Welcome to my monthly newsletter - June 2009


Welcome to my new and freshly-designed newsletter. I got tired of my old design and came up with what I think is a more elegant layout. It really pays to be a web designer. I hope you all like it.

I would like to thank you all for the positive compliments, encouragements and wishes from my May, 2009 newsletter. Many of you enjoyed my filed tips and techniques. Juneís edition is full of information as well, including part of my digital workflow which I cover during my Photoshop private lessons.

Enjoy the images and information.

Letís begin with a question from Mike Molina.

Question: Maxis, in your Aprilís newsletter, you have a picture of an Osprey landing. I noticed you donít use IS (Image Stabilization) lenses. How do you create images so sharp?? I canít seem to be able to capture images that sharp with my Canon 500mm lens. What am I missing?

Answer: You are correct, I donít use IS lenses. You could be using the incorrect panning technique. During my private lessons and workshops, I teach extensible how I successfully pan and use long lenses like the Canon 500mm. As always, there is a technique for everything and all it takes is a good teacher and a lot of practice.

In this edition, I talk about how I use the Canon 500mm lens with a tripod. I hope you find this information useful. Letís get started!

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

Long lens panning technique using your tripod - Field Technique

Maxis Gamez | www.gvisions.org
Image 1, Maxis Gamez

I'm not much of an engineer (I like it) but this is not rocket science. Panning your long lens should not be complicated at all. Here are few tips:

  1. The first thing you need to remember is to LEVEL your tripod. I often see folks with their expensive
    carbon fiber tripods with the legs all over the place. I use a large Feisol 3471 carbon fiber tripod ($319) with a Wimberley Version II head with a Canon 500mm lens. Take the time to raise your tripod to a comfortable height and make sure your tripod legs are all at the same level. If your tripod have a bubble level, use it!

  2. As you can see on image 1 (don't mind my grey hair), I never, ever position my left arm on top of my lens. Don't interfere with the movement and rotation of your ball head, allow your expensive ball head do its job. After all, if you position your arm on top of the lens as many folks do, you are basically adding more weight AND resistance to your panning, which slows your rotation and flexibility dramatically.

  3. I often use my left arm to aim for my subject (A). I also apply a little pressure to my camera's viewfinder with my forehead (B).

  4. Here are few images I was able to capture using my technique.

Wood Stork Landing | Maxis Gamez | www.gvisions.org
Wood Stork Landing - S.W Florida
Canon 40D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1600 sec, ISO 200, manual exposure, tripod, almost full frame.

Bald Eagle | Maxis Gamez | www.gvisions.org
Bald Eagle with Squirrel - S.W Florida
Canon 40D, 500mm L @ f/8, 1/1600 sec, ISO 400, manual exposure, tripod, almost full frame.

Black Skimmer in Flight
Black Skimmer in Habitat - S.W Florida
Canon 40D, 500mm L @ f/8, 1/1250 sec, ISO 400, manual exposure, tripod, almost full frame.

In part II, I will talk about my camera settings and my "bumping" technique which will clearly explain how I bump my focusing system to capture birds in flight. During my private classes and workshops, I explain exactly how I successfully apply my panning techniques in the field. Stay tune for July's edition!!

Photoshop CS3 settings and color space - Digital Workflow

In last month newsletter, I mentioned that I will share with you my photoshop CS3 color settings. Color space can be a very complex topic to talk about in a newsletter. However, I am simply going to share with you my Photoshop settings. Below you will find my current color space and other settings. To find these settings, click on EDIT>Color Settings

Color Space | Maxis Gamez | www.gvisions.org

Bellow you will find my regular settings depending on my output.

Images for the web:

  • Color Space: sRGB
  • Resolution: 72 dpi
  • Image size: Often 1024 by longest side. However, this can vary.

Images for printing using an Epson R1900:

  • Color Space: RGB
  • Resolution: 720 dpi
  • Image Size: Varies

Black Skimmers Fight
Black Skimmers Fight - S.W Florida
Canon 40D, 400mm L @ f/8, 1/2000 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure, Handheld, Slightly cropped

I can't enforce enough how important is to learn manual exposure. Thanks to my manual mode settings, I was able to focus in capturing the behavior and not to worry about the exposure compensation.

Egret Feeding Chick
Great Egret Feeding Chicks - S.W Florida
Canon 40D, 400mm L @ f/8, 1/500 sec, ISO 400, Manual mode, Handheld

Composition, composition, composition. After paying close attention to this parent feeding, I was able
to position myself to the right angle to capture the perfect head angle and eye contact. Learn how to anticipate your subject next move.

Announcing my 2009 and 2010 Workshops!!

2009 and 2010 Workshops

I will be conducting a workshop in the one and only Bosque del Apache during December 2, 3, 4, 2009.
This affordable workshop is the ultimate experience for the bird photographer. For only $695 per person,
you'll enjoy 3 FULL DAYS of extensive shooting, learning field techniques, image critiques AND Photoshop classes. This workshop was also design to be during FULL MOON.

Bosque del Apache offers amazing opportunities to photograph many species of birds in flight. Bosque is also considered one of the premier location to photograph not only thousands of birds but also breathtaking landscapes. We’ll start from almost an hour before sunrise. The workshop will be conducted during early mornings and late afternoons each day and is scheduled during the FULL MOON allowing us to capture great images of birds in flight with the full moon in your background.  We’ll also be also visiting a great location near Bosque to photograph Ring-necked Duck, American Wigeon and more.  Bosque del Apache is a true paradise for photographers. Please join me!!

Sandhill Cranes - Bosque del Apache
Sandhill Cranes with full moon - Bosque del Apache, New Mexico
Canon 40D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1600 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure, Handheld.

Handholding a 500mm lens like I did for this image was not an easy task. Bosque del Apache offers the ultimate playground to learn and practice your panning technique over and over. I will be next to you to make sure you apply the correct technique. The full moon was a nice touch!!

Snow Geese - Bosque del Apache
Snow Geese landing pose - Bosque del Apache, New Mexico
Canon 40D, 500mm L @ f/8, 1/2000 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure, Handheld.

Bosque del Apache
Snow Geese fly over - Bosque del Apache, New Mexico
Canon 40D, Sigma 24-70mm @ f/8, 1/250 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure, Handheld, polarizer filter

View my Bosque del Apache gallery for more images.
JOIN ME!! | Call 941.623.5155

In July's edition....

  • Long lens panning technique Part II "Bumping" - Field Technique
  • Camera settings for birds in flight
  • When low is too low - Field Technique
  • More images from Bosque del Apache and much more....

I hope you find June'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

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