Welcome to My Monthly Newsletter - January, 2010
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Greetings,

Happy New Year! Let 2010 be an excellent year to everyone. Happy Shooting to all!

I would like to thank you all for the positive compliments, encouragements and wishes since my first newsletter back in April, 2009. I also would like to thank you folks for joining me during my workshops and seminars.

Thank you!

Previous Newsletters Since April 2009

Reminder - Birding & FotoFest 2010, April 22-25, 2010

Birding and Fotofest 2010 - Maxis Gamez

The biggest Birding and Foto Festival in Florida is around the corner. I would like to invite everyone to mark your calendar and support the event. Several well known photographers will be participating in a 3 day festival that everyone can be benefit from.

I will be conducting 4 classroom seminars and 1 classroom/field workshop. The seminars are very affordable and full of information for everyone to enjoy. This is a great opportunity for those that can't afford a full day workshop!!

Below you will find a little more information about my seminars and field workshop programs.

Program#1 Description: Los Tres Amigos Classroom Seminar: Exposure, Histogram and Composition

Los Tres Amigos Seminar will help you successfully understand manual exposure, composition and how to read your histogram. These three techniques are critical to all photographers. Learn how they work together as a team.

Topics covered in this seminar:

o Understanding Manual Exposure – The easy way
o How to read and analyze your histogram
o A key tool every photographer should have and how to use it
o Composition and subject interaction
o No more boring images!

Program#1 Target Results:


Ruddy Turnstone Elegant Pose - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved.
Canon 40D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1600 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure,
Feisol CT-3471 Carbon Fiber Tripod, Slightly cropped

Program #2 Description: Secrets of Photographing Shorebirds Classroom Seminar

This seminar is dedicated to help you photograph shorebirds like never before! Learn how to make your subject powerful in the frame. From perspective to equipment care, this seminar will change your bird photography.

Topics covered in this seminar:

o The perfect approaching technique
o How to handle your equipment from the elements of nature
o Perspective
o When low is too low
o Keeping your horizon straight and much more

Program#2 Target Results:


Western Sandpiper - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved.
Canon 40D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1600 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure,
Feisol CT-3471 Carbon Fiber Tripod, Slightly cropped

Program#3 Description: Bird Photography Classroom Seminar AND Field Workshop

Join me for a one hour classroom seminar and three hours in the field in the St. Augustine Alligator Farm’s Rookery! During the one hour seminar, I will explain and help you understand the following topics:

Topics covered in this seminar:

o How to set your camera to work for you
o How to read your histogram for the perfect exposure
o Fill flash – The easy way
o Key elements for the perfect background
o Subject isolation and much more

Immediately after the seminar, we’ll gather for a three hours in the rookery. This will be your playground to practice and review everything learned during the classroom seminar. I will be on hand to answer all your questions and help you capture your best bird pictures!

Program#3 Target Results:


White Egret - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved.
Canon 40D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1600 sec, ISO 400, Fill Flash using Better Beamer,
Manual exposure, Feisol CT-3471 Carbon Fiber Tripod, Slightly cropped

Program#4 Description: Learn How to Use Quick Mask to Edit Your Images

Do you want to take your editing skills to the next level? Do you want to learn how to manipulate your images with great control? Learn the key elements to Quick Mask and take your master piece to the next level. This easy to follow Photoshop seminar is designed for all levels and will focus on:

Topics covered in this seminar:

o Curves and Quick Mask
o Levels and Quick Mask
o Hue/Saturation and Quick Mask
o Removing distracting elements from your images using Quick Mask
o Adding positive elements to your images using Quick Mask
o Extending your background/canvas using Quick Mask
o Editing parts of your subject using Quick Mask

Program#4 Target Results:


Marbled Godwit - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved.
Canon 40D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1250 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure,
Feisol CT-3471 Carbon Fiber Tripod, Slightly cropped

Program#5 Description: How to Successfully Photograph Birds in Flight Classroom Seminar

Are you having a difficult time photographing birds in flight? Are you looking for a different technique that can help you improve your chances of photographing birds in flight? Learn step by step how I successfully photograph birds in flight. This hands-on equipment seminar is all about panning and how to manage your focusing system using a very unique technique.

Topics covered in this seminar:

o Long lens panning technique using your tripod
o Handheld panning techniques
o Learn how to manage your focusing system to work for you
o No more birds in flight frustrations!

Program#5 Target Results:


Osprey Landing with Fish - S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved.
Canon 40D, 400mm L @ f/8, 1/1600 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure, Handheld, Slightly cropped

As you can see, my seminars will cover pretty much everything I do not only in the field but also in the computer. You don't want to miss this. Join me!!

Click here to purchase your tickets and to learn more about the programs

Let's Not Forget About The Everglades National Park

During my recent short visit to the Everglades National Park to set up my photography exhibit at the wonderful Ernest Coe Visitor Center, I was able to create few amazing images at Anhinga Trail. In the past couple of years, the Everglades National Park has become a very "slow place to visit" within the photographer's community. While I somewhat agree, these are the perfect times to tune our photography eye and skills. Learning to see your images before actually taking them will help tune your vision.


Cormorant Stretching - Everglades National Park - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved.
Canon 7D, 70-200mm L @ f/5.6, 1/800 sec, ISO 200, 12mm Extension Tube,
Manual exposure, Handheld, Full frame

Before photographing this Cormorant's close up, I noticed few Cormorants fishing in the near by water. Within minutes this Cormorant came out of the water and perched near me. I already had in mind the image I was looking. By the time I got close enough, I already had my exposure ready and my extension tube attached to my lens. This helped me from moving around while photographing my subject at a very close distance.

There is always something to photograph at the park but we must be ready before the action is happening. Here are few tips while you are in the park:

Traveling Within The Park:

  • Arrive early and/or when is dark.
  • Visit my exhibit :)
  • Have a full tank of gas.
  • After paying the entrance fee, make sure your equipment is near you or in the passenger's seat.
  • Drive slowly and look ahead for any opportunities. If you find something to photograph, pull over slowly.
  • If you must get out of your vehicle, make sure you pay attention to the incoming traffic. Boaters don't mess around, they want to get to Flamingo as soon as possible!
  • Pay attention to wildlife crossing the roads.
  • If you go to Anhinga Trail, don't leave anything exposed inside your vehicle. Always leave anything valuable in the trunk of your vehicle.
  • Bring water and something to eat.

Photographing in the Park:

  • Leave your camera ON at all times and have a "base" exposure ready.
  • Walk the trail several times and keep your eyes open. Learn how to see your next opportunity before approaching your subject.
  • If you are using a tripod, make sure you have it set and ready to go.
  • Pay attention to your background. Make sure your background is clean from any distractions.
  • Always bring your wide angle and extension tubes.
  • Take pictures and leave nothing behind!


Cormorant Looking Back - Everglades National Park - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved.
Canon 7D, 70-200mm L @ f/5.6, 1/800 sec, ISO 200, 12mm Extension Tube,
Manual exposure, Handheld, Full frame


Male Anhinga Elegant Pose - Everglades National Park - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved.
Canon 7D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/800 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure,
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Slightly cropped

This is an image I've been dreaming about for a very long time. This male Anhinga was resting in the board walk at Anhinga Trail during the early morning light. Since there is nothing attractive about the board walk, I immediately attached my 12mm extension tube to my 7D and moved in slowly for a tighter composition.

Notice the excellent eye contact, clean background, exposure and how the subject interacts with the viewer.


Male Anhinga Elegant Pose - Everglades National Park - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved.
Canon 5D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/200 sec, ISO 400, 12mm Extension Tube, Manual exposure,
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Slightly cropped

And of course, closer.... <Smile>


Sunrise - Everglades National Park - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved.
Canon 5D, 17-40mm L @ f/16, 2 sec, ISO 50, ND filter, Manual exposure,
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Feisol CB-50D ball head, Full Frame

The Everglades National Park can offer some serious landscapes opportunities if the conditions are right. Whatever you do, never leave your wide angle and small ball head home, bring everything!

While my main focus was bird photography, I could not pass this landscape opportunity. this was my first image of 2010. I noticed few familiar faces while photography this scenery but there was no time to talk so I decided to move on.... Let me apologize to you folks but I really didn't want to waste any time.


Cormorant Unique Pose - Everglades National Park - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved.
Canon 7D, 70-200mm L @ 135mm - f/8, 20mm extension tube,
1/640 sec, ISO 200, Manual exposure, Hand held, Full frame.

There is an interesting thread at NatureScapes.net regarding the above image. I think folks can benefit from other's opinion. We are all in a learning curve. Christopher brings an excellent point and so is Jim. I thought would be a good idea to share with you folks. Read it by following this link

http://www.naturescapes.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=169447

Overall, my short visit to the Everglades was very productive. I would like to thank Vanessa N. for the company during my visit. Thank you!

More 7D Tips and Video Tutorials

Folks at Canon are really taking the 7D to the next level. Looks like they learned their lesson from the Canon 1D Mark III fiasco. The Canon Learning Center website offers extensive video tutorials available to anyone. Follow this link.

http://www.usa.canon.com/dlc/controller?act=GetArticleAct&articleID=3167

You can also take these tutorials with you and use them on the go! You can download the videos to your Compact Flash Card and view them in the field! Pretty cool stuff. Good job Canon!!

More images from Bosque del Apache Workshop and New Mexico:

During my last day at Bosque, I was looking for something a little different. While waiting for the blast off, I decided to look around for something unique. I created these two images just before sunrise using a solid handheld technique. The remaining image were using a Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod.


Sunrise Silhouette - Bosque Del Apache, New Mexico - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved.
Canon 7D, 70-200mm L @ 200mm - f/4, 1/125 sec, ISO 800, Manual exposure, Hand held, Full frame.


Sunrise Silhouette - Bosque Del Apache, New Mexico - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved.
Canon 7D, 70-200mm L @ 70mm - f/8, 1/125 sec, ISO 800, Manual exposure, Hand held, Full frame.


Sunrise Silhouette - Bosque Del Apache, New Mexico - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved.
Canon 7D, 70-200mm L @ 125mm - f/8, 1/60 sec, ISO 800, Manual exposure, Manual exposure,
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Full frame


Star Trail Landscape - Bosque del Apache, New Mexico - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved.
Canon 5D, 17-40mm L @ f/5.6, 204 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure,
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Feisol CB-50D ball head, Slightly cropped


Bosque Habitat - Bosque Del Apache, New Mexico - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved.
Canon 7D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/125 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure,
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Slightly cropped


Ring Necked Duck Looking Back - New Mexico - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved.
Canon 7D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1250 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure,
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Slightly cropped


Female Mallard Posing - New Mexico - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved.
Canon 7D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1250 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure,
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Slightly cropped


Mute Swan Elegant Pose - New Mexico - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved.
Canon 7D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1600 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure,
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Slightly cropped

It Pays to Get up Early - Don't be Lazy!


Sunrise Silhouette Private Class - S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved.
Canon 7D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/250 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure,
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Slightly cropped

We all know how crazy the cold weather has been all over the country. Few weeks ago during a private class with a nice couple from Maryland, the temperature was in the upper 30's here in Florida. When I got to the location, it was cold, dark and with very little energy for photography. Thanks to a hot cup of coffee and a strong desire to get out there and create images, I got out of the car about 20 minutes before sunrise.

While I was waiting for my students, I was rewarded with the silhouette image you see above. I positioned myself in the perfect window to photograph the strong colors with my 500mm lens. Who said you can't do landscapes with a long lens?? Get up early, be creative and think out of the box!!


Sandhill Crane Feeding - Private Class - S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved.
Canon 7D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/800 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure,
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Slightly cropped

During the private class, I paid close attention to what my students were photographing and the angle they were photographing from. I also noticed how very little attention they were paying to the background. What I amazed me the most from folks is that even after "knowing" that the background looks busy and full of distracting elements, they still take pictures!! I really don't get that. In my opinion, If it looks bad, I simply don't take one single picture but that's just my style. I immediately stopped them and start talking about what works and what doesn't work and why we need to pay attention!

In my February newsletter, I'm going to talk about "What Works and What Doesn't Work"

Affordable Bird Photography Workshops Updates:

Bosque del Apache, New Mexico - 2 spaces available

Bosque del Apache Workshop was a total success in 2009, (Click here to see all images). Limited to 4 participants, this year the workshop should be amazing as well.

White Pelicans Workshop, January 2010 - Click here to learn more

  • January 30th-31st - 1 space available

This is a great opportunity to photograph 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.

Venice Rookery Workshop - Click here to find more information

  • February 13th - 14th - 3 spaces available
  • March 13th - 14th
  • May 27th - 28th

The Venice Rookery is one of the world’s premier destinations for bird photographer in S.W Florida. It offers easy access for everyone to visit and photograph many species during nesting season.

Gatorland Rookery Workshop - Click here to find more information - New lower price!!

  • April 17th - 18th - 3 spaces available
  • May 8th - 9th
  • May 22th - 23rd

Gatorland is the ultimate location to truly learn from many challenging photography scenarios. The bird Rookery will be our play ground for two full days. Take advantage of my new lower price!

In February's edition...

  • What Works and What Doesn't Work - Field Technique
  • Why everyone should visit Gatorland - Location report
  • Photoshop CS4 worth the upgrade? - My experience
  • and much more

I hope you find this edition useful. Please email me your questions.
Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon!

Sincerely,

Maxis Gamez
941.623.5155
maxisgamez@gmail.com
www.gvisions.org

All images contained within this email are Copyrighted by Maxis Gamez or original author. 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