The wider picture (Jodie Randall)

Continuing on the subject of Connor’s last post (Taking In The Scene), the majority of my favourite wildlife images depict animals in their natural habitat and it is something I increasingly try to capture in my own photographs. Close up portraits are often instantly grasping, but by placing a plant or creature within the context of its environment you are instantly telling a wider story.

Here is a brilliant link to the Wild Wonders Of Europe website: http://www.wild-wonders.com Recently featured in National Geographic magazine, the project features 58 photographers from all over Europe who were each given missions to document the continents wildlife and wild places. You will find enough in-habitat style shots to keep you inspired for a while, plus many more……

Goodnight, Sun (Johan)

One filter much used in the days of film was the graduated neutral-density filter. With one side allowing more light into the camera than the other side, this filter was crucial to properly expose sunsets while retaining detail in the shadows.

Now, in the day of digital technology, such filters are still popular among landscape photographers.

However, for this image, I used the virtual graduated neutral-density filter found in Photoshop Lightroom to restore the details in the foreground. Here is the original shot:

NBPS Flickr Contest (Image by Tobias Hayashi)

Great images this week! I particularly like the complementary colors in this image. The bird is very striking against the blue and white background.

Taking In The Scene (Connor Stefanison)

When photographing wildlife, people tend to focus mostly on full frame shots of their subject. As pleasing and cool as these images are, it can be easy to forget to try some wildlifescapes/animals in habitat type shots. These are shots where the subject occupies only a small portion of the frame, and the surrounding environment takes up a larger part.  These images give the viewer a sens of the animal’s habitat, and the conditions you were facing at the time of exposure.

The Gadwall image below was taken at Burnaby Lake, in Burnaby BC, Canada. 

Upcoming Photo Competition (Connor Stefanison)

Hey everyone, I just got an email today about the Audibon Magazine Birds In Focus competition. This contest is held in part with Natures Best Photography. There is also a youth category for youth up to 17 years of age. If you apply, you should definitely check it out here,  http://audubonmagazinephotoawards.org/ .

Connor Stefanison

Spring Transitions (Jodie Randall)

To me May always feels like a month of transition. A transition between spring and summer. It is the best of both worlds. The countryside has exploded into a mass of green. The bushes are fuller, the grass richer and healthier – everything is blooming. The blackthorn blossom has died back and the hawthorn buds are showing. When they flower, the hedgerows will be white once again. Puff clocks decorate the roadside verges, scattered in an accidental fashion, while a blanket of bluebells has crept across the floor of the local woodlands. Spring is throwing out all of the stops in a spectacular finale, while at the same time the very first signs of summer are beginning to show. As I write this, I have just seen my first swifts of 2010 darting merrily across a welcome blue sky. Newly arrived after a long journey from Africa, these birds never seem to tire. Black arrows speeding overhead, circling effortlessly until they are so high they are no longer visible to the human eye, swifts are one of the birds I will always associate with Summer.

I have also updated my gallery with recent images from the past month: www.jodierandall.co.uk

- Jodie.

NBPS Flickr Contest Photo (Image by Evan Pagano)

Evan Pagano

This image by Evan Pagano shows behavior and a beautiful scene. While portraits are often beautiful,  images that show animals doing something are much more engaging. Next time you are photographing wildlife, spend extra time waiting for interesting behavior. Wildlife photography is challenging because you have no idea when an animal is going to ‘behave’ or do something different. That is also part of the fun.

I also love the even light and subtle colors in this image. Great job Evan!

Fantastic Hunt’s Photo Specials (7th, 8th, 9th of May)

LINK TO HUNT’S SPECIALS: http://wbhunt.com/show/index.htm

To NBPS Readers:

Hunt’s Photo and Video is running our annual digital sale May 7th & 8th. We have two big sales each year, our digital sale and our annual Hunts show in October. These events offer the best prices of the year and I am passing on these offers exclusively to you, our phone customers. Here are just some of the hotline features; Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 7D, Canon Rebel T2I,Canon G11,Canon 800mm and the new Canon 70-200 2.8IS lens, Nikon 70-200VR lens, Nikon D3S, Nikon 500VR and 600VR lenses. Also there will be a special price on the Epson 3880 printer with a $100 mail in rebate. Don’t forget to inquire about show pricing on the Epson 7900 and 9900 printers. We also will be offering PhotoShop CS 5 at 5% off our the regular price for this event only .For amazing deals on Sigma lenses, Think Tank bags, Lenmar Batteries and other great offers, go to the link below for details.

During the event we expect an extremely high volume of calls. My new assistant – Antonietta Bozzella will handle incoming calls at a special number specifically established for this event only, 1-800-336-3841. To expedite your order, all calls will be transferred to either me, John Duggan or Keith Patankar. We will do our best to help you; if we’re not available please leave a voice mail and we will return your call as soon as possible.

Also, feel free to email me at digitalguygary@wbhunt.com for pricing. For a faster response to your emails please be sure to leave a contact number.

We are offering free shipping on all orders placed on May  7th, 8th   &  9th only!

We will extend event pricing until 3:00 pm on May 9th

Best,

Gary

Gary Farber

Vice President of Hunt’s Photo and Video

Dawn Delights

Local knowledge of a photographic location is indispensable. Knowing at what time of year to visit to see particular species, exactly where to look, noting how the sun moves across the landscape and at what time of day the place ‘comes alive’ make all the difference.

Last week, after a bit of a vigil at one of my favourite nature reserves I was diverted in a different direction after discovering that the reserve was unexpectedly closed. I decided to drive to the nearest place I could think of where I might be able to get a few shots. I had only been there a couple of times before and first impressions were not great. I had come back with with a blank memory card both times.

Still half asleep, having made the effort to get to my original location before  sunrise, I was not pleased to see the sun quickly rising above the horizon. It appeared larger than I have ever seen it – an African sunrise in England.

Feeling rather over-tired my emotions were blown slightly out of proportion and I could not help but feel total despair as I watched the sun getting higher in the sky knowing that I still had fifteen minutes worth of driving ahead of me and was not holding out much hope for when I arrived.

Weaving my way down a rather narrow pot-holed track I spotted the outlines of a couple of hares, their brown coats perfectly camouflaged against the ploughed earth beneath a sea of vivid yellow oil seed rape. A little way ahead, I could just make out a white bird sat atop a fence post. It was a barn owl.

There was nothing I could do to conceal my approach. The landscape was more-or-less flat and there was nothing to hide behind. I had no option but to stay in the car. The owl appeared quite relaxed, so I decided to try and get a little closer. Every time it looked away, I crept a little further forward. Despite much practice, creeping in an old Rover Metro is not easy.

I managed a few shots before it flew off and began hunting amid the pink waves of mist floating across the fields.

This new location is clearly best at dawn…………

- Jodie

www.jodierandall.co.uk

Winner April NBPS Flickr Contest: Mitchell Nielson

We have chosen Mitchell Nielson’s image as the winner of this month’s NBPS Flickr Contest. Mitchell will receive a free one-year subscription to Nature’s Best Photography Magazine (www.naturesbestphotography.com). Be sure to enter your images in our Flickr Contest for May!

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