Welcome to my monthly newsletter - May, 2009.
I would like to thank you all for the positive compliments, encouragements and wishes from my April's, 2009 newsletter. Many of you enjoyed my photo tips and techniques. May's edition is full of information and field techniques, many which I cover extensively during my private classes. Enjoy the images and information.
Let's begin with a simple yet important question from Ted Thelin. (thank you Ted)
Question: How do you get a blurred background shooting at f/8 at Gatorland? My photos taken with you at f/5.6 have only slightly blurred backgrounds?
Answer: I've trained my eyes and vision over the years to only see what works best in my images. Backgrounds (BG) are critical to ALL my images. You MUST learn how to pick your BG. Pay close attention to every corner in your viewfinder. If you see a stick or branch or anything that is distracting, take the time to move to the left or to the right until you avoid the distraction.
Sounds simple right? You will be surprise how many people overlook/forget something as simple as that and in many cases can create a HUGE difference in your images.
I normally have my camera set to a large aperture (f/5.6) which allows me to diffuse the BG. Using a long telephoto lens like my Canon 500mm L, narrows your viewing area a great deal helping me diffuse the BG even more.
Your last option should be Photoshop, why do I say last option? simply, because I rather do it right from the camera but sometimes things don't work the way we want them to. Notice the difference with these two images below, there was no way to avoid the sticks in the BG by moving around. Using Quick Mask and the Spot Healing tool in Photoshop allowed me to clean all the distraction you see around the Grackle. During my private photoshop classes, I explain how I successfully edit all my images. Contact me if you would like to schedule a 4hr Photoshop class.
I hope you find this information useful. Thank you Ted for your question.
Boat-Tailed Grackle, Gatorland.
This Boat-tailed Grackle posed for me at Gatorland for a short period of time (3 frames) during a private class at Gatorland. Because I photograph in manual mode, I was able to quickly change my exposure (shutter speed) allowing me to capture all the beautiful colors and feather details you see here. I cover manual exposure extensively during my private classes.
Field Technique: Working Your Subject - Canada Goose, S.W Florida
In this lesson, I will show you how I work my subject (when possible). In this case a Canada Goose. I often tell folks "if you want to be a great nature photographer, you have to become a naturalist (not with a degree) but with learning how to read your subject's behavior.
Image 4: Don't let water stop you. Get low, get dirty. That's what I did to capture this image.
folks keep asking me "what about your equipment?" My answer is... what about it?? Be part of your subject's habitat.
Canon 40D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1250 sec, ISO 400, Manual Exposure, RAW, Handheld, Almost Full Frame ,
Image 5: Finally, make sure you get a close up. Work your subject at different angles, habitat and behavior.
Be patience and you will be rewarded. I worked this Canada Goose for almost 45 minutes!!
Canon 40D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1600 sec, ISO 400, Manual Exposure, RAW, Handheld, Almost Full Frame
Great Egret Preening- Central Florida
Don't be afraid to break the rules. Experiment your own vision. I watched this Great Egret preening from afar.
Greater Yellow Legs - S.W Florida
With this Greater Yellow Legs, I wanted to capture an elegant pose. This image is from a 6 frame sequence. I simply picked the best one out of the six. Noticed the raised leg and head angle. I cleaned the water a little to compliment the pose.
Great Egret Water Fountain - Central Florida
This is what manual mode is ALL about. If I were using AV (Aperture Priority) or TV (Shutter Speed) mode in my camera, the meter will over expose the whites. Why? because the meter wants to convert the dark water into 18% GREY. The meter does not know you have a Great Egret in front of the dark BG. Some folks will argue that you can compensate for it, but to me that's a total WASTE of time and a waste of opportunities.
Folks, by the time you press the compensation button, look how much compensation to give, re-compose your image, and press the shutter button you WILL miss the opportunity (water drops). In the mean time, I will be shooting away with a big smile in my face like I did for this image. During my private classes, I cover extensively how to shoot in manual mode.
Burrowing Owls - S.W Florida
April, May and June is the right time to photograph Burrowing Owls. I will be conducting few classes in May and June. Take advantage of this opportunity and schedule a class. We'll photograph these little guys up close and personal. We'll be also covering manual exposure, composition, perspective and much more. I also offer a guide for photographers to photograph Burrowing Owls if you rather go alone. Click here to learn more about my Burrowing Owl Guide for photographers
Save 50% off my private lessons and workshops during the month of May and June. Take advantage of this offer!!
In June's edition....
I hope you find May's edition useful. Please email me your questions by simply replying to this email.
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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.
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