Bird Photography Workshops

Welcome to My Monthly Newsletter - June, 2010
NOTE: Please wait until ALL images load!

Find me on Facebook Find me on Flickr
Find me on Facebook and Flickr

 

Previous Newsletters Since April 2009

Florida Scrub Jay.... Nailed It!!

Florida Scrub Jay - N.E Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Florida Scrub Jay (Image #1)- N.E Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 400mm L @ f/8, 1/1600 sec, ISO 200, 12mm Extension Tube, 550EX with Better Beamer
Handheld, Almost full frame

Florida Scrub Jay - N.E Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Florida Scrub Jay (Image #2) - N.E Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 400mm L @ f/8, 1/1600 sec, ISO 200, 12mm Extension Tube, 550EX with Better Beamer
Handheld, Almost full frame

Florida Scrub Jay - N.E Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Florida Scrub Jay (Image #3) - N.E Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 400mm L @ f/8, 1/1600 sec, ISO 200, 12mm Extension Tube, 550EX with Better Beamer
Handheld, Almost full frame

Florida Scrub Jay - N.E Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Florida Scrub Jay (Image#4) - N.E Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 400mm L @ f/8, 1/1600 sec, ISO 200, 12mm Extension Tube, 550EX with Better Beamer
Handheld, Almost full frame

Florida Scrub Jay - N.E Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Florida Scrub Jay (Image #5) - N.E Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 400mm L @ f/8, 1/1600 sec, ISO 200, 12mm Extension Tube, 550EX with Better Beamer
Handheld, Almost full frame

Florida Scrub Jay - N.E Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Florida Scrub Jay (Image #6) - N.E Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 400mm L @ f/8, 1/1600 sec, ISO 200, 12mm Extension Tube, 550EX with Better Beamer
Handheld, Almost full frame

Several weeks ago, I was presented with a great challenge. Few folks from the Eastern part of the US, called me to find out if I could be their guide to see and photograph an endangered specie here in Florida. The Florida Scrub Jay.

The challenge scared me a bit because they are so hard to find (non-tagged) so I was not 100% sure I could deliver what they wanted. I took a chance and told my clients that if we don't see non-tagged Scrub Jays in the wild, that I would return their money and buy them lunch [smile]. After doing my research and even calling wildlife officials, we met in a remote location just north of Titusville, Florida. We had one day to get the job done as my clients were on a tight schedule.

This location was new to me, I really had no idea of what to expect. We arrived at the location, got out of our vehicles and my jaw dropped..... No Scrub Jays! I was not about to give up. I told my clients to grab some water, mosquito repellent, cameras, flash and to leave the tripods behind (rare for me) let's go for a hike I said!

We walked for about a half of mile, my eyes and ears were very alert looking for the Jays. As we stopped in the shaded area to drink some water and rest a bit, we saw our first Scrub Jay!!!

While my clients were already happy and hopeful, I immediately told my group to get the cameras and exposure ready because we may just have ONE opportunity at this. Because we were shooting in Manual Mode, we focused more in the location of the Jay. We set our exposures and walked closer and closer.

We were fortunate that the Jays got closer to us instead of us getting closer to them, sure enough, the first Scrub Jay landed in the perfect perch. I carefully positioned my group for the best background possible, eliminating the clouds in the background (BG) and take advantage of the trees far behind. My group didn't even think of that at first! (See image #1)

We fired few shots to make sure our exposure and fill flash was to the penny. We then concentrated in composition, pose, eye contact and setting! While we had few keepers already, I was not happy! The Jays got closer and closer, now perching at eye level... I said YES! this is our time to shine! (See image #2, 3 and 4)

My group didn't have extension tubes, so they were not able to get as close as I did. However, they managed great full body images. I used my handy 12mm Kenko extension tube and moved step by step, closer and closer without removing my camera and lens from my eye. Yes, I was walking blind and I was composing my images one step at the time!

My idea of bringing the flash units was absolutely priceless, as the fill flash was a HUGE improvement to our images. The main reason I asked everyone to bring the flash was because of the high sun angle. Finally I made few extra close ups (See image 5 & 6) and the Jays soon after flew away deep in the bushes and guess what.... they never came back!

The trip was a challenge and well worth it, everyone got great images and most importantly, we didn't feed them nor used calls to photograph them in the wild. We used natural perches and we were happy about it!

I hope you picked up few tips from this story as there has been endless articles about feeding and calling Scrub Jays to see them and photograph them. Perhaps they approached us for that particular reason, perhaps not and we'll never find out but we went home with great images and feeling great about our journey!

Cloudy Day? Think High Key!


Cattle Egret Fly-Over - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 400mm L @ f/5.6, 1/640 sec, ISO 400, 550 EX with Better Beamer, Manual exposure, Hand held, Almost full frame.


Cattle Egret - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 400mm L @ f/5.6, 1/800 sec, ISO 400, 12mm Extension tube
550 EX with Better beamer set as fill, Handheld, Almost full frame.

Burrowing Owls Workshop Update!

Burrowing Owl Chick - S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Burrowing Owl Chick - S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 500mm @ f/8, 1.4X, 1/500 sec, ISO 200, Manual Exposure
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Almost full frame

Burrowing Owl Chick - S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Burrowing Owl Chick - S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 500mm @ f/5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO 200, Manual Exposure
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Almost full frame

Burrowing Owl Adult - S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Burrowing Owl Adult - S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 500mm @ f/5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO 200, Manual Exposure
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Almost full frame

My Burrowing Owl workshop was very interesting. We didn't find baby chicks, instead, we found Juveniles. Talking about a weird season!! Last year, some were just hatching by the end of May. Everything changed this year. However, we were able to photograph several Juvi's and adults!

Can't wait to go back in 2011!!

Panning Using Your Long & Mid Zoom Lens - No Birds Required!


Panning Using Your Long & Mid Zoom Lens - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 70-200mm L @ f/11, 1/125 sec, ISO 100, Manual exposure, Hand held, Full frame

Panning Using Your Long & Mid Zoom Lens - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Panning Using Your Long & Mid Zoom Lens - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 500mm L @ f/8, 1/320 sec, ISO 250, Manual exposure
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Almost full frame

Panning Using Your Long & Mid Zoom Lens - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Panning Using Your Long & Mid Zoom Lens - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D, 70-200mm L @ f/5.6, 1/400 sec, ISO 50, Manual exposure, Slightly cropped

Panning Using Your Long & Mid Zoom Lens - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Panning Using Your Long & Mid Zoom Lens - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 500mm L @ f/6.3, 1/400 sec, ISO 100, Manual exposure
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Slightly cropped

Who said you need birds to practice your panning? While at the Birding & Fotofest, I remember talking to some folks about the very little opportunities they have to practice their panning technique. I told them what I tell everyone.... You don't need birds to practice! Go out and shoot anything that moves fast!!

I was recently invited to spend a day at the Sebring Race Track photographing open wheels cars. My friend was racing his red and black BMW you see above. I put my panning technique to the test photographing these amazing cars, as I wanted to show as much motion as possible without compromising sharpness.

If you look carefully, you can see the momentum in the background and the motion of the wheels. Notice how the cars are tack sharp as well. The key to this effect is to use a slow shutter speed and have a very solid panning technique. My cameras were set in Manual Mode and at a shutter speed no higher than 1/400 sec.

I will be going back to track very soon but this time to photograph the big boys of the Le Mans Series!!

Lot's of fun!

Canon 7D Details Are Awesome!!

White Ibis , S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
White Ibis , S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 500mm L @ f/8, 1/2000 sec, ISO 200, Manual exposure,
Hand held, Almost full frame

Female Brown Pelican , S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Female Brown Pelican , S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Slightly cropped

The Canon 7D continues to impress me at all levels. The details are terrific and well define. In this White Ibis image, you can clearly see the details in the feathers. Thanks to an excellent exposure control and sharpness, the camera delivers an incredible amount of details.

If you are a Canon shooter but have yet to try the 7D, I urge you to rent the camera for a week and take it out for a spin. Using the correct exposure and technique, your subject details will really stand out.

I highly recommend the camera!

What Works and What Doesn't Work (Part 5) - Go For The Kill!

Red Shouldered Hawk, Wild - S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Red Shouldered Hawk - S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Almost full frame

Red Shouldered Hawk, Wild - S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Red Shouldered Hawk, Wild - S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Almost full frame

While I don't gamble, I took a big chance with this opportunity. I knew the first image was not going to work for me because all the distracting elements around my subject's perch. I created few images thinking of my newsletter and to share my experience with you folks.

After few minutes, I knew this hawk would give me an opportunity to get closer. I took few steps VERY SLOWLY until I was satisfied with the composition.

Next time..... know your limits and go for it!!

Bird Photography Seminars For Everyone! Subscribe Early & Save! Door Prizes & Hands On Equipment!!

Bird Photography Seminars With Maxis Gamez

If you are serious about improving your bird photography and are looking for an AFFORDABLE way of doing it, join me during the hot summer days in a series of bird photography seminars for EVERYONE.

These seminars are specifically designed to help you understand critical aspects of the bird photography world. During the 3 HOURS learning experience, I will cover each topic extensively allowing you to fully understand each technique to a whole new level without paying top dollars!!

Limited to 20 participants (best learning experience) and at a very AFFORDABLE price, my seminars can change your photography once and for all! If you photograph very little during the hot summer days and would rather spend time learning in the classroom, take advantage of theses seminars and tune up your bird photography for the upcoming season.

Limited to 20 people, these 3 hours seminars will FILL FAST!

 

View August's Schedule: Click on any seminar to subscribe directly from my web site.

View September's Schedule: Click on any seminar to subscribe directly from my web site.

Subscribe early and save even more! (until June 30th). Door prizes, hands on equipment and lots to learn, these limited to 20 people seminars are designed with everyone in mind. Take advantage of these 3 hours seminars and tune up your photography!

Door prizes courtesy of:

Hunt's Photo & Video

Hands On Equipment Courtesy Of:

Feisol

Please contact me directly if you have any questions.

Thank you and see you there!

In July's edition...

  • What Works and What Doesn't Work - Part 6
  • New 2011 AFFORDABLE Workshops Announcement
  • Removing Noise - Photoshop Technique
  • 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