Earth Day Photo Contest (Gabby)

Hey Photographers -

Here is a really neat Earth Day Photo Contest – you have to take the pictures between the 22-29 of April. Check it out:

http://www.strategies.org/education/index.aspx?sub=education&sub2=earthday&sub3=contest2009

More soon!

- Gabby

Updates (Johan)

Hi all–
Sorry it has taken me so long to post. I should post soon about some adventures I had recently:

Also, I wanted to let you all know about the Wildlife Photography Competition being put on by the Burrard-Lucas brothers, Will and Matt. Matt was featured in the 2nd issue of NBP:Students. The contest deadline is April 30, 2009, so act quickly!

If you’ve never seen a 1200/5.6 lens, check out this review of Canon’s discontinued EF 1200/5.6L USM. This is my dream lens–and it will probably always be my dream lens, as I can’t imagine actually owning one, at $100,000+ used. :-)

National Wildlife Refuges (Gabby)

Hey Photographers -

Here is an opportunity to have your images published on the US Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge website. Check out the information below:

National Wildlife Refuges: Great Places for Cameras

“National Wildlife Refuges vibrate intensely with the seasonal movements of wildlife,” says renowned nature photographer and longtime refuge champion Karen Hollingsworth. Refuges provide photographers with an opportunity to be still, be silent, be patient and ultimately to become engrossed in the challenge of capturing rare glimpses of nature’s mysteries.

National Wildlife Refuges belong to all Americans as the world’s premier system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve fish, wildlife and plants.  Find a refuge near you and consider submitting photos for free use in Refuge System publications or Web pages. You will receive credit for any photos used by the Refuge System; you may add your photos to the public domain digital library or submit a photo for a single use.

Here are guidelines:

* Use the highest resolution and largest dimension settings on your camera. High resolution is sometimes labeled “Superfine.”  Lower resolution photos may be submitted for Web use only.

* Submit only original, unaltered images.

* If possible, take several photos of your subject matter so the Refuge System can select the best one.

* Morning and evening are the best times to take a photo to avoid the harsh light that affects photo quality.

Read more about photography on National Wildlife Refuges.

Questions? Contact Karen_Leggett@fws.gov.

Refuge – hyperlink to www.fws.gov/refuges

Read more – link to http://www.fws.gov/refuges/photography/pdfs/photographyOnRefuges_refUp_MayJune05.pdf

A Few More Images (Gabby Salazar)

Hello Photographers -
I hope everyone is outside taking images and enjoying the onset of spring. Here in New England, spring is finally arriving.
I am currently preparing for my trip to South America this summer. I will be working for the Amazon Conservation Association http://www.amazonconservation.org/ as a photography intern. I am very excited for the trip and have a lot to do to get ready. Last week I got my first rabies vaccine because I anticipate encounters with bats and other animals that could be rabid. To get to the station in the Amazon we will have to take a 5 hour boat road on one of the major rivers in the Amazon basin. There will also be a short plane ride, a 10 hour drive, and a few other legs.
I have included a few images from my recent trip to Puerto Rico. One is a stitched panorama. Both are overlooking the valley next to El Yunque, the national forest.
- Gabby

The leaping hare (Jodie Randall)

Mad march hare: female leaps into the air.


Over the course of the past couple of months I have spent many wonderful evenings in the company of brown hares (Lepus europaeus). During my time watching these remarkable creatures I have had the opportunity to take a glimpse -albeit very brief- into their lives. I have come to know their habits and on the contrary, been surprised and delighted by their unpredictability.

An hour of so before the sun sets, I watch as what at first appear to be lumps of earth rise up from the ground, transforming into hares. They rely heavily on their ability to blend into the landscape. They do not live in warrens as rabbits do, but make a shallow depression in the ground called a form, where they sit motionless to avoid detection. In the evenings, after sitting still for much of the day, the hares lazily get up yawning and stretching their limbs, before they begin to feed. It is not until dusk that the real magic begins.

It is easy to see why the hare has deep roots in mythology and folk tales throughout the world. In Europe the hare has links with witches due to its sudden appearances and its fleetness. In many tales hares are strongly associated with the moon and intuition. And in Africa the hare is commonly portrayed as a trickster.

A couple of weeks ago I was watching four hares. They were in pairs: two groups of two, a short distance apart from each other. Each pair comprised of a male and a female. One pair was busy eating and they were not proving to be particularly interesting subjects, so I turned my attention to the pair on my left. Out of the blue the female of the pair leapt like a cat on hot bricks almost a metre into the air. The saying as mad as a March hare is clearly well founded.

Later that evening it was almost dark when I stumbled upon another pair as I was making my way back home. It turned out to be another male and female. When the male approached too close to the female, she turned around and delivered a harsh blow with her paw, which sent the male running. He settled down a few metres away, looking slightly vexed.

After many evenings in the field it was great to finally see what I had set out to see. Hopefully next year it won’t be too dark to photograph the action…

Close up portrait

My website www.jodierandall.co.uk has been updated, featuring a new design and also new images. I upload recent photographs regularly including pictures featured on Nature’s Best Photography Students blog, so please keep checking back.

- Jodie

Hunt’s Photo Specials for NBPS Readers!

Specials from Hunt’s Photo:
Gary Farber from Hunt’s Photo has also sent along some fantastic specials exclusively for NBPS readers. Gary has Sandisk Extreme IV 4GIG compact flash cards for $40.00 and the new Hoodman 3.0 Loupe for only $59.99 (usually $79.99). The Loupe is an excellent tool for the field used to view your LCD screen in bright conditions (video demonstration: http://www.hoodmanusa.com/products.asp?dept=1017). You can contact Gary directly at 1-800-221-1830 ext.2332 or email him at digitalguygary@wbhunt.com. He will charge a flat-rate of $5.00 shipping for these two items.

Gary is a fantastic support of NBPS and young photographers – please contact him for any equipment needs.

- Gabby

Snails and Handheld (Gabby)

When I was shooting in Puerto Rico in El Yunque I went on a six hour hike and decided that it would be too much to carry a tripod. Instead, I carried around a 50mm lens, a 180mm lens and a flash. I took this picture of giant snails handheld and had to take a few images to make sure that the picture was sharp. Just a simple tip for anyone shooting handheld – the rule of thumb is to make sure that your shutter speed is greater than the focal length of your lens under 1. For instance, if you are shooting with a 50mm lens, your shutter speed should be faster than 1/50 of a second. If you are shooting with a 100mm lens, your shutter speed should be faster than 1/100 of a second. This is a good rule of thumb to follow in order to ensure sharp images when you do not have a tripod.

- Gabby

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