Archive for nature

East Coast Florida Tour/Workshop Report

Posted in Instructional Photo Tours with tags , , , , on May 25, 2013 by roamin with roman

Great Egrets at the Nest

OK…..so I am a bit behind on my tour/workshop reports so I decided to start from my last one! The east coast Florida tour is very different from the west coast Florida tour I do earlier in March as we concentrate more on the chicks. What got my attention in the image at the top was the dark green background that I could isolate with my Sigma 300-800mm. I tried to repeat the same scenario with the images below of the Cattle Egrets and the Tri-colored Herons (which were also photographed with the Sigma 300-800mm). You have to take many images when photographing nests as getting 3 correct head angles is difficult to say the least!!!

Cattle Egrets at the Nest

Begging Tricolored Herons

One of the highlights of the tour had to be the black necked stilts and their chicks. The clouds didn’t cooperate on many of the mornings but I did get a one really good chance with the Sigma 300-800mm.

Close to Mom

There was still some mating activity going on with the egrets and I wanted to concentrate on the cattle egrets that had some pretty spectacular breeding plumage which you can see for yourself in the image below. I used the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 for this one.

Banking Cattle Egret

To get a bit more variety on this tour we also visited butterfly world for some macro photography. Besides the butterflies we got an opportunity at some flowers and even some finches! I used my Sigma 180mm macro and the Canon MT24 twin lights for all the macro images below.

AL6P8442

Battling for Attention

AL6P7310_2-b4sharpcopy

Finch

One afternoon, I wanted to travel a bit lighter so I used my 120-300mm when I had an opportunity to photograph this fledged spoonbill still pestering mom and dad for food. It was almost comical to watch as he shoved that large bill into the parents’ mouth!

Fledgling and Mom

On one particular morning we had cloudy conditions and not too much activity when I spotted a Ruddy Turnstone attacking a crab. I sure wish we had better light although it is the ones that I miss that keep me going back for more!!!

Battle of Life and Death

I had the good fortune of watching the tricolored heron chick pictured below take his first flight just shortly after he posed on this branch for me.

Posing Tri

I will be announcing my 2014 east coast Florida workshops shortly so stay tuned to my schedule or e-mail me at; rkurywczak@gmail.com  to be placed on the advanced notice list.

Advertisements

Yellowstone/Tetons 2012 Tour Report

Posted in Instructional Photo Tours with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2013 by roamin with roman

The Sun set on another day  in Yellowstone

Hope everyone has recovered from the holidays!  With my back going out just in time for Christmas, I have had some time to ponder on the year that has just passed and remembered I needed to share my tour report from Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons!  The image above of Great Fountain Geyser is a good representation of why, as a landscape photographer, I love going back to the same locations.  I have stood at that spot countless times over the years and am always amazed how every day is different and this allows me to look for different or unusual compositions and even take some risks.  Photographing into the sun is always challenging, but my job was made a bit easier by simply using a 3 f/stop, soft step graduated split neutral density filter and the Darryl Benson reverse graduated neutral density filter; both by Singh Ray.  This allowed me to keep the sun and sky in check and expose for the foreground and bring out all the details in it.

Young Bull

This year we had many more opportunities with the moose.  While the biggest bull we came upon never got to a good light angle, the youngster shown above gave the group a bit of a scare/thrill as he ran into the open among a herd of buffalo!  We even had a bit of time to follow him along the river as he made a dash for a female that was about ½ mile away.  The two images below show the same young bull jumping over a tiny creek and then ”sniffing” the scent of the nearby female who wanted nothing to do with the youngster!

On the Move

Catching the Scent

 A few moments before the moose came charging out, a pronghorn sheep bull came casually sneaking up on us to within 30 feet!  The Sigma 300-800mm was way too much lens at that range but we did get many more opportunities to photograph them at a bit more comfortable distance.

Pronghorn

As usual in Yellowstone and the Tetons at that time of year, we had many opportunities for both the elk and buffalo although I have noticed that they have moved away from their usual locations from the past.

Bull Elk in Fall Colors

Along the River

Frosty Morning Buffalo

 

Dusting

What always makes the Yellowstone ecosystem so unique is the variety of subjects you have to photograph; from dramatic landscape to wildlife and even birds……that tour always lands on the top of my list for favorite tours! Below is an example of some of the variety we had in photographing the landscapes but no tour would be complete without at least one nighttime shoot!!!  I used DxO Labs Optics Pro 8 to reduce the noise in the night image.  I look forward to using it a bit more and reviewing it in the near future.

White Dome at Night

Oxbow Bend 2012

Orange Mound Spring

Fall in the Tetons

Undine Falls 2012

The Yellowstone/Tetons tour is one of my least demanding physically as most of the shooting is done close to the car. I hope you can join me on the 2013 tour and let me share my years of experience and knowledge of this magical place. As always if you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at; rkurywczak@gmail.com