Welcome to my monthly newsletter - August 2009



Welcome to my new and freshly-designed newsletter. I would like to thank you all for the positive compliments, encouragements and wishes from my July, 2009 newsletter. August’s edition is full of information as well.

Kudos from readers - Thank you!

I hope things are still going well for you. I loved this month's Newsletter. The new format is great, and the Curlew photos are tremendous. I see exactly what you mean about being too low in the first photo. The second one is perfect, and the crab was a bonus. The lighting and background were perfect; two of the most important elements in a photo. - John Wilson.


Let’s begin with a question from Margaret Broderick

Question: Maxis. I really enjoyed your "bumping" technique. As you said, it will take some time for me to learn how to apply this technique in the field. My questions to you is: When you say "Press and HOLD button" are you referring to the shutter button? My Canon 1D Mk III can take up to 10 frames per second, I will likely take hundreds of images by the end of the day. How do you browse and edit so many images?

Thank you for everything you do.

Answer: Hi Margaret. First, I would like to thank you for reading my newsletter.

I often capture thousands of images every month. I browse and pick my images directly from the compact flash cards using a pretty cool and FREE software called FastStone Image Viewer. As you can imagine with a name like that, FastStone Image Viewer allows me to browse and pick my final images directly from the card in a very fast and accurate fashion. Once I customized the software to fit my needs, every time I come home, I browse and pick my images directly from the card before I can download them to my external drives.

Another cool feature, is that you can TAG your keepers allowing you to delete the others very fast. Please visit this link to find out more about FastStone Image Viewer.

FastStone Image Viewer 3.8 - Maxis Gamez, All rights reserved

I've been using FastStone Image Viewer for a while now and I've been extremely happy with it. It does what it says. If you download a free copy, don't forget to leave a small donation like I did.

During my Photoshop Classes, I explain in great detail how to customize this software to work for you. Unlike others browsing software, FastStone is FAST!

I hope this answer your question. If you still have questions, feel free to ask.

Got a question? Feel free to ask. Email me your question and help others!!

How to Capture the Perfect Pose - Field Technique

Maxis Gamez | www.gvisions.org
IMAGE 1 - Long-billed Curlew - Alafia Banks Bird Sanctuary,
Tampa Bay - (GPS: 27.846058,-82.417545)

Canon 40D, 500mm L @ f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO 400, FEISOL carbon fiber tripod, Almost full frame.

Head Pose by Maxis Gamez
IMAGE 2 - Brown Pelican Posing - Alafia Banks, Tampa Bay (GPS: 27.846058,-82.417545)
Canon 40D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO 400, FEISOL carbon fiber tripod, Full frame

Head Angle by Maxis Gamez
IMAGE 3 - Black Vulture - S.W Florida
Canon 5D, 500mm L @ f/8, 1/200 sec, ISO 200, Manual exposure, FEISOL carbon fiber tripod, Almost full frame.

I often look for the best pose, background, eye contact and light when photographing birds. But how do you create images like these? The answer is simple. Keep your eye glued to the viewfinder! Why? because if you blink for a second, your subject will give you the perfect pose and you will miss the opportunity. Pay close attention to your subject's behavior.

If you are photographing with a friend or partner, stop talking and FOCUS in what you are doing!! You'll be surprise, how many times I see photographer miss the action because they are talking non-sense stuff. I'm serious!

IMAGE 1 - Notice how the Long-billed Curlew have the perfect eye contact, head turn and elegant raised foot. There is such great interaction that it almost looks like the Curlew is inviting you to jump in!

IMAGE 2 - This is a very interesting image because even the slightly head angle can create a huge difference. Notice how the head angle in POSE 2 is slightly turned TOWARD the camera from POSE 1. Few degrees can make a HUGE difference.

IMAGE 3 - Most photographers would be happy with POSE 1. However, if you spend the time, money and energy to get to different locations to photograph, why not take the extra step and capture the perfect pose? Notice the slightly head angle on POSE 2 compare to POSE 1. You be the judge!!

The key is to wait for that perfect moment and if you are ready and let me write this again, IF YOU ARE READY, you will capture a winner!!


Spoonbill -  © Maxis Gamez
Roseate Spoonbill - Tampa Bay, Florida
Canon 40D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/250 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure, Handheld, Almost full frame

Using Extension Tubes - Equipment Technique

Kenko Extension Tubes | © Maxis Gamez
Kenko Extension Tubes Set. 12mm, 20mm and 36mm - Maxis Gamez, All rights reserved.

I'm very fortunate and blessed to live in Florida. I often find myself getting closer and closer to my subjects and at times my lenses are not able to focus any closer to my subject. I like to FILL the frame, I don't like to crop therefore I use extension tubes. Extension tubes are often used for Macro photography as well.

Kenko extension tubes allows your lens to focus closer than its normal set minimum focusing distance by separating the lens from the image sensor. Getting closer means your subject will look BIGGER in the frame and in this situation, BIGGER IS BETTER!

Kenko extension tubes comes in a set of 3 rings, a 12mm, 20mm and 36mm. They can be used in any combination or individually to obtain the desired magnification. You can buy extension tubes for Canon, Nikon, Sony and Minolta for about $179.00 at B&H.

Let's see what you can do with them....

Extension Tubes
Image# 1 - Macro Photography - S.W Florida
Canon 5D, Canon 70-200mm f/4 L @ f/8, 1/320 sec, ISO 400, Kenko 20mm extension tube, TWO flashes (Canon 550EX and 580EX II) with diffusers and all at high speed sync set to -1. Manual exposure, Tripod, Almost full frame

Flower | © Maxis Gamez
Image #2 - Macro Photography - S.W Florida
Canon 40D, 70-200mm f/4 L @ f/8, 1/160 sec, ISO 400, Kenko 36mm extension tube,
Manual exposure, FEISOL carbon fiber tripod, Almost full frame

QUIZ: Can you see the spider on Image #2? - Can you? Find the answer HERE

Image #3 - Macro Photography - Acadia National Park, Maine
Canon 5D, 70-200mm f/4 L @ f/8, 1/160 sec, ISO 400, Kenko 20mm extension tube,
Manual exposure, FEISOL 3472LV carbon fiber tripod, Full frame

I intentionally used a 20mm and 36mm extension tube for these flowers because I know the Canon 70-200mm f/4 lens already have an excellent minimal focusing distance. The 20mm and 36mm extension tube allowed me that extra rich.

The Canon 70-200mm f/4 L lens with any extension tube is my favorite way to capture close up images of flowers and other subjects. I like the flexibility of the zoom lens and the magnification I get from the extension tubes. If you like macro photography, this could be a good way to capture fantastic images.

I often use extension tubes for bird photography as well.

Tri-colored Heron © Maxis Gamez
Tri-colored Heron Juvenile - Gatorland
Canon 40D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/800 sec, ISO 400, Kenko 20mm extension tube,
550EX with Better Beamer set to -1, Manual exposure, FEISOL carbon fiber tripod, Full frame

Semi-palmated Plover
Semi-palmate Plover - S.W Florida
Canon 40D, 400mm L @ f/8, 1/1000 sec, ISO 400, Kenko 20mm extension tube, Handheld, Almost full frame

As you can see, extension tubes can really help you get those close ups. I strongly recommend them.

Not a Good Sunset? No Problem! Creating Silhouettes - Field Technique

During my workshop at Gatorland, Florida. Mike Godwin showed me a pretty cool trick about setting your camera's white balance to create amazing silhouettes even if you don't have a good sunset. Thank you Mike!

Brown Pelican silhouette | Maxis Gamez
Brown Pelican Silhouettes - S.W Florida
Canon 40D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/250 sec, ISO 800, White Balance set to 8500K,
manual exposure, handheld, Full frame

Flowers | © Maxis Gamez
Wild Flowers Silhouette - S.W Florida
Canon 40D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/13 sec, ISO 800, White Balance set to 8500K,
manual exposure, FEISOL carbon fiber tripod, Full frame

Here are the steps:

  1. Set your camera white balance to 8500k to 9900k depending on the sunset.
  2. Keep your exposure under one full stop.

That's it! Cool huh?? Next time you go to the beach, give it a try!

Maxis Gamez Photography Exhibits Dates:

Photography Exhibits by Maxis Gamez

You have seen my images online, through my website, newsletter and forums. Now you have the opportunity to see them in person. You are invited to visit my photography exhibit at any of the locations mentioned below. Experience up-close and personal the quality of my prints using my digital workflow and take advantage of my seminars, presentation and slide shows. Hope to see you there!

Affordable Bird Photography Workshops Updates:

Bosque del Apache, New Mexico - December 2, 3 and 4, 2009.
After 3 weeks of announcing my Affordable workshops, Bosque del Apache workshop is now SOLD OUT!! Limited to 4 participants, my workshops are the perfect opportunity to truly learn. I'm currently accepting reservations for Bosque del Apache 2010. Contact me if you have any questions.

White Pelicans Workshop - January 9-10 AND 30-31, 2010
This is a great opportunity to photography White Pelicans up close and personal. I often use my 70-200mm lens to get full frame shots! This workshop is expected to fill fast. Contact me if you have any questions.

In September's edition....

  • How to pack your equipment for your next trip - Equipment Technique
  • Maine trip images and places to visit - Field Report
  • A good reason why not to OVER pay for your next carbon fiber tripod - Equipment review
  • Announcement and much more....

I hope you find August's edition useful. Please email me your questions by simply replying to this email.
Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon!


Maxis Gamez

All images contained within this email are Copyrighted by the author Maxis Gamez. All rights reserved.
Copying, reproduction, or distribution of these images in any manner is protected by United States of America Copyright laws and International Copyright laws and is strictly prohibited. Thank you.
www.gvisions.org | maxisgamez@gmail.com | 941.623.5155