Long Lens Landscapes

A long lens can be a very useful tool when it comes to landscapes. You can use a long lens to isolate key areas where the light is creating the most drama and keep unwanted or undesirable elements out of your photographs. For instance, the foreground in this image was very bright and didn’t add to the story. By using the D5 and 70-200 VRII, I was able to keep that element along with narrowing the background, so that the light and shadows become more visually powerful. Wide angles work well in a lot of landscapes but don’t be afraid to go tight and pull out small chunks from the overall scene.

A Little Black and White Action

It’s been a while since I’ve done any black and white shooting but on this occasion it just made sense. This Cottonwood tree was the only thing blocking out the sun which normally shooting into the sun doesn’t do much for backgrounds but in a black and white it makes for a clean background. The rest of this was just a little finishing in Adobe Camera Raw.

Images captured with Nikon D5, 85 f/1.8, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Get Low, Shoot Wide

One thing I learned a long time ago when working with aquatic species is to get low and shoot wide. Getting low helps to make the subject look bigger and as well as making it easier to hold the subject closer to the water, thus helping to reduce the amount of time the fish is out of the water. Remember the goal is to get the shots quick for a fast release. The wide angle helps to exaggerate proportions while also dramatically changing the focal plane when shooting wide open. The results can be really fun.

Images Captured with Nikon D750, 18-35 f3.5-4.5, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Always Find the Silver Lining

Storms are fun to chase because you never quite know what you’ll find at the end of them. A lot of time you end up with a whole lot of nothing but you had a fun drive. Then again you find those rare moments where the skies open up and let down something amazing. This was a quick click with the D750, 18-35 f3.5 on Lexar UDMA Digital Film on a recent trip through western Montana. One of the great things about the transition from Spring into Summer are all the chances at these storms.

 

Just Can’t Beat Them

We’ve been chasing them for years but the Cutthroat Trout doesn’t give up its secrets that easily. There are enough known spots these days to catch Yellowstone Cutthroats but finding big ones is still rare so I was pretty stoked to catch this 14″ female. Needles to say I had to get a photo with the D5, 24-70 AF-S and SB5000. Something I learned long ago was that it’s always best to find a shallow spot with a nice background. This grassy bank made for an interesting backdrop to go along with the net as a prop.

75th D-Day Anniversary

Today marks the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion. One of the biggest allied operations or WWII which lead to the downfall of Germany’s Occupation of Europe. Thousands of men, aircraft, machines, supplies, and more went into making the operation a success. Today you can watch as a special memorial is taking place over the skies of France as over a dozen C-47’s are taking part in a flight over Normandy.

 

When You Need That 2x

Whenever I go out looking for critters I always have my TC-17eII in my pocket or on the camera itself. This is especially true with birds. Often times when working with such small subjects that tend to be far away, so you tend to need that extra reach. The downside with a teleconverter is that you add a joint in between the camera and the lens. This makes it less stable and more prone to vibration from your hand leading up to potentially fuzzy images. Plus if the subject moves then it becomes really hard to get a tack sharp images. The TC-20eII is a 2x magnifier and is a really great tool for working with birds but for that stability reason I rarely use mine. Well this is the one case where I wish I had it.

This Pied Billed Grebe was a bloody rock. There was one spot where he liked to sit and outside from a little feeding he was always there. If there was a time where having a little bit more glass would’ve been nice it would’ve been here. While I don’t always like the portrait shot all the time, I go for them when the opportunity arises.

Image Captured with Nikon D5, 600f/4, TC-17eII on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

 

Ahhh, A New One For the Files

It may be a common duck on the west side of the Rocky Mountains, but for me it’s one that I’ve never been able to photograph. That changed this past weekend when I spent the afternoon down at one of the local ponds. I love working the ponds because there will always be those predictable birds to work with, in my case the Yellow Headed Blackbirds, and then there is the chance that you will be able to see something special.

Now I was shooting with the D5, 600f/4 with a TC-17E II and at times in High Speed Crop. This was as close as the male Teal came to me. He just wanted to feed, wasn’t interested in playing around. The female was more cooperative and came over for a little bit.

When it comes to working in a body of water, you really have to watch those foregrounds and backgrounds for pesky surface debris that when magnified are just really blurry dots. He liked this foliage for feeding purposes and I can’t say I minded all that much either.

It Feels Good.

I’m very pleased to be able to share this finally. Last August I had the privilege of meeting Jim Booth and his wonderful family. Over the next several months we did a series of photo shoots, including my first Montana air to air shoot with his PA-12 Faust last October. The story just came out in EAA Sport Aviation. If you’re already a member be on the lookout for it. If you’re not, well you might wanna consider it. EAA has three great publications for you photographers and aviation buffs.

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