WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY IS RIGHT IN YOUR BACKYARD!

white and black birds piercing on tree branch
Photo by daniyal ghanavati on Pexels.com

It is always a good idea to keep practicing your photo skills. One way to do that is to go out in your backyard and look for the different types of wildlife there is in your backyard. That could include squirrels, birds, butterflies, and other bugs. They all become a great photo opportunity.

Photo by Korie Cull on Unsplash

USE A GOOD TELEPHOTO LENS FOR WILDLIFE

To get the type of photo, like the very first picture of the bird above, you will need a good telephoto lens. This allows you to get your image to fill the frame. And of course the big thing, is that you don’t scare the animal away. You just can’t go up to most of these animals and ask them if you can take their picture.

Photographer using a macro lens

USE MACRO LENS OR CLOSE-UP FILTERS FOR INSECTS

A macro lens is the best lens for getting close-ups of bugs, critters, butterflies, rodents, etc. The price of a good macro lens could run you over $500 or more, but, you could also accomplish some good close-up photography with a set of “close-up filters”. Practice your aperture settings with macro photography, because if you use F2 to F5.6, you might find that the front of the bug is in focus and the back of the bug is not. Sounds like tripod work might be in order, or adjust your ISO setting to around 800 to 1200. Then you can have some help still with your shutter speeds.

SPECIAL TRAINING SESSION ON HOW TO BE CREATIVE IN YOUR BACKYARD:

And now, some ideas of how you can be creative with your back yard photography, here is a great YouTube video on being creative with wildlife photography in your own back yard. This is a great video from Nikon, and the European rep showing how to do the best work in your backyard. Please watch, because even I learned some great things from this video:

Just click on the play button and you will have this amazing training session.
praying mantis on a succulent plant
Photo by suellen baker on Pexels.com

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USING “COLOR” TO LEARN ABOUT “SEEING A PHOTO”

sliced fruits on tray
Photo by Trang Doan on Pexels.com

A photographer, who does writing for major publications had just come out with this idea of “How to See a Photo” by taking a photo with a different color each day. This will help you to understand color, even the subtle colors to help with creating an artful photograph.

She Said:

Color may make up the majority of our world, but photographing it might not be as easy as you think. Sometimes the abundance of color can be overwhelming, and sometimes it’s hard to find the color you’re looking for at all! Before taking up the challenge, grab a pen and paper. Write down a heading for each color and list as many different things you can think of under each. Sometimes it’s even worth Googling specific color schemes, just to give you some ideas of what to look for.

Next, designate a day for each color you would like to photograph. And it doesn’t have to be the generic gamut of colors either. Why not try looking out for a more pastel pallet? Soft pinks, greys, and blues make wonderful, atmospheric photographs. More earthy colors like oranges, browns and dark greens are great colors to keep a look out for in Autumn.

close up photo of rainbow colors
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

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LOOK FOR BOLD COLORS

As you start this exercise of shooting a different color each day, first look for BOLD colors. These are sometimes harder to find than the subtle colors. So, for example, look for GREEN. What would you take that is a strong GREEN color?

green pine tree leaves
Photo by Alexander Tiupa on Pexels.com

Now, as you pick a different color each day, think ahead of time of what you would take a picture of that color, and then see if you can be creative with the color chosen.

And a softer color pallete…

Once you have moved through your own assignment of the bold colors, then go to the soft color pallete:

aged armchairs near small table in patio
Photo by Maria Orlova on Pexels.com

TRY BOTH STYLES OF COLOR: BOLD AND PASTEL….

And then your next challenge would be to find a photo that would combine both BOLD and pastel in the same photo.

Focus on Photographing a Different Color Each Day to Practice the Art of Seeing
The foreground of this image is made up of bold, contrasting colors while the background is predominantly made up of a soft pink pallet. The bold and soft colors emphasize each other and create a more dynamic image. The negative space around the top half of the image is important too, it maintains balance, making sure the full extent of the color palette isn’t too overwhelming.

CONCLUSION:

While color is all around us, it’s easy to take for granted. Simple exercises like focusing on photographing a particular color each day help keep your practice fresh and unique.

Keep your eyes peeled and don’t be afraid to explore, color often reveals itself in unexpected and fascinating ways!

HOW TO GET THE BEST WINTER PHOTOS

Photo by Colby Thomas on Unsplash

We still have a few months left of winter in the northern half of the world. And when I take a look at all the submitted photos online, I keep wondering why people would post those photos. A reminder that snow is white, not grey. So, how do we get beautiful, amazing white snow winter photos? We will go through that step by step.

WATCH FOR CONTRAST TO HELP OUT

Photo by John Price on Unsplash

The camera system has a hard time with just white scenery. The best exposure and autofocus situation will be best when there is some contrast to the image. Notice with this above photo, the contrast between snow and the leaves and branches. Good contrast, and the snow came out white! (White snow makes me happy!)

In most cases though, you don’t have that big of desire to have all your photos to be close-ups of snow on trees.

YOU WILL NEED TO OVERRIDE WHAT YOUR CAMERA METER SAYS

You’ll need to dial in one or two stops of positive exposure compensation. Due to the quirks of its meter, your camera will try to make the snow look gray. Exposure compensation will counteract the meter to keep things bright.

Note: If you’re shooting in Manual mode, you can simply decrease the shutter speed by a stop or two to achieve the same result.

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LEARN HOW TO USE “LIGHTROOM” FOR YOUR WINTER PHOTOS:

Photo by Lanny Cottrell – Image lightened and contrast added through “lightroom”

One thing to understand, that I have found, no matter how hard you try with your camera, getting it perfect, getting the snow to look white, and the other trees, mountains to have nice rich color may require some work on “lightroom” to get it right. I absolutely love how my winter photos have turned out since I have used “lightroom”.

GET YOUR PHOTOS WHILE THE SNOW IS STILL FRESH:

Photo by Lanny Cottrell -Editor of 123Photogo
Facebook photo of Orem, Utah with Mount Tipanogos in the background after a snowfall.

There is something really magical about taking your winter photos right after a snowfall. The snow hasn’t had time to settle, everything is covered in snow, and the beauty of winter is amazing just then. As they say, sometimes in photography, the best photos come from just having good timing.

TRY TAKING PICTURES WHILE IT IS STILL SNOWING

Photo by Steven Wright on Unsplash

Taking pictures while it is snowing shows that you will do anything to get the “perfect photo”. It takes some fortitude to go out during the snowstorm, but, the pictures are real. As you do this, make sure you use a somewhat fast shutter speed to get your snow to stop in mid-air. If you can’t get a fast enough shutter speed, raise your ISO up higher to be able to make those changes.

bare trees on snow covered landscape
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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WATCH OUT FOR YOUR BATTERIES

Oh yeah, the batteries go weak when they get cold. If you are planning on going out for an extended time, make sure you have some extra batteries. And keep your batteries in your pocket as much as possible when you are not using the camera, or put your spare batteries in your pocket, and alternate them.

TRY DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES WHILE OUT IN THE SNOW:

Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash

Winter storms create amazing photos that you can’t get any other time. Try different angles, perspectives of what is amazing about the storm. You will capture photos that a lot of people miss.

Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

CONCLUSION:

Winter is an amazing time to take photos. Be brave and go out and take a few photos. The winter scenes are always amazing, and you can get photos that not many people capture.

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QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK A PRO PHOTOGRAPHER:

man taking a picture of the ocean on body of water during golden hour
Photo by Pok Rie on Pexels.com

If you had a chance to chat with a pro photographer, or one who you know is a “serious” photographer, what would you ask them? Most people are intrigued to see a real photographer in action. Watch them! Learn from them! And then ask if you can have a few minutes of their time and ask them some questions.

Here is a list of questions that has been put together that most photographers get asked:

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU WISH YOU KNEW WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED TAKING PHOTOS?

photo of man holding camera
Photo by Suliman Sallehi on Pexels.com

First: it’s important to know that a photographer, when they first started, didn’t know anything much about photography. They struggled to learn how their camera works, how composition works, and how to make things work for them.

Answers you might receive are:

  • Gear
  • Motivation
  • And much, much more!
  • Composition
  • Lighting
  • Scouting

These questions related to these answers should help a lot.

HOW DID YOU GET GOOD AT PHOTOGRAPHY THEN:

woman leaning back on tree trunk using black dslr camera during day
Photo by David Bartus on Pexels.com

Just remember that every photographer did not start as a photo genius. What would you think they would say? Would it be: photo courses, reading books and magazines, looking at pictures, or was it just practice, practice, practice?

(Bonus: Plenty of photographers love this question, because it’s clearly flattering! So you’re likely to get a good, long, helpful answer.)

WHAT CAMERA GEAR DO YOU USE?

I don’t recommend you start off with this question, because it comes off as a bit superficial; after all, it’s the photographer, not the gear, that makes great photos.

But there are things you can learn about cameras, and equipment that the photographer may help you with. And I hope they are honest with you and don’t say that one brand is better than another, because there is clearly a great camera you could choose in every brand. But, find out what they would recommend for the type of photography you want to do.

WHICH LENS IS YOUR FAVORITE TO USE?

This is another question that could test the honesty of the photographer. One lens is not a “fix all” lens for all types of photography. If they are a portrait photographer, then they would probably tell you that this particular lens is good for portraits. And maybe another lens would be different for landscapes, etc.

By the way, when it comes to choosing from among high-level lenses, it’s not so much about determining which lens is the sharpest. Instead, it’s about determining which lens fits your particular preferences and requirements, so that you can achieve the shots you’re after. Make sense?

WHEN YOU GO OUT TO SHOOT, WHAT OTHER EQUIPMENT DO YOU TAKE BESIDES THE CAMERA AND LENS?

So many different accessories to complete your photo experience

Most photographers have an interesting accessory or two they can’t live without, like a cleaning kit, a portable charger, or even certain hiking boots.

And these items vary from photographer to photographer, depending on their shooting genre and style.

It can be a lot of fun to ask a photographer about their essentials. Be sure to find out why they carry the items that they do. And pretty soon, you’ll have a handful of items to add to your own gear wish list!


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WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SETTINGS?

grayscale photography of person holding black dslr camera
Photo by Md Iftekhar Uddin Emon on Pexels.com

I recommend you leave this question open ended, because you don’t want to know the precise settings that a photographer uses every now and again; instead, you want to know the best settings for specific occasions, as well as the can’t-live-without settings a photographer always needs.

Some things that might be mentioned are:

  • Aperture
  • AF area modes
  • Image style (do they shoot in black and white or do they convert later?)
  • Button customization’s
  • Shutter speed
  • ISO
  • White balance
  • Focusing modes

DO YOU USE POST PRODUCTION PROGRAMS?

a woman using computer
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels.com

Does the photographer use Adobe or Lightroom? What are the reasons for using them? There is a few more minor questions to ask them here as you can see. Is it hard to use these programs?

Be sure to listen carefully; the key to a photographer’s style is sometimes hidden in the smallest of details!

IS THERE A PHOTOGRAPHER WHO HAS INFLUENCED YOU?

One of the worlds most famous photographers: Ansel Adams

Out of all the questions to ask photographers on this list, the “influence” question is the most difficult to answer – but if you have the time and the photographer is willing, it can lead to outstanding insights into their work.

See, all photographers have influences. And while most work is original to some extent, by understanding how a photographer developed, you can nail down certain aspects of their thought process, such as:

  • What they’re trying to say with their photography
  • How they approach composition
  • How they think about light

CONCLUSION:

One of the key steps to learning photography yourself, is to ask another photographer. Make sure the photographer is a good one, and not your brothers father-in-law. Get a hold of a good photographer. You usually can tell if they are really in to photography by the equipment they carry.

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NEW PHOTOGRAPHY IDEAS FOR 2022:

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

KNOW YOUR CAMERA:

Your camera has lots of features that most photographers—including yourself—never use. You might not even know they exist or what they’re for. Aperture, shutter speed, and focus are fundamental and very important, but there are many more features that can help you be a better photographer and spend less time retouching and fixing your average photos. There are functions like multiple exposure, time-lapse, mirror lock-up, and metering, just to name a few. Take your time to learn about them and get creative. Creativity will change your photography. Do you know where your camera’s manual is? Time to take it out, go through it, experiment with each function, and learn what you can create. You’ll be amazed.

THE BEST WAY TO LEARN ABOUT YOUR CAMERA IS TO GET OUR NEW BASIC COURSE ON PHOTOGRAPHY! THIS WEBSITE WILL HAVE AN ALL NEW COURSE TO LEARN ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY, AND IT COMES OUT JANUARY 20TH. WE WILL COVER IDEAS LIKE: “UNDERSTANDING LIGHT”, “HOW TO BUY A CAMERA”, THINK ABOUT “WHAT KIND OF PHOTOS YOU WANT TO TAKE“! COME BACK TO THIS WEBSITE ON JANUARY 20TH TO GET YOUR NEW PHOTO COURSE!

JOIN A PHOTO CLUB, AND MINGLE WITH OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS:

Photo by Seth Doyle on Unsplash

Photography is lots of fun when you can share the experience with others. Look for local photographers or a local photo club and plan outings. Going out with several photographers allows you to experiment with other cameras and lenses, learn new techniques, and practice. It’s fun and a great way to learn.

LEARN NEW PHOTO TECHNIQUES

This website, this year, is going to have a lot of different ideas of how to take different types of photos. Different ways to take photos. And also learn about things you can do with your camera you may not realize you can do. Should be an exciting new year of learning here at 123photogo.

Try something here now by going to this search engine and just type in a subject you want to learn about. With over 1,000 different blogs on this website, I may already have something new to try out. Try it here now:

TRY SHOOTING SOME NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY:

Shooting at night is probably the best way to learn photography. Automatic does not work. You have to learn how to balance ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. You are forced to use a tripod, and by doing so, you learn how to use it properly and reinforce proper shooting techniques. Also learn how to focus on the light. In the end, you will be rewarded with amazing images.

Photo by Lanny Cottrell – 123PhotoGo

FIND A WAY TO SHOW OFF YOUR WORK MORE:

There is no better feeling than someone commenting on your image and liking it. There are many ways in which you can show off your work. Post it online. For example, on SmugMug you can have your own mini-website. Enlarge and print a couple of your images and hang them at home or at the office. Build a photo page of your work on Facebook. Instagram was originally set up for photographers to display their photos online. Plush, you can learn a lot from photographers there as wellThere are many options, and at the end you will feel proud of your photography and motivated to do better.

123PhotoGo has it’s own “photo group” in which you can share your photos. I find that the serious photographers are trying to post new photos almost every day. It makes you think that you need to take more photos, and as you do so, you become a better photographer. Details below:

THIS IS GOING TO BE AN EXCITING YEAR FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS AS WE CONTINUE TO MODIFY THIS WEBSITE SO WE CAN HELP YOU AND OTHERS BECOME BETTER PHOTOGRAPHERS. KEEP COMING BACK! IT WILL BE EXCITING!