetlands last winter while he was visiting family. After watching Evan for a few days studying his techniques and talking with him, I determined he was worthy of the opportunity to present himself to NANPA. He was……he went on to receive a NANPA scholarship!!! I met and chatted at great length with Steve Meth, an incredibly talented young man with more world-wide travel experience than 98% of the total membership of NANPA! Remember his name…..you are going to see it in print along side some of the most outstanding images I’ve seen in a long time! My good friend Laura Williams’ work is also going to reduce a few of the pros to their knees! She’s joining me in Panama as my digital assistant, so those on board that trip will be in for a treat!!
Photo Marketing Association International Convention and Trade Show Feb 26, 27, 28th
The explosion of digital technology and its effects on the photographic industry and our every day lives have left most of us dizzy with dismay. Many of you who are close to me have watched me stamp my feet in frustration, scream and yell and shake my fists at the digital gods above, and even stoop to blaming this whole business on the “spookies” in outer space trying to take over the world by driving we normal, average earth-dwellers over the edge with equipment foolishly named an ‘Apple’ or ‘Windows’. An Apple is something I eat, and Windows are what I look out of…..like my back door! Well, as many of you have pointed out to me, that’s just too simple, and all the screaming and stamping of my feet tirades are not going to make this boogie man go away. So the next best thing is Education, Education, Education…… stay close to your enemy and see what he is planning next. In this case the enemy is the world of the computer/digital industry. This Sunday, Monday & Tuesday I will be in Orlando, Florida at one of the largest computer/digital arenas in the world to try and learn the secrets of this spooky demon of technology. Hopefully, I’ll come away with one or two “pearls of wisdom” to share with you. Or, even better than that, maybe one or many of you will have some wisdom you would be willing to share with me. I’ll be home Tuesday evening and then taking a flight out to Panama on Friday for the……
PANAMA PHOTO SAFARI: March 3rd- to 10th:
My group and I will be off to a El Valle---an area of Panama which could be considered a photographer’s paradise, with its fabulous scenics and beautiful wildlife. As stated above, there will be digital assistance and slide presentations as well as my instructional photo assistance upon request.
"Keep Your Aperature Your Priorty"
Great Horned Owl chick
Rufous Crested Coquette
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