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Textures All Around Us

Post 2 

My first trip outside with the camera was on an overcast day to photograph the texture of the River Birch tree.

© 2020 Diane Kelsay

 

Watching closely from the kitchen window, I waited for the sun to come out and photographed it again.

© 2020 Diane Kelsay

It’s important to observe how light changes texture, especially side light.

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Textures All Around Us

Textures

© Diane Kelsay

It’s always easy to spot beautiful textures when we travel.

© Diane Kelsay

Why? Because we are looking!

© Bob Harvey

© Diane Kelsay

© Bob Harvey

© Diane Kelsay

© Bob Harvey

© Diane Kelsay

© Bob Harvey

© Bob Harvey

© Diane Kelsay

© Diane Kelsay

© Diane Kelsay

At this time of hanging around our houses, we challenge you to go find some interesting textures.  They are everywhere and art can be created.  To stay healthy, we all know the rules now, but exercising the mind and body is an important part of staying healthy.  We will spend the next week finding some things to photograph around the house, our gardens and woods, and even some of the things we have brought home from far away places.  Watch for the next post to see the results.

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Spots!

I had so much fun cropping the feathers, that when I went to print some cat photos, I started looking hard at the differences in their spots.  Such gorgeous designs. I love cats!  Can’t get enough cat photos.

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Some look sharper than others, has to do with the hairs. Can you name these 4 cats? Hint: an obvious one is missing, think of others.  Send me an email – diane@naturephotographyadventures.com with your IDs and if they are right, I’ll give you $100 off the next adventure you sign up for.

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Feathers

Some of my favorite moments in processing bird photos are when I zoom to 100% to check details.  Birds are beautiful, yes.  But when you look at the endless designs, colors and details of the feather patterns, gorgeous abstracts appear.

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Look for the opportunities to create art from nature. Grab your camera, let’s go!

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Chimps and Rhinos

Chimpanzees How to photograph an animal with so much personality. Study them closely as you photograph, they have human like expressions – you want to caption each one with what you think they are thinking.  Easy because we share so much DNA. Use your non-verbal interaction skills to develop a relationship, then capture the moment.

© 2019 Bob Harvey

Just thinking?

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Hmmm, do we need a pedicure?
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Being able to nap in a sanctuary – thanks to Jane Goodall.
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

© 2019 Bob Harvey

This one looks like he heard a “Bob joke” and is trying to give a polite laugh.

Rhinos – a different story.  They wander about pretty expressionless.  The photographic challenge is to capture the setting and use the light, perhaps the mood if it’s charging toward you.  Or the adult/young interaction.

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

© 2019 Bob Harvey

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Close views show interesting textures and features of this odd looking creature.  Can you tell the difference between a black rhino and a white rhino?  It’s not about the color.

© 2019 Bob Harvey

© 2019 Bob Harvey

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Black rhinos have a pointed lip suitable for grabbing fruit and leaves off trees and shrubs. White rhinos have a flat, wide lip for grazing on grasses. The white rhino is larger.  Learn more about rhinos on our Kenya Photography Safari.

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The Pantanal – Jabiru Storks

First light on the Jabiru Stork nest.  Three young ones watching the adult fly about.

First Light on the Jabiru nest
© 2019 Bob Harvey

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

 

This young one thinks flying looks like fun, getting restless.
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

WooHoo, flying!
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Coming in for a landing.
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

The adult takes off again to find some goodies to bring back.

Adult heading to the marshy area.
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Returning with goodies from the marsh.
© 2019 Bob Harvey

Our guide tells us they bring back wet vegetation, adding it to the nest to cool it down.  It also has some good stuff to eat like fish and snails.

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Enjoying a fish for breakfast.
© 2019 Bob Harvey

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

The Jabiru is the tallest flying bird in South and Central America. Come join us in 2021 to photograph this nest and other Jabiru sightings in the Pantanal of Brazil.

Link to our Pantanal Wild Photography Adventure

 

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Birds!

Colors! Textures! Shapes!  Serious birders, don’t leave.  There is more to photographing birds than grabbing a shot and checking a list.

Feathers of a Shining Sunbeam. You only get a glimpse most of the time. It takes patience to see all the colors.
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

It’s been a month since my last post – I have been in Ecuador’s Chocó Cloud Forest and then on to the Pantanal in Brazil.  I’m sharing some of my thoughts and photos from Ecuador in this post.

Racket-tailed Puffleg
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

This was my 4th time in the last 16 months in this region and I was determined to improve my skills for hummingbird photography.  It’s a challenge! They move fast. For the above image, I concentrated on the background I chose and with the depth of field I wanted.  I had my exposure right where I wanted it and then just waited for a bird to fly into my “zone” for focus (that would be the place it would hover and wait for its turn at the feeder).  I was lucky enough to capture several birds.  (I also got a few out of focus or parts of birds – ok, more than a few).

Andean Emerald
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

With this cutie, I captured it with a dark background (forest in shadows) and used the bounce-light from a wall behind the feeder to add the necessary fill light for an otherwise backlit bird (sun was to the right).

Violet-tailed Sylph
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Violet-tailed Sylph
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Using multiple flash certainly brings out the colors.  This is my favorite hummingbird.

Crimson-rumped Toucanet
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Crimson-rumped Toucanet
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

While the bird is clearly named for its backside, which is quite beautiful, I just love the way the turquoise feathers play over the lime green in a graceful curl.

Toucan Barbet
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

This Barbet was dancing all over the place trying to get attention. It was a workout to get a position to show all the colors.  Gorgeous bird.

Blue-winged Mountain Tanager
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Flame-faced Tanagers
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Black-capped Tanager © 2019 Diane Kelsay

Masked Flowerpiercer
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

My favorite time was sitting at the reflection pool, watching birds come and go.  Every so often one lined up “just so”.  And oh yeah, I broke that famous rule about horizon lines going through the middle.  When I did, it was the most exciting composition for that scene.  And yes, I managed to ID the birds in this blog (newbie birder), but I’m still a “break the rules” artist first.  You can join us in Ecuador to improve your bird photography skills and bring home lots of exciting images (you might even learn a few names).  Our groups are small and our Ecuador guide is an expert birder.

Link to our Ecuador Birds Photography Adventure

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Elephants!

Mt. Kilimanjaro emerges from the clouds,  just as this mom and baby step into the scene.
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

It’s always nice when such a majestic animal arrives in great light to complete your landscape composition. OK, I had the driver/guide move forward, then back, then a little forward… Depth of field and lining things up “just so” was important.

Amboseli National Park, Kenya
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

It’s fun to catch elephants at the waterhole. Fast shutter speeds captured the drops and splashes of water.

Baby elephant
©Bob Harvey

© 2018 Diane Kelsay

© 2018 Diane Kelsay

And they do love water.  They also like to add dust and/or mud after cleaning up in the water. That helps control the insects.

© Diane Kelsay

© Diane Kelsay

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Rubbing up against a muddy wall – a mud massage.
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

How great they look after their mud bath.  And not so much appeal to insects.
© 2018 Diane Kelsay

It’s nice to combine all sizes, showing various stages of maturity. A panorama crop omits the boring parts of the scene and brings to attention the parade of different sizes.

Elephants crossing the dry lakebed, Amboseli National Park, Kenya. The water behind them is a mirage.
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

But what can be cuter than a tiny baby dwarfed by the size of adults next to the baby.  This strategy of enclosing the baby is done to protect them, but it gives a chance to create unusual and artistic photos. You don’t have to always show the whole animal, try some tight crops.  In these photos, the tight crops emphasize the size of the adult legs and the smallness of the babies while making creative compositions.

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

© Bob Harvey

Elephants along the banks of the Chobe River.
© 2018 Bob Harvey

An early morning stroll. They look very content.

© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Taking the time to learn about the animals, as well as watching their behavior, will help capture interesting images.  Join us on one of our Africa trips and we will spend time helping you choose the right settings and suggest compositions.

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World Rhino Day

Last week we visited Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.  It was great to see and photograph so many rhinos roaming about in a natural habitat protected from poachers. They are doing a fabulous job with rhino conservation and we are happy to support that.  Join our Kenya Adventure and you will be supporting this too.  More on Kenya later as well as a lot from the Mara Crossing Adventure from Tanzania. We were a month out in the field, but we will catch up on this adventure with many stories and photos.

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Stars

Stars are everywhere, but better to view and photograph some places than others. Where are you on the Bortle Scale? And timing with the moon is essential, as is noting the Milky Way season and direction from where you are located. Then there is weather and dust in the air. Lots of things to consider.

Milky Way, Jupiter, and a meteor. 2000 ISO, f2.8, 20 seconds. 
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

We know this lake well, it’s where we kayak most frequently. We knew the directions to look and moved around the lake until we found just the right place that the light pollution from a city 40 miles away lit up the lake enough to show the reflection.  It’s not a merged image.  We prefer to add light if needed with flash or ambient light.  Sometimes a silhouette is more dramatic.  Play with it all and see what you like.  And use a compass if you don’t know the area.

Namibia. Subtle flash on rock.
© 2018 Bob Harvey

Inca Trail. Headlights inside tents – adjusted in brightness and direction for this shot.
© 2016 Bob Harvey

© 2018 Bob Harvey

Morocco, Sahara Desert. 2 candles lighting the tent.
© 2018 Diane Kelsay

City lights 40 miles away providing color on the horizon. A yard light at a farm lighting the trees. And a frenzy of meteors during the exposure!
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Peruvian Amazon – no light pollution!
© 2015 Bob Harvey & Diane Kelsay

Our house. A long enough exposure to get a nice tail on a meteor, and a natural starburst with Jupiter.
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Know your twilight zones (ha, not the show) – Civil, Nautical, Astronomical.  Experiment shooting in all and see how the Milky Way shows up in each compared to total darkness.  Conditions where you are come into play.  Most of the time it doesn’t work, sometimes it does.

Morocco, Sahara Desert. Nautical Twilight. Note the layer of dust above the dunes.
© 2018 Diane Kelsay

Iceland
© 2018 Diane Kelsay

Learn more and enjoy photographing the night sky with us.  Places on our menu of adventures that are good for stars: Tanzania, Kenya, Patagonia, Turkey, Iceland Aurora.

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