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

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How To Photograph The Aurora Borealis

Wiseman, Alaska  Nikon D800E /14-24 Nikkor f2.8 / 15 seconds/ ISO 3200 -- Photo by Jeff Stamer

Wiseman, Alaska Nikon D800E /14-24 Nikkor f2.8 / 15 seconds/ ISO 3200 — Photo by Jeff Stamer

Surreal, scintillating and sensuous, the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) have mesmerized humans since the dawn of time.

Unfortunately, they’re a sight few get to experience unless you happen to live in the far northern (or southern) parts of the globe. For the rest of us, seeing this awe-inspiring phenomena involves quite a bit of traveling and expense! If you are going to invest the time and treasure to cross this off of your bucket list, then let me help you take great Aurora photographs. [Read more…]

How To Stay Warm on Those Cold Days

Adult Bald Eagle sitting on a snowy tree limb

Bald Eagle in Snow / Photo by Jim Braswell

Ironically, as I write this post, I’m sitting in a motel room in the Colorado Rockies, waiting for the temperatures to warm up. I arrived here a couple of days ago, to shoot the bighorn sheep in the rut. Although I love to shoot nature in the winter, you also need to use common sense.

When temperatures are record-breaking lows (like right now), or wind chill advisories are in effect (like right now), it may be best to stay indoors. What makes the frigid temperatures I’m encountering on this trip even more of an issue, is the fact that I have to hike back into a canyon for about 3 miles to find the sheep. Then, of course, 3 miles back out. But tomorrow’s forecast is for warmer temperatures (in the 30’s), so I will be getting out tomorrow! So how do you prepare for shooting in cold, winter weather? [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…]

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

Photo by Jack Dausman

Photo by Jack Dausman

The lioness bared her fangs and we took the moment. Click. We had tracked three lions for about an hour in the Kenyan Samburu Game Reserve, waiting until the senior lioness had relaxed near the road. It had required another 20 minutes of patience before she had looked in our direction and grimaced.

Safari photography is a unique blend of sports and landscape vision. Animals don’t pose. And, the lighting can’t be set. You have to be prepared for the moment. Sadly, I’ve seen many instances where people have traveled thousands of miles to show up at a game reserve with only a smartphone or point-and-shoot camera; after which they are somewhat disillusioned with the end result. The opportunities for once-in-a-lifetime imagery demands forethought. Here are my favorite tips for capturing the magic of an ancient world and its animal citizens. [Read more…]

New eBook – 53 Tips For Nature Photography

53 Tips For Nature PhotographyIn the last six years, we’ve published over 240 posts here on PhotoNaturalist. With each new post, it gets harder to dig through the older posts and find the ones you might be interested in. It’s one of the most common comments I get from new readers.

So, I thought now was a good time to create a “best of PhotoNaturalist” eBook that contains all of our most popular posts (but only including posts written by me, because I do not have permission to resell other writers’ posts).

The eBook is 108 pages, and has 53 of my top posts. I determined the “top posts” by looking at traffic, and how much each post was shared on social media. I also tried to include a nice balance of subjects, so I separated the posts into four sections: general, landscape, wildlife, and close-up. [Read more…]