Reddish Egrets at Sunset Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

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BIRDS AS ART ON-LINE Bulletin 65 December 14, 2001

Snow Geese at sunrise.  Canon 100-400mm IS L zoom lens at approximately 300mm, Canon Elan 7E body, Evaluative metering +1/2 stop. Provia F 100 rated at EI 320 pushed two stops. 1/15 second at f/22. (Linhoff Prophy II ballhead, Gitzo 1325 tripod.) Provia f/100 pushed 2 stops at EI 320

 
Snow Goose in soft light flight.  Canon 600mm f/4 L IS lens, 1.4XII TC,
EOS 1v body.  Provia F 100 pushed one stop.  Exposure set manually to reading off of corn: 1/640 second at f/5.6
 
 
Bosque 2001
 
 
My first extended visit to Bosque Del Apache NWR in New Mexico was in November 1994, just after the death of my wife Elaine.  I have visited there each year since, as a pilgrimage to her memory, and plan to return for as long as I am able, for it is truly a wondrous place.  I stayed for 17 days this year, and found that photography was--on the whole--excellent--far better than it was in 2000.  I taught three IPTs attended by 33 photographers. 
The first IPT had great luck with Sandhill Crane flight photography, but experienced no great sunrises or sunsets and only a single afternoon of good flight shooting with the Snow Geese.  But they did have one massive blast off at the Farm Fields.
 
 
Blue Goose in soft light flight. Canon 600mm f/4 L IS lens, 1.4XII TC,
EOS 1v body.  Provia F 100 pushed one stop.  Exposure set manually to reading off of corn +1/3 stop: 1/500 second at f/5.6
 
The second group had better luck with a killer sunrise on the first morning and some excellent flight shooting in the mornings as the geese finally found the corn that had been knocked down near the road.
The last group seemed cursed as the first morning was brutally cold with vicious NW winds.  I herded them back to Socorro before 9 am...
They were rewarded when the next day's windy forecast fizzled and we were treated to a spectacular sunrise filled with  flocks of geese swirling about for more than ten minutes during peak color.  This was followed by two days of incredible morning flight shooting for the geese as the birds were landing on a road less than 40 feet from rows of photographers. 
Here are the dates for next year's Bosque IPTs: NOV 18-20, 24-26, and NOV 30-DEC 2, 2002. These IPTs will be formally announced in February 2002 and we will be accepting deposits after that.
 
 
Snow Geese at sunrise. Canon 600mm f/4 L IS lens, 
EOS 1v body.  Provia F 100 pushed two stops (rated at EI 320). Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/20 second at f/13.  
 
Boosting Your Creativity 
 
Whether you are photographing at Bosque or in your backyard, here are 13 things that you can do to get your creative juices flowing:
 
#1-Push the envelope; try new techniques or expand on old ones.  This might mean trying very slow shutter speeds, or using stacked 2X TCs.  I often try to make pictures in conditions that others view as totally impossible.  Last year I stood in the pouring rain for two hours in San Diego; I didn't get one good frame, but with what I learned, I will the next time!
 
#2: Take a walk down a beach with only a hand-holdable intermediate telephoto.
 
#3: Try new perspectives.  Many folks simply do not understand that changing perspective is a way to control the juxtaposition of the various design elements in an image.  By moving left or right, or up or down, you are able to re-design the image that you are trying to create. 
 
#4: Move your tripod.  Too many folks put their tripod in one spot and do not move it for hours.  Watch a good shooter (like me); I often move my tripod a thousand times in a morning, even when shooting in a somewhat confined location like the Venice Rookery.
 
#5: Get up early.  Stay out late. 
 
#6: Go to the same spots year after year.  Learn the subjects.  Learn the light.  Connect with the soul of the place.
 
#7: Go to new spots.  Your creative juices may just get a jolt from the new subjects that you encounter.  
 
#8: Look at as many great images as is humanly possible, including and especially each year's BG/BBC Portfolio and the Inner Reflections calendar. Some might think that this would stifle creativity, but for me it expands my horizons infinitely.  I can often grab a concept or a technique from a macro or scenic photographer or photograph and apply it to my bird photography.
 
9:  Use flash more in difficult or seemingly impossible situations (a la Franz Lanting).  I really need to follow through on this one myself...
 
10: Look at the world and then ask, "What exactly is it that excites me?"  Then use a long lens to capture just that on film.
 
11: Observe others and learn from what they are doing.
 
12: Be afield with a good friend, or better yet, with someone you love.
 
13: Be with others if that is your style, be by yourself it that is you or fits your needs on a given day.
 
 

 



 

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