I am gearing up and getting ready for my first official photo display. The photos will be hung on August 1st and will be on display for two months. This is an exciting opportunity for me to share some of my photographic work with others in a public setting. I have Bill Weitzman to thank for this. Thank you very much Bill!
The process of printing larger photos, 11×14 in this case, and framing them is a good project. I like the look and feel of these larger photos and once assembled in the frames, they look great!
Narrowing down the final number of photographs to 12 was not easy for me. I did settle on a display topic of “wildlife” in a general sense, so the photos include the Pennsylvania Elk, Birds of Chincoteague, and a Pocono Deer.
I have displayed my photos on my website, but having them appear in a gallery is an exciting new venture for me. I hope others enjoy my work!
All the rain we’ve been having lately makes me think, “I’m glad I’m not an animal!” We are spoiled I suppose. We can wear thermal underwear, pile jackets, and GoreTex parkas. This combination of layers not only keeps the rain off of our skin, but we stay warm at the same time! Whenever I pause to consider what the Indians and early settlers wore back in their day, I realize how hardy they had to be to survive. Yes, we are spoiled in so many ways.
Photographing wildlife requires dealing with inclement weather. If you are only going to work on sunny, clear days then you will be limiting yourself tremendously. Besides, the light for photography is actually better with an overcast sky. Yesterday I was photographing a baseball game and the sky was gray and overcast. Immediately I could see that the uniform colors were brilliant and bold in this type of light. Part of the trouble in wildlife photography is trying to separate the subject from its environment. God made these animals with built-in camouflage so they can blend into their natural habitat and be hidden from predators. I’ve written an article about the advantage of wearing camouflage when photographing wildlife. It certainly works for animals and it can work for us photographers as well. The problem is that the wildlife blends in so well with nature. Our task is to draw out the animal from its elusive background so the viewer can actually see it. Light definitely helps with this. Side light, in particular, helps to reveal texture and other details of a subject.
Pay close attention to the light because it changes not only by the time of day, but even, at times, moment by moment. This will enhance your wildlife photography immensely and help to draw your subjects out of the background. Oh, yeah, and don’t be afraid to brave the elements and photograph wildife in inclement weather.
Wildlife is one of my favorite subjects to photograph for a variety of reasons. First of all, I get to enjoy the beautiful and amazing outdoors where clocks and time-lines don’t exist. Secondly, I always experience something different and unique in the great outdoors. I may be focusing on photographing an elk, but then another creature comes along to attract my attention. Wildlife photography provides something new every day, which I always appreciate.
I grew up in the country in the midst of farmland. I enjoyed fishing from an early age when my dad or my uncle would take me to the creek or lake. I also hunted and trapped, which taught me a lot about animals and their habitat. I studied the tracks they left behind and the trails they made. These signs tell a story and reveal the animal’s eating and sleeping habits. I learned the difference between a raccoon track and a muskrat track and even noticed how the muskrat’s tail would leave drag marks in the mud along the creek bank.
When I go out to photograph wildlife these days, I still look for these signs. Being observant and noticing the little details can help me find the animal I hope to photograph. Sometimes the quest to find wildlife takes a long time, while other times I get onto wildlife quite quickly. I never know exactly what to expect out in the wild and this is a big part of why I thoroughly enjoy wildlife photography. What about you? Why do you enjoy wildlife photography?
I have been fortunate to be able to combine my love of wildlife with my love of photography. I lead photo trips that my good friend and fellow photographer, Dick McCreight, and I have entitled, the “Pennsylvania Elk Photography Experience.” They are a 3-day photo trip where we take photographers on daily excursions to photograph the elk and offer three photo workshops as well. We cover things like basic camera set-up for wildlife photography, how to use Adobe Lightroom, and share detailed and fascinating information on the PA elk herd. These photo trips take place in Elk County, Pennsylvania where I am fortunate enough to have a cabin right in the middle of the elk range. You can find more about the photo experiences here.
Wildlife and photography is a perfect match in my book!
I just posted some of the photographs I took at Chincoteague last week. You can view them here. I spent two days at this wildlife refuge and saw a lot of wildlife! I thoroughly enjoy this special place and the birds especially are amazing! I spent almost one hour watching two great egrets and one blue heron fishing and feeding on small fish. It was incredible to watch their sneaky tactics to find the swimming fish and then plunge their beaks into the water the catch their dinner! I also was able to capture of a few of the birds in flight as they were flying. This is not an easy task even with a good camera, so I was thankful for the few in-flight shots I was able to capture. Check out the photos and let me know what you think of them.
Winter has definitely set in up here in the Poconos. Although we are currently enjoying a warm-spell, the past few months have been snowy and icy. I have been taking the usual Christmas photos as our families have gathered to exchange gifts and sit down to enjoy the Christmas meals. My family does not always enjoy the flash from my camera but somehow they always seem to smile anyway!
There are still openings for our two photo trips planned for February and September. They promise to be awesome experiences so sign up and join us for these unforgettable experiences. The elk have been active up on the mountain and our family will be celebrating the New Year in Elk County. I am sure we will have ample opportunities to photograph more of these majestic animals!
I hope that you had a great holiday season and have acquired some new photo equipment. I am saving up for a new camera body, so I have no recent acquisitions since I am saving my money for this. I am planning on purchasing the D300 and am looking forward to using it for wildlife and sports photography.
Have a happy and photographically successful New Year!
Wildlife photography continues to be an increasingly exciting activity for us. James, my son, and I spent some time up in Elk County at our camp again and we were able to see and photograph a lot of elk. We saw herds of elk on the mountain sides and were surprised to see some cows still hanging out with some bulls. The rut should be over by now but nature often is difficult to predict. We also witnessed some phenomenal sunsets in the evening.
Do you enjoy nature photography? There are times when patience is definitely required, but it is always worth the wait in my opinion. It was unseasonably warm, which made the shooting hours not only bearable but entirely enjoyable!
I also continue to learn more and more about photography in general. Just this past weekend I watched my good friend, Bob Amundsen, photograph a wedding. Bob and his wife have an excellent wedding photography business and they produce reliable and breathtaking images for newlywed couples. I was able to watch and take notes as they captured the moments and did the formal portraits.
The sports seasons are over so I am looking forward to shooting some different venues in the near future. Last year I did some photography at Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge and the big birds cooperated beautifully. I am thinking about going back there again. I am also hoping to capture some winter scenes this year. We live in the Poconos of northeast Pennsylvania so we typically have a decent amount of snowfall. Last winter we seemed to get more ice than snow, so I am hoping for more snow this year. The woodstove is already lit for the season and we did have an eight-inch snowfall in October, so things are looking good for the winter snowfall. I thoroughly enjoy the seasonal changes we experience here in Pennsylvania. And capturing the variety of scenes with my camera is always an exciting adventure!