The idea of this blog posting is to convey to everyone who knows me or is at the very least familiar with my existence, my guiding principles to bird photography. Obviously not everyone will agree with me, not everyone shoots the way I do or ever will. The idea of this blog is to help those who want help, who need help, who want to improve their results.
First off I feel I should convey to everyone that though I’ve only been photographing birds since November 2014, I have been a Professional Photographer since 1986. When I use those words they are based on the fact that my livelihood since 1986 has been by working FT as a paid photographer.
I started my career in the Navy as a Biomedical Photographer. Working from 1986 – 2004 in Naval Hospitals performing tasks such as Intraoperative Procedures, covering Public Relations Events, Studio & Environmental Portraiture and loads of other things.
Additionally I subsidized my income by photographing Weddings, Engagement Sessions, Bridals...
As we approach the end of the year and the beginning of a new one. Many of us, this blog writer included consider the changes we'd like to make going forward in 2018.
I think about my waistline and yes as usual the idea of weight loss. Of getting into better shape!
But this blog post won't be about that lol
I want to touch on something that I truly believe in.......FRIENDSHIPS
This past year and the years that preceded it have been an opportunity for me to meet and make what I pray will be ever lasting friendships. I am so thankful for the travel opportunities that I get as a result of my job. Thankful for the new places I discover, the old ones it get to revisit but most importantly meeting new friends and revisiting other friends.
Since 1980 when I became a Christian there is one thing that the Lord has fueled in my heart.....the love of others.
Fact is I'm not embarrassed to say that I truly love people!
I truly care about people!
Anyone who knows me long enough will find that I ten...
I've been somewhat absent on my blog posts, my apologies. Life has a way of speeding past me. Many things have happened over the weeks including someone breaking into my car and taking all of my high end wildlife gear........life must go on.
I have fought with discouragement and some bit of depression as a result of this act......life must go on.
I titled this blog post, WHAT DREAMS A DREAMER for a few reasons. First and foremost my mom through the years has seemed to affix this label to this son of hers lol. Secondly it's probably an accurate statement on her part though I find some uncertainty as to whether I find the title supportive of my desires.
Whatever the case might be I do dream. I dream of capturing the life, the inner personality of my animal subjects. To somehow convey what I believe to be their character, their charm.
I consider myself a photographic artist, a animal environmental portraiturist.
In my early days in photography, beginning in Summer of 1980...
Bird photography can be extremely rewarding and gratifying. At the same time those of us who partake in it's adventures understand that it can be very hit and miss and frustrating.
After all we are dealing with natures wildlife.
I have what I consider the Three "P's" to improving your success and your outcomes that I find vital and important.
The Three "p's"
1. Be Prepared
Preparation is the first step to success. It begins before you even go out to shoot. Preparation involves first and foremost, your gear. Do you have what you need in hand and with you before you walk out the door or get out of your car?
Here is my checklist:
I always come fully equipped. This will usually involve a FX body and a DX body. In my case specifically I will have two FX bodies. A Nikon D5 for high frame rate and a D810 for high megapixels, those times when I get the time to shoot whatever it is I'm planning to shoot.
I generally shoot with my longest and fastest lens. At the same ti...
One of the greatest lessons I received in my early years learning photography was that of Compositions Dynamics.
The true art of photography doesn't lie in pointing and shooting. In lies in seeing not only the subject but the entire scope of the subject and the coexisting elements of the scene.
What I'm about to show you are some of my thought processes and the things I see when shooting. You will also get a glimpse into my post production and image selection. Yes luck does play it's part as some of you call it. I prefer to define it as God's touch.
Photographing any animal can be difficult. Sometimes your efforts pay off and other times you leave exasperated and defeated. In the end when all of the time spent and all of your determination pay off the final outcome can be breathtaking.
I recently took my first trip to the Davis Mountain Region of Texas. It was my first visit and the first of what I hope to be many.
You might be asking yourself what kind of title is that. For me "What About Me?" is the question I ask myself daily.
Who am I?
What am I?
What are my objectives?
What are my goals?
What defines me as a photographer?
What makes my work my work?
When I started into photography back in 1980 these were not questions I asked myself. In fact all that I considered was getting something on film. Through the years and all of the countless DREAMS, I've come to realize "Who I am!", "What I am?" and so on.
Answering these questions helps us to form a direction........to form a Brand......a Style.....and a Path to becoming what we want to be.
After all what motivates you to get up and grab your camera to endure the "HEAT", the "COLD", the "RAIN" and lastly the "FAILURES" and "SUCCESSES."
Notice I didn't say successes and failures. If I've learned anything about photography....especially Wildlife Photography my Failures always out number my successes. I take risks. I push the envelope. I challenge...
Have you ever had one of those shots that you look and say to yourself........"I think this could be more!"
My early years in life, Middle School and High School, I was very into art. I took art class in 7th grade, then again in my 9th-12th grade years. I envisioned myself becoming a Wildlife Artist. However unethical Art Teachers and probably a lack of talent on my end curbed and waned my enthusiasm.
As a result I bought my first camera, a Canon TX, totally mechanical and manual camera body in December of 1978. From that day on I continually transition from one dream to another......from one artistic field to another.
I found that what I seemed to lack in art photography made up for.
Throughout the years I've honed and cultivated the artist in me. I like to consider myself a Photographic Artist, not only a Photographer. Each and every step I take today predetermined by hours of constant thought and assessment of each and every next step. The path to which I will ultimate...
This shoot has been in the making for the past year. A good friend showed me this grounded Fishing Trolley while we were out looking for birds to photograph. Once I saw this subject I knew it had such great possibilities.
Throughout my trips to the Houston area for work I have made at least 7 attempts. Unfortunately my hotel room lies north of Houston so gauging the cloud activity has been pretty impossible. That in itself is where my attempts have always failed.
Let me say this........no scenic image will ever have the kind of impact on a clear sky as it will have on a scattered clouded sky! I have shot many subjects both with and without and the result is always the same.
CLOUDS CLOUDS CLOUDS! GIVE ME CLOUDS!
In fact I make my decisions in most cases on whether I'm going to doing any scenic photography...