Category: Behind the Image

November 5, 2013

Photo of the Week: Dawn Dancer

One of my favorite “rites of spring” to photograph is sharp-tailed grouse dancing on their lek. For a couple weeks, every morning in early April the males gather before dawn on their dancing grounds. Each male stakes out about one square yard as their own personal stage on which to dance. They defend every inch…
August 29, 2013

Photo of the Week Waxwings

This image has a special place in my heart. I had just spent two weeks shooting alone in Yellowstone. I was driving out of the park on my way to the airport on the last morning. I was feeling a little melancholy. It had been a great two weeks, and I was sad that it…
August 20, 2013

Photo Tip: Motion Blurs

One of the things I like to play with especially when the light is not all that great is creating motion blurs. I do this by intentionally dragging the shutter (shooting at a slow shutter speed) when shooting a moving subject. What this does is allows any subject movement to register as a blur in…
June 15, 2013

Quality of Light

I like to tell people that the light more than any other factor influences what and when I shoot. Which is very true, I shoot mostly in the mornings and the evenings not only because that is when my subjects are most active but also because that is when the light is at its best.…
April 20, 2013

Backlighting

The last direction light can come from is behind your subject. This can create some fun and exciting effects in your images. Most silhouettes take advantage of backlighting. In the shot accompanying this post I manually set the exposure to place the sun as a medium orange, this renders my subject as a silhouette. When setting…
March 5, 2013

SIDE LIGHTING

If you recall we have been talking about lighting and more specifically about how the direction of the light affects your image. This week we are going to talk about side lighting. With side lighting the light is coming directly from your left or right. This type of lighting creates some useful effects. One of…
October 12, 2012

Using High Speed Flash to Photograph Hummingbirds in Flight

My absolute favorite way to photograph hummingbirds is to use high-speed flash to create images of the birds in flight. I like to use high-speed flash because the super-fast burst of light freezes the bird’s wings. Up until recently this type of photography was fairly inaccessible requiring specially made flashes and other equipment. Now however,…
July 29, 2012

Partnerships

Conservation groups and organizations are always in need of imagery to help get their message out, and for use in their mission to educate the public. One of the things we can do as photographers is to give the gift of our work to these groups. Much can be gained from these associations, even beyond…
May 24, 2012

SPRING WARBLER PHOTOGRAPHY

For the next couple of weeks here in Michigan warbler migration will be going in full force. Photographing warblers is likely one of the larger challenges in the field of bird photography. I like to say shooting warblers is like trying to photograph a hyperactive two year old with wings, after they have just washed…
March 10, 2011

THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT

I am very fortunate to be able to live out in the woods. Since all of the windows in my home reflect the surrounding woods, it is not unusual for me to have the occasional bird/window crash at my house. I think what happens is that as the birds fly they see the trees reflected in the windows…