THE NATURE OF
LEARN THE BASICS OF NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY THROUGH THE NATURAL BEAUTY OF PENNSYLVANIA
THE NATURE OF PHOTOGRAPHY
T ab le o f Co n te n ts
Section 1 The Process
Introduction............................................................3 Chapter 1: Equipment...............................................4 The DSLR and how it works.........................5 Advantages of using a DSLR.........................6 File storage/SD Card.....................................6 The lens........................................................7 Lens care and accessories............................11 Camera support...........................................12 Chapter 2: Camera Basics.......................................13 Handling your DSLR...................................14 DSLR parts diagram....................................15 Metering modes...........................................16 Highlights/midtones/shadow......................17 Focusing modes...........................................17 White balance selection..............................18 File formats/RAW processing.....................19 Chapter 3: Digital Photography............................./ Painting with Light .........................20 The exposure triangle..................................21 Light meter..................................................22 ISO...............................................................22 Shutter speed...............................................23 Aperture......................................................24 Camera modes.............................................25 Chapter 4: Composition.........................................26 Rule of thirds/Isolate your subject..............27 Fill frame/Accent with light.......................28 Frame your subject/Low angle....................29 Leading lines/Create visual energy..............30
Section 2 Galleries
Introduction................................................31 The Minute Natural World.........................33 Rock Run ....................................................59 The Elk of Pennsylvania..............................85 Old Growth Forest.....................................111 The Great Migration.................................135 Wildlife......................................................159 Winter Landscapes....................................187 Nature in Black and White........................213 Glossary..........................................233
All images ÂŠ Brad Adams 2018 ISBN- 978-164370901-7
Technical Advisor: Jake Stoltzfus Printing Advisor: Ryan Shaubach Printing Assistant: Veronica Thomas Proofreader: Marla Bucy Visit digital copy at: bradadamsphotography.com
Remember, take only memories; leave only footprints!
In tro d u cti o n After teaching photography for 31 years, I realize digital photography can be a very complex and ever-changing technology. I feel the most effective way to grasp a concept is to simplify the topic and break down the processes into basic steps and procedures. Through my experience in education, I have developed a simple way to educate a student into being a more competent photographer. My love of nature photography has taught me more about this creative field than any other research or course I have ever taken. My many hours afield with my camera have been some of my most memorable experiences in my life! I have always said there are three areas of expertise that are needed to be mastered to become a competent photographer: composition, lighting, and technical know-how. I will be taking you through the basics of digital photography while using only the beauty of Pennsylvaniaâ€™s natural world concentrating soley on the use of digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras and their functions. I am a purist when processing my photography by trying to maintain the true color of the image without digitally modifying the color during the post-processing stages. I have always operated with the belief it is best to get the highest quality image in the camera before using photo editing software. I also take pride in the fact that not one trace of man and his destructive power is evident in any of my imagery. My hope is for the reader to better understand digital photography and possibly be enticed to enter our stateâ€™s remaining natural areas to record its beauty through processes explained within the text. I hope you find the technical information provided useful and galleries inspiring as you further advance your skills within this very creative form of digital photography. All imagery viewed in this text were taken solely by me in fair chase situations with the use of only one DSLR camera body and a variety of three lenses. Also, the entire book was designed and processed by me with the printing completed at the Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology Graphic Communications and Printing Technology Lab. Please be respectful of our natural wonders in Pennsylvania and remember to leave only footprints! Brad Adams
Ack n o wl e d g ments I would like to thank all the government agencies that have given their funding and time to enhance and protect our natural environment in Pennsylvania. My hope is future generations will be able to enjoy our natural world and continue to preserve and protect it. I would like to also thank Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology and its continuous support of my career and experience gained while having the privilege of my employment. Finally, I would like to thank my wife Vicki for her understanding and support throughout the production of this book.
1 E q u ip m e nt The following is a listing of equipment needed to take afield in order to produce quality imagery. The Canon DSLR has been my choice for nature photography as you will see with parts of the educational section relating directly to this specific brand. Each item will be further discussed emphasizing the purpose for each and a brief explanation of its use. I believe it is important to narrow down the amount of equipment taken during your shoot to minimize weight and bulk while walking in a natural environment. You can find yourself breaking through brush, crossing streams and climbing hill sides while trying to find just the right angle of view and light. You will notice a flash is not listed as a needed element of a nature photo shoot. You will find natural light is all that is needed in order to produce a realistic representation of your subject matter. I will make minimal mention of photography in the rain. I prefer not to attempt to shoot in the rain for obvious reasons. First and foremost is the damage to your equipment that can occur by getting wet. There are specific lenses available that are sealed for this purpose; plus, there are rain covers available for your camera body with lenses attached. You can expand your equipment selection as your experience and knowledge is gained while exploring nature photography.
Digital SLR Lenses Support
Appropriate camera bag/backpack Lens cleaning tissue/cloth Multiple charged batteries Selection of SD cards Outdoor attire 4
T h e DS LR a n d h o w it works
Yes, the DSLR is the primary camera used by todayâ€™s professional photographer. NO, it is not a smart phone, which I feel is taking away from our craft! The versatility of a DSLR by far outweighs the functionality of a smart phone. What does the acronym DSLR stand for? Digital single lens reflex. Why is it titled by this peculiar name? In simple terms, what you view through your viewfinder is what you get on your file. On average, 98% of what you see through a viewfinder is recorded. Essentially what your lens sees, you see. This is a great example of what-you-see-is-what-you-get! While looking through your viewfinder, you are actually looking at a reflection off a mirror within your camera body. (Figure 1.1) When removing a lens from a DSLR body, you will see this mirror. I recommend not to touch or clean this mirror. When depressing your shutter release button, this mirror flips upward which no longer allows the light or image viewable in your viewfinder. When depressing the shutter release button or the button you push to take the picture, it opens the shutter, revealing your image sensor which records your image. This is not the case when it comes to your standard point-and-shoot cameras and yes, a smart phone. The image is actually viewed through a separate lens than what the image is recorded by. Due to this recording by a separate lens, what you see is what you donâ€™t actually get! pentaprism - Light passes through the lens and strikes a mirror (green).
- The mirror reflects the light up to a focusing screen. Light passes through the focusing screen and enters a block of glass called a pentaprism (orange).
- The pentaprism reflects the image so that you can see it in the viewfinder when you take a photo. (yellow)
- The mirror flips upward and the shutter (blue) opens allowing light travel to the digital sensor (red).
Ad va n ta g e s o f u sing a DSLR The first major advantage is the ability to change lenses. You will find this occurs quite frequently during a nature shoot due to the unpredictable terrain and unique angles of view that occur naturally. Along with this advantage, there is the fact that DSLRs have large image sensors that can produce high quality photos. There are two levels of sensors available in DSLR cameras, the full frame sensor and the crop sensor. The full frame sensors are available in higher level cameras and are preferred by professionals. A full frame sensor is essentially the size of a 35mm film frame and crop sensors are essentially smaller or cropped. The main difference between the two is the amount of the image that is viewed or transfered to your file. The quality or resolution of that photograph falls hand in hand with the megapixel of the camera. The higher the mega-pixel (meaning million picture elements) your camera can produce, the more pixels or dots that will be produced within the file. Every image viewed within this book was taken with a 20 mega-pixel camera. The following figure (Figure 1.2) represents a raw file and how the mega-pixel is important for your final print quality. It also demonstrates how the mega-pixel number is derived. 20 mega-pixel Digital Image Diagram 5472 pixel Horizontal
3648 pixel Vertical Figure 1.2
Multiplying the vertical and horizontal amount of pixels produced within your file will give you the mega-pixel provided by your DSLR . example: 3648 pixel vertical x 5472 pixel horizontal= 19,961,856 (20 million pixels)
F i le T ra n sfe r a n d Storage The SD card or secure digital card is a mainstay in the DSLR camera industry, spanning entry-level to professional models. There are a few things you should know about this removable media card. Obviously, these cards are fragile, so treat them with care. Also, consider the following:
-The larger the cardâ€™s capacity, the more power it will take to keep it running. Switching to a smaller-capacity card when your batteries run low might provide you with a few extra shots. - If something goes wrong with a larger capacity card or possibly lost during a shoot, the more images you will lose than you would with a smaller capacity card. I believe purchasing a number of smaller capacity cards instead of one higher capacity is wiser. - After each and every shoot, transfer your files to your computer system for accurate file management. I always transfer my files to two separate devices such as an external drive and my computer hard drive. Figure 1.3
The lens The importance of your lens can never be over-emphasized. The quality of the lens falls hand in hand with the quality of your image. Low quality lens means low quality image. There are a variety of lenses available for your DSLR so it is important to research your selection and to understand what type of lens is needed for your subject matter. Keep in mind its adaptability to your specific camera body when purchasing a lens. There are two important elements of a lens that need to be understood, the focal length of the lens and the aperture. First, the focal length of the lens is the distance of the lens from the sensor (Figure 1.4). The farther the lens is from the sensor, the less the angle of view which in turn isolates the subject matter. There is another issue to consider: the farther the lens is from the image sensor the more possible camera movement will occur which will blur the image. The remedy? Use camera support such as a tripod or monopod, and also try to maintain faster shutter speeds. 8 mm
Lens Focal Length in mm 50 mm
28 35 mm mm
Angle of View in Degrees
Fixed Focal Length vs. Zoom
There are specific lenses available for your DSLR that are categorized by the terminology fixed focal length and zoom. First, the fixed focal length lens also known as a prime lens, has a focal length that is not adjustable. With a prime lens, you do not have the ability to zoom in and out on a subject. Fixed focal length lenses come in a variety of focal lengths from wide angle to telephoto. Second, a zoom lens comprises an assembly of various lens elements to allow for a range of focal lengths, from telephoto to wide angle.
The aperture is the unit of measurement that defines the size of the opening in the lens that can be adjusted to control the amount of light reaching the digital sensor. The size of the aperture is measured in F-stops or fractional stops (Figure 1.5). A lens that has a large lens opening can be classified as a fast lens, meaning a faster shutter speed can be obtained due to the large amount of light allotted in accordance with the large aperture. Lens aperture will be further discussed in Chapter 3: Painting with Light.
Aperture Lens Opening
f/11 f/22 f/8
Fo ca l le n g th examples The following image was taken at the same location with the manipulation of the focal length only. The purpose of the use of each of the focal lengths is according to the photographer and the composition. Imagery such as a winter landscape can be a creative form at any focal length. As you see, the 24mm representation encapsulates a larger view showing details of the forest and stream. At the other end of the scale, the 400mm view shows minutely the water movement, which in its own right is creative and appealing to the viewer. Keep this example in mind and use the focal length of your lens and allow them to help you create your choice of composition.
24mm/wide angle of view
50mm/normal view Figure 1.6
Le n s cla ssifi cation Lenses available for your DSLR fall into 4 standard categories: wide angle, macro, zoom, and prime. Each one of these lens types are usable when pursuing nature photography. You will find wildlife photography lens needs revolve around long focal lengths to get closer to your subject matter.With landscape photographyâ€™s large views, a minimal focal length will be required. Once again, the term focal length is the distance from the lens to the image sensor. A standard focal length I feel necessary to keep in your mind would be 50mm. 50mm represents normal view or the way you see the image without looking through a DSLRâ€™s view finder. Any focal length greater than 50mm is considered telephoto. Planning your lens selection for your subject matter is important before entering the field. The following can help you determine your lens selection and also defines each lens category and its importance to nature photography.
Any lens with a focal length of less than 35mm is considered wide angle. According to Figure 1.4, the closer the lens is to the image sensor, the wider the angle of view, hence the title wide angle lens. If a lens has a focal length less than 24mm, it is considered an ultra wide lens or commonly called a fisheye lens. This lens is primarily used for landscape photography. One specific situation when a wide angle is the lens of choice would be for sunrise and sunset photos.
The prime or fixed focal-length lens will not give you the flexibility of a zoom. You have only one focal length so according to the prime lens you carry, you will have to stand closer or further away from your subject. I carry a 50mm lens that gives me a normal view and more times than not, is used for landscape photography. I use my 50mm lens when photographing mountain streams and sometimes plant life such as trees or natural meadows.
The title “zoom” essentially means that it has a range of focal lengths. There are varying levels of zoom lenses available. My go-to lens for wildlife photography is my telephoto zoom 100mm to 400mm. The longer your focal length, the more possibility for camera movement. This lens will need support such as a monopod or tripod for clean, crisp image reproduction. Discussing this specific zoom lens brings into the conversation the possibility of using a superzoom lens. This lens does it all, from wide angle to telephoto; for example, superzoom would have focal lengths from18mm to 300mm. When your subject matter is landscape photography, longer focal lengths normally are not what is needed. My preferred lens is my zoom 24mm to 105mm. It gives me that much-needed wide angle representation (24mm), a normal representation (50mm), and a slight telephoto (105mm).
Macro photography can be a very creative form of nature photography. Whether you are taking a closeup of a flower or possibly a salamander on a bed of moss, the right lens is very important. The word macro is often used interchangeably with “close up.” Dedicated macro lenses can focus from infinity down to a 1:1 magnification of your image. This means the size of the image is the actually size recorded within your file. The focal length of your lens is important because it determines your working distance from your subject. With a focal length of 100mm, you will be twice the distance than a 50mm macro. This can be beneficial so you do not interrupt your subject matter. A 50mm macro produces its 1:1 magnification from a distance of around 7 to 8 inches.
Le n s ca re a n d a ccessories
The care of your lens is a big part of the clean, crisp reproduction of an image. While traversing through the wilds, always keep in mind the location of your lens and its importance. Dirt, water droplets, or dust will appear on your file. Relying on the post processing stage to clean these unwanted faults in the image can be a mistake. The following are some steps and procedures you can take to minimize negative issues with your lens.
The best way to remove dust, water droplets, or dirt is with a lens tissue or a microfiber cloth. Do not use a shirt or paper towel; this can scratch your lens.
On all my lenses I have a UV filter. This will protect lenses from scratches and smudges. This a must-have product that is very inexpensive.
A lens cap might seem like too much work to take on and off, but it is a must. It is the safest device possible to protect your lens. Whenever I remove my lens, the cap goes on along with the dust cap.
A lens hood or lens shade is used on the front end of a lens to block sun or other light sources to prevent glare and lens flare. It also will help protect the lens from scratches.
A comfortable backpack is needed to transfer all your gear with multiple compartments for storage for such elements as extra batteries, SD cards, lenses, and cleaning materials. 11
Ca m e ra su pport
Using the proper support for your DSLR is as important as the camera itself. You will find an abundant number of brands and types available commercially, so it is important to keep in mind a few basic standards that will help you choose your support as you advance your skills and experiences afield. The need for camera support relates directly back to the quality of your photography. In order to create a clean, crisp image, your camera and lens must be stable. When dealing with natural lighting situations, you will be challenged to maintain proper exposure, and you will find at times a slow shutter speed is your only option. The slower your shutter speed, the more possibility for camera movement and in turn, image blur. It is vital to keep in mind with each and every image taken to maintain a stable movement free camera and lens. The two options available are the tripod and monopod. Along with the choice of the two, comes the selection of the head of your tripod support.
First and foremost I feel the tripod (Figure 1.7) should be your first purchase for support for nature photography. As the title states, tri meaning three legs, are what supports your DSLR. With three legs supporting your DSLR, it can become hands-free and maintain a precise location. This concept allows you to bracket your exposures in order to create different results, such as water movement. Also, without the movement of the photographer holding the DSLR, image blur from camera movement is eliminated, giving you that crisp image necessary for quality. One downfall of a tripod is its weight. Walking in a natural terrain can be difficult at times and the bulk of a tripod only adds to the difficulty. Another downfall of a tripod would be the uneven terrain that might be encountered during a nature photo shoot. Placing three legs within this terrain can be cumbersome at times but necessary to be stable enough to hold your DSLR.
The second primary choice for support would be the monopod (Figure 1.8). The obvious difference between a tripod and a monopod is the number of legs. The monopod has one leg in comparison to the tripodâ€™s three legs. This one-leg design has its advantages afield. Traversing nature with your DSLR attached to a monopod allows for a quick setup for those unexpected wildlife shots that can occur with enough support to hold your DSLR still and maintain a crisp image. It is also light in comparison to a tripod and at times can double as a walking stick to maintain personal balance. Just as the tripod has its faults, the monopod cannot allow for hands-free support and also cannot maintain precise camera placement for bracketing purposes. MONOPOD
The support head is an important part of your tripod support system. The monopod does have some options available for support heads, but the functionality of the monopod is its easiness of placement so the head selection is not quite as vital. The ball head (Figure 1.9) is my recommended head. It has the ability to be manuvered quickly and accurately to level your DSLR and is an affordable addition to your system. The gimble head (Figure 1.10) is primarily needed for long lens support and should be considered for wildlife photography. It is considerably more expensive than the ball head but can be considered the most stable support head style available. GIMBLE HEAD
2 Ca m e r a B a s ics Before entering the wilds of Pennsylvania with your DSLR, you will need an understanding of its controls and functions, which is a vital part of producing quality imagery. The camera body of a DSLR is complex with multiple buttons and controls that have been positioned at strategic locations for fast manipulation which in itself is extremely important. For example during a wildlife shoot, a subject moves quickly. While the subject is moving, it can change its lighting, or it can change the distance from you or possibly the speed it is moving. You will need to know how to change your controls in order to create a clean, well composed, sharp image quickly and accurately. This chapter will be discussing basic functions of the DSLR camera emphasizing the following catagories and their function:
Handling your DSLR The DSLR parts diagram Metering modes Midtones/highlights/shadows Focusing modes White balance selection File formats/RAW processing
H a n d lin g yo u r DSLR
There are definitely noticeable distinctions between photographs that are taken with a correctly held camera and photographs that were taken with a camera that was not held correctly. The importance of hand holding a DSLR properly is not emphasized enough especially during the beginning stages of photography education. It is vitally important that your DSLR is stabilized during a photograph to help eliminate image blur. Yes, using a monopod or tripod definitely is the optimum process of holding a DSLR to eliminate image blur, but there are times the use of these devices are not possible according to the situation. Along with the correct way to hand hold your camera, the use of the camera strap is also vitally important. It should always stay around your neck in case of a accidental fall while walking through a natural environment. The diagrams below (Figure 2.1) depict the proper way to hand hold your camera vertically and horizontally.
The most important aspect of hand holding a DSLR is having good contact points. As you see, the elbows of the incorrect example have no contacts with the body. Resting your elbows against your body provides two contact points for stabilization. Also, the left hand resting under the long lens will help eliminate camera movement. Along with the stabilization, be sure to press the viewfinder firmly against your face, which also creates a contact point. The last thing to consider, which helps eliminate camera blur, is to gently depress the shutter release. Do not jab at the shutter button. A smooth shutter manipulation is very important for quality image production. You may want to consider purchasing a battery grip. A battery grip is an extension to the camera body that hold extra batteries and provides a secondary shutter button that is easily accessible when holding your DSLR vertically.
Th e D SL R p a rts diagram
Looking at a DSLR can be overwhelming! All the buttons and controls can be confusing but in order to be a competent photographer you must have an understanding of these functions. Provided are three angles of view of a standard DSLR camera. Each separate model of a DSLR has these controls but quite possibly located at different locations on the camera body. The diagrams isolate the controls necessary to have a successful photo shoot by their location on the camera body and also a brief explanation of their purpose.
AF Operation Selection Button
Drive Mode Selection Button ISO Speed Button Metering Mode Button
Shutter Release Button
Mode Dial Lock Release
Main Dial Mode Dial
LCD Illumination Button LCD Panel
Power Switch On/Off Hot Shoe
Back View INFO
Focal Plane Mark
Viewfinder Eye Piece Dioptic Adjustment Knob Live View Shooting AF Start Button AE Lock/ FE Lock Button
Magnify/Reduce Button AF Point Selection Quick Control Button Card Slot Playback Button Quick Control Dial Multi Function Lock
Mode Dial: Used to adjust to specific shooting mode. Mode Dial Lock Release: Locks specific shooting mode. The mode can be moved accidentally, so this eliminates mode adjustment occuring. AF Operation Selection Button: Allows you to manipulate between one shot, AI Focus, and AI Servo. Drive Mode Selection Button: Select from single, continuous, silent modes, and t i m e d from 2-second delay to 10-second delay. ISO Speed Button: Adjustment of camera ISO according to the specific lighting situation. Metering Mode Button: Controls the metering process ranging from evaluative, partial, spot, and center weighted. Shutter Release Button: Button depressed to take photo. It activates the mirror to flip upward and at the same time open the shutter. Main Dial: Allows you to scroll through multi settings such as aperture settings or possibly drive selection. LCD Illumination Button: This will illuminate the LCD for visibility in low lighting situations so settings can be visible. LCD Panel: Displays internal settings of your DSLR. Focal Plane Mark: Is a visual representation of the location of your camera sensor. Hot Shoe: Needed to hold and activate a flash. An external flash is an element in nature photography that is not needed. Power Switch On/Off: Turns power on and off.
Menu: Will open menu items available and display these items on the LCD monitor on the back of the camera. Info: When selected the information of a specific file will display on the LCD monitor. Viewfinder Eye Piece: What you look through to view image. Diopter Adjustment Knob: The small dial at eye piece that controls the focusing of the viewfinder according to your eye site. Live View Shooting: This function will display a live view of your image area on your LCD monitor. AF Start Button: This is known as back button focusing. It removes the shutter release focusing process. AE Lock/ FE Lock Button: Locks your exposure value. Magnify/Reduce Button: Allows you to zoom in and out on an image when previewing on the LCD monitor. AF Point Selection: Manually select focusing point. Quick Control Button: When selecting, settings appear on LCD monitor and can be adjusted quickly with the control dial. Multi Function Lock: When selected, it prevents the main dial, quick control dial, and multi-controller from moving and changing. Setting Button: Sets all adjustments as selected. Erase Button: Gives you the ability to erase a file internally within your camera. LCD Monitor: Display area for your menu and images being previewed.
Lens Mount Index
Shutter Release Button: Depress to take picture or activate shutter for exposure. Lens Mount Index: Reference point for mounting lens.
Shutter Release Button
Lens Release: Depress to release lens and to mount lens.
Self Timer Lamp
Lens Lock Pin: Locks lens in correct location. Lens Release
Lens Lock Pin
Battery Grip: Holds multiple batteries and used for a more stable grip. Contacts: Transfers information and power for lens focusing and stabilization. Mirror: Reflect image to view finder. Flips upward during exposure. Grip: Used to hold camera body secure. Self Timer Lamp: Blinks as a reference to the timer being used.
M e te ri n g m odes
When metering a scene, you are essentially reading the light reflection off your subject. It is important to understand all imagery has three areas of light. They are the shadows, midtones, and highlights as displayed with Figure 2.6. The exposure settings are determined by this meter reading. There is a selection of metering modes available that you as the photographer need to choose. The modes directly relate to the subject matter and the scene. The metering mode is selected as displayed with Figure 2.5 and as each metering mode is selected it is displayed as an icon on the LCD panel of your DSLR. These modes and icons are explained in detail below.
Evaluative: This is the default mode of your camera. The camera divides the scene into several zones and
metering mode button
evaluates the brightness.
Partial: This mode meters a small area in the center of a scene. This option is useful when your background is brighter than your subject. An example would be a meadow at sunset and your subject is in front of you.
Center-Weighted Average: This mode meters the entire scene, but gives more importance to the subject in the center. This mode is usuable when one part of your scene is brighter than the rest for example when the sun is in your scene.
Spot: This mode meters a small area in the center of the scene. Use this mode for specific metering off of your
subject such as wildlife. By default your camera will spot-meter off of the autofocus frame point. You can move that point with the AF point selection button (Figure 2.5). This is especially helpful if your subject is not in the center of your frame. 16
AF point selection button
M i d to n e s/ h i g h lig h ts/shadows
Every photograph has midtones, highlights, and shadows. Your camera meter analyzes these areas as it determines your exposures. As a photographer, you need to keep these three areas in mind as you are composing and metering your image; see the image provided below. You need to understand metering off a highlight can underexpose the midtones due to the extreme light reflection. Adjusting your metering modes can assist you in these decisions. This image was shot with evaluative metering mode which as explained breaks the scene down into zones. It would be extremely difficult for a photographer to spot meter a fast moving object such as this swallow. When defining these three zones of a photograph, a highlight is a bright area of the scene, a shadow is a dark area of a scene, and a midtone is dark or light but in between such as the gray of the birds wing below.
Fo cu sin g m o des
Focusing can be a challenging process on a nature shoot. From complex landscapes to fast moving wildlife during a shoot, focusing will be an important element in producing a quality photograph. Today’s DSLR cameras have complex focusing systems that have improved the speed of focus and in turn clean, crisp imagery (Figure 2.7). Practicing and reviewing the focusing mode selections before going afield will help you maintain a successful shoot. The following represents standard modes available and their use. AF Operation One Shot: One shot represents single-focus capability. With this mode, when you depress the shutter release halfway, it focuses Selection button just once with no continuous adjustment. This an ideal mode for subjects that are not moving such as landscape.
AI Servo: This focusing mode stands for continuous focus and is most useful for moving objects such as wildlife. As soon as you
depress your shutter release, the camera begins to focus. In continuous focusing mode, the camera detects the subject’s movement and refocuses to keep the object sharp. One thing to keep in mind is this mode uses a lot of battery power due to continuous focusing and refocusing.
AI Focus: This focusing mode is most DSLR cameras’ default mode. It stands for automatic autofocus and allows the photographer
to automatically jump back and forth from one shot to AI servo. It is useful to have the camera make quick focus adjustments.
Manual Focus: This function needs to be initiated on the actual lens. You will find a switch on the barrel of the lens labeled
AF and M (manual).This can be the most inaccurate focusing mode available but is needed at times. The focusing relies on you by simply turning the focusing ring on the lens. You will find it is needed when you have a complex image area and the AF modes have trouble picking one specific element of your focal point. Remember to convert back to AF as soon as posssible in order to get more accurate and faster focusing. 17
Wh ite b a la n ce selection Correct white balance is not a difficult process to accomplish. The process of white balance is the removal of unrealistic color cast so that objects which appear white in person are rendered white in your photo. It is taking in account color temperature of your light source which refers to the warmth or coolness of white light. There are multiple white balance settings available within DSLR cameras that are listed as menu items or sometimes as a control button on the camera body with a labeling of WB. The listing of white balance settings are complex, encompassing light sources such as tungsten or florescent lighting which are obvious representations of indoor lighting. As a nature photographer, you need to be conscious of shade, daylight, and cloudy. These are representations of lighting situations in nature and need to be adjusted accordingly. There also is an auto white balance setting (AWB) that adjusts automatically according to the lighting situation. I have found AWB is not always an accurate setting and should not be relied upon. With the photo represented below (Figure 2.8), I adjusted only the white balance setting maintaining all other settings and location of my DSLR. When analyzing the four images you will notice the color cast differences according to the white balance setting. The white balance setting of daylight is the correct white balance and is the best representation of what I viewed during the shoot.
Auto Figure 2.8
Fi le fo rm a ts
Essentially all cameras give the user the ability to shoot in multiple file formats. Varying levels of JPEG (joint photographers expert group) from small to large and the preferred format, RAW. The example below (Figure 2.9) is a view of what is provided internally to the user.
When shooting in a format like JPEG, image information is compressed and lost. Because no information is compressed with RAW, youâ€™re able to produce higher quality images, as well as correct problem images that would be unrecoverable if shot in the JPEG format. There are quite a few benefits in shooting RAW format as stated by the following; - The greatest level of quality When shooting RAW, you record all the data from the sensor. This will give you the highest quality file possible. The difference when you shoot in JPEG format is that the camera does its own processing to convert the RAW information into a JPEG. When you shoot RAW format, youâ€™re able to do that processing yourself. You can make the decisions on how the image should look and produce much better results. I believe in realistic representation of my imagery and perform minimal amounts of post processing procedures to my files. When stating post processing procedures, I essentially mean computer editing. My post processing usually consists of possible exposure adjustment, contrast manipulation, and cropping my imagery. Below is the dialog (Figure 2.10) representation available to you the user for RAW format manipulation. The processing available within the RAW format dialog is complex and experience is needed which can be accomplished through practice and some research.
- Records greater levels of brightness When discussing levels of brightness within a file, you are actually discussing the number of steps from black to white. The more steps recorded, the smoother the transition between tones in an image. The results of this smooth transition of tones is a higher quality, more realistic image for your final output. A JPEG records 256 levels of brightness while a RAW file can record up to 16,384 levels of brightness. 19
3 Digital Photography/Painting with Light Photography is painting with light. This is a statement that needs to be considered with each and every image you take with your DSLR. Understanding how to control your light transferring through your lens and striking your sensor is a large part of the technology of photography. There are three essential elements within a DSLR to control the light striking the sensor: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. This chapter will discuss the process of gauging these three elements and the effects they have on your final image. Mastering the process of controlling your exposures in nature can be challenging but at the same time creative and will generate quality imagery during your next photo shoot.
Exposure triangle Image exposure Light meter ISO Shutter speed Aperture Camera modes
The exposure triangle Achieving the correct exposure of an image will give a accurate representation of an image or the way you viewed the subject during the actual photo being taken. Too little light and you will have an underexposed image as you see in Figure 3.1. Notice how dark the image is with little detail being transfered. Too much light and you will have an over exposed image as you see in Figure 3.3. The image is white harsh and almost unrecognizable. The Figure 3.2 is a representation of a correctly exposed image with contrast, detail, and an accurate representation of the actual image as seen during the taking of the photograph.
TU AP ER
RG E LA
The three elements of exposure aperture, shutter speed, and ISO need to be analyzed with each photo opportunity. Taking from one of the three adds to another or needs adjustment. The exposure triangle (Figure 3.4) is a graphic representaion of these three elements of exposure. Aperture controls the area over which light can enter your camera or simply the lens opening. The shutter speed controls the duration of the exposure or how long the shutter is open so light can transfer to the sensor. And finally, the ISO controls the sensitivity of the cameraâ€™s sensor to a given amount of light.
Light meter The guide to follow for the correct amount of light to the image sensor is the light meter. The light meter for a DSLR is displayed at multiple locations. Within the viewfinder at the base, on the LCD monitor, and also on the LCD display on the top of the DSLR. The light meter simply reads the amount of light reflection off of your subject. As discussed in Chapter 2, there are different metering modes available, so the selection of the mode is important as you begin your shoot. As you manipulate your exposure controls, you will notice the manipulation of this light meter. The meter is essentially a chart displaying the level of exposure from under exposure, correct exposure, and over exposure. A small digital marker, as displayed on Figure 3.5, will designate the level of exposure by segments. Each segment is known as a stop. The example of under exposure designates that the meter is reading 2 stops under; each stop represents doubling the amount of light. under exposure
. 2 . . 1 . . 0 . . 1 . . 2 . +. 3
. 2 . . 1 . . 0 . . 1 . . 2 . +. 3
. 2 . . 1 . . 0 . . 1 . . 2 . +. 3 Figure 3.5
ISO In digital photography, ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor. Nature photography will present to you a variety of lighting situations due to the complexity of nature, weather, and the time of day. A studio photographer has a consistent reliable light source with no need to consider any of these variables that affect lighting. Understanding your lighting situations and analyzing the density of light available is an important part of creating an accurate exposure. When determining your ISO setting, the lower the number, the less the light sensitivity and the finer the grain as displayed with Figure 3.6. This image was taken midday with a strong light source. As you see, the image is clean and crisp with no visible grain. 100 ISO is the lowest available ISO setting available for most DSLR cameras. The goal a nature photographer in turn is a crisp, grain-free image for the final print, so a lower ISO setting such as 100 should always be your goal. When dealing with a low light situation such as dusk, you will need to increase the light sensitivity of your image sensor by increasing your ISO number, keeping in mind as you increase the ISO you will in turn have a higher grain such as you see with Figure 3.7. This image was shot at dusk with very low light available so a high ISO was needed to increase the light sensitivity of the image sensor. Looking at the image, you can easily see the grain and how it disrupts the quality of the image. As you are adjusting your ISO, you must also keep in mind your image blur, which can occur from a slow shutter speed without the use of a support system such as a tripod or simply a moving subject. Maintaining a balance of ISO, shutter speed, and aperture for a properly exposed image will be a challenge but a necessary process for quality imagery. less light sensitivity/ low grain 100 ISO
high light sensitivity/ high grain 200
25600 ISO 22
Sh u tte r sp eed
1 … 1/2 … 1/4 … 1/8 … 1/15 … 1/30 … 1/60 … 1/125 … 1/250 … 1/500 … 1/1000 … 1/2000 … 1/4000 Your shutter speed is the representation of how fast the shutter in your camera body opens and closes. A simpler way of understanding the mechanism would be the door that opens and closes as your shutter release button is depressed, allowing light to transfer to the image sensor. The slower the shutter opens and closes, the more light and image movement will occur. The faster the shutter opens and closes, the less the amount of light and image movement will occur. Shutter speeds within a DSLR are registered as seconds or fractions of a second. The example of the hummingbird displays how shutter speed can manipulate parts of an image. As you see in Figure 3.8, a slow shutter speed of 1/40 allows the wings to move during the exposure. In Figure 3.9 a fast shutter speed was used of 1/2000. A fast shutter speed will freeze the entire image, giving you a movement free image. As you manipulate your shutter speed, you must also change the aperture also must change to compensate for the amount of light allowing to strike your image sensor. I feel it necessary to bracket your shutter speeds when possible to capture the correct amount of movement.
shutter speed 1/40 • aperture f20 • ISO 6400 • shutter priority
shutter speed 1/2000 • aperture f7.1 • ISO 6400 • shutter priority 23
A p e rtu re
f1.4 … f2 … f2.8 … f4 … f5.6 … f8 … f11 … f16 … f22 The aperture of a DSLR is the lens opening which controls the amount of light transferring to the camera body. The aperture is registered by f-stops. The smaller the f-stop value, the more light will enter the lens. The bigger the number, the lesser the light. Therefore, an aperture of f1.8 will allow more light than an aperture of f22. Not only does the aperture control the amount of light, it also controls the depth of field. Depth of field is the distance between the closest and farthest objects in a photo that appears acceptably sharp. A large lens opening will give you a shallow depth of field as displayed in Figure 3.11. As you see in the meta data listed, a f4 aperture was used, which creates only partial focusing throwing the foreground tree out of focus. Figure 3.10 has a large depth of field displaying every part of the photo in focus from the foreground to the background. As you manipulate your aperture, the shutter speeds also change to control correct exposure. The use of depth of field can be a creative part of composition by isolating your specific subject due to focus. Large depth of field
shutter speed 1/5 • aperture f22 • ISO 1600 • aperture priority
Shallow depth of field
shutter speed 1/160 • aperture f4 • ISO 1600 • aperture priority 24
Ca me ra M o des Having a good understanding of the digital camera modes is essential to control the exposure in photography. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced amateur, you should know what each camera mode does, when it should be used, and under what circumstances. DSLR camera mode dials are similar with each brand as displayed in Figure 3.12. While certain modes can fully automate the camera exposure, there are other modes that let the photographer manually control some or all parameters of the exposure. The three modes that are my go-to modes are as follows: manual, shutter priority, and aperture priority. Each one of these modes are selected according to the subject matter and the situation while on your nature photography shoot. I do not use automated modes that control the settings due to the complexity of lighting in nature.
NIKON Figure 3.12
Manual mode: As the name suggests, manual mode stands for a full manual control of aperture, shutter speed,
and ISO. In this mode, you can manually set both the aperture and the shutter speed to any value you want â€“ the camera lets you fully take over the exposure controls. This mode is generally used in situations where the camera has a hard time figuring out the correct exposure in extreme lighting situations. I prefer manual mode while shooting landscape imagery knowing the complex lighting and time to evaluate the situation. Mode dial selection- M
Shutter priority mode: In shutter priority mode, you manually set the cameraâ€™s shutter speed, and the camera
automatically picks the right aperture for you, based on the amount of light that passes through the lens. This mode is intended to be used when motion needs to be frozen or intentionally blurred. If there is too much light, the camera will increase the lens aperture to a higher number, which decreases the amount of light that passes through the lens. When dealing with wildlife you have to consider image movement. Controlling this movement requires high shutter speeds to control image blur. Shutter priority mode allows this control quickly and accurately. Mode dial selection- TV Canon/ S Nikon
Aperture priority Mode: In aperture priority mode, you manually set the lens aperture while the camera
automatically picks the right shutter speed to properly expose the image. You have full control over subject isolation, and you can manipulate the depth of field because you can increase or decrease the lens aperture and let the camera do the math on measuring the right shutter speed. While shooting macro photography imagery, a shallow depth of field to isolate your image is an important part of the composition. Aperture priority will allow this control during your shoot. Mode dial selection- AV Canon/ A Nikon 25
4 Co m p o sition The word composition means the act of putting together or arranging parts. When composing a photograph, there are two elements you need to work with while composing an image, your angle of view and the lighting that is available. The combination of these two elements can at times be difficult to work with due to the unpredictability of nature. There are some basic standards that you can rely on while composing your image. I also feel there is another element that will help you create good composition within your photographs, and that is experience. The more time and patience you put into nature photography, the better your images will appear. While in a natural environment, there is creative composition all around you. Learning how to use this composition can be a very rewarding process that can change the way you view imagery every time you walk into a natural environment! The following are some techniques that can be used and built upon as you travel to your next photo destination:
Rule of thirds Isolate your subject Fill frame Accent with light Use frames Low angle of view Leading lines Create visual energy 26
Ru le o f th irds
Understanding the rule of thirds is the most basic of all photography rules. Dividing your image up into nine equal sections by a set of vertical and horizontal lines and placing the most important element in your shot where the lines meet can be a very creative technique and a good starting point for interesting composition. As you see in this example image of a fox kit, I placed his body directly on top of a vertical line with his head at an intersection of two lines giving this composition a unique creative balance. Using the rule of thirds can be done during the actual photograph or at the post processing stage within your computer editing software.
Iso la te yo u r subject
Using a shallow depth of field to isolate your subject is a very effective way of simplifying your composition. By using a wide aperture, you can blur the background that might otherwise distract from your main subject. As you see with this robin, the background is completely natural but blurred to the point that your eye concentrates on the subject, not the background of trees and plant life.
Fi ll fra m e
Leaving little to no space around your subject or filling the frame can be very effective and help the viewer concentrate completely on the main focal point. This can be a difficult process while photographing wildlife due to the fact you must get close to your subject to accomplish this type of composition. As you see with the raccoon, his face fills the frame with an accent of the tree on the edge. With the fill frame process, details appear that you would not see otherwise.
A cce n t with light
Accenting your subject or focal point with light gives the feel to the viewer that the subject has been painted with light. When you paint your subject with light, it isolates your image and draws the viewer in by giving it life. Notice the tree trunk of the pine tree and how the detail of the bark is isolated and draws you to that detail. Without that strong light source, it would be simply just be a tree trunk. 28
Use fra mes
Natural frames occur through the wilds of Pennsylvania. A frame can help isolate your subject by drawing your eye directly to it. A natural frame can hide unwanted items behind it and give depth to help create context. Trees are my primary way to frame a subject in nature. As you see in the example, the branches isolate the bird and draw the viewer to the subject.
Lo w a n g l e of view
Your angle of view of an image is something in nature that can be very easily changed or manipulated. Just walking up to a subject and relying on that first viewpoint can be a mistake. You need to move around your subject and view it in a unique manner. Anyone can walk up to a subject and just shoot that image, but lowering your angle can be very creative as you see in the example of the snow geese. A low angle of view can give a personal feel to what your subject views or sees while in its natural environment. 29
L e a d in g lines
Make the most out of lines that lead you into your focal point. Your eyes will unconsciously follow these lines and will change the way your audience views your imagery. There are leading lines throughout nature, such as a tree line within a deep forest or a mountain stream winding through a gorge from a waterfall. In the example image, I used the lines carved into the rock formation to lead the viewer to the beginning point of the stream. I composed the image so the lines in the rock pull you into the image to give the feeling of being in that environment.
C re a te v isu a l energy
Look for ways to convey energy with movement within the image. Possibly pan with a deer running through a field. While following the deer with the camera, the deer will be frozen in time but the background will be blurred. Panning creates movement and energy and another level of interest. In this example, I used an extended exposure with a shutter speed of 8 seconds which portrays movement within the water. Adding this creative element will create visual energy and possibly give the viewer a better understanding or feeling of being at that specific location. 30
Nature Galleries of Pennsylvania Nature in Pennsylvania is as diverse as its residents. This section has eight different topics that I feel are a great representation of what Pennsylvania has to offer. Each gallery starts with information on the gallery and helpful hints on photographing the topic. Also, excepting the black and white gallery, the meta data is listed with each image. You can use this digital information possibly as a guide to your personal camera settings. They represent how my camera was set for that specific image. My hope is you view these galleries and are enticed to enter the natural world of Pennsylvania. Use the educational information from Section One of this text as a guide to improve the quality of your imagery.
Old Growth Forest
Elk of Pennsylvania
The Great Migration
Nature in Black and White
Gallery Introduction.indd 1
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N a tu re P h o to g ra p hy Agenda Before entering the field for a photo shoot, it is important to be organized in order to produce quality imagery. Listed is a sequence I use each and every time I enter a shoot and during the shoot. As you experience more nature photography, these steps will become a part of the experience and will continue to improve your photography. As you view these steps keep in mind you will adapt these processes according to your level of expertise. Remember, the more time and patience you invest, the better quality imagery you will produce! Determine your subject matter Looking at these galleries you might decide on one of the topics and start your planning or possibly you have your own subject matter you would like to explore. Plan the time of year for the shoot Nature changes with the seasons. All four seasons have their own manipulation of nature from the landscape to the wildlife patterns. An example would be the elk of Pennsylvania. The bull elk are more active in the fall season due to the fact that it is their breeding season. Another large part of planning a shoot is determining your attire. Your attire will not only relate to the time of year but also your subject matter. You might need scent control at times. Some wildlife are extremely sensitive to human scent. Research your topic Items such as precise location of the topics you would like to photograph are extremely important. This can help determine your arrival times which relate directly to your available light. Do you want to be there for sunrise or possibly sunset? Another part of research that I feel is completely necessary is wildlife photography. You need to understand wildlife’s habits such as the animals’ feeding schedule, their habitat, and even how sensitive they are to you, the photographer. Organize your equipment Determine the lens or lenses necessary for the shoot. Not only do I determine the lens, but I also clean the lens before I enter the field. Charge your batteries and organize your SD cards. Also keep in mind file management; your SD cards should be free of files which would mean your last shoot has already been file managed. There is nothing worse during a shoot than running out of card memory. Think about your backpack and how it is organized. You want to be able to access your equipment quickly, so you need to know the location of that equipment in your pack. Angle of view Now that you have arrived at your location, you need to compose your image. When your working with landscapes, don’t rely on your first location. If possible, move around your subject and create a unique angle which can completely change the quality of your image. However, wildlife photography, more times than not, will not allow you to change location. Doing so will disrupt and possibly chase your subject away from the location. Analyze your light Keeping in mind photography is painting with light so this step is very important. Light changes with the day, early morning sunrise to midday light and then back to sunset. Each part of the daylight changes the appearance of your final product. My first step is my ISO selection, essentially, the light sensitivity of my camera. Remember, noise can be the enemy in the final print.The higher the ISO, yes, the more light sensitive but also the more noise. The metering mode relates to this category directly. Are you using spot metering or are you using center weighted? Mode selection My three go-to modes are TV, AV, or manual. If I am working with action, my go-to mode is TV, which relates to my shutter. If I am working with a static subject, I go to AV which relates to the lens opening or depth of field. Finally, manual mode gives me the most control possible during a shoot with both aperture and shutter. Focusing mode When dealing with landscape, one-shot focusing mode is my choice. The landscape isn’t moving from its present location, but when photographing bird life, for example, the birds are moving, so my mode would be AI Servo. Read your light meter Without analyzing your meter, your exposure can be incorrect. Overexposure and underexposure are at times hard to overcome. Read it constantly to resolve any issues! LCD monitor viewing/shoot Take your test shots and view them on your LCD monitor. Is the exposure what you want? Is the image blurred? Zoom in on the image within the LCD monitor and see because you might not ever get this opportunity in the wild again! And yes, don’t just take one shot. Shoot multiples of every subject and angle. It will pay off being able to choose your best image. 32 Gallery Introduction.indd 2
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Minute Nature As you are walking through a natural environment, you catch yourself looking at the overall and don’t realize the small things that are occurring around you. Take the time to macro analyze what you are missing. There are things that are living and striving as you walk by that can create amazing composition and that are truly the building blocks of the environment you are witnessing. Macro photography is a very creative outlet that can become a passionate part of your overall creative expression and generate a very compelling story of our natural world.
•Be prepared to get dirty! You will find yourself, with almost every macro shot, getting as close as possible to your subject matter. That means literally laying down on the forest floor or sometimes kneeling according to your subject’s location. I bring a kneeling mat in my backpack to separate me from the vegetation and yes, sometimes mud! •Use a dedicated macro lens for a clean, crisp image representation. I use a 50mm macro lens which allows me to get as close as 7 inches from my subject and maintain focus. •My preferred camera mode for macro photography is AV (aperture preferred). I use a large lens opening which will give me minimum depth of field or partial focus of my subject. •Spot metering mode is a must! You will be able to meter directly on your subject very simply due to how close your subject is in reference to your camera. You can maintain a very accurate reading of your subject for an extremely accurate exposure. •Creative macro photography is enhanced by unique angles of view. Simply walking up to a subject and shooting down at it can be accomplished by anyone. Getting low and moving around your subject can create an image never before imagined! •When shooting a minute subject, use a high ISO such as 400. This will allow higher shutter speeds and help eliminate camera blur. When you are tight to a subject, you will see even the most minimal movement in your final image. •Finally, take your time as you are exploring the natural world. Look closely at the forest floor for your subject matter hiding amongst the leaves or possibly look at plant life and some of its vibrant colors available for creative composition.
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 250 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/60 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 100 iso/ f/4 aperture/ 1/640 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 400 iso/ f/6.3 aperture/ 1/160 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 1600 iso/ f/5 aperture/ 1/1250 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 100 iso/ f/5.0 aperture/ 1/800 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 640 iso/ f/5.6 aperture/ 1/1000 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ center weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 400 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/500 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 400 iso/ f/7.1 aperture/ 1/60 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 100 iso/ f/5.6 aperture/ 1/200 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 100 iso/ f/3.2 aperture/ 1/250 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 200 iso/ f/2.8 aperture/ 1/160 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 100 iso/ f/4.0 aperture/ 1/1000 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 250 iso/ f/5 aperture/ 1/125 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 100 iso/ f/6.3 aperture/ 1/100 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 800 iso/ f/5.6 aperture/ 1/40 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 800 iso/ f/4.0 aperture/ 1/3200 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 400 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/1000 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 160 iso/ f/5.6 aperture/ 1/250 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 1000 iso/ f/3.5 aperture/ 1/1250 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 1000 iso/ f/7.1 aperture/ 1/320 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 100 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/160 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 800 iso/ f/7.1 aperture/ 1/160 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperure priority mode/ 800 iso/ f/4.0 aperture/ 1/400 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 800 iso/ f/7.1 aperture/ 1/320 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ spot metering
Rock Run: The Prettiest Stream in
Pennsylvania Several publications have anointed Rock Run the prettiest stream in Pennsylvania. After viewing this wonder of nature, you will have to agree. Tucked away in Loyalsock State Forest is an absolute gem winding through a 7-mile gorge filled with rock formations, waterfalls, deep holes, and abundant wildlife. While photographing the stream, you will find impressive composition around every turn.
•Safety is a concern while photographing Rock Run. It is a hidden gorge with rock formations that maintain moisture even on the sunniest days. It is very easy to slip as you are traveling along its banks. I use a boot with an aggressive sole to grip the rock formations as best as possible. •Research the stream before traveling to your destination. There are maps online that can identify prime locations for your shoot and also will help you plan your location for parking. •As you are traveling through the gorge, keep in mind there are rattlesnakes throughout the valley. Look ahead and be careful where you step. •The valley has a lush canopy that blocks out light throughout the entire gorge. A tripod will be needed for extended exposures and also to help keep your camera safe from the stream. •Rock Run has many waterfalls that can provide opportunities for images with water movement. I suggest using shutter speed priority (TV mode) which specifically provides you with shutter speed manipulation. The longer the exposure, the more movement that will occur displaying a unique creative composition. •Metering can be a challenge while composing your imagery. You will at times have extreme light coming through the canopy and at the same time large areas of shadows. I prefer spot metering in this situation while metering specifically in the midtone areas such as tree bark or rock formations. •Rock Run is a beautiful, fragile natural area. Please respect the gorge and tread lightly during your shoot. As I travel through the gorge, I make a point of picking up any litter I see. I always stand by the rule to bring out what I bring in.
META DATA- shutter priority mode/ 125 iso/ f/20 aperture/ 1.0 second shutter speed/ 35mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 200 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/40 second shutter speed/ 73mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 100 iso/ f/3.5 aperture/ 1/20 second shutter speed/ 15mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 400 iso/ f/4.0 aperture/ 1/125 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 200 iso/ f/22 aperture/ 3.2 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- shutter priority mode/ 200 iso/ f/14 aperture/ .30 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- shutter priority mode/ 100 iso/ f/16 aperture/ .3 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 200 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/6 second shutter speed/ 105mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 100 iso/ f/20 aperture/ 2.0 second shutter speed/ 15mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- shutter priority mode/ 200 iso/ f/22 aperture/ 1.0 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- shutter priority mode/ 200 iso/ f/14 aperture/ 1/4 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- shutter priority mode/ 125 iso/ f/22 aperture/ 3.2 second shutter speed/ 28mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 200 iso/ f/20 aperture/ 1/4 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 200 iso/ f/7.1 aperture/ 1/5 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 100 iso/ f/7.1 aperture/ 1.0 second shutter speed/ 28mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 100 iso/ f/20 aperture/ 4.0 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 100 iso/ f/20 aperture/ 4.0 second shutter speed/ 60mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 100 iso/ f/22 aperture/ 8.0 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 400 iso/ f/10 aperture/ 2.0 second shutter speed/ 28mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 125 iso/ f/4.0 aperture/ 1/30 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 100 iso/ f/5.6 aperture/ 2.0 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 400 iso/ f/5.6 aperture/ 1/80 second shutter speed/ 47mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- shutter priority mode/ 125 iso/ f/4 aperture/ 1/200 second shutter speed/ 47mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 100 iso/ f/22 aperture/ 5.0 second shutter speed/ 40mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
Theof Elk Pennsylvania Elk in Pennsylvania? That is a question I have heard many times. Pennsylvania had elk naturally up until 1880 when the last elk were taken by settlement. The Pennsylvania Game Commission first reintroduced elk from Yellowstone in 1913 with 50 to Clearfield and Clinton Counties. Today’s elk herd are direct descendants from this reintroduction. The herd is estimated around 1000, roaming freely through Elk, Clearfield, and Cameron Counties. There are large tracts of lands preserved for this majestic creature with established overlooks and even a Elk Museum that is a great reference to find their locations. The town of Benezette in Elk County is a prime location to start your photo shoot.
•Research the Pennsylvania elk herd, and the best start is the Elk Museum in Elk County. As you drive through the region, you will at times find them walking through private yards and along the roadway. I find it more challenging to photograph the elk herd by foot in its natural environment. Winslow Hill is a perfect starting point for this challenge. There are many hiking trails through some of the most remote areas of their range. Be prepared for long hikes with long vistas. Bring a pair of binoculars to scan the area for possible photo opportunities. Please keep your distance from these majestic creatures. They are wild and need your respect. •A tripod is a necessity for the possible longshot opportunities. I prefer a 100-400mm zoom lens, keeping in mind a long focal length can cause image blur due to camera movement. •I use AV mode with a larger lens opening such as F8. This will provide a shallow depth of field and more light available for exposure. You will find elk are not fast moving so a high shutter speed is not necessary. •The best hours for elk movement are early morning and evening. They tend to bed down in the afternoon with minimal movement.
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 125 iso/ f8 aperture/ 1/250 second shutter speed/ 350mm focal length/ partial metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 2000 iso/ f16 aperture/ 1/4000 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ center weighted average metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 125 iso/ f8 aperture/ 1/250 second shutter speed/ 350mm focal length/ partial metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 2000 iso/ f16 aperture/ 1/4000 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ center weighted average metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 125 iso/ f8 aperture/ 1/250 second shutter speed/ 350mm focal length/ partial metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 2000 iso/ f16 aperture/ 1/4000 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ center weighted average metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 500 iso/ f5.6 aperture/ 1/400 second shutter speed/ 260mm focal length/ center weighted average metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 1250 iso/ f5.6 aperture/ 1/4000 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ center weighted average metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 800 iso/ f5.6 aperture/ 1/4000 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ center weighted average metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 400 iso/ f16 aperture/ 1/250 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ center weighted average metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 2000 iso/ f8 aperture/ 1/30 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ center weighted average metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 1000 iso/ f8 aperture/ 1/2000 second shutter speed/ 120mm focal length/ center weighted average metering
Old Growth Forests of Pennsylvania An old growth forest, also termed a virgin forest, is a forest that has attained great age without disturbance. Due to this inattention, it exhibits unique ecological features with diverse habitat and increased biodiversity. It can have greatly varied tree heights and diameters with canopies that isolate the forest floor. This unique habitat can be creative due to all of its natural appearance that has not been touched by man. There are a series of these old growth forests throughout Pennsylvania that have somehow made it in spite of all of our destructive power. I chose to photograph three old growth areas: Alan Seeger Natural Area, Middleswarth Natural Area, and Cook State Forest.
•First and foremost, it is of great importance to respect the old growth environment. Always stay on the trail systems that have been established to help maintain its natural appearance and biodiversity. •Research the locations of the old growth forests. They are spread across the state and can be at times hard to locate. This gallery has been the most challenging to photograph due to their sparse distribution throughout the state. •Lighting is an issue within an old growth forest. The canopy blocks out the light, so your metering will be challenged. A tripod must be used due to the extended exposures you will need to use. In general, I use center weighted average metering with one shot focus. •Manual mode is my preferred camera mode for more control of my exposures. You will find not only old growth trees but also beautiful untouched streams. When photographing the stream environment, I choose TV priority for possible water movement. •You will find it difficult to capture an entire tree due to its size and complexity of the forest floor. A wide angle lens is necessary with a focal length of 24mm to possibly 35mm.
META DATA- manual mode/ 800 iso/ f20 aperture/ 1/320 second shutter speed/ 28mm focal length/ partial metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 100 iso/ f22 aperture/ 1.3 second shutter speed/ 75mm focal length/ partial metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 125 iso/ f4.5 aperture/ 1/13 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ center weighted average metering
META DATA- shutter priority mode/ 100 iso/ f10 aperture/ .4 second shutter speed/ 45mm focal length/ center weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 400 iso/ f7.1 aperture/ 1/80 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ partial metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 400 iso/ f8 aperture/ 1/125 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ center weighted average metering
META DATA- manual priority mode/ 400 iso/ f9 aperture/ 1/80 second shutter speed/ 75mm focal length/ partial metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 400 iso/ f11 aperture/ 1/80 second shutter speed/ 90mm focal length/ partial metering
META DATA- shutter priority mode/ 1600 iso/ f16 aperture/ 1/320 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ partial metering
META DATA- shutter priority mode/ 1600 iso/ f8 aperture/ 1/5000 second shutter speed/ 84mm focal length/ partial metering
META DATA- shutter priority mode/ 100 iso/ f22 aperture/ 1/250 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ partial metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 125 iso/ f20 aperture/ .8 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ partial metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 125 iso/ f8 aperture/ .3 second shutter speed/ 40mm focal length/ center weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 125 iso/ f8 aperture/ .3 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ partial metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 125 iso/ f22 aperture/ 25 second shutter speed/ 28mm focal length/ center weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 125 iso/ f22 aperture/ .5 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ partial metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 125 iso/ f22 aperture/ 1/10 second shutter speed/ 45mm focal length/ center weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 125 iso/ f8 aperture/ 1.3 second shutter speed/ 45mm focal length/ partial metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 1600 iso/ f8 aperture/ 1/320 second shutter speed/ 82mm focal length/ partial metering
META DATA- shutter priority mode/ 125 iso/ f22 aperture/ .5 second shutter speed/ 45mm focal length/ center weighted average metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 100 iso/ f22 aperture/ .8 second shutter speed/ 32mm focal length/ spot metering
The Great Migration Middle Creek Every year in northern Lancaster County, an incredible event occurs like clockwork. The skies fill with snow geese, Canadian geese, and tundra swans. Thousands migrating north make Middle Creek Wildlife Area in Lancaster County a must stop on their long journey north to the tundras of Canada. It is a living spectacle that must be witnessed to be believed. The sound and visual overload cannot be fully recorded by a camera’s lens. This gallery is a small representation of what you can see normally between February and March.
•Review the lay of the land! Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area has a museum with multiple documents including maps and specific information on the migration. It also has a very helpful staff who are there to answer your questions. Don’t forget to check out Willow Point it is a must at sunrise! •Be patient! You will have the opportunity to witness huge flocks both on land and water. They periodically get restless, and you will have an opportunity to have the sky filled with bird life. Waiting for this amazing occurrence will give you creative composition! •For the images of the wildlife resting on water and on land, support the camera with a tripod for a clean, vibration-free photograph. •In order to capture a flying image, hand hold your camera. Pan your camera with your subject. When panning, a shutter speed greater than your focal length will be needed. For example, 400mm focal length needs a shutter speed number greater than 400, such as 1/500. Read your light meter; you might need to increase your ISO in order to get the faster shutter speeds. This a good rule of thumb to help eliminate image blur due to camera movement. •My standard camera mode setting is aperture value (AV) with a large lens opening such as a f/4 or f/5.6. With this you create a shallow depth of field in order to isolate possibly one or two beautiful birds. Or approach the subject with a small lens opening such as f18 or f22, allowing an entire flock to maintain focus.
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 400 iso/ f/7.1 aperture/ 1/2000 second shutter speed/ 170mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 200 iso/ f/22 aperture/ 1/1600 second shutter speed/ focal length 50mm/ center weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 800 iso/ f/9 aperture/ 1/2000 second shutter speed/ 320mm focal length/ partial metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 400 iso/ f/5.6 aperture/ 1/640 second shutter speed/ 200mm focal length/ center weighted metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 200 iso/ f/10 aperture/ 1/250 second shutter speed/ 28mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 2000 iso/ f/16 aperture/ 1/4000 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ center weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 1600 iso/ f/5.6 aperture/ 1/1600 second shutter speed/ 130mm focal length/ center weighted average metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 500 iso/ f/5.6 aperture/ 1/4000 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 200 iso/ f/5.6 aperture/ 1/1600 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 20000 iso/ f/18 aperture/ 1/2000 second shutter speed/ 120mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 200 iso/ f/5.6 aperture/ 1/1600 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 200 iso/ f/5.6 aperture/ 1/1600 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 1600 iso/ f/15.6 aperture/ 1/4000 second shutter speed/ 310mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 1600 iso/ f/15.6 aperture/ 1/1600 second shutter speed/ 115mm focal length/ center weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 400 iso/ f/5.6 aperture/ 1/640 second shutter speed/ 235mm focal length/ center weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 1600 iso/ f/5.6 aperture/ 1/2000 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 4000 iso/ f/5.6 aperture/ 1/4000 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 1000 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/500 second shutter speed/ 100mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 400 iso/ f/7.1 aperture/ 1/2500 second shutter speed/ 100mm focal length/ spot metering
Pennsylvania Wildlife Pennsylvania’s wildlife is as diverse as its landscape. It has learned to adapt to a heavily populated state and is thriving. Photo opportunities abound, and sometimes you will find wildlife in some surprising locations from finding a nesting owl in a hollow tree at a county park to a black bear miles back in a state forest. Wildlife photography can be rewarding, but as photographers, we have the responsibility to not disrupt our subject matter. You have to remember we are in their environment that wildlife relies on to survive.
•Research your quarry! Learn about the wildlife you wish to photograph and its habitats before you arrive at the location. Knowing as much as possible about your subject will help you get your shot! •Understand the landscape you will be shooting in. This will allow you to dress accordingly from your footwear to possibly camouflage clothing. You will want to blend into your environment as much as possible, allowing you to get as close as possible. With wildlife photography, the closer the better! I use a zoom lens with a focal length from 100mm to 400mm. The longer the focal lengths, the closer your subject will appear. •Keep in mind that wildlife is always in motion, so a fast shutter speed will help you eliminate image blur. This might mean increasing your ISO to arrive at these higher speeds. An example would be photographing a hummingbird and trying to eliminate wing blur. This shot could require a shutter speed as fast as 1/2000. •My preferred camera mode is aperture preferred. This allows me to isolate my subject with a shallow depth of field which is important especially with a complex background. A large lens opening such as an f/3.5 will provide a shallow depth of field. •Analyze your light. Where is the light falling? Is it enhancing your subject or is it hindering the composition? If possible, allow the sun to enhance your subject. •Unlike landscape, wildlife has eyes; as a human, you make eye contact. That is why I feel it is important to focus on the eyes. If they are in focus, you have the main ingredient of a great image. •Time of day is crucial. You will find early morning and evening hours wildlife are more active. Get there early and stay late! •Online research can be very informative--eBird, Flickr groups, just to name a few. Being able to communicate with others is very important and much can be learned from fellow photographers! •Tripod use is a must. Keep that camera motionless. By doing this, you have a better change of getting a clean, crisp image. •And finally, have patience! The longer you stay afield, the more experience you will have with your quarry. Putting the time in will pay off. 160
Screech Owl Red Phase
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 800 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/500 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 400 iso/ f/5.6 aperture/ 1/500 second shutter speed/ 200mm focal length/ partial metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 1600 iso/ f/7.1 aperture/ 1/400 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ pattern metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 100 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/50 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ spot metering
Ring Billed Duck & Muskrat
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 2500 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/1250 second shutter speed/400mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 1000 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/320 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ center weighted metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 500 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/640 second shutter speed/ 300mm focal length/ partial metering
Red Fox Kit
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 800 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/250 second shutter speed/ 285mm focal length/ pattern metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 500 iso/ f/5.6 aperture/ 1/4000 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 400 iso/ f/10 aperture/ 1/800 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ partial metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 800 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/1600 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ center weighted metering
Juvenile Gray Squirrels
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 500 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/1000 second shutter speed/ 375mm focal length/ spot metering
Ring Billed Duck , Male & Female
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 2500 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/4000 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ spot metering
Screech Owl Gray Phase
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 3200 iso/ f/5.6 aperture/ 1/250 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ center weight metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 500 iso/ f/5.6 aperture/ 1/1250 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ spot metering
Red Winged Black Bird
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 1600 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/3200 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ spot metering
Great Horned Owlet
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 1250 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/320 second shutter speed/ 390mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 500 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/640 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/center weighted metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 3200 iso/ f/9 aperture/ 1/400 second shutter speed/ 100mm focal length/ partial metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 2000 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/1250 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 1000 iso/ f/7.1 aperture/ 1/2000 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ partial metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 1600 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/400 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ partial metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 500 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/1250 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ center weighted metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 800 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/250 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ center weighted metering
META DATA- aperture priority mode/ 1250 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/50 second shutter speed/ 400mm focal length/ center weighted metering
Winter's Landscape Winter in Pennsylvania can be a very creative time to enter into the wilds. The addition of snow to the landscape adds a element to the composition that can only be created naturally, enhancing the already beautiful environment. When following a mountain stream through the landscape, the snow encapsulates the waterways, creating a level of contrast that can only be a positive addition to your shoot.
•Preparation is extremely important when entering nature during the winter environment. Your attire can make or break your shoot. Appropriate footwear I feel is the one element that has to be chosen wisely. I prefer a insulated rubber boot which can allow me to cross mountain streams and at the same time allow me to traverse through deep snow. Along with the footwear, a water repellent jacket and pants are also a must! •With this level of light reflection, you must constantly analyze your light meter. I normally use 100 ISO which makes my DSLR lowly light sensitive and also produces a minimal amount of noise within my print. •A tripod or monopod is a must, not only to help eliminate camera movement but to also keep equipment out of the snow. •I prefer manual mode for winter landscapes unless I am shooting a mountain stream and would like to have water movement. At that point, I use TV mode (shutter priority) so I can bracket shutter speeds to produce varying levels of water movement. •Spot metering mode is my go-to metering process. I will meter directly on a mid-tone object such as a rock. If you meter directly off of the snow, you will find your mid-tone and shadow areas can be underexposed due to the brightness of the snow you are metering off of.
META DATA- manual mode/ 640 iso/ f/4 aperture/ 1/640 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 100 iso/ f/5.6 aperture/ 1/500 second shutter speed/ 58mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 100 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/160 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 500 iso/ f/4 aperture/ 1/1250 second shutter speed/ 47mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 100 iso/ f/22 aperture/ 1/10 second shutter speed/ 70mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 100 iso/ f/9 aperture/ 1/125 second shutter speed/ 28mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 640 iso/ f/6.3 aperture/ 1/200 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 640 iso/ f/5.6 aperture/ 1/400 second shutter speed/ 55mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- shutter priority mode/ 100 iso/ f/18 aperture/ 1.6 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 800 iso/ f/5.0 aperture/ 1/640 second shutter speed/ 67mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- shutter mode/ 100 iso/ f/4.0 aperture/ 1/25 second shutter speed/ 35mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 125 iso/ f/4.0 aperture/ 1/500 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 125 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/125 second shutter speed/ 70mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 125 iso/ f/22 aperture/ 1/15 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 640 iso/ f/6.3 aperture/ 1/200 second shutter speed/ 24mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 100 iso/ f/22 aperture/ 1.6 second shutter speed/ 100mm focal length/ spot metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 100 iso/ f5/4.0 aperture/ 1/25 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ spot metering
DATAmanual mode/ 100 iso/ f/9 aperture/ META DATA- manual mode/ 200 META iso/ f5.6 aperture/ 1/100 second shutter speed/ 1/160 focal second length shutter 28 mmspeed/ 65mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering LOCATION- Tioga County Pennsylvania
META DATA- manual mode/ 100 iso/ f/8 aperture/ 1/160 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ centered weighted average metering
META DATA- manual mode/ 100 iso/ f/7.1 aperture/ 1/125 second shutter speed/ 50mm focal length/ spot metering
Nature in Black and White
Nature in black and white? You might ask that with today’s technology, isn’t black and white an old form of technology? Yes, it is an old form of technology, but black and white, as many will agree, depicts an emotional impact that you don’t recieve with color. Color hides the true essence of the subject matter, but with a black and white image, you are concentrating on the subject’s contrast and its placement within the image area. One has to realize when using an DSLR, the image is recorded in RGB mode or full color. The black and white conversion occurs during post processing stages. A quality black and white photgograph has contrast or a creative balance of shadow and highlight areas. I have found through experience that I do not shoot with the idea of generating a black and white photograph; it occurs to me after the shoot that the image would be a creative black and white photo.
Gl o ssa ry aperture- The adjustable opening—or f-stop—of a lens determines how much light passes through the lens on its way to the surface of the camera’s imaging sensor. aperture priority- A metering mode in which the photographer sets the desired lens aperture (f-stop) and the camera in turn automatically sets the appropriate shutter speed to match the scene being recorded. autofocus- The ability of the camera and lens to keep the subject in focus during an exposure. Autofocus can be continuous, meaning focus is maintained regardless of where it moves within the frame, or single, meaning the point of focus is locked regardless of where the subject may move. average metering- Average metering takes all of the light values for a given scene—highlights, shadows, and mid-tones—and averages them together to establish an overall exposure. AWB (auto white balance)- An in-camera function that automatically adjusts the chromatic balance of the scene to a neutral setting, regardless of the color characteristics of the ambient light source. bracketing- Bracketing involves taking multiple images of the same scene, usually in 1/3, 1/2, or full-stop increments, to create a choice of exposure options. ccd (charged couple device)- A semiconductor device that converts optical images into electronic signals. CCDs contain rows and columns of ultra small, lightsensitive mechanisms (pixels) that generate electronic pulses when electronically charged and exposed to light. color temperature- A linear scale for measuring the color of ambient light with warm (yellow) light measured in lower numbers and cool (blue) light measured in higher numbers. Measured in terms of “degrees Kelvin*,” daylight (midday) is approximately 5600K, a candle is approximately 800K, an incandescent lamp is approximately 2800K, a photoflood lamp is 3200 to 3400K, and a midday blue sky is approximately 10,000K. depth of field- Literally, the measure of how much of the background and foreground area before and beyond your subject is in focus. Depth of field can be increased by stopping the lens down to smaller apertures. Conversely, opening the lens to a wider aperture can narrow the depth of field. DSLR (digital single lens reflex)- A single lens reflex (SLR) camera that captures digital images. exposure- Exposure is the phenomenon of light striking the surface of film or a digital imaging sensor. The exposure is determined by the volume of light passing through the lens aperture (f/stop) combined with the duration of the exposure (shutter speed). focal length- The distance from the lens to the image sensor. ISO (international organization for standards)- A speed rating expressed as a number indicating an image sensor’s sensitivity to light. jpeg (joint photographers experts group)- JPEG is a “lossy” compression format, capable of reducing a digital image file to about 5% of its normal size. LCD (liquid crystal display)- LCD screens, usually found on the rear of digital cameras, allow you to preview and review photographs you are about to take or have taken.
megapixel- A megapixel contains 1,000,000 pixels and is the unit of measure used to describe the size of the sensor in a digital camera. memory- The camera’s file-storage medium. Most cameras use flash memory, which is a safe, highly reliable form of storage that doesn’t need power to hold the images after they are saved. noise- Noise is the appearance of color artifacts in a digital image. Mostly noticeable in the shadow areas of images captured at higher ISO ratings, the image processors used in many current digital cameras utilize noise-suppression software to minimize the appearance of noise artifacts. overexposure- The result of recording too much light when taking a picture, which results in a lighter image. pixel- Short for picture element, pixels are the tiny components that capture the digital image data recorded by your camera. Pixels are also the individual components that collectively recreate the image captured with your digital camera on a computer monitor. The more pixels there are, the higher the screen or image resolution will be. resolution- Refers to the number of pixels, both horizontally and vertically, used to either capture or display an image. The higher the resolution, the finer the image detail will be. RGB color- RGB is an additive color model in which red, green and blue light are added together in various ways to reproduce a broad array of colors for representation and display as images on computers and other digital devices. SD card (secure digital)- The standard memory card used with DSLR cameras. shutter- A mechanism in the camera that controls the duration of light transmitted to the sensor. shutter priority- A metering mode in which the shutter speed is fixed and the exposure is controlled by opening or closing the lens aperture. spot metering- Spot metering is the measurement of very small portions of the total image area. underexposure- The result of recording too little light when taking a picture, which results in a dark image. view finder- System used for composing and focusing on the subject being photographed. white balance- The camera’s ability to correct color cast or tint under different lighting conditions including daylight, indoor, fluorescent lighting, and electronic flash. Also known as “WB,” many cameras offer an Auto WB mode that is usually—but not always—quite accurate.
NATURE IN BLACK AND WHITE
PENNSYLVANIA NATURE GALLERIES
ELK OF PENNSYLVANIA
THE GREAT MIGRATION
OLD GROWTH FOREST
Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or interested in knowing how to improve the quality of your photography, The Nature of Photography is your resource for a simplified approach to learning the basics. The use of the wilds of Pennsylvania will guide you through digital single lens reflex cameras and their functions. The galleries provided will entice you to use your knowledge gained to enter the natural world and produce your own quality imagery. Some of the concepts and information provided are:
• Equipment needed for a successful photo shoot
• In-depth detail in the operation of digital single lens reflex camera
• Detailed informative concepts when working with composition and light
• The use of the exposure triangle for proper image exposure
• Multiple galleries of some of the most remote natural remaining areas left in Pennsylvania
Learn the basics of nature photography through the natural beauty of Pennsylvania.