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Bird Photography


presentation given to the HANPA - Houston Audubon Nature Photographers Association - on May 17, 2012

presentation given to the HANPA - Houston Audubon Nature Photographers Association - on May 17, 2012

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  • 1. HANPA May 16th, 2012Bird Photography by Frank Farese
  • 2. Bird Photography• Bio • Techniques• Etiquette • Lighting & Flash• Composition • Editing• Equipment • Attractions• Camera Settings • Bird Behavior• Focus & Panning • Rarities
  • 3. Nikon D300s, 300mm f/2.8, 1.7x tele-c Gitzo 3531 XLS Tripod RRS BH-55 Ball head Wimberley Sidekick Sb-800 Flash, Better Beamer Adobe Lightroom OnOne Photo Suite birder.Smugmug.comChachalacaBentsen Rio Grande State Park
  • 4. Whooping Cranes ‘Big Tree’
  • 5. Bird Photography Etiquette Birds come First, Do No Harm Habitat is Precious Birders are People too!Emotionally Intelligent-Manners Careful with PishingUse recordings wisely, if allowed Tripods can be hazardous Share See Ethics at NANPA & ABA
  • 6. Have an Open MindJohn Shaw thinks you can learn from other people’s photographs IF you look with an open mind. “A lot of people look at pictures and their instant reaction is, I could have done that. They should be asking, “How did they do that?”Leave yourselves open to learning from the photograph.”
  • 7. Wow! Cool Shot.You must have a really good camera. Was it the camera that really did all the work?
  • 8. Left Brain, Right BrainTechie side …have to be the craftsman and technicianto deal with f/2.8 and all those weirdthings.Artsy side …have to be the poet, the artist and dealwith the emotional, the impressionistic.To succeed you need both sides engaged.
  • 9. Edward Weston, ”Composition is…….. ….…the strongest way of seeing.”• Simplify and Exclude, then Balance• Light-Dark, Big-Small• Color & Tone, Warm-Cool• Line & Form, Patterns, Texture• Rule of Thirds, Negative Space• Leading lines, Diagonals• Left-Right, Up-Down, Closer-Farther• 4th Dimension: The Right Time
  • 10. Without the CRAFTyou will struggle for the ART.
  • 11. Don GiannattiPhotography is... ….Jazz with a camera.
  • 12. Don GiannattiJazz musicians…… Imitate (deconstruct) Assimilate (second nature) then Innovate …..thinking ahead to Improvise
  • 13. LOVE the EQUIPMENT you have. Master what you have!Don’t buy a bunch of stuff until you’ve mastered your gear.
  • 14. “It is not the arrow that hit the target,but rather the archer’s skill that put it there.” -Tyson V. Rininger You create the image. But, gear does matter.
  • 15. Camera Settings Color mode-Adobe vs. sRGBJPEG Fine, RAW-lossless,12 bit vs.14 Biggest Size
  • 16. Camera Settings Color mode-Adobe vs. sRGB JPEG Fine, RAW-lossless,12 bit vs.14 Biggest Size Continuous High Shooting Mode-FPS White Balance-AWB, Daylight, CloudyPicture Modes-Standard, Portrait, Vivid
  • 17. Camera Settings Color mode-Adobe vs. sRGB JPEG Fine, RAW-lossless,12 bit vs.14 Biggest Size Continuous High Shooting Mode-FPS White Balance-AWB, Daylight, Cloudy Picture Modes-Standard, Portrait, Vivid Metering Modes-Evaluative, Spot, CenterISO-Use base 100,200 for tripod &portraits ISO-Use 400,800 for handhelds and BIFs Auto ISO (200-800 @ 1/500th)Aperture Priority-Subject Distance and Size Manual
  • 18. FOCUS Settings Shutter Release Priority Release, Focus (Single Servo)R, F, Focus & Release (Continuous AI)
  • 19. AF-ON vs. Shutter Button Back Button Focus No VR/IS activation, No AE Like Single Servo after release Hold for Continuous Servo
  • 20. Picture Review-OFFMinimize CHIMPING
  • 21. Exposure Compensation‘Blinkies’ warning for blown out highlights Reading Histogram
  • 22. SHUTTER RELEASE Single Shot vs.High ‘Continuous Advance’ (FPS) CH (max) vs. CL (mid)
  • 23. Black-and-white Warbler PA Birding Center
  • 24. Peak of Action-Decisive Moments
  • 25. Common Gallinules Brazos Bend State Park
  • 26. Focus Setting Selections Focus Area SelectionSingle Point (Spot)vs. Dynamic Area Selection (9-21-51)
  • 27. Bobolink Columbia Bottoms, MO
  • 28. Kestrel Addick’s Reservoir
  • 29. Focus Setting Selections Auto Focus Single Servo (One Shot) vs.‘Continuous Servo’ (AI Servo)
  • 30. Yellow-throated Warbler Quintana
  • 31. Black-bellied whistling Ducks Brazos Bend State Park
  • 32. American Oystercatcher Bryan Beach
  • 33. Focus for BIFs Pre-focus Focus Range Setting Track bird earlyFocus on eye, head, or chest ‘Bump’ Focus
  • 34. Focus for Portraits & BIFs Move Focus Points vs. Focus and Recompose White Ibis Brazos Bend SP
  • 35. Barred Owl SFA SP
  • 36. PRACTICE-after swallows, hawks easier Cave Swallow Paul Rushing Park
  • 37. juv. White-tailed Hawk Attwater NWR
  • 38. Common Green Darner Quintana
  • 39. Chimney Swift El Franco Lee Park
  • 40. Get up early, Go Hungry! Don’t eat because it’s mealtime.Bird photographers get out early & stay out for the gorgeous light. (get a cooler, bring snacks)
  • 41. Laughing Gulls Quintana
  • 42. Snowy Plover Quintana
  • 43. Red-shouldered Hawk Brazos Bend SP
  • 44. Gray Days can be O.K. Goldfinch & Chipping Sparrow
  • 45. Hudsonian Godwit Quintana
  • 46. Broad-tailed HummingbirdHouston Arboretum
  • 47. Flash can ‘light up’ feathers Ruby-throated Hummingbird Kleb Woods
  • 48. Orange-crowned Warbler Katy Prairie
  • 49. Painted Bunting Quintana
  • 50. Yellow-billed Cuckoo Kleb Woods
  • 51. Paraque Estero Llano Grande SP
  • 52. Barred Owl SFA SP
  • 53. EditingEverything stinks till its finished. -Dr. Seuss
  • 54. Least Bittern McFadden NWR
  • 55. Black Skimmer Bolivar Flats
  • 56. Quiet YourselfCalmness promotes steadiness Birds are vocal & listenQuiet promotes ConcentrationBirds get used to Camera clicks
  • 57. Slow DownWild Dogs vs. Mountain Lions The Rule of Sandwiches….Good birds show up the minute you put down your camera to eat your lunch. Use the “Little Sit”, letting the birds come by and come to you. from “Good Birders Don’t Wear White”
  • 58. Movements and Colors Slowly Indirectly Low Minimize Contrast Clothes for Habitat & Birds Use Natural CoverYellow-billed Cuckoo Kleb Woods
  • 59. Use Car as a BlindWood Stork 290 @ Bauer Rd Pond
  • 60. Dickcissel High Island
  • 61. Kestrel Drying Beds, Arlington
  • 62. American Oystercatcher Bryan Beach, Quintana
  • 63. Black Skimmer Bolivar Flats
  • 64. Reddish Egret Bolivar Flats
  • 65. Osprey Aransas NWR
  • 66. Attractions•Feeders•Jetties & Piers•Boardwalks•Ferry and Boats•Smoke•Rice Harvesting•Native Plants, Trees•Water, Drips Buff-bellied Hummingbird Estero Llano Grande SP
  • 67. Altamira Oriole Bentsen Rio Grande SP
  • 68. Cape May Warbler Quintana
  • 69. Rose-throated Becard Bentsen Rio Grande SP
  • 70. Great Kiskadee Bentsen Rio Grande SP
  • 71. Cooper’s Hawk & Great Kiskadee Bentsen Rio Grande SP
  • 72. Warren Ranch Lake KPC Platform
  • 73. Fulvous Whistling Ducks Warren Ranch Lake
  • 74. Bolivar Jetty
  • 75. East winds at the Jetties, when the ships come in… Magnificent Frigatebird Quintana Jetties
  • 76. Charlie’s Pasture
  • 77. Black-necked Stilt Sea Rim SP Boardwalk
  • 78. Stilt Sandpiper Laffite’s Cove Boardwalk
  • 79. Learn Birds and Behavior Migration, Territoriality, Feeding, Courting, Nesting, Fledglings Nature Centers classes & bird walksClubs-HAS, OG, TOS, Piney Woods Nat’l Geo’s ‘Birding Essentials’Pete Dunne’s ‘On Bird Watching’ Sibley’s ‘Bird Life & Behavior’
  • 80. IdentificationSnow Geese vs. Ross’s Geese Aransas NWR
  • 81. They See Us First Purple Gallinule BBSP
  • 82. Kelp Gull Quintana
  • 83. BreedingLeast Terns Bryan Beach
  • 84. Kestrels El Franco Lee Park
  • 85. Scissor-tailed Flycatchers Katy Prairie
  • 86. Pileated Woodpeckers Bear Creek Park
  • 87. Dickcissel Columbia Bottoms
  • 88. Reddish Egret Bolivar Flats
  • 89. Cattle Egret Smith Oaks
  • 90. Red-shouldered Hawk San Jacinto Monument
  • 91. Horned Larks Paul Rushing Park
  • 92. Black Skimmers Bolivar Flats
  • 93. Great Egret High Island Rookery
  • 94. Great Egret High Island Rookery
  • 95. Red-headed Woodpeckers Kleb Woods
  • 96. Wilson’s Plover Pelican Island
  • 97. Black-necked Stilt Paul Rushing Park
  • 98. Fledglings create Opportunities Great-crested Flycatchers Russ Pittman Park, Bellaire
  • 99. Black-bellied Whistling Ducks BBSP
  • 100. Tree Swallows Brazos Bend State Park
  • 101. Tree Swallows Brazos Bend State Park
  • 102. Tree Swallows Brazos Bend State Park
  • 103. Pileated Woodpeckers Montgomery County
  • 104. Pileated Woodpeckers Montgomery County
  • 105. Feeding StylesBlack Skimmer & Avocets Bolivar Jetty at Flats
  • 106. Canada Warbler Bear Creek Park
  • 107. Finish the Meal FirstBlack-crowned Night-Heron Brazos Bend SP
  • 108. Robin Tower Grove Park
  • 109. Anhinga BBSP
  • 110. Fork-tailed Flycatcher Galveston Island SP
  • 111. Eastern Kingbird El Franco Lee Park
  • 112. Vermilion Flycatcher Skillern Unit-Anahuac NWR
  • 113. Cedar Waxwings Smith Oaks-High Island
  • 114. Rose-breasted Grosbeak Lafitte’s Cove
  • 115. Red-headed Woodpecker Bear Creek Park
  • 116. Pileated Woodpecker Bear Creek Park
  • 117. Wilson’s Phalaropes Pelican Island
  • 118. Kestrel Addick’s Reservoir
  • 119. Sandwich Tern Bolivar Flats
  • 120. Brown Pelican Quintana Lagoon
  • 121. Brown Creeper Kleb Woods
  • 122. Red-breasted Nuthatch Yard
  • 123. Brown-headed Nuthatch Kleb Woods
  • 124. Great Egret Lafitte’s Cove
  • 125. Reddish Egret Bolivar Flats
  • 126. Ruddy Turnstone Bolivar Flats
  • 127. Rock Wren Anzalduas Park-Mission
  • 128. Northern Harrier Katy Prairie
  • 129. Swainson’s Hawk Katy Prairie
  • 130. Gull-billed Tern Brazoria NWR
  • 131. Osprey Quintana Lagoon
  • 132. Osprey Quintana Lagoon
  • 133. Ruby-throated Hummingbird Kleb Woods
  • 134. Mississippi Kite Washington on the Brazos SP
  • 135. White-tailed Kite Galveston-Lafitte’s Cove
  • 136. White-tailed Kite Mad Island Marsh Preserve
  • 137. White-tailed Kite Mad Island Marsh Preserve
  • 138. Red-shouldered Hawk Yard
  • 139. FlocksAvocets & White Pelicans Bolivar Jetty at Flats
  • 140. Blue-winged, Green Winged Teal & N. Shovelers Paul Rushing Park
  • 141. Royal Terns & Black Terns Bolivar Flats
  • 142. Sandhill Cranes Formosa Tejano Wetlands
  • 143. Laughing Gulls Corpus Christi City Dump
  • 144. Your Yard‘naive’ Yellow-crowned Night Heron Deerfield Village subdivision
  • 145. Mockingbird Yard
  • 146. Local Hot Spots:ELMKleb Woods Nature PreserveBrazos Bend State ParkThe Katy PrairieKPC Warren Ranch Lake, etcPaul Rushing ParkAttwater PC NWRLake Houston SPJesse Jones ParkQuintanaBolivar PeninsulaSan Bernard NWRHigh IslandSpring Creek Greenway Ntr CtrAnahuac NWRBear Creek ParkBellaire Nature Discovery CenterW.G. Jones Forest
  • 147. Repetitive PlacesBrown-headed Nuthatch Moccasin Marsh, Kleb Woods
  • 148. Grasshopper Sparrow Attwater PC NWR
  • 149. Chase RaritiesN. Jacana Choke Canyon S.P.
  • 150. N. Wheatear Amish Farm, Bee County
  • 151. Little Gull Port Aransas Jetty
  • 152. Yellow-faced Grassquit Goose island
  • 153. Prairie Warbler Galveston-Corps Woods
  • 154. Black-legged Kittiwake Galveston Ferry Landing
  • 155. Sabine’s Gull Galveston Ferry Landing
  • 156. The Next one is Best! Always expect the next one to be the best one. “The way to think aboutphotography is that the next frameyou shoot will be the definitive one. Take another shot and always believe that the one you haven’t taken will be even better.” John Shaw
  • 157. Thank You!