Thursday, January 29, 2009

Introduction and Sanderling Image (Jodie Randall)

Hello, my name is Jodie Randall. I am nineteen years old and live in the South East of England. I started photography seriously at the age of fifteen and am now pursuing a career as a freelance wildlife photographer. The majority of my images are taken in the South East, where I am fortunate enough to live near quite a few nature reserves. I enjoy photographing mammals and plant life, though birds and insects are particular favourites of mine.

In November 2008 I travelled to the coast to photograph wading birds. It was very cold and even started to snow at one point (something that doesn't happen very often in England!) I was attempting to photograph Sanderlings. They feed on the edge of the tide and run to and fro like clock-work toys as the waves come in and then recede again. Sanderlings hardly ever stand still, so I was having to wait at the edge of the waves to photograph them running backwards and forwards, hoping that I wouldn't get wet feet - I did. I was looking through my camera concentrating on the Sanderlings when a massive wave sent water pouring into my boot. Not ideal on a cold November day!

More of my images can be viewed on my website which is regularly updated.

- Jodie

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Intro and "Hummingbird in Flight" (Tad Arensmeier)

Hello to everybody! My name is Tad Arensmeier and I am 20 years old. I've been photographing seriously since I bought a Canon Digital Rebel when I was 15, I have since moved through a Canon 20D, and have now purchased a Canon 1Ds Mark III, which is taking some getting used to, and I have 4 Sigma lenses (2 macro, 1 telephoto, 1 wide angle). My pictures will be almost exclusively of animals, most frequently herps (Reptiles and Amphibians), and usually macro. My favorite place to shoot is the St. Louis Zoo, so the majority of my posted pictures will be from there. If you want to look at more of my pictures you can visit this website: if you do visit, I suggest just looking at the set entitled "My Favorites" or you'll have to look at just about everything I've ever taken (good and bad). "Hummingbird in Flight"
This image was taken in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. The bird is going for a feeder that I watched for a couple of hours taking 100's of pictures trying to get one bird in flight without the feeder in the image. The greatest difficulty was focusing on the birds, you can't really afford to increase you DOF to make itany easier either becasue it will make your shutter to slow, and the birds move to quick for autofocus, so you have to use manuel focus, practice, and luck to actually catch one of these quick little birds in focus.

Monday, January 26, 2009

For those who want to photograph exotic animals, but can't travel to Africa, South America, and other far-away locations, the zoo (or a local museum) is a great substitute. You can photograph exotic species at close range, with minimal expense, and nearly any equipment. I have taken many great photos at the zoo, and if you arrive early in the morning, you may beat the crowds and get some great golden-yellow light.
When you decide to go, plan your trip on a day you know the animals will be active. Don't go on really cold or really hot days, or in adverse weather conditions.
And remember, not all animals at the zoo are in the zoo! The anole (lizard) in the photo was not a captive animal. I have also seen black rat snakes, unusual birds, and other animals there in the wild because they prefer similar habitats to the artificial habitats made for captive animals.
Metadata for anole: ISO 640, f/7.1, 1/100th of a second
Metadata for bird: ISO 640, f/7.1, 1/800th of a second
Both with Nikon D-80 and 180mm macro lens. Tripod for bird, bellypod for anole.

P.S. If you photograph animals indoors, don't forget to adjust your white balance for flourescent and incandescent lights!

Updates (Gabby Salazar)

Hello All -

A few updates. To start with, Gary Farber of Hunt's Photo and Video has passed on anamazing deal! Sandisk Extreme III Memory Cards - an 8GB card is only$34.99 and a 4GB is only $24.99. The offer ends at the end of the month -so you have to order soon. Gary says he'll give you free shipping if you contact him directly and mention NBP Students. You can email him or call at T 800-221-1830 or 800-924-8682 ext2332.

In other news, our photo contest deadline has been extended until March 15th, 2009 (fromFebruary 15th, 2009). The entry fee is $10.00 and you can enter online at: Remember to enter Picture of the Week Competition to receive a free subscription to Nature's Best Photography Magazine. Enter at: next issue will be online February 15th, 2009!

Gabby Salazar

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Yellowstone Elk (Alex Mody)

Here's a Rocky Mountain Elk I photographed in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park. Like the last image, I was driving through the park with my camera assembled and ready. When I saw this guy, I simply pulled over, rolled down my window, and began photographing. He was HUGE! He was the biggest I have ever seen. I'd love to go back in a few years. I can't think of a single place I'd rather be in the winter.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Introduction and "A Throne of Gold" (Johan)

Hello! My name is Johan, and I am 16 years old. I am homeschooled, so my schedule is fairly flexible school-wise and I can shoot when the light is best. I got my first camera at the age of 7, but started photographing seriously when I bought my D-SLR in 2007. I enjoy nature photography--specifically macro. I live on a farm with my family, so most of my photos are taken on the farm acreage. I shoot with a Canon EOS 10D and a variety of Canon and Tamron lenses, including the Canon 100/2.8 Macro. I hope to share some of my best photos and tips with you here.

"A Throne of Gold"
1/320 ~ f/9 ~ ISO 100 ~ Canon 28-135 IS ~ +4 Close-up Diopter ~ Tripod

I discovered this goldenrod spider on a daisy on my family's farm last summer. I found it the day before I took this picture, and was able to watch it for the next couple of weeks while I went about my chores. One day there was an extremely small black spider walking around on its back, but it disappeared before I was finished setting up my tripod. It was obvious to me that the spider was growing since it was bigger every time I saw it. One day I saw it devouring a bee, but of course I had left my camera at the house.

Examples of Event Photos

Here are some AMAZING examples of event photography!

(copy and paste URL into browser) 

Enjoy and be Inspired! 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Snow Panoramas (GABBY)

It snowed over 9 inches in the last week in Rhode Island. I could not drive safely for the first two days, but I finally dug my car out with a snow shovel. I went over to a local park and made some photographs of the forest in snow. These images are stiched together using PhotoMerge in Photoshop.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Cooper's Hawk with European Starling (Alex Mody)

Hey everybody,

Sorry for the recent lack of updates! I have to admit I've been slacking a little. It's tough to get used to being back at home after such an amazing journey! I've been spending hours each day processing and cataloging my photographs and I have just barely scratched the surface.

Anyway, as usual, I'd like to share a photograph with you. This is a Cooper's Hawk that has caught a European Starling. I saw this as I was driving by, so I carefully backed the vehicle back into position, using it as a blind as well. I sat in my car for fifteen minutes photographing before the hawk flew away. It just goes to show that one should always be prepared. If my gear wasn't set up and in the car with me, I would not have been able to make any images.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Digital Darkroom (Gabby)

Hey Photographers -

I just have a neat tip for today. A lot of you email me with Photoshop questions when you are preparing submissions. If you haven't heard of Tim Grey, he is one of the Photoshop gurus in the United States. He also happens to be a great teacher and mentor. Tim offers a Digital Darkroom Questions (DDQ) email listserv where you can submit questions and read answers to other people's questions. These are very helpful if you are interested in learning about Photoshop. A subscription to the email list is free, but he offers many other great benefits if you become a member (a membership is $35.00 per year). The membership is worth well more than most books you could buy on Photoshop.

To become a member of the free email list: Simply enter your e-mail in the box at the top of this page and click Sign Up, or send an e-mail to with the subject SUBSCRIBE.

If you are looking to learn more about Photoshop, definitely check out Tim's books or the Russell Brown show podcast (also free):

Happy Shooting!
- Gabby

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Photojournalism Tip #4: Different Types of Assignments (Maya)

For the next few blog entries I'll walk you through different types of assignments.


The right equipment is essential for capturing an event. For events it is best to use a wide-angle lens because their breadth enables you to capture lots of information in one shot. For example, you can highlight that the audience is packed or that only a few souls showed up, both of which are important realities to capture when documenting an event. I typically shoot with Canon, when I shoot an event I bring a Canon 16-35mm or 24-70mm lens. For Nikon, I'll bring a 16-35mm or a 24-35mm. After you've arrived at the event walk around first to get a sense of the atmosphere and figure out what the event is about and to scout out some good spots to shoot from. Take photos of the people (preferably interacting or in action and not posed), the location, the highlights of the event or signs indicating who is sponsoring the event. You need to capture the event in one or two photographs, so try lots of permutations and you'll most likely succeed in giving the viewer a sense of what the event was like, which is, after all your goal. Like on any assignment – take LOTS of photos and MOVE around!

Have fun shooting,


Monday, January 5, 2009

South Africa and Old Photos (Gabby)

South Africa and Old Photos (Gabby Salazar)

I hope holidays have been great and filled with some time to get outside and shoot. I for one have been preparing for next summer and next fall. Recently I applied to spend next fall in South Africa through school. If you haven't learned about study abroad programs, they are a great opportunity to visit foreign countries when you are in college (sometimes when you are in high school). There are often great scholarships for these programs and you can choose to study in a city at a university or find field studies programs that take you into parks and wildernesses.

If you are interested in finding out more, you should check out:,, All of these organizations offer great programs that will definitely be of interest to any outdoor photographers. I know that my photography helped me to get into the program in South Africa.
If you have any questions, email me. For now, check out these images that I pulled out of my archives while I was organizing.

- Gabby

Friday, January 2, 2009

Passion Flower(Nathanael Gass)

A few months ago, I decided to try something unusual. I went out at about 10:00 pm to take photos. I used a flashlight to illuminate my subjects. Many of the shots showed unexpected colors. The colors appeared because there was no reflected light, since all the light was coming from one direction. I began to photograph some flowers, but then I decided that front lighting was too harsh, so I moved the flashlight behind them to give them some backlighting. This passionflower ended up working the best.
Metadata: ISO 320, f/14, 1 second
Nikon D-80, tripod