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Tips for Wildlife

Wildlife Photography Tips

On a recent photo tour we discussed some options for photographing wild horses vs birds vs landscapes. So we thought we would some some of those tips with everyone.

Shutter Priority

We often hear people comments that their subjects are blurry. Or they have such a high ISO to get a fast shutter speed. Chances are they are not using shutter priority or they just don’t know what shutter speeds they really need to freeze (or blur) the subject. Here is a basic guide:

Subject Examples Little / No Movement Walking / Moderate Speed Running / In Flight
Small Game
Coyote, Bobcat
1/500-1500
1/1500-1/2000
1/2000+
Large Game
Elk, Deer, Horses
1/250 -1/500
1/500-1500
1/1500+
Large Birds
Heron, Eagles
1/500-1/1000
1/1000-1/1500
1/1500+
Small Brids
Cardinals, Nuthatch, Robin
1/500-1/1500
1/1500-1/2000
1/2000+

Even though those are a good starting point, you should always start with a shutter speed that is equal to or greater than  your focal length. shooting at 400mm then you should have 1/400 or faster, 200mm then 1/200 or faster, 100mm  then 1/100, etc. Round up to the nearest setting your camera offers.

Adjustable focal point

You definitely want a selectable focal point and be able to move it. That joystick or the touch screen is the best way. The joysticks usually need to be set in the custom options to do this. Birds in flight or other fast moving subjects, you also want to try expanded focal points. The Sony A7/A9 has some pretty good detection software, but the small focal point or expanded is a better option in most cases.

Continuous Focusing

Some cameras offer a few varieties but the continuous focusing/tracking is a must for moving subjects. Canon calls it AI Servo, Nikon & Sony call is AF-C. In either case wherever you have a selected focal point your camera will track that point.

AF-ON or OFF

Most people know this as “Back button focus” Canon, Nikon, Sony call all have a button configured to be a back button focus but you can also configure it to be a focus stop button which work great with continuous focus. For example, your subject stops moving and you want to compose your shot in camera, you press the button and locus is locked while you have the button pressed.

Learn to read the histogram

The goal would be to have a curve that is kind of centered (from the left and right). If the curve touches the right then you have pure white (or stuff is over exposed to pure white). If the curve touches the left then pure black (or stuff is under exposed so much it’s just black). In either extreme no data is available. 

The histogram is also used in editing and if you have white or black in your image then they should actually be really close or even touching the left and right.

Safety Shift

If you shoot in shutter priority but want to force increased depth of field then enable Safety Shift and use ISO. You can shot using Auto ISO and you camera will select the lowest ISO and widest aperture like usual. But, if you set your ISO to 400 with safety shift enabled your camera will increase the base aperture, now if your light goes away your camera will increase the ISO. Without safety enabled with ISO 400 set your camera will stay there and begin to underexpose as light fades. 

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The brands we stand behind

The Brands We Stand Behind

In the world of photography there are countless companies providing cameras, lenses, tripods, prints, bags, filters, and various other gadgets. To be honest it can be very overwhelming. Something as simple as buying your first camera, or finding a way to travel with your gear, or even just wanting to print one of your favorite images just for yourself…. one search will yield endless companies fighting for your business.

People frequently ask what we shoot or who we use to print, so we thought we would just put it here for you. We even have the honor to be brand ambassadors for some of these companies, while others are just ones we found to be reliable over the last 15 years.

Canon

GuraGear

Really Right Stuff

ProMediaGear

SmallRig

Pelican

Adobe

Bay Photo Lab – New Customers get 25% off your first order

Nevada Fine Art Printers

CG Pro Prints – Use code: PROGPW18 for 15% off your first order
10% off Acrylic PRO use: GWVIP112019 Exp: 12/01/2019

DJI –   Click Here for the DJI Mavic 2 Pro 1″ CMOS Drone, $1,449, buy now with free shipping! See the bigger picture with the Hasselblad camera.

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What Art means to you

What Art means to you

We are pretty sure that the art we create has a unique meaning to everyone. We feel that there is always an emotion attached. Something that brings you back to a time, an adventure, or a feeling. For some reason, images of trees bring back childhood memories for many. It could’ve been a camping trip, a tree house, a rope swing, a trip to a lake, climbing trees, a hike or maybe even your childhood backyard.

Sul Duc Cascade

Water, promotes tranquility and relaxation. The visuals can even recall the sounds of waves or rushing water,  the smell of sea water, and even the feeling of the mist in the air. Desert scenes have a similar effect but carry solitude and warmth.

Wildlife is different because for many it is a personal encounter, but for others it actually brings a sense of adventure or excitement. We feel wildlife is majestic in this way. Its not just about a past experience, they can carry you into the future. 

Waiting for Lunch | GP Walsh Photography

Every image is a destination, but we think it truly represents a journey. Either one from days long ago or one that is yet to come. We know that every image has a different journey for each person, but we feel like we were able to take each of you on the journey with us.

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Photography as Art

Photography as Art

I am sure you are reading this on either your retina or HD display Laptop, or perhaps a 27″ iMac (or maybe something even bigger), and there could also be a 55″ or larger HD (or 4k, or more) television somewhere in your home. Any of which can display stunning images in brilliant colors. Then there are also those who are so eager to show off their cellphone photos. So, with all this technology, are printed image still of interest?

We think so, and we think the proof is everywhere around you. First literally, if you look around any public area, you will see images printed onto something. If you were to attend and art fair or a craft show, you will likely see several photographers selling prints. 

Second, on the photographer side, it seems like a new printing company is popping up every week. And, the tried and true companies are continuing to expand. They are hiring employees and adding printers. The labs are also coming out with  new photographic papers, inks, and mounting options. 

Clearing new artists are emerging and new printing options are being created, neither of which would continue to grow in photographic art was going by the wayside.

With all that said, now is a perfect time to those who appreciate nature to collect photographic prints. The quality of images being produced today is better than ever before. Every part of the equation is better, the cameras, lenses, labs, print surfaces, inks or dyes, and most importantly the photographers.

 

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New Website

Titans in the Mist

New website!

Over the past 15 years we have had several websites. As technologies advances and personal preferences change. We have decided to put the creative control back into our own hands once again.

Oxbow Autumnal Sky

Why We switched

The biggest factor for changing our site again was to increase the focus to our fine art prints. We wanted more control over our printing and a more a personal connection with our customers. We have narrowed our product and size options to what we feel are the best options available on the market today. This change also allows us to handle custom orders directly with collectors.

Looking for your own website?

If you are looking to publish your images online there are some great services our there like SmugMug. They have some very simple drag and drop options and they even have print order fulfillment options. We still support using smugmug. and if you would like to check them out. Click Here and if you end up creating site with them you will save 15% off an annual subscription by following the link. 

If you may also want to check our another company called Wide Range Galleries. They have a nice portfolio of photographer websites. They are a little pricey but if you don’t want pay sales commissions or learn to build your own, they are top notch.

Ultimately we built our own website. Over the last 20 years we have designed several websites for other businesses and it was just the right time to design one centered on the fine art side of photography.