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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yellowstone & Grand Tetons: A Herd of Nerds

It has taken me years of working, hours in the field, tons or research and trial & error to get where I am today with my photography. What I love most other than the fact that wildlife photography is fun is that I still have so far to go, there is still so much to learn, it is truly an ongoing process and keeps me challenged.

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WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY CAN BE SUCH A PEACEFUL FANTASTIC THING

I now know what all the buttons on the new camera does and I can change settings without looking at the camera. What I learned is that if you want to take good photos you have to read your manual, you have to know what the buttons on your camera does and you have to be able to change those settings on your camera quickly because wildlife won’t stop and wait for you to get your gear to the right settings. It took me years to graduate from the preset icons, to the semi-pro settings of ‘AV,TV,A-DEP’ and now I am branching into the pro manual mode. It has been a long journey for sure.

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A PHOTO OF MY DOG – THE LEFT PHOTO WAS TAKEN EARLY 2007 AND OBVIOUSLY IS TERRIBLE – THE RIGHT PHOTO WAS TAKEN A FEW WEEKS AGO IN 2011

Often photographers will say that ‘a good camera does not a good photographer make’ and it took me a while to really understand what that meant. Good equipment is for sure necessary to taking great photos just like good ingredients are necessary to cook great food however the equipment is only one part. After my years of photography I think that lighting I think is the single most important aspect of photography. The more I work on becoming better the more I find that lighting is the key to what works. Good lighting and I have a chance for a great photo, bad lighting and I have really little hope that what I am photographing will come out great. Other than equipment and lighting there are a few other necessaries; the photographers eye, your knowledge of how to use your equipment, the subject and the background. Every photo requires you to take in and modify several things.

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THIS LEPOARD TILTED HIS HEAD UP TO THE LIGHT AND I HAD A SPLIT SECOND TO CAPTURE THE MOMENT BEFORE HE TURNED HIS HEAD

The better I get the harder it gets for me to take even better photos. Less articles I read online really teach me something new and I feel like I am just on the cusp of becoming truly great and still be well armature. I have been thinking about taking a class or hiring a professional for some lessons... still toying around with either of those ideas.

This trip to Yellowstone was really the first opportunity to speak with and meet several other people who are wildlife photography nuts like me. Because Yellowstone is such a magnet for wildlife photographers flock from all over the world to get great photos. Five to ten times a day I would run into people with good equipment and I would chat with them about where they were in their photography, what works for them and how they got better.

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A HERD OF NERDS TAKING PHOTOS OF THE BADGER

For the first time I was surrounded by people like me, that have a nerdy habit and I could not only keep up with the conversations I could contribute quite a bit myself. It was so uplifting to be around so many talented people, I feel like it rejuvenated my desire to get better.

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SOME PEOPLE I HAD GREAT PHOTO TECHNIQUE CONVERSATIONS WITH TAKING PHOTOS OF THE COYOTE CUBS IN GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK

2 comments:

paul peggy zeus said...

I'm glad you stuck with the group of nerds for the wildlife shoots. It's so much safer in a place like Yellowstone.

lilmansworld said...

you were probably the hottest photog there too right?! What makes the best picture is that it tells a story without words. Thats my opinion :)

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