Archive for professional photography

Bush Warriors Wildlife Photography Workshop: ‘Decisions and Choices’ with Grant Marcus

Posted in Wildlife Photography Workshop with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2011 by photoafrica

Please welcome our guest pro photographer, Mr. Grant Marcus!

‘Decisions and Choices’ with Grant Marcus

So often we sit with decisions in wildlife photography that can either work or bomb out completely.  Especially when you have an opportunity to capture something rare or unique.  It normally happens at the worst time of day, early morning and late, late afternoon.  That is where you need to know your equipment.  Post-processing plays an enormous role in the outcome of your image especially if you worked in bad light.

These lion images were shot just after 6:00 a.m. in the morning.  Normally, I wouldn’t even bother shooting them in this light, but the situation, the scene ,and the opportunity to capture something unique was there and I had to take it.  In wildlife photography you only get maybe one chance to get that unique shot of a species.  We all know that lions swimming and playing in water is, in itself, a unique opportunity.

Image © Grant Marcus Continue reading

Wildlife Photography Workshop: Size Matters

Posted in Photo of the Day, Wildlife Photography Workshop with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2010 by photoafrica

Do you know how big an elephant is?

What about a lion cub?

Finding the answers to these questions is a whole lot eaier than conveying the size of your subject in a single photograph.

Take a look at this example of a three month old lion cub.

Image © Gerry van der Walt

Cute little guy but can you tell from the image how big he actually is?  Not really.

In order to convey size in you wildlife images it always help to include another subject for your viewers to use as a comparison.  Apart from being a great compositional tool, this approach will generally help you to create more interesting images.

Here is our same lion cub a few minutes later.  This time his size, or lack thereof, becomes a bit more apparent.

Image © Gerry van der Walt

Compared to the dead elephant’s feet we can now see that this guy still has a lot of growing to do.

Here is another example of how you could convey size in an image.

Image © Gerry van der Walt

Even though the focus of this image is on the wildebeest in front, it is the giraffe legs behind him that tells the story.

You don’t always have to use different species to show size differences in your images.  In the following example a close up of a young elephant in the middle of the group tells the story of size.

Image © Gerry van der Walt

Small hey? 🙂

When you are next out photographing wildlife, think of ways in which you can convey size.  Use different species.  Use the same species.  Even use another game drive vehicle.

If you have any wildlife images that show the size of the subject why not upload them to the Bush Warriors Photo of the Day?  Show us what you are photographing!

Have a great weekend!

Gerry van der Walt

Photo-Africa

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Bush Warriors Wildlife Photography Workshop: Don’t Cut It Off

Posted in Wildlife Photography Workshop with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2010 by photoafrica

Last week, we started looking at some basic compositional guidelines which will help you to improve your wildlife photography.

Picking up from there, today we going to have a look at one of the most common mistakes people make when photographing wild subjects.  Whether it is due to the excitement of the moment or they just do not know better, many people cut pieces off their subjects.

Sounds strange yeah?

Let me use examples to explain a little better.  Have a look at the following image.

Image by Gerry van der Walt

Not a bad lion image but there is one big distraction.  Whether you know it or not, your mind will always pick up on it.

See it?

Yeah, the foot has been cut off.  Now compare it to the following version of the same image.

Image by Gerry van der Walt

Much better hey?  You get the full picture.

Here is another example.

Image by Gerry van der Walt

Nice sighting.  Great light.  Workable background.

If only the elephant’s feet were not cut off.

The only way in which you can rectify this common mistake is to take note of it when you are looking at your subject through the viewfinder.  If possible, always rather leave a little bit of extra room around your subject to make sure that you get the full picture.  If necessary you can always crop off the empty space afterwards.

Having said all of that, there are most definitely times when you can, and will, cut some of your subject off.  During these times you should try and cut them off at one of the major joints. The knee, the middle or the neck.  In both examples above, the subject was cut off in between major joints leaving it looking a bit strange.  A little distracting.

By cutting your subject off at some of the major joints you can create striking, powerful wildlife images.

Image by Gerry van der Walt

By cutting off this elephant at his middle, I have created an image where there is no distracting elements (such as half a foot or knee) and there is no doubt as to where I want my viewer to focus.

Here is one more example.

Image by Gerry van der Walt

I chose to cut this young lion on the neck.  By doing this I kept the focus on the youngsters face and eliminated any distracting elements.  Also, going back to last week’s post, there is lots of empty space for the cub to look into.

By getting into a habit of checking your composition just before clicking the shutter you can markably improve your images, all of these posts, and others you find on the internet, is purely intended as guidelines.  That’s the great thing about photography!

Go out there and enjoy!

See you next week.

Gerry van der Walt

Photo-Africa

 

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