In search of the Mad March Hare (Jodie Randall)


Brown hares are one of my favourite species to photograph. From late February to the end of March I repeatedly visit a location that supports a healthy population of these mystical animals.
Open grassland and arable farms are the hare’s preferred habitat. This can cause difficulty when it comes to spotting them, as their caramel/brown fur is perfectly camouflaged with their surroundings.
At this time of year, before the grasses grow too high, the hare’s presence can often be revealed as they chase each other across the open fields. I have only ever been lucky enough to witness hares ‘boxing’ once in a distant field. This behaviour is often thought to be rival male hares fighting over a female, but in fact it is actually the female hares fighting off males unwanted advances. Usually this behaviour is exhibited very early in the morning, or around dusk.
Over the next few weeks I am aiming to spend many early mornings and evenings sitting and waiting in the hope of photographing the Mad March Hare.
I will continue to post with my progress.

- Jodie

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions… (Johan)

Canon 10D, Canon 28-135 IS, f/6.3, 1/60 sec., ISO 200

Based on my previous post, you could probably guess that I like expensive lenses. :-) The problem is, there are so many high-quality lenses on the market today, selecting one can be difficult. Choosing a new camera can be even harder. Even deciding which camera bag to buy is difficult. So I decided to share some links to helpful websites.

Canon 10D, Tamron 70-300, f/22, 6 sec., ISO 100

More on NANPA Summit (Nathanael Gass)


I’m a little busy, but I have a little time to detail more on my trip.
Sunday, Feb. 15: I get on a plane and leave for Albuquerque. It was my first time on a plane, and it was pretty fun! About 2 hours after we ( me and the other students )were all together, we were talking like old friends. Then, we got to use Canon 50D’s. We had a whole bunch of lenses to use, and it was AWESOME!
Monday, Feb. 16: We spent the first part of the morning at the student room, learning more about each other, the instructors, and our cameras. We met George Lepp, who was one of our photo instructors. We then went to Bosque del Apache, where we met Darrell Gulin. He is an amazing photographer, and a past president of NANPA. Check out his website at http://www.gulinphoto.com. You may recognize some of the images from many places. At Bosque, we photographed snow geese, killdeer, and sandhill cranes.
Tuesday, Feb. 17. We photograph at Bosque again, and then at Kasha Katuwe. Here is an image from Bosque. The image shown isn’t even processed yet. I’ll up the saturation and make it like I saw it that morning.

Metadata: Canon 50D with 100-400mm lens, tripod, wiberely head, ISO 800, 1/15th of a second at f/11.

Dante’s View, Death Valley National Park, CA (Alex Mody)

Hey everybody,

I haven’t posted on here for a while and I apologize for that. Here’s a photograph from my three-month mega-trip this past fall/winter. This image was taken shortly after sunset, from a viewpoint called “Dante’s View,” inside Death Valley National Park, California.

This image was made with the help of a graduated neutral density filter, which is a rectangular glass filter that, simply put, transitions from dark (neutral density) to clear. The Wikipedia Entry explains them quite well.

New Issue (Gabby)

The new issue of NBP Students is now online at www.naturesbeststudents.com! Check it out! Remember that the deadline for the student photo contest is extended until March 15th, 2009. And, please submit online to our Picture of the Week Competition, we had some glitches, but they are all worked out now.

I’m heading off to the summit of the North American Nature Photographers Association (NANPA) this week. I’ll have some tips and pics to share when I return!

- Gabby

Making the most of common species (Jodie Randall)

Top: Starlings are a common sight in English gardens
Above: Black-headed gulls can be found in urban areas. I took this shot as another gull flew into the frame

When I first became interested in wildlife photography a few years ago, I would dream of photographing bears, elephants and wolves. The village where I live is about 40 minutes from central London (England) however, and not remote by any stretch of the imagination.
Unfortunately I had a bit of difficulty tracking down any bears, so I gave up and headed to some local lakes to photograph swans and ducks. Not quite the same I know, but an unhappy swan can be quite fierce when defending its territory, and just as frightening as a bear I’m sure….
When I wanted to practice capturing birds in flight, I took my camera into town to photograph the gulls and pigeons. Common species that we see every day in our parks, towns and gardens are often over-looked or photographed in unremarkable ways. One of the great advantages with these creatures is that they are used to people and easier to approach. This creates an opportunity to achieve some very artistic images.
I enjoy the challenge of going back to my old locations to photograph common subjects. It really encourages me to think about the pictures I am taking and how I am going to create something different.

Tips

1) Before you begin it is helpful to ask yourself what would make people who see these animals and birds every day stop and look at your photographs.

2) Be original

3) Don’t be afraid to experiment. You can always go back and try again if you are not happy with the results. The animals should still be there and with digital cameras there is no wasted film.

NANPA Summit

“This is it Mr. Frodo… If I take one more step, it’ll be the farthest away from home I’ve ever been.”
Samwise Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring

Right now, as you’re reading this, I not photographing around the house, like I usually am. I’m in Albuquerque, New Mexico, attending the NANPA ( North American Nature Photography Association) Summit as part of their High School Scholarship Program. I’m photographing at Bosque del Apache, and Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. Then I’ll be listening to some amazing photographers and speakers. Sounds like something you’d be interested in? Then check it out at NANPA’s website. Any high school student can apply, but it’s probably good to wait until you have enough experience to take full advantage of this amazing opportunity. Good luck applying!
http://www.nanpa.org/students/app_process_hs.html

See you next week with details and pics from the trip!

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