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- BOSQUE IPT OPENINGS
- JOIN ME NEXT YEAR IN THE GALAPAGOS
- NATURAL DESIGN, an e-book by GLORIA HOPKINS
- SHOPPER’S GUIDE
- IPT UPDATES
This Sandhill Crane/Fire in the Mist image was created with the tripod-mounted Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering -2/3 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/10 in Tv Mode. (No explanation for being in Tv mode other than my being too excited to think straight.) Lens/camera body Micro-adjustment: +3.
You can learn a ton by attending any IPT. While my 2010 group was enjoying these fire in the mist conditions there were about 40 photographers 80 yards south of us completely oblivious to what was going on. Honest. If you will be visiting Bosque but cannot make the IPT you will surely want to get yourself a copy of our Bosque Site Guide. Learn more by scrolling down here.
While this is a strong image on its own right it was improved vastly by moving the light; yes, moving the light using Omni lighting in Photoshop. I learned this technique in the comprehensive “A Guide to Filters and Effects” written by Denise Ippolito. Learn more about the guide and check out some of her beautiful images here.
Be absolutely sure to scroll all the way down and check out the fantastic composition map of this image that Gloria prepared especially for this Bulletin. Gloria is more well-versed in the language of composition than anyone I have ever come across in photography. Or elsewhere. Lots of folks can create pleasing images but nobody can explain the design principles as well as she does.
BOSQUE IPT OPENINGS
After being sold out for six months, there are now–due to two recent cancellations–two openings on the 2011 Bosque IPT. Here are the basics:
BOSQUE del APACHE 2011 IPT: "The Complete Bosque Experience." NOV 19-25, 2011.
Slide program on the evening of Friday, NOV 18. 7-FULL DAYS: $3299. (Non-refundable deposit: $500.) Limit: 10/Openings: 2. Co-leaders: Robert O’Toole & Jim Heupel. Geese, cranes, ducks, sunrises, sunsets, and blast-offs. Live, eat, and breathe photography with one of (if not the) world’s premier photographic educators at one of his very favorite locations on the planet. Plus great co-leaders and top-notch Photoshop instruction. Please see terms and deposit info by scrolling down here. With my ever-shrinking teaching schedule and all the specialty trips sold out, this trip may well represent a rare opportunity to learn from the best, so do not wait too long before sending your deposit. Call 863-692-0906 to register.
This image was created at Urbina Bay, Galapagos, Ecuador with the Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens (handheld at 85mm) and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/4 in Av Mode.
This was the day I was being lazy having landed with only the 800 lens on a tripod. I love to create images with pleasing juxtapositions. I saw this one coming as the Land Iguana in the background was making its way through the bushes at the edge of the road. “Sam, loan me your 70-200 now!” He did. I returned it after getting on the ground and creating a series of about six images. It was then that he made the great yawning image of the young Galapagos Tortoise seen in this image. You can see the image and read the whole story here.
Be sure to scroll down to see the second mega-instructive composition map that Gloria created just for this announcement.
JOIN ME NEXT YEAR IN THE GALAPAGOS
If you would like to join me in the Galapagos next year in July for this great trip please see the details below and e-mail me for an itinerary. I now have three folks on board….
Natural Design is a beautiful and informative e-book written by award winning photographer and painter Gloria Hopkins.
NATURAL DESIGN, an e-book by GLORIA HOPKINS
It must have been more than ten years ago, perhaps well more, when I first saw one of Gloria’s composition maps. I was intrigued by them and urged her to follow up on the idea. Well she did and now we are able to offer you a finely polished version of her killer e-book, Natural Design: Image Design for Nature Photographers. The great strengths of Natural Design lie in the writing, its comprehensive coverage of the subject matter, and those fabulous composition maps.
Once I realized that I needed to get the bird out of the center of the frame–heck, that was back in 1984–composition came rather easily and naturally to me. I know from teaching on IPTs and at seminars, however, that many folks struggle with the principles involved in designing a pleasing image. This book was written for those folks. Natural Design features in-depth coverage of color, perspective, balance, symmetry, shape and form, points and lines, light, visual paths, tones and textures, mood and emotion, evaluating art, framing, cropping, ethics, execution, impacts, pitfalls, mistakes, clutter, developing a personal style, and lots, lots more. If it has to do with designing a beautiful image, Gloria has it covered.
Of the composition maps, Gloria writes, Folks who understand composition intuitively love the maps because they give names and terms to what the photographer already knows. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “I knew that; I just never knew how to explain it!” At the very least, they can speak a little more intelligently about their photography. And raw beginners like them because they’re visual and they make unfamiliar concepts easy to understand.
BIRDS AS ART is proud to announce the availability of the revised edition of Natural Design, yet another in the growing line of brilliant educational materials written by friends and shared with you. (You can learn of the others here.) And you can learn more about Gloria here. Be sure to check out her water colors in the Painting section of her site and the sheaf of photography articles and her image galleries in the Photography section.
Thanks a stack to Mike Hannnisian for helping me edit this extensive and comprehensive guide. A quick visit to Mike’s web site will reveal that he is a skilled and completely dedicated photographer and writer. Mike will be co-leading the 2012 Bosque IPT with me.
You can order your copy of “Natural Design” for only $30 right now by calling 863-692-0906 with your credit card in hand, by sending a PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, from the BAA On-line Store here, or by sending us a check made out to Arthur Morris for $30 to us here: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855. Be sure to include your e-mail address and the words Natural Design on your check. You will receive download instructions via e-mail.
- Chapter One: Design in Nature Photography
- Chapter Two: Nature Photography in American History
- Chapter Three: The Visual Experience
- Chapter Four: The Photographic Experience
- Chapter Five: Considerations for Purpose
- Chapter Six: The Physical Photograph
- Chapter Seven: Designing the Tangibles
- Chapter Eight: Designing the Intangibles
- Chapter Nine: Considerations for our Natural Subjects
- Chapter Ten: Popular Composition Styles
- Chapter Eleven: Composition Maps
I was so impressed with your e-book that I made it required reading for the students in my college photography course. It is one of the few books I have seen that focuses on composition which is always the weakest point for my beginning photography students. Bob Boner, Maryland
NATURAL DESIGN TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter One: Design in Nature Photography
The Visual Language 12
The Importance of Learning Design 13
Demystifying Composition 14
Communicating without Words 15
Chapter Two: Nature Photography in American History
The Camera in Nature 17
Early Cameras 17
The Hand Camera 18
The Digital Camera 20
Pioneers and Conservationists 21
Composing the American Landscape 22
Nature Photography as an Important Art 24
Ansel Adams: A Force in Nature 24
The Greatest Assignment 25
The Zone System 25
Eliot Porter's Passions 25
Chapter Three: The Visual Experience
Approaching the Photographic Image 27
Response to Unfamiliar Art and Styles 28
Beauty in Nature Photography 29
Is it Art? 31
Reading Photographs 33
Evaluating a Photograph 34
Artist's Intent 34
Emotional Impact 35
Evaluating the Light 36
Advanced Evaluation 39
Evaluation of Wildlife Photographs: 40
Evaluating Black and White Photographs 41
Chapter Four: The Photographic Experience
The Art of Observation 43
More than Seeing 45
Preparedness in the Field 45
Organizing the Composition 46
Developing a Personal Style 47
Individual Expression 48
Photograph it Well 49
Evaluating Your Progress 50
Evaluating Your Photographs 50
Chapter Five: Considerations for Purpose
Horizontal or Vertical format 51
Final Format 53
Visualizing the Composition 55
Chapter Six: The Physical Photograph
The Frame 56
Image Divisions 56
Chapter Seven: Designing the Tangibles
Subject Matter 58
Define Subject Matter 58
Treatment of Subject Matter 59
The Main or Solitary Subject 60
Proximity and Size 60
Lens Selection 61
Distance to Subject 61
Positioning the Main Subject 62
Centering the Subject for Emphasis 62
Exaggerated Subject Placement 63
Unwanted Objects in the Scene 64
Focal points 66
Focal Points and Balance 66
Focal Points and a Visual Path 66
Multiple Main Focal Points 66
Straight lines 67
Vertical lines 67
Horizontal lines 67
Diagonal lines 67
Converging and diverging lines 69
Arcs and semi-circles 69
Zig-zags and odd-shaped lines 69
Curved lines 69
Groups of lines 69
Repetitive lines 71
Suggested or Implied Lines 71
Creating fluidity, movement and motion with lines 71
Using lines to create a sense of movement 72
Tension Created by Lines 72
Shape and Form 72
Shapes and Forms as Structural Elements 72
Texture of Forms 73
Spatial Organization and the Relationships of Forms and Shapes 73
The Emotional Effects of Shapes and Forms 73
Shapes and Forms and Balance 74
Forms, Shapes and Movement 75
Forms, Shapes and Unity 75
Chapter Eight: Designing the Intangibles
Light's Role in Photography 77
The Sun's Trek Through the Sky 77
The Effects of the Sweet Light 78
Indirect Light and Partial Light 79
Light from the Sun and Moon 79
Direction of Light 81
Front Light 81
Top Light 81
Photographing the Effects of Weather 83
High-key and Low-key Images 88
Using Flash 88
Color Associations 89
Choose Colors to Influence and Create Mood 89
Basic Color Terminology 90
Analogous Hues 91
Complimentary Colors 91
Contrasting Colors 91
Color Continuity 92
Creating Color Harmony 92
The Perceived Weight of Colors 93
Space and Depth 93
Negative Space 93
The Picture Plane 94
Line of Sight 94
The Ground Plane 95
Achieving Visual Balance 97
Using The Rule-of-Thirds Grid 97
Using Symmetry 98
The Perceived Weight of Objects 99
Angles and Height 100
Chapter Nine: Considerations for our Natural Subjects
Allow Subject Room to Move 101
Strive to Capture the Face 101
Using Natural Frames 102
Anticipating Action and Behavior 102
Animal Portraits 102
Eye Highlights 103
People in Nature 103
Field and Wildlife Ethics 104
Chapter Ten: Popular Composition Styles
Bulls-eye Composition 106
Large-Scale Landscape 108
Chapter Eleven: Composition Maps
Map 1: Value Distribution and Shapes 110
Map 2: The Rule of Thirds Grid 111
Map 3: Focal Points and Visual Paths 112
Map 4: Harmonious Image Division 113
Map 5: Off-center Placement 114
Map 6: Balancing Main Focal Points 115
Map 7: Structure and Content Image Division 116
Map 8: Cradle the Subject 117
Map 9: Cool vs. Warm Hues 118
Map 10: Head and Shoulders Portrait 119
Map 11: Frame the Subject 120
Map 12: Framing and Subject Placement 121
Map 13: Visual Anchor and Natural Frame 122
Map 14: Centering and Concentric Lines 123
Map 15: Define Subject Matter 124
Map 16: Layers 125
Map 17: Competing Focal Points 126
Map 18: Visual Flow 127
Map 19: Visual Tension 128
Map 20: Distractions 129
Map 21: Subject Confusion 130
Map 22: Compare Compositions 131
Map 23: Organize Basic Elements 132
Map 24: Color Schemes 133
Map 25: Framing with Foliage 134
Fine Art Nature Photographers to Study
Nature Photography Legends
Online Photography Resources
Below is a list of the gear used to create the images in today’s post. Thanks a stack to all who have used the Shopper’s Guide links to purchase their gear as a thank you for all the free information that we bring you on the Blog and in the Bulletins. Before you purchase anything be sure to check out the advice in our Shopper’s Guide.
Support both the Bulletins and the Blog by making all your B & H purchases here.
Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens. Right now this is my all time favorite super-telephoto lens.
Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens. This relatively inexpensive, lightweight and versatile lens was a favorite of mine for years until I succumbed to the sharpness (with both TCs) and the speed of the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens. Man, I am loving the new lens on my shoulder with the 2X III teleconverter. I also use it a lot with the 1.4X III TC which is designed to work best with the new Series II super-telephoto lenses.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body. My two Mark IVs are my workhorse digital camera bodies.
And from the BAA On-line Store:
LensCoats. I have a LensCoat on each of my big lenses to protect them from nicks and thus increase their re-sales value. All my big lens LensCoat stuff is in Hardwood Snow pattern.
LegCoat Tripod Leg Covers. I have four tripods active and each has a Hardwood Snow LegCoat on it to help prevent further damage to my tender shoulders
Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod. This one will last you a lifetime.
Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head. Right now this is the best tripod head around for use with lenses that weigh less than 9 pounds. For heavier lenses, check out the Wimberley V2 head.
CR-80 Replacement Foot for Canon 800. When using the 800 on a Mongoose as I do, replacing the lens foot with this accessory lets the lens sit like a dog whether pointed up or down and prevents wind-blown spinning of your lens on breezy days by centering the lens directly over the tripod.
Double Bubble Level. You will find one in my camera’s hot shoe whenever I am not using flash.
Be sure to check out our camera body User’s Guides here.
The Lens Align Mark II. I use the Lens Align Mark II pretty much religiously to micro-adjust all of my gear an average of once a month and always before a major trip. Enjoy our free comprehensive tutorial here.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV User’s Guide. Learn to use your Mark IV the way that I use mine.
A 70-200mm lens will be your most-used lens on our Bald Eagle IPTs. By the end of the week I was calling these “DAD” shots. Dime a dozen.
THE OCT/NOV 2011 HOMER-BASED BALD EAGLE IPTs with Arthur Morris and Robert O’Toole
OCT 25-29, 2011.
Limit 10 (six photographers per boat)/Openings: 3). 5-FULL DAYS: $3399. You will need to be in Homer no later than the evening of October 24.
OCT 30, 2011. Add-on day.
Free if you sign up for both IPTs. Otherwise $550. (Limit 10/Openings: 2). If you are on the second trip and are doing the add-on day, you will need to be in Homer no later than the evening of October 29.
OCT 31-NOV 4, 2011
Limit 10 (six photographers per boat)/Openings: 1). 5-FULL DAYS: $3399. You will need to be in Homer no later than the evening of October 30.
These trips will be based in Homer, AK. We will enjoy virtually unlimited photographic action. This year, most folks opted to miss at least one boat trip due to photographic exhaustion. Two great leaders provide both in-the-field and in-classroom instruction that will include at least two Photoshop sessions. Canon or Nikon we’ve got you covered. (In-the field instruction only on the Add-on day.) A non-refundable deposit of $1,000 is required to hold your spot. Happy campers only. If we do not know you, you will be required to pass our Happy Camper test. Once you pass the Happy Camper test, please fill out and sign the forms here and send them along with your deposit check. Your registration will not be complete until we have your signed forms in hand.
Things you should know: At the last moment each morning we schedule–depending on tides and weather–either two 2-hour boat trips or one 4 hour boat trip each day of the tour (weather permitting). We do however often exceed those time limits when conditions warrant it. We gladly pick up the additional costs. You will not be charged extra for overtime no matter how extensive. On several days this year our two hour cruises went on for more than four hours; it is hard to sail away from great photography. We work a lot from from the boats and do ,again depending on conditions, spend some time on land to do both perched and flying birds. Even with “only” four hours per day of photography you will head home exhausted with the best Bald Eagle images of your life (unless we encounter unexpectedly bad weather). We have chosen out dates carefully with regards to weather. Temps should be moderate to cold with a mix of sun, clouds, and possibly some drizzle. Snow is not likely on either trip. That said we are going to Alaska and there is always a chance, a very small chance, that it might pour every day that you are there. There will be as many or more eagles on these trips as there were on the March trips. We will be collecting a $20 per day tip for our captain guides at the end of each trip. Most folks opted to kick in additional and we were fine with that.
What’s included: lots of eagles and lots of instruction. Ground transportation from the motel to the dock. As above we cover all boat fees and boat-related expenses but for the tips. Breakfast at the motel. We may be able to pick you up at the airport to save you the cost of a cab. Note: some folks may wish to rent a vehicle so that they can photograph on their own during free and nap time.
What’s not included: your round trip airfare from home to Homer. (Driving from Anchorage is recommended only for the adventurous….) The cost of your room. Meals other than breakfast.
To learn more about the Homer eagle experience, click on each link below:
Universal Advice for Better Flight Photography with a Zoom Lens
Finally, Finally, and Finally in Homer!
What Makes a Great Bird Portrait?
Insanity, Exhilaration, Exhaustion, and Home
And click here to read the Homer IPT Report.
BOSQUE del APACHE 2011 IPT: "The Complete Bosque Experience." NOV 19-25, 2011.
Slide program on the evening of Friday, NOV 18. 7-FULL DAYS: $3299. (Non-refundable deposit: $500; see details below.) Limit: 10/Openings: 2. Co-leaders: Robert O’Toole & Jim Heupel. Geese, cranes, ducks, sunrises, sunsets, and blast-offs. Live, eat, and breathe photography with one of (if not the) world’s premier photographic educators at one of his very favorite locations on the planet. Plus great co-leaders and top-notch Photoshop instruction. Please see terms and deposit info below.
With my ever-shrinking teaching schedule and all the specialty trips sold out, this trip may well represent a rare opportunity to learn from the best, so do not wait too long before sending your deposit. Clemens van der Werf who was on this year’s Bosque trip is already registered for next year. If you missed the Photographer Experience Quiz and the Mystery Photographer & Experience Level Revealed! posts on the blog, you will surely want to check them out to see what Clemens has accomplished in less than a single year of bird photography. And how!
GALAPAGOS 2012 PHOTO-CRUISE OF A LIFETIME IPT: The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience: July 1-18, 2011 (July 3-17, 2012 on the boat): 13 1/2 days of photography plus a last morning panga ride: $12,749. (Limit 12/Openings: 9.)
Briefly, my two-week trip is without equal. The best guide, the best itinerary, a great boat (the Beagle), and the best leader, one with seven Galapagos trips under his belt, six with Juan Salcedo. If you are good to go, a non-refundable deposit of $5,000 per person is required. The second payment of $4,000 is not due until 11/1/11. The final payment of $3749 per person will be due on 2/1/12. Couples or friends registering together will have a $300 per person discount applied to their final payment.
Important note: if I do not have 8 or 9 deposit checks in hand when I need to commit to leasing the boat (for more than 1/10 of a million dollars) I will seriously need to consider scrapping this amazing trip…
Please e-mail for discount information.
Fly to Quito: July 1, 2012
Travel insurance and rest day: July 2, 2012 (perched hummingbird day-trip optional)
Fly to Galapagos, board boat: July 3, 2012
Fly back to Quito: July 17, 2012
Fly home: July 18.
Cost: $12,749.00 Includes three nights in the luxury hotel–the Hilton Quito Colon, round trip airfare to and from Baltra, all meals on the boat–the food is great, a killer buffet lunch with the tortoises!, all park fees and related costs, all ground transfers, and a five star thank you dinner on the evening of July 17th.
13 full and one half day of photography, plus a 90 minute early am panga ride on the last morning. In-the-field photo instruction and guidance. The greatest-ever itinerary. By far. We visit every great spot on a single trip. The great spots include: Tower Island (including Prince Phillips Steps and Darwin Bay), Hood Island (including Punta Suarez, the world's only nesting site of Waved Albatross, and Gardner Bay)—each of the preceding are world class wildlife photography designations that rank right up there with Antarctica, Africa, and Midway), Fernandina, Peurto Ayora for the tortoises, Puerto Egas—James Bay, North Seymour, South Plaza, Black Turtle Cove, Floreana, Urbina Bay, and China Hat. Plus tons more. And lots of snorkeling for those who wish to partake.
And the world's greatest Galapagos guide. By far. We will be the first boat on each island in the morning and the last boat to leave each island every afternoon. If we are blessed with overcast weather, we often spend 5-6 hours at the best sites. And as noted above, midday snorkeling on most sunny days depending on location. Note: some of the walks are strenuous. Great images are possible on all landings with a hand held 70-200mm lens. I always bring a big lens also as that fits my style.
Not included. Your round trip airfare from your home to and from Quito, beverages, phone calls, and the $500 (US cash) per/person tip for the guide and crew; that breaks down to roughly $35/day shared by the 8 folks who will be waiting on us hand and foot every day for two weeks. The service is so wonderful that many folks choose to tip extra.
Limited to 12 photographers plus the leader.
If you are good to go, please e-mail first and then send your $5,000 non-refundable deposit made out to "Arthur Morris" to the address at the top of this e-mail along with the necessary paperwork here.
Travel insurance is highly recommended. I learned during the past week that three folks who were scheduled for the Midway trip needed to cancel for various reasons…. None of them had travel insurance. My family and I use Travel Insurance Services and I recommend it strongly. Important note: we will notify when the trip is a go and will not cash your deposit check until then. (Most travel insurance policies mandate that you purchase your protection within two weeks of your check being cashed.)
Experience the 2011 Galapagos Photo-Cruise of a Lifetime Vicariously
Click here. Then scroll down to the July 4, 2010 post, “Quito, Hummers, & the Galapagos” and click on it. When you are done reading, hit the back button and continue on up the list clicking on all Galapagos-related posts until you get to the “The End: Galapagos Day 15/July 20, Morning, Black Turtle Cove” which was posted on October 9, 2010. Warning: there are 26 Galapagos posts in all. If you close your eyes while reading you might imagine that you were actually on the trip! I hope that you can join us in 2012.
Best and great picture-making,
Note: Arthur Morris has been a paid Canon contract photographer, part of the Explorers of Light program, since 1996 and continues in that role today. B&H Photo of New York, NY is a BAA sponsor as is Delkin Devices. Back issues of older BAA Bulletins can be accessed here. The most recent Bulletins can be found here.