New Images: Florida Jan 2011

Our workshop in Florida was a great success – we spent a lot of time shooting wildlife during this trip. In the winter, the birds in the Everglades gather where there is standing water. They gather by the thousands, and photographers line up to photograph them in their natural habitat within the park. Our goal is to capture dynamic images… something beyond the standard “bird on branch” shot. Here are a few of our photos…

The stork in the image below was sitting on the bank – a shot of the bird itself would have been pretty dull. The reeds and grasses behind the bird made an unappealing and busy background, and the bird’s pose was nothing special. The reflection was more interesting. In the still water, the blue sky seemed to surround the bird. The upside-down composition grabs the viewer’s attention, and the portrait becomes much more interesting.

This pretty Great Egret stood on a railing and posed for quite a while. Varina took several ordinary shots before the bird twisted its head into this more interesting position. From the three high-speed frames she captured before the Egret abandoned this pose, Varina chose the image where the birds eye reflected the light of the sun.

Jay’s shot of a Cormorant preparing for take-off is incredibly dynamic. Once again, the glow of the sun brings out the details in all those feathers – and in the brilliant turquoise eye. This shot was taken with a Canon 500mm F4 lens (thanks to Shawn for bringing it along, and for letting us all try it out!). The lens was perfect for capturing wildlife, but the camera – a Canon 5D MkII wasn’t ideal… it’s slow frame rate and focus acquisition made it seem clumsy, especially with such a heavy lens attached.

And finally, a simple shot from Nine Mile Pond. Jay took the shot at sunrise. He chose to shoot at f16 to create a small flare – once again, adding a dynamic touch to a subtle composition.

We want to thank all our students for joining us in Florida. We had a great time, and we hope you all learned a lot! We can’t wait to see some more images from all of you! And for those who might be interested in seeing some of the photos our students captured – please head on over to our forums and take a look!

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