What turns a bird picture into a work of art? A magazine recently asked me and other photographers who had been honored by Audubon that question. I’m certain we gave them enough material to fill a how-to book. But they were looking only for a short article, so little of it ended up in print. Here’s what would have gone into my chapter.
Thursday, September 30, 2021
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Hands on with the Canon 100-400 IS Mark II
Captured with a Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L Mark II, and a Canon Extender EF 1.4X Mark III
I spend relatively little time on this blog talking about equipment — I’m drawn more to the art than the mechanics — but there’s no denying that equipment plays a critical role. The wrong equipment can limit your creative vision. Bad equipment can cause you to miss the shot entirely.
With that in mind, I thought I would share some of my thoughts about the new Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens, which I’ve been using for about two months now. You won’t find test charts and studio comparison scenes here. There are plenty of those already that are produced under very controlled conditions. This is a Canon 100-400 Mark II review in the context of how it has performed for me as a professional nature photographer in real-world situations, which includes handling and other features that make a difference in my work.
Friday, January 31, 2014
Fields of white
From November into March, the fields on Fir Island in the Skagit Valley of Washington state are often white, but it's not the result of snow. It's the result of snow geese.
About 80,000 snow geese winter in Western Washington. The vast majority of them winter in the Skagit Valley.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Letting nature tell its own story
It has never been easier for a nature photographer to create an image that they imagined in their head. No Photoshop required.
Friday, December 30, 2011
Moving the camera to stop motion
The usual goal in photography is to create an exceptionally sharp image. If you're photographing a bird, for example, most photographers want an image that's so sharp you can see every feather on the bird and every barb on the feather.
To capture that, you typically need a sturdy tripod, a cable release, lots of light — and a stationary subject.
But what if the light is dim and your subject is moving? That's when you need to pan — moving the camera with your subject. It involves moving the camera so that your subject is always at the same spot in the image.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
AF settings for birds in flight with the Canon 1D Mark IV
The Canon 1D Mark IV is the most customizable camera I’ve ever used. It has dozens of settings that allow you to tune it to your exact needs. Wading through all those settings, though, can be challenging, especially if you don’t have a lot of time for trial and error.
After using the camera for more than two months of intensive wildlife photography, I’ve finally settled on autofocus settings that I really like. I’m sharing them with you because I’m often asked for my settings.