I recently had the opportunity discuss photography and field craft with International Bird Rescue. Many thanks to Russ Curtis and International Bird Rescue for the generous and lovely presentation. They do the work of angels -- for the many wild ones among us.
After the Snow Geese stippled our little Honda with their version of a Pollack drip painting, I waited a while before heading to the car wash, thinking it would be a waste of resources when the rain would just wipe the body clean within a day or two. But, faithful to Northwestern climate patterns, the rain came in fine mists rather than cleansing sheets. A few days of drizzle left us not with a clean [...]
Long-billed Curlew photographed at sunset, on the dunes at Morro Strand State Beach in California. These thoughts are an extension of the discussion that began under my piece on post-processing. Thanks to my blogging friends who shared their methodologies and perspectives, initiating some thought-provoking explorations of realism in photography. I heard a lecture recently where Picasso's view of photography was described this way: For Picasso, "photography was never an exact registration of a scene, but [...]
A friend linked to this story in her Facebook feed today: Why do Photo Contest Winners Look Like Movie Posters? Post-processing is obviously not a new topic ... and it's one that's been evolving alongside digital photography and darkroom skills. This particular piece questions the lighting on the winning image in the World Press contest, citing photojournalistic ethics in the critique. (The World Press winning image and other entries are here: World Press Photo.) I've [...]
The first time I witnessed a blast of Snow Geese I described it this way: The sound of flocking snow geese is sometimes described as a “cacophony,” a “symphony,” a “storm” — a “baying of hounds,” a “noise blizzard.” The sound, in fact, varies. There’s a comfortable warbling of goose grumbles and calls as the birds graze, punctuated by escalations that bubble up in sections of the flock. Then, there is the silence — a [...]
My husband Hugh and I always joke that each of us should have married a business manager. We're two happy campers when our heads are clouded with fonts and pixels ... clearly reticent in the task of self-promotion. So, up until today, I hadn't even included my website URL on my Facebook page. But, I did want to mention this new, colorful, and intellectually diverse magazine out of Chico, California called Empirical. It's a current [...]
Today, I came upon a contentious thread about bird banding on my local birding listserv. This thread made me think of the emails I got in response to my Snowy Owl post -- the post which criticized the photography field ethics we witnessed up at Boundary Bay. On today's listserv, a member birder had concerns about the effects of banding on birds like dippers. The subsequent conversation veered toward some strong opinions, and someone posted [...]
A friend of mine recommended 500px as an alternative to Flickr. Between Flickr, Facebook, Linked In and my inactive Twitter account, I'm maxed out on social networking, something I've never been all that hot on, anyway. But, I meandered over to 500px because the interface is supposedly beautiful, and the community gets rave reviews. The first thing I noticed was, of course, the vivid layout of the front page. It's image driven, with very little [...]
Snow Owls on driftwood, shot from the dike trail at Boundary Bay - ©ingridtaylar - Click for Larger Image My only intent in visiting Boundary Bay was to get a glimpse of Snowy Owls. I've never seen them in the wild, and although I brought my camera, I didn't expect to be close enough to get any shots. My gear has its limits, and I also knew the owls were celebrities among birders and photographers. [...]
Boundary Bay, British Columbia Edited to add (2/17/12): Since I posted this, I've had animated discussions with photographers who disagree with my stance on this owl/space/ethics issue. They've told me it's acceptable for photographers to be out in the marshes, as long as they don't flush the owls. I wanted to find out what the "official" policy was, irrespective of my personal feelings. So, I called the regional office to get their take. The person [...]
You may have noticed that with many of my posts, I describe the location of my photos in most general terms. There's a reason for this, and it has nothing to do with hoarding a choice photography spot. In fact, most places where I've photographed wildlife are quite open to the public and well-known by birders and photographers throughout the year. In those cases, I may mention the park, but not the precise spot if [...]
Here's a great way to make a photographer happy: After viewing her photos, say something like "wow, you must have really great gear." Everyone knows photography is not about the gear. Right? Well, it isn't . . . but sometimes it is. Artistic vision is definitely not about the gear. And you'll rankle a lot of artistic people if you say it is. I know a few people who are stocked to the gills with [...]
"May the most you wish for be the least you get." ~ Irish saying Happy New Year! The Photo: Photographer's reflection (me) in a green, reflective gazing globe. I'm bundled up on a 25-degree morning -- cold, crisp sun. I cut out the globe and pedestal and tweaked a few color settings. And by that I mean just a slight reduction in saturation since the green was so green on this sphere.
These globes are deceivingly simple if you have a version of Adobe Photoshop: Create Amazing Circles. The original shots were taken in and around Seattle, then swirled into Amazing Circles by way of digital trickery. Downtown Seattle waterfront, shot looking south from Pier 66 at sunset: A boom photographed near the Port of Seattle: Foliage. Pigeons perched near Pike Place Market, with city building in background: Autumn trees at Marymoor Park in Redmond, shot looking [...]
Composition is complex. It's not that the simple rules -- like the Rule of Thirds -- are so tough to grasp. It's that the learning curve from first applying rules to then breaking rules is one chocolate mess of subjectivity.
The biggest bennie of attaching a Creative Commons license to your work is the unanticipated adaptation of that work in a share-alike universe. What? That is to say, I love the chain reaction that ensues from a single act of licensing -- seeing the places your work travels, usually with proper attribution and adherence to the license. One of the reasons I post some of my images under a Creative Commons license (Flickr) is to [...]
This might be what I love most about my camera: it makes something interesting out of the most banal objects. Here's where I started . . . with a lonely and neglected patio table getting pummeled by hail. Finding the Angle That's obviously a mundane shot. Just like any written piece, a photo should tell a story or have an angle on the subject. When I was first honing my craft, I bought [...]
"This country ain't big enough for the two of us. So I'm giving you 'til sundown to get out of town." ~ The Virginian