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20 Jun 2024

Just Look Up (with Glenn Nelson)
Refuge Outdoor Festival, Sept. 28, 2021

Watch on Facebook Live (starts a few minutes into): Just Look Up

Bird & Wildlife Photo Tips:

Basics: Use longest lens you can rent or afford, use back-button focus (Google for setup instructions for your brand of camera), shoot manual, shoot wide open, shoot 1/1000 or faster if possible, use auto-ISO, use continuous auto-focus, use fastest frames-per-second, learn how to read histograms and shoot to the right.

1. Best Light: 30 minutes before and 90 minutes after sunrise and sunset. It’s also when most wildlife is most active. Cloudy skies change the equation, creating filtered, more disperse light.

2. Directional Light: Front lit produces fewer harsh shadows. Point your own shadow at your subject.

3. Gesture: Catch them doing something different, to evoke emotion. Eg., expressions, action, interaction (especially with young).

4. Even Background: Shoot wide open (lowest numbered f-stop for your lens) and have your subject closer to you than its background. Choose an evenly lit and colored background. Change your angle and shoot at subject’s eye level.

5. Study Behavior and Habitat: Remember the “creature of habit” term, which applies to all animals (even humans) to varying degrees. Knowing your subject allows you to plan and maybe even get closer (also, don’t make eye contact and don’t move in straight lines).

6. The Eyes Have It: The eyes must be in focus! Capturing catch light reveals life/soul. And, again, be eye level with subject.

Readings Referenced:

Chevon Powell And Refuge Outdoor Festival

Why Are Our Parks So White?

After The Camber Equity Pledge Blowup

What If I’m Not White?

It’s Time to Think Beyond Bears Ears (nearby nature)

What’s In A Name?

Some of my best photographic work:

Follow me: @thetrailposse

Follow Seattle Audubon: @seattleaudubon

Seattle Audubon Guide to Birds: Bird Web

Bird Names for Birds: Bird Names for Birds

Merlin App: All About Birds