Happy Holiday - November 2015, Newsletter
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Maxis Gamez Social Media

You may be wondering why I haven't sent a newsletter in a while. As I’m getting older and older, I realized that I’m not Superman as I first thought. Haven’t we all been there? I’ve been going strong leading photography workshops all over for 8 years now. No exercise, no anything! I thought I was exercising while I was shooting but then I kept feeling tired and tired. Heck, even my mother told me I was fat! Big wakeup call!

I have been training hard all summer long riding approximately 150 miles per week. I didn’t touched my camera until early November! Strava is a software I’ve been using to keep track of my progress. I’ve lost 30 lbs and try to eat “healthier” as much as I can. I’ve also been all over the Southeast including TN, NC, SC, AL and Florida riding with great, great people. Believe me when I tell you that I wished I had my camera with me during some of these trips. The scenery has been fantastic!

It’s never too late to start exercising. During the Festival of The Cranes, I met with two wonderful folks
(Richard and Korrine from Albuquerque, N.M.) that have been to my workshops before. Her first comment was “Where are the newsletters?” Soon to find out that she also picked up a bike for the first time in a long time to get fit. As they are getting ready to retire, they look forward to a healthier life cycling.

Oh! Btw, her images from Yellowstone and New Mexico are terrific! They finally got a great understanding of Manual Exposure and haven’t looked back! I’m so proud of being part of their success and progress.

Here are some images from my cycling trips and progress:

On my December's newsletter, I shared my favorite AF focusing points with a little explanation for each image. Here, I'm following up with few more images and their respective AF points.

Image #1: Blue Heron and Skyway Bridge. For this image I used a single focusing point. When you photograph facing the sun, AF points can easily pick the wrong subject. Try to keep simple and minimize your AF points.

Image #2: Male Anhinga Posing: This is another great example when to keep things simple. See, there are a few inches from the body of the bird to the neck. If you focus on the body, the head and eye are going to be out of focus. Using a single AF point, allowed me to keep my DOH and sharpness on the neck!

Image #3: California Pelican: This image can be easily created by activating ALL focusing points because there is nothing behind your subject except blue sky. This is when you want all the help you can get by having all of the active.

I hope this has been useful to you. One of the main issues I see during my workshops is that folks continue to ignore the importance of selecting the right AF point setting for each situation.

I'll share more images in future newsletters!

Florida Bird Photography Tour is almost here. I have a few openings available. This workshop is my boot-camp. You will learn tons and tons!!

Hope you can join me!

Barn Owl Portrait 100% Crop, Nature Visions Expo - © Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved

Barn Owl Portrait, Nature Visions Expo - © Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 1D MKIV, Canon 800mm L w/ 1.4x III Tele-Converter @ f/8, 1/500 sec, ISO 320, Manual exposure

During Nature Visions Expo, I had the opportunity to photograph a captive Barn Owl during challenging lighting and background. I used the natural late winter foilege to my advantage and carefuly framed my subject. But that's just one part of the story.

The UNTOUCHED image above is a 100% crop of the image below. Notice the amount of details I was able to create by having a good exposure, long lens holding technique AND USING A 1.4x III TELE-CONVERTER!

You can also do the same at home using any object. From a flower to a toy... Practice, practice, practice!

If you aren’t on Facebook, you are missing out from tons of free information. Facebook is a fascinating tool and I use it for the right purpose…. Photography! If you are on Facebook, be sure to friend me. I won’t talk about Obama… I promise!

During my seminars, I share how I use my Canon 800mm f/5.6 L IS lens and the steps I take before pressing the shutter button.

Here are a few of those tips:

  • Level your tripod - Sounds silly but you’ll be amazed how important this is.

  • Make sure your lens is leveled properly - This means the lens shouldn’t tilt forward or backwards from the Gimbal head.

  • Don’t put your arm on top of the lens - Let gravity do that for you. More weight equals more opportunities for failure.

  • Use an adequate shutter speed for the situation – If you are just starting using a long lens, consider having a faster shutter speed. If you have some experience, keep your ISO low and challenge yourself to create sharp images with slow shutter speeds.

  • Set your camera to ONE SHOT – This is super important with stationary subjects.

  • Set your Auto Focus Points to SINGLE – This is also super important. Simplify yourself!

  • Press the Shutter Button gently – We all get excited with the situation. Focus and be gentle!
When you use a long lens, vibration can increase dramatically! Most of the time people don’t even notice until they get home and realize their images aren’t sharp. Some believe it’s their equipment which could easily be the case but looking deeper, it’s the technique used. You can practice this easily at home with a flower or any other object.

Don’t wait until your next big trip to practice. Try it NOW and let me know your thoughts!

NATURE VISIONS EXPO 2015, Manassas, V.A.

Boy-oh-Boy! What a great experience Nature Visions Expo was. If you are in the Northeast and near Washington DC. You don’t want to miss this event. Great venue, lots of vendors and an awesome line-up of professionals that makes everything all worth it. This event is all about classroom seminars as there is no shooting except captive birds. Thank you to the participants for having me and to the organizers for inviting me to share what I know with everyone.

Here are a few images of the event.

FESTIVAL OF THE CRANES 2015, San Antonio, N.M.

This festival is quickly becoming the festival to be part of if you live near the four corners. If you don’t, I highly recommend traveling and experiencing Bosque Del Apache! Several vendors and manufactures were there including Canon, Sigma, Leica and several others.

We faced challenging conditions with the wind as the majority of the time came from the north. But the opportunities were there if you know what to do with what you have. I had a 5-hours workshop each day and the participants were awesome!

Here are a few images of the event.


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