How To Use A Photographic Blind

Shooting from a photographic blind can be very useful, particularly when photographing wary animals. Although I do not routinely use a blind, there are situations where I do. Such as when shooting birds at a feeding station, or at a watering hole.

On one occasion, I was photographing songbirds at a watering hole in the south Rio Grande River Valley of Texas, when this Greater Roadrunner showed up:

Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner with Grasshopper / Photo by Jim Braswell

[Read more…]

How To Prepare For An African Safari Trip (Part II)

Photo by Jack Dausman

Photo by Jack Dausman

Last week, Jack talked about how to prepare for an African safari trip. This week, in part two of his post, he talks about how to capture the moment once you’re there.

Early Morning

Landscape photographers enjoy the early light of pre-dawn. Be sure to explain this interest to your guide, well in advance, as it will take some extra planning. Game reserves have a lock-down policy against any night time excursions because there are still incidents of poaching. To leave before dawn will require some coordination. [Read more…]

The Most Useful Filters for Nature Photography

When photographing nature, there are many times when a photographic filter on the end of the lens can help improve the image, or give the image a different effect. Such is the case when I captured Maroon Creek (Colorado) with a Neutral Density filter:

Maroon Creek landscape, Colorado

Maroon Creek / Photo by Jim Braswell

Kind of like “creativity in a can.” What filters are most useful for shooting nature? [Read more…]

Micro Fauna for Mega Fun

Photo by Jay Ryser

Photo by Jay Ryser

My main photography interest is wildlife, especially the little guys. There’s nothing wrong with moose and elk (and given the opportunity to go on an all expenses paid trip to photograph grizzlies in Alaska, I’d jump on it), but I’ve always been drawn to the little guys.

Even though they’re small, they can have big personalities. I can witness conflict, romance, life and death struggles, intimate family moments, and get to know individual animals and their personalities without having to drive hundreds of miles or wander endless backcountry trails.

Photographing microfauna has several advantages for the photographer: [Read more…]

How To Guide Your Viewer Through An Image

Photo by Steve Berardi

Photo by Steve Berardi


When you look at a photograph, you don’t view it as a whole. Instead, you first focus on one key area that grabs your attention and then you move your eyes throughout the rest of the frame to see what else is there.

Where your eye travels from that first spot depends on the image, and how that spot guides you to another spot in the frame. In an image that has good “flow,” your eye will always know where to go next (elements of the image will guide you). But, if an image doesn’t have a natural direction of flow, then it’s harder for the viewer to move through the image (they don’t know where to start and then they don’t know where to go from there). [Read more…]

How To Photograph Wildlife in Low Light

Have you ever tried to capture that great wildlife shot in low light? It’s often not easy, is it? Such is the case of capturing this rare and endangered Barn Owl in a Missouri barn:

Barn Owl / Photo by Jim Braswell

Barn Owl / Photo by Jim Braswell

In Missouri, loss of habitat and farms, including barns where the Barn Owl prefers to live, have caused the Barn Owl to be placed on the state’s endangered list. In fact, the above owl is only the second Barn Owl I’ve heard of in the state over the past few years. Photographing it was a high priority on my list. And I certainly didn’t want to cause it undue stress by using flash photography. In cases like this, shooting in very low light may be the only alternative you have.

Let’s explore some of the factors of shooting in low light and look at some things we can do to help us capture a great image in low light: [Read more…]