A tip or two that'll help you along. That is what you'll find in this gallery. Click on an image for a larger version. If you like an image, click on it and give it the thumbs up. Stay away from that thumbs down button though : )
Katmai Brown Bear
Last summer I spent some time in Alaska. For a wildlife photograher, there are few places in the world that can match this beautiful place. This grizzly was captured in Katmai National Park. The only access to the park is by plane or by boat.
For this image, there are two. a) Perspective - get down low where possible to be on the same eye level as your subject. This often yields much more pleasant and less distorted images, b) Cropping - here I cropped the top of the image a bit tight to the eyes of the bear. It creates more tension in the frame and makes the bear look more menacing.
Please note that you should NEVER be this close to a bear unless your follow VERY strict guidelines. The bear captured here is indeed wild. I was part of a group and we used a experienced guide. We did not approach the bear. Rather, she came close to us. We held our ground. Although she gave us a few glances, we were mostly ignored.
This image was captured in Arches National Park near Moab, Utah, USA. Without a doubt, it is an extremely popular location with landscape photographers. On this particular day, there were about two dozen 'serious shooters' at the Arch.
After sunset, virtually everyone departed for the hike back to their vehicles. A few of us (4) remained knowing that great light does not necessarily cease after the sun goes below the horizon. The moral of the story is this - don't follow the crowd.
Even The Ordinary
While looking for other wildlife, this raven was rather interested in what I was doing. To some ravens are a pest but they are also incredibly clever and highly opportunistic.
Sometimes even seemingly ordinary subjects can make for an interesting shot. In this particular capture, you can see me sitting in my rental vehicle (image is from Yellowstone). Try to think differently - creativity takes many forms.
Glacier National Park
This US national park is located in the beautiful state of Montana. It's a location not quite a popular as Yosemite or Yellowstone but it's certainly as spectacular. To the north it is connected to Waterton National Park in southern Alberta.
Good landscape shots are not as easy as you might think. As with wildlife, you need great light and an engaging subject. What caught my eye at this location was the river leading into the mountains. Of course the shot was also taken during the magical time of day - at sunset. Good landscape shots will often have 'depth' and it just might make you think you can walk right into the shot.
Northern Gannet with Nesting Material
Gannets are incredible birds. They spend much of their life at sea - coming to land to breed in colonies. And that is something else to witness. This photograph of a northern gannet was capture on Bonaventure Island in Quebec.
Getting a great shot of a bird in flight can be one of the toughest tasks in wildlife photography. You'll need decent light, a good angle on your subject and a decent pose. I like a bit of blur in the wing tips as it helps convey motion to the viewer. For that, a high shutter speed is necessary but not too high since this will 'freeze' everything. Bird photography is relatively complicated - fortunately there is lots of help available if you employ your favorite seach engine.
Burrowing Owl in Last Light
Burrowing owls are a lot of fun to observe. Often they look angry - almost as if they have a permanent scowl on their face. This shot was taken in Washington State.
For many great photographs, the right light makes all the difference. I almost didn't get the shot shown here as the sun was 98% below the horizon. But as the sun sets, the colour of the light warms up tremendously....and hence this photograph came out with a rich, golden glow. The best light of the day occurs around sunrise and sunset. Try to shoot during those times.
Bald Eagle and Salmon Head
Bald eagles have been one of my favorite subjects for years. In the area where I live, there are two superb locations I visit every year. This shot was taken from an inflatable boat while out with the great crew from SunWolf in Squamish, British Columbia.
Get down nice and low to be at the same height as your subject. Often this will help with a nice out of focus foreground and background. Typically you will reduce distractions and your efforts should yield a much more pleasant photograph.
If you look at some of the great photographs, most convey something to the viewer. This can be done in several different ways - with the subject or with the light for example. This shot was taken inside a slot canyon in Page, Arizona. The light and the sandstone gave the canyon this very special orange glow.
When shooting in low light situations, a good sturdy tripod will allow for longer shutter speeds. The exposure of most of the shots I took in this slot canyon were between 10-30 seconds. Mirror lock-up and a cable release will also be helpful to reduce or eliminate camera vibration.
Spring is not that far off although it still rains a lot. Soon, nest building will begin and no doubt this cattail will provide feathered creatures with some nice building material.
Watch your background for cleaner images that makes the subject stand out. And getting that little catchlight in the eye adds 'life' to your shots.
Coyote in Yellowstone
This shot was taken a year ago in Yellowstone. I picked this as the first Shot of the Month as I will be returning to the park in just over a month. It is truly a wonderful place. The crowds are huge in the summer - just another reason why I prefer the other 3 seasons. Click on the image for a larger version.
When making photographs of subjects in the snow, chances are you'll have to overexpose your shot.