Fog on our walk

Walking the dog this morning and the fog was amazing! Did not have a camera with me but a snap from my cell does okay. Like I tell my photography students it is as much being there as anything.

They say you never have a second chance to make a first impression. Well in photography you seldom have a second chance to get a image. Today I got a second chance. When I got home from walking the dog the fog was all gone. About an hour later my son says “wow is it foggy”, I looked out and sure enough the fog was back. Had to go out with a good camera and retake the playground image.

Fog at the playground

I like both images for different reasons. The good thing is that I at least had something to shoot the first one!

Learn about my photography courses here

Photography courses can cut through all the confusion and help you get on the right path. Photography can be an enjoyable hobby or even a business if you have the correct knowledge. I will teach you all the functions and features of your camera.

I also offer location courses and workshops for individuals or groups. All the courses may be customized to meet your learning requirements. Whether it is a point and shoot camera that you need help understanding, a new DSLR camera or a new piece of gear you want to get the most out of.

One of the first questions that I get from new students is what course should I take to start, and my response is always the same.  If you have never taken a photography course and you are interested in building your photography skills you should start with the Digital Introductory Course.  Only by starting with the basics will you be sure that you have a good base to build on in the future. Once you have a good understanding of the basics of photography you may take other courses that you are interested in.

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On the hunt

The hunt!

I was in Waterton on the hunt for some birds. So far the day was pretty productive but there was still a lot of daylight remaining and I wanted to get some more pictures. I decided that I would stop at one of my favorite spots. Maskinonge is located just outside the Waterton Park gates and I find a lot of birds pass through here. I parked my van the White Turtle II in my favorite spot. I came across the usual birds as soon as I arrived, a mix of song birds, a Heron, a couple Trumpeter swans and a number of ducks.

I cam e across a couple Trumpeter Swans on my bird hunt
Trumpeter Swans

The hunter becomes the hunted

I was enjoying taking their pictures but the birds seemed nervous. I spotted a couple hawks and an eagle across the lake and even they seemed nervous. Then the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I heard a noise a ways away, but close enough that I turned towards the noise. It was like I was being watched. I reached down to make sure that the pepper spray was still on my belt and wondered if I needed it if it would still work. I looked around but could not see anything but I felt it, then I spotted it.

Hidden on the ground behind some trees it could survey the entire lake. It was not close enough to pounce on me but it wasn’t that far away. I tried to get a better angle to get a picture but it was well hidden in the trees. I did not want to approach to close as the closer I got the worse the angle would be to get a picture. Also the closer I got the more chance that I would get injured should it get spooked.

A good perch

I finally found a spot that I was in the open but a ways away. I watched it for a while but it did not seem like it was in any hurry. By its size I could only imagine what it was like when dinosaurs roamed this area. It was HUGE!!!! I also realized what it must have been like to be hunted by a Pterodactyl.

After watching it for several minutes I figured that it must be asleep as it had not moved since i spotted it. I then took some pictures of the birds in the area that were also confused by this massive invader in their wetlands. They would go about their routine but they were keeping a close eye on it.

It moves!!

After about 20 minutes of photographing the birds I heard another noise. It was getting ready to move. Before I could turn my body it was starting to rise behind the trees. Then without warning it put it’s nose down and started coming towards me. I had fortunately left enough space so that I had time to react. I swung my camera around and grabbed a few shots, not even thinking about the bear spay on my belt.

Before I knew it it was looming over me. As it went past I noticed that all the birds in the area were taking off and seeking cover. It headed west towards the river then it turned to the north. As fast as all that happened it was again quiet. The lake was now empty of birds but it would only be a short time till they came out from hiding and flew back from their hiding places.

I survived

Well they say that any time you survive an adventure it is a good one. I had survived!! I realized that I was now getting hungry and it was getting late so I decided that I would head to the campground for supper. A good day it was, a number of great images and an experience that I have not had in Waterton before!!

Mom & hungry baby
Heron on the hunt
Heron
Hidden behind the trees
It rises!!
Here it comes!!
There it goes…….
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What print size won’t crop your image

Why does that print size crop my image?

So what print size will I be able to print without loosing any of the image? The question is almost daily. “Why is it when I get a 5×7, 8×10, 11×14 or 16×20 print made of my digital file I have some of the image cut off”?

The answer

A digital camera sensor is NOT the same proportions as the print sizes mentioned above.

Why are those print sizes so popular? According to history the sizes that we have come to know as normal where used by photographers that shot 645 medium format. These sizes fit this format perfectly.  35mm Film and most sensors in digital cameras are proportioned to 4×6, 8×12, 11×16, 12×18, 16×24. Only these sizes will give you the full image file without cropping any of your image.

Cropping can be a good thing if you plan for it. It can allow you to get closer to the subject and eliminate “extra” parts of the picture.  For some pictures it is a killer.  Imagine a picture of a large family and the people are from one edge of the image to the other.  Then the client asks for a 16×20.  Well you now have to choose who in the family that you are going to cut out. Or you will have to do a lot of editing to add sky or foreground to the image.

Full print size
The full digital image
Cropped print size
When you ask for a cropped print size

So what should you do?

When shooting images imagine that you have crop lines in your viewfinder. Or do like many did in years past and draw the crop lines in – if you so dare or are crazy enough to try.  Then leave space around your images for the cropping to the common sizes. 

If you want to do something artistic like shooting a image to print to 24″x8″ make sure that you let your client know first. That way they won’t try and order a 8×10 from that image. Or maybe do one that is more artistic in posing then do some that will fit the common format sizes.

If you do mess up and crop too tight for the print size, add some space using Photoshop. Unsure of how to add space ask when ordering and I will help you with it.

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Slow Down!!

What you see when you slow down!! I was out for a walk the other night at Belly River Campground in Waterton Lakes National Park. I have to walk slowly with my lung condition and this night was no different with the heat and humidity. As I stopped to catch my breath I could hear something in the tree beside me. It was a gentle noise like a light breeze but I could hear something in the tree. I stood still for a minute then this little guy appeared in front of my face, He had been checking me out as I stood there and had decided that I was no danger. Probably because of my wheezing he figured he could outrun me 🙂 🙂 . So he continued with his feeding. I was able to shoot a pile of images, the only thing that caused me to stop shooting was the horde of mosquitoes that showed up and the fact I left the bug spray in the van.

What you see when you slow down

So the next time you are out shooting, don’t be in a rush. Slow down and see all the things that you would miss if you were rushing past.

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More on my exploring

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Summer Print Special

I am offering a summer print special. ALL my nature and wildlife prints 11×14 and larger are on sale for 50% off till August 31, 2019. Orders MUST be placed in store with the attached coupon presented at the time of order. Orders placed on-line do not qualify! If you cannot make it to the store I will take Emailed orders. Great time to get Christmas presents at a HUGE discount!!! Limit one coupon / purchase per person/group or organization.

Summer print special
A great time to get a collector print!

Visit the gallery to select your image

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Waterton Wildlife

Waterton Wildlife

Moose Waterton Wildlife
Moose, Moose, Moose

I like the scenery in Waterton but I like Waterton wildlife even more!! There are so many animals to photograph!!

Some days it can be frustrating as you can search and wait and nothing appears. Other days you cannot turn around without finding something to photograph.

The last couple of trips there has been a lot of animals to photograph. Waterton wildlife has been out in force this spring!!!

Early this spring I saw more moose in three days then I have seen in Waterton the entire 40 years I have been going there. It seemed that the moose decided all at once to venture out and about.

Waterton Wildlife
Heh you listening????

The birds have also been out in abundance. Many I did not even photograph as I was enjoying watching them. Cranes up around Belly river and a pair down along the entrance road.

Hawks and eagles like crazy all over the park.

Lots of song birds and even birds that just wanted to have a conversation with you like a Grey Jay up at Belly River that was having a good conversation with me.

Waterton Wildlife
Lookout!
Waterton Wildlife
Prepare for take-off!!
White-crowned sparrow
EXCUSE ME!!!! White-crowned sparrow

Moving around

I have also seen a couple foxes this spring. They were in a two different parts of the park. I have never seen foxes in these areas before. Since the fire animals have ventured out from their familiar surroundings and the foxes were a long way from the usual places I see them. I think this may be due to the fact that their prey have been able to expand their range as well.

Waterton Wildlife Fox
I am not watching you!!
Fox out for a morning run
Morning run through the wet grass

Bears are also out in force. In one area I saw four bears. They seemed comfortable with each other and with the people around. Years ago I heard a talk from Andy Russel about bears. He said when the food supply is abundant bears will hang out with each other with no issues. So if that is true the food supply must be abundant this year.

Waterton’s newest power couple!
A little bear out exploring
Waterton Black Bear and burnt trees
I LOVE this picture and the burnt trees. To me it says life from fire.

Even insects can make good subjects, especially when they are busy eating.

Even bugs can be interesting!
Walking on water

Waterton Images

Parks Canada Waterton

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