A PRACTICE IN LOOKING FOR PHOTOS IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD

SOME OF YOU HAVE FOLLOWED THIS BLOG FOR A LONG TIME, AND FOR THAT I REALLY DO APPRECIATE IT. IT HAS BECOME A CHALLENGE TO FIND DIFFERENT SUBJECTS TO BRING TO THIS BLOG EACH WEEK. I DO THIS BLOG ABOUT 3 TO 4 TIMES A WEEK NOW, AND THAT IS TRICKY TO COME UP WITH DIFFERENT SUBJECTS. SOME ARE NOT ALWAYS DIFFERENT, BUT REPEATS BUT WITH A DIFFERENT TWIST IN HOPES THAT YOU LEARN MORE.

I HAVE HAD 2 WEBSITES OVER THE COURSE OF CREATING ALL THESE BLOGS, SO, I ADDED THEM ALL UP TO SEE HOW MANY I REALLY HAVE DONE OVER THE COURSE OF THESE YEARS. I HAVE DONE, WITH THIS BLOG NOW: 918 BLOGS.  THAT IS AMAZING. IF YOU WANT INFORMATION ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY, THIS IS CERTAINLY A GOOD PLACE TO GO. IF YOU WANT, YOU CAN GO THROUGH THIS BLOG AND EVEN IN TO THE ARCHIVES TO SEE SOME OF THE BLOGS I HAVE DONE. THERE ARE SOME GOOD ONES. IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE OTHERS I DID ON MY OTHER WEB SITE, JUST GO TO: https://123photogo.blogspot.com/ .  THERE ARE 441 BLOGS ON THAT WEBSITE ALONE. I REALLY THINK I HAVE MATURED WITH MY BLOGS BY THE TIME I GOT TO THIS WEBSITE, HOWEVER. BUT, THERE IS SOME GOOD INFORMATION THERE.

NOW, TO THIS WEEK’S SUBJECT:

BACKYARD NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY

You don’t have to travel very far to get great nature photography shots. There are many opportunities for nature photography right in your own backyard. There is an abundance of nature if you know how to look for it.

If you have flower beds, trees, bushes, or just wildflowers, you have many opportunities for some good nature pictures. I am going to give you a few ideas on how and what to look for. Go back to things that you have taken pictures of before but this time, look at them from a different perspective.


Photo by Axel Naud; ISO 800, f/6.3, 1/125-second exposure
  • Get down low to the flowers and shoot upward. Sometimes not always easy to do but can give you some really great results. Look under the petals and leaves of the flowers. You may find a praying mantis or a ladybug, which can make a good nature picture also.
  • Lie down on your back in a stand of trees and shoot upwards. This gives a great deal of depth to your photograph and makes very interesting shot. Don’t forget to look up in the tops of trees. There may be a hawk, crow or a blue jay just sitting there, watching you.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Shoot some “profiles” of flowers. Some flowers have very pretty profiles. Even pictures of your flowerbeds can be shot from a different angle and will give you a completely different feeling. Many people want to take pictures of butterflies with wings open and taken from high looking down. Profile pictures of butterflies and great shots also.


Most amateurs want to fill their frame with the subject, such as a flower, and have it centered right in the middle. Use the rule of thirds. Position the subject just to the right or left of center and about a third of the way up horizontally. This composition is much more pleasing to the eye.

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com
  • Take some of your pictures in the morning light and then again in the evening light. Midday light is very bright and can create a shadow problem for you. Early morning or late afternoon light is not nearly as harsh and actually gives you kind of a warm glow. Any time there is a little cloud cover is a great time to take pictures. Your colors will be a little more subdued and your background will not be too bright.
  • If you have a bird feeder in your yard, you probably have tons of pictures of birds, but I will guess that the bird feeder is also in most of your shots. Add a perch near your bird feeder where the birds can land and jump over to the feeder. Use something that is going to look natural. You don’t want to use metal or a piece of lumber. Find a broken tree limb that is a couple of feet taller or shorter than your feeder. Dig a hole about 6 feet away from the feeder and bury it. Now when you catch that good shot of your birds, it is going to look natural and the feeder will not detract from your subject.
Photo by mark broadhurst on Pexels.com

Challenge yourself to try something new. Go back to some of the pictures you have already taken and take them from different perspectives. You may surprise yourself!


Photo by Amy E. Warren; ISO 250, f/5, 1/125-second exposure.

About the Author:
Sheila Brown is an experienced photographer who enjoys writing articles to share her experiences and her passion for nature photography.

OTHER GREAT PHOTOS FOUND IN THE BACKYARD:

Photo by Jim Fawns on Pexels.com
Photo by Nicolas Postiglioni on Pexels.com
Photo by photos_by_ginny on Pexels.com
Celebrating it’s 918th blog

C

Winning Bird Photographer Of The Year 2018 Photos

Now in its fourth year, Bird Photographer of the Year is a global photography competition that celebrates avian beauty and diversity.

With thousands of images entered for competition from more than 60 countries, the Bird Photographer Of The Year is the first of its kind dedicated exclusively to birds and the growing interest and passion for photographing them.

Cecilia Rodriguez

Cecilia RodriguezSenior Contributor to Forbes presents this beautiful presentation:


A robin snatches a worm: Winner in the Garden and Urban Birds Category   Photo: Nikos Bukas, GreeceBIRD PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 2018


Black Friday – American Flamingos Bird Photographer of the Year 2018  Winner and Creative Imagery category winner Photo: Pedro Jarque Krebs, PeruBIRD PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 2018

Black Skimmer: Bird Behavior category, Bronze Award  Photo: Thomas Chadwick, USABIRD PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

Red-necked Phalarope: Best Portrait category winner  Photo: Saverio Gatto, ItalyBIRD PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

Gannet flight – Northern Gannet: Best Portfolio category winner   Photo: Petr Bambousek-Czech RepublicBPOTY

“Whether you are a hardened pro, a keen amateur with the latest kit, or simply a hobbyist with a camera-phone or small compact camera, there is an opportunity for you to have your pictures critiqued by leading experts, win prizes, appear in a stunning coffee table book and perhaps be on display in the travelling BPOTY exhibition,” write the organizers.

The first prize of £5,000 went to Peruvian Pedro Jarque Krebs for his vibrant image of American Flamingos. “Black Friday is an image which is nothing short of explosive; it made an instant and lasting impression on a panel of judges who are determined to push the boundaries of perceived convention,” said competition organizer and judge Rob Read. “This is photographic punk rock.”


Grey Heron: Best Portrait category, Bronze Award winner      Photo: Ivan Sjögren, SwedenBPOTY

Common Snipe: Best Portrait Silver Award winner  Photo: Roelof Molenaar, NetherlandsBPOTY

Common Ostrich: Birds On The Environment category winner  Photo: Salvador Colvée, SpainBPOTY

Ruddy Turnstones: Birds in the Environment Silver Award winner     Photo: Mario Suárez Porraz, SpainBPOTY

Note on the above photo: if you can’t see the birds well, then you will need to click on the photo and enlarge it to see the birds well. It is a great photo.

Other prizes include money, camera equipment and travel vouchers. The competition is open to residents of any territory and to entrants of all ages who can participate in 8 categories and two additional special awards. 

“Year Three of this competition proved to be a real treat for all the judges who struggled to make their way through thousands of fantastic images and whittle them down to the winners,” said Read. “Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 attracted an impressive standard of photography.”

The 2019 competition opened for entries on August 20 and will close on November 30, 2018.


Great Crested Grebe: Young Bird Photographer Of The Year category, Gold Award winner  Photo: Johan Calberg, SwedenBPOTY

Little Egret: Birds in Flight category winner   Photo: Sienna Anderson, U.K.BPOTY

Starling: Attention to Detail category Silver Award winner    Photo: Alan Price, U.K.BPOTY
That is the end of this presentation, and I hope you enjoyed this presentation.  Interesting choices of  photos for this collection.  What did you think of this collection?  If you had over 5000 photos to choose from, would you have chosen these?  I know it is hard to know without seeing the other photos, but, imagine the choices you may have had.  Comments?  This is judged by a judging panel from bird enthusiasts, plus journalists from around the world.  Is this a good representation of the best photos in bird photography?  Feel free to comment below.
That is the end of this presentation, and I hope you enjoyed this presentation.  Interesting choices of  photos for this collection.  What did you think of this collection?  If you had over 5000 photos to choose from, would you have chosen these?  I know it is hard to know without seeing the other photos, but, imagine the choices you may have had.  Comments?  This is judged by a judging panel from bird enthusiasts, plus journalists from around the world.  Is this a good representation of the best photos in bird photography?  Feel free to comment below.

That is the end of this presentation of the best bird photos for 2018. The top 12 photos you see here were chosen from over 5000 photos submitted to a group of selected judges who were, A- bird lovers and B- well known photographers (unknown to the world). What do you think of the winning photos? If you had 5000 photos of birds, would you have chosen these? Are these top winning photos? Your comments below will be appreciated. They may be passed on to the next set of judges.

Thank you.

Administrator / 123PhotoGo

Shoot Kid Photography That’s Authentic, Not Cheesy

“It’s funny that people who don’t have much experience photographing kids imagine that it’s the hardest kind of portraiture there is,” says Zoe Berkovic, a New York-based fashion and advertising photographer who specializes in working with children. “For me, that’s not true, though. If you like the company of children and you enjoy connecting with them, it can be a blast.”

Her subjects haven’t yet developed “the protective walls that adults sometimes build up around themselves. I see them as fully realized people with a genuine range of emotions and vast inner landscapes. Once they sense that I get that, kids are easy to work with,” she explains.

Photo sessions with kids need to feel breezy and natural because, if the kids are too hyped up, they’re likely to burn out before you’re finished shooting. To keep the mood relaxed, you’ve got to stay relaxed too. “If you are, the kids will sense it. Let them be themselves while you try connecting with them using a gentle tone, eye contact, and, most of all, respect. They will respond in kind,” says the photographer.

If you’re sensitive to what the children around you are experiencing and feeling, it will help you recognize, respond to, and capture the behaviors they’re likely to produce for you.

Photo by Germán TR on Pexels.com

But keep your shoot active. You want to keep the kids connected and engaged with what’s happening around them. Providing some form of entertainment can help. “When things start to slow down, I pull out my Elmo and Mickey Mouse impersonations. Or I pretend to cry hysterically or laugh like a maniac,” Berkovic says. “These types of practiced routines are often enough to hold kids’ interest, at least for a while.”

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

On the Set

Choose locations that are calm, quiet, and familiar. “If you have it, a place that offers lots of space for the child to move around in will up your chances of having a happy, calm subject,” the photographer advises.

“Shoot where the light is good and the background can help you tell a story or set a consistent tone, without distraction. I like shooting at a location that takes my subjects away from everyday life—one that transports them somewhere more magical than their everyday reality,” she adds. It’s a good way to keep boredom or distraction at bay.

Berkovic also prefers spaces that have white walls. “It lets me use just one strobe to the side of the kids and opposite that wall,” she notes. The wall will act as a white reflector to fill in shadows. You can also use it to create shadows that add interest and depth, and to give kids something to lean on, which can introduce colorful body language.

Photo by Bruna Saito on Pexels.com

Don’t go into a shoot with too many preconceptions or expectations, and keep your goals to a minimum. Berkovic limits hers to this: “I want these kids to show me authenticity and soul. To find those qualities, I gently direct them, all the time being open to spontaneously generated opportunities and the unexpected. Witnessing and enjoying these unexpected moments are actually what makes my job fun and rewarding,” she says.

Planning is essential. “Have everything in place in advance so that you’re ready to capture these moments as soon as the session starts. Have games set up and conversational topics ready. If possible, have a child wrangler who is known, trusted, and who can entertain the child while you’re concentrating on other things,” says the photographer.

When kids get cranky, Berkovic doesn’t see their mood as a problem, but as an opportunity. “I’m not opposed to kids feeling emotions other than happiness. I can play around with expressions, because my goal isn’t to get smiley portraits. I let the kids be themselves and don’t make them feel that any behavior they show me is ‘wrong,’” she insists. Giving children the liberty to be themselves pays off for her in the long run.

When grumpy behavior threatens to derail a shoot, though, “I step back and let the child wrangler work his or her magic. And if that fails, I sometimes have backup kids on set, especially for toddlers and babies,” she says. As a parent, you won’t have “backup” kids, but your subject may have older, more willing siblings, and at such moments you should be prepared to turn the focus on them.

Photo by Git Stephen Gitau on Pexels.com

Nuts and Bolts

As for camera gear, Berkovic shoots with DSLRs from both Canon and Nikon, and she relies on pro-level models for all the usual reasons—speed, durability, image quality, ability to work well in both available light and strobe-lit settings. Her favorite lens is Nikon’s 24–70mm f/2.8G Nikkor AF ED VR, which she likes for its shake control and focal length. At 24mm, it lets her include a lot of background detail, while at its 70mm long end, she can zoom in for a tight crop on a face or figure. “I’m less interested in the gear than I am in the lighting and the story I want to tell,” she says.

Berkovic fell into professional child photography about a decade ago. “I was coming off a failed business, picked up a point-and-shoot camera, and decided to give photography a try,” says Berkovic. “I took every book on photography out of the library, soaked up all the information I could online, and then hit the ground running. I haven’t stopped since.”

She started with family photography, at first finding her clients among her own circle. She also cultivated relationships with teachers and mentors from whom she learned the basics of lighting, composition, editing, working with color, best business practices, pricing, casting techniques, and wardrobe styling. She needed solid knowledge of all these to succeed in the field.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Although she hadn’t planned it, her business has changed. “I noticed over time that I loved images that told stories and conveyed emotions. I was attracted to a wide variety of locations, compositions, lighting setups, and moods that weren’t always appropriate for typical family portraits,” Berkovic says. This prompted her to leap to advertising, kids’ fashion, and child-focused editorial photography.

Interested in attempting a portrait session with your own children? Many pros believe that photographing your kids is often the hardest kind of child portraiture. For one thing, kids can be reluctant subjects for their parents. If this sounds like your situation, fighting it probably won’t get you great pictures. Instead, learn the strategies and techniques of child photography by working with other people’s children—with their parents’ express permission, of course.

Berkovic herself loves the work and invites anyone who’s interested to give it a go. “If you’re like me, you will love the spontaneity of working with kids and the many unexpected pleasures they will surprise you with along the way. This job is definitely not easy, but it sure is fun!”

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

THANKS TO ZOE BERKOVIC FOR THE GREAT ARTICLE THAT WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED IN POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY.  YOUR ARTICLE WAS FANTASTIC.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Photo by Simon Matzinger on Pexels.com
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