Don’t be afraid to fish out the flash from your camera bag when shooting in nature. Too often a strobe is used only for lighting up people in dark situations.
Nature should look natural, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enhance it a bit. And that’s what fill flash does. If you want to get those natural colors to really pop and if you want to see a little catch light in the creature’s eye, just throw a little light in there. Makes a world of difference.
I like to expose for the scene and then dial down the flash about a stop and a half. Maybe two stops. Experiment.
Dialing down the flash keeps it from blowing out the scene; keeps it more natural looking.
A male eastern bluebird at the C & O Canal in Maryland.
I followed the hunter around all morning. It was cold and wet. We’d walk for a short distance, stop, and then listen. Hear nothing and start over. This went on. Walk. Stop. Listen. Walk. Stop. Listen.
Coming over a low rise the hunter held up his hand. I froze. He slowly and gracefully knelt. He rested his left elbow on his knee and raised the rifle’s scope to his eye. A brief moment. I could feel my heart beating.
The blast from the gun reverberated throughout my body. I’d never felt such a force in my life. It’s funny, I don’t remember the sound. Only how the shock wave felt.
We walked down the hill to where the deer lay. My hands trembled as I worked the camera. I laughed that nervous laugh you have after a major adrenaline rush. As he began field-dressing the deer, the hunter laughed, too. I could tell he was proud.
It took him about fifteen minutes to finish the job. All that was left was to get the carcass up the hill and back to the truck.
The long, damp morning was a success … for the hunter. Not so much the deer.
I’m very proud to present, after many years of documentation and exploration, the Potomac River Gorge book. A real, actual, physical book to sit comfortably on your couch with while gently paging through the imagery of one of the gems of our National Park Service.
You can click on the link below to see a preview. Then click on the second link to go to the Blurb Bookstore and pick one up for yourself… or for someone you love. Or both!
I was somewhere in the Florida Keys. It was mid-afternoon and hot as hell with harsh, ugly light. But the White Ibis is such a cool looking creature there was no way I could resist. It may appear as if it is looking for a good spot to dig up a few crustaceans for lunch, but in actuality it was just seeking shade. Which is what smart creatures normally do.
White Ibis, Florida Keys.
Really smart creatures seek shade that also has beer!