My Thoughts on “Bright Ideas: You be the Photo Editor” « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

My Thoughts on “Bright Ideas: You be the Photo Editor”

My Thoughts on “Bright Ideas: You be the Photo Editor”

It’s been a while since I posted “Bright Ideas: You be the Photo Editor.” Helen Longest-Saccone, the Editor-in-Chief of Nature Photographer magazine, has been busy up in Maine working on some new projects and just got back to me yesterday with her selects. I will share those with you at the end of this post. You will find the original post here. And you can view the Editor’s Lightbox here.

Do understand that I love each of the images in the lightbox; I never send anything out for consideration that I do not judge to be technically excellent and artistically pleasing. Here I present my picks for each category. If you would like to see the tech specs you can find them with each image in the lightbox in slideshow mode. They will be on the lower left and you will need to scroll down a bit to view them. Thanks a stack to all who tried their hand at making the selections.

To learn more about Nature Photographer magazine click here but do not expect to connect until the blizzard leaves Maine 🙂

My Picks

Below are my category picks each followed by a brief educational comment.

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Work right on sun angle: Painted Bunting, Cozad Ranch, Linn, TX.

I remember moving the blind a bit every ten minutes so that the sun angle lined up perfectly with the left edge of the tiny man-made pond.

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When the light is bright, think tight: Chinstrap Penguin, Half-Moon Island,Antarctica.

Here the sun was coming a shade from the right so I got in tight and used just a bit of flash.

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Use lots of flash: Yellow-billed Kite, Ngorngoro Crater, Tanazania

With a bright sunny midday to contend with I used a Better Beamer on my flash and used full power: Manual Mode at 1:1 know that there was no way I could overexpose the shaded undersides of the bird. I was right! This very old digital image was created in January 2001 with the EOS-1D. Heck, it might have been 2002 if I had the date wrong on the camera….

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Create pleasing blurs with the help of light-robbing filters: Snow Geese Blast-Off, Bosque del Apache NWR, NM

This one was created at 10:31 am with a warming polarizer screwed onto the front of my 100-400 zoom lens and rotated to dark as possible. You can purchase the 77mm size here. You can learn lots more about creating pleasing blurs in “A Guide to Pleasing Blurs” by Denise Ippolito and yours truly.

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Utilize strong backlight (gasp!), Backlit Sunflower, Bosque del Apache NWR, NM

Here the flower was backlit by the strong New Mexico sun. The background was a pile of dirt that was obviously in its own deep shade!

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Create shade for your subject: Mexican Milkweed blossoms, Hidalgo County, TX

Linda Robbins, the Hummingbird Queen, kindly shaded this patch of flowers for me with her body as I photographed it with a 500mm lens and two extension tubes.

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Find a subject in the shade: Barnacles, Parker River NWR, MA

I was walking down the beach in bright sun with a group. I said, “I want to find a flat rock completely covered with barnacles. But the barnacles need to be on the shaded side of the rock. And it needs to be a big rock so I don’t have to get down on my knees on this rocky beach. When we find the perfect rock, I will use a gold reflector to light up the barnacles.” I did just what I said, set up the image with the 180 macro lens (and film!). I invited the group to check out my image by looking through the viewfinder. (There were no LCD screens on film cameras….) Well, the first person who checked out my image immediately commented, “You are SO lucky.” Man, you gotta love it.

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Work right on sun angle: Hood Mockingbird threat posture, Punta Suarez, Hood Island, Galapagos

Since working right down sun angle is the most valuable tip that I can give for those hoping to create pleasing images in bright sun, I used two image to illustrate the concept 🙂

Helen’s Picks

Below are Helen’s picks. She was not constrained by categories as you were 🙂

American Wigeon head portrait calling male, Bosque Del Apache NWR, San Antonio, NM.jpg
Roseate Spoonbill wing stretch, Alafia Banks, Tampa Bay, FL
Marine Iguana showing teeth, Punta Espinoza, Fernandina, Galapagos.jpg
Yellow-billed Kite-best, Ngorngoro Crater, Tanzania
Olive Baboon yawning, Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania
Ring-necked Duck, vertical, head w water drops, Phoenix AZ
Mew Gull on nest in shade, Kukak Bay, Katmai National Park, AK
Horned Puffin flared flight backlit, Duck Island, Lake Clark National Park, AK
Sunflower backlit vertical, Bosque Del Apache NWR San Antonio NM
Gentoo Penguin, vertical w bill open, Sea-Lion Island,Falkland Islands
Turkey-Vulture, vertical, Indian Lake Estates, FL

You can view Helen’s picks in the Editor’s Lightbox here.

Helen picked 11 images so that she would have some leeway when it comes time for the color layout. We only picked two of the same images. No problema there as I did say that I love all of them. I love the spoonbill wing stretch. And the iguana showing its teeth. Canon chose that one for an on line Photo District News advertorial. Not sure how I did not pick the Olive Baboon yawning; it was created on a hellaciously sunny and hot afternoons in a deep forest. An instant before I created this image one of the clients asked, “Why are we here?” I pushed the shutter button, showed him the image on the back of the camera, and said, “Here’s why.” He of course missed the image…..

I will see you all again soon. Thanks to the almost 100 folks who have already ordered their Lens Align Mark IIs from us and to those who commented favorably on the tutorial. A parting thought: after viewing the lightbox consider how blessed a life I have led….

10 comments to My Thoughts on “Bright Ideas: You be the Photo Editor”

  • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Andrew and Myer, Thanks for your kind and supportive comments 🙂 It was almost 80 degrees here in San Diego yesterday 🙂

  • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Roger, Thanks for your question. You must be new here and new to the wide array of BAA educational materials as this is a topic that I have written reams on. Please see this morning’s (Sunday, January 16, 2011’s) blog post. arite

  • Roger Williams

    Please say a bit more about, “working right on sun angle”.

  • Glen Fox

    Re” a parting thought; after viewing the light box consider how blessed a life I have led…” It takes a wise man to realize that. Where you have travelled, what you have seen and witnessed, captured and created is certainly a gift. Your days as a school teacher clearly were a blessing to some of your students who went out of their way to tell you and thank you. You are one of the lucky few who have never had a job, but rather a vocation. It hasn’t always been an easy road. Thank you for sharing it with us. We are all the richer for it.

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Larry Potter. Larry Potter said: BlastOff My Thoughts on “Bright Ideas: You be the Photo Editor” « Arthur …: snow-geese-blast-polarizer-1-8-sec… […]

  • A wonderful collection of imagery here Arthur, but the barnacle shot is definitely a show-stopper for me. Awesome!

    Love the free info here at your blog. Lots of helpful tips and techniques, but the eBook tutorials are killer. They have been instrumental in speeding up my workflow.

  • Myer Bornstein

    I also learned from watching you and listening when I can hear (poor hearing) what you are saying. ALways loved your IPT

  • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Brian G, I am pretty good at judging happy campers and unhappy campers. It seems from your comment that you are a most unhappy camper, very likely a bitter and unhappy person. You were not in the safari van. You have no clue as to what went on. You have never uttered a word here despite tons of great free info and images. Then you choose to chime in with your negativity. I am loving that I am not you buddy, and loving that you have never been on an IPT.

    Furthermore, it states clearly on the web site that I will be photographing right along with the group. Most folks find this the best way to learn. I am loud and I let folks know what I am doing at all times.

    Do you seriously think that there is a single pro alive who goes to Africa and does not photograph while teaching in the field.

    Please peddle your negative attitude elsewhere.

  • BrianG

    “An instant before I created this image one of the clients asked, “Why are we here?” I pushed the shutter button, showed him the image on the back of the camera, and said, “Here’s why.” He of course missed the image….. ”

    Call me crazy, but if I were your paying client and you were busy taking your own award-winning photos rather than making sure your paying clients were getting the most out of their experience and also getting the shot, I have a feeling I would not be a “happy camper.”