Improve your photography by shooting in sequences instead of shots
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Improve your photography by shooting in sequences instead of shots

When we think of photography, traditionally we think of taking a single image at a time.  The only challenge is, sometimes those moments are moving at 30 MPH, or the expression is fleeting, or there's an unexpected obstacle in the way, and the shot falls short of your expectations.  Capturing pictures one at a time is shooting the hard way.  Back in the days of traditional film, there was a cost associated with each snap of the shutter.  Ten years ago, each snap of Fuji Velvia in my SLR cost me .40-.50 per shot.  Today, digital is free.  Once you own the camera and the memory card, you can virtually shoot to your heart's content with no incremental cost, so why ...

The best part of your nature images may be the parts you leave out!
Monday, April 22, 2013
Improve your photography by shooting in sequences instead of shots

Getting a great nature photo is as much about what you take out of the picture as what you put into it.  Adjust your angles slightly to remove distracting leaves, branches and backgrounds.  Look for a simple foreground and a clean background so your hummingbird can be the undisputed highlight of your image.  Even better, take the time to create leading lines and angles that compliment your subject.  The image below captures all these elements.  This Allen's hummingbird had a favorite perch on the tip of an Agave Cactus.  I was hidden behind some plants and flowers, and actually shot this using manual focus through three or four feet of foliage.  I had to ...

HUMMINGBIRDS: Too fast to focus on? Catch them at rest!
Monday, April 22, 2013
Improve your photography by shooting in sequences instead of shots

Hummingbirds can fly at average speeds of 25-30 MPH with bursts up to 60 MPH, so catching them in flight can be a real challenge.  An easier way to start photographing them is to try and catch them at rest.  For a bird that needs to consume more than it's bodyweight in nectar every day, that can be a challenge.  But if you watch the hummingbirds in your environment, you'll notice they've got a number of 'go to' perches where they like to catch a breath.  Usually they will have a few favorite branches that have a clear line of sight, are free of foliage, and offer a broad vantage point of their territory.  Using a telephoto lens (in this case, a Canon 70-200mm f2.8) ...