Ask me a question in this journal entry!
All questions will be answered.
Q / A
Q / DeerestHammy "In macro sense, whats your favorite thing to take close up pictures of?"
/ Oh man, this is a hard question. I do not own a macro lens, so I haven't created many macro photographs. My favorite macro subject...probably weird plants and the life of tiny insects.
/ LeahLovesNature "How did you first get interested in wildlife photography?"
A / I have always been fascinated by wildlife. I had always wanted to see into their world. Photography allows me the privilege of attempting what I had always imagined. I didn't find my love of photography until the age of 16, when my parents got me the gift of a Canon Rebel XS on Black Friday in 2010. I had wanted a camera to create technology tutorial videos on YouTube. I had no knowledge of cameras. As it turned out, the Rebel XS could only produce still images. Rather than taking the camera back to the store, I decided to keep it. Photography soon became my obsession.
/ Crappy-Artist-Guy "Are the animals make a difficult subject to work with? Being that they move so much..."
A / It's a game of patience, since you cannot control the wildlife that you are photographing. I feel that wildlife photographs come easily to me. It's all about patience and studying the movement of the subject. Sometimes it is all about studying the animal. This sow enjoyed an evening snack as her cubs played through the tall grasses. Photographing them was all about telling the story of the moment.
Whereas this photograph required waiting for the light to hit the young bear's face at the right time on a bright sunny day in the forest with lots of shadows.
/ RaisedFists "How much time do you put in to get a good shot and how much time do you spend behind the camera each week?"A
/ Some photographs can take months to get, waiting on the weather and lighting. Other times if can be a matter of a few minutes to an hour. Getting the photograph is only the first part, then the image must be processed. That can take 30 minutes to several hours. The amount of time that I spend behind the camera in a week depends on the week. If the lighting or weather is not right, I most likely will not create a photograph. I do spend a lot of time on walks and hikes and I take my camera everywhere that I go.
/ Telynoz "How do you not freak out when you see a mother bear with cubs right in front of you..Aren't those super aggressive when they have cubs? She looks so calm, it's like you aren't even there!"
A / It's not a fear that I have. Can't explain it. I do a lot of research on the animals that I photograph. I learn their behaviors, their actions when they feel threatened or stressed. A mother bear for example will send her cubs up a tree. I never get too close to my subjects on purpose. Respect the animals and they will respect you. In that photograph I was very close to them. There was a hill on the left side of the trail. I was going around a corner and there they were, coming out of the brush. The first thing that I did was stop, then I walked backwards slowly while watching their movements. The mother definitely knew that I was there. Once I seen that I was not interfering I stopped and began photographing. A mother black bear will give her life for her cubs if needed. She did not feel that I was a threat. She continued to snack on the leaves while her cubs played.
Q / "Were you looking for bears at the time? And what would you have done if she charged? Thanks for answering and sorry for giving you more questions."
A / I was sort of looking for bears, but more importantly I was just out enjoying a hike. Bears will bluff charge. It has been known where bears have charged people right up to the point where the bear is maybe only a foot away, then it turns and walks off. That's why it is important to never run from a bear, even if it charges. If you run, the bear's prey instincts may be triggered. You cannot outrun a bear. It's important to watch the signs that the bear is giving. A bear will show signs before it resorts to charging or attacking. Examples are a low head, raised fur on the back of the neck, stomping or slapping of the feet, huffing and barking, stuck out lips, head moving side to side, etc. It may even hop toward you a bit and slap the ground. My pleasure. I do not mind at all. Finishing a few things at the moment for an upcoming fundraiser for the Mother Bears project. A film that I am going to produce. There will be even more black bear facts in the film.
Q / Neb-Storm "Where are your favorite places to take wildlife pictures? What places haven't you been that you want to go to?"
A / The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of my favorites. I have not been to Katmai, and I have not been to the Serengeti National Park. Both of which I want to visit.
Q / slowdog294 "When do we get to see you back in the Smokies?"
A / Hopefully soon!_______________________________________
Q / EdgedFeather "What do you usually do when you go out looking for wildlife? Is there a certain spot you go and just wait, or you do actively walk around and look for thing? I've been wanting to get more photos of wild animals, but don't really know how to go about doing it. I can never seem to get close enough to the few animals I do actually see."
A / The adventure begins before you even head out. Doing a lot of research is crucial. Look up articles and graphs online about your area's wildlife. This way you know what can be found. Learn what that animal eats, what game trails look like, what the footprint of that animal looks like, what the fecal matter of that animal looks like, and what markings that the animal makes looks like...for example bucks will rub their antlers on trees and bears will scratch and tear a tree up looking for grubs. If you're lucky you may have a national park near where you live. Hunting in a national park is prohibited, which means that there is an abundance of wildlife. Make sure that you have a good telephoto lens. A simple 50mm will not suffice. Right now I use a 70-300mm IS USM lens on my Canon 7D.
Q / "Do you just track them when you go out? How long do you usually stay out?"
A / I look for places where wildlife frequently visits. Or just go on a hike and hope to get lucky. A lot of what I have captured has been because I was in the right place at the right time. Enjoying nature and just getting out is the most important part. When I go on a hike, I stay out anywhere between a few hours to all day. Sometimes multiple days. I have not been employed yet, but I know that a lot of employers ask for you to go on assignment for several weeks to several months!
Q / IceIsland "What do you most love about living with nature while shooting?The photographer communicates with the natural environment?"
A / Nature is something that you cannot control. It holds so much life and can be both beautiful and relentless and you are left at it's unforgiving mercy. That's what I love most about photographing in nature. It doesn't matter if you're a photographer, hiker, explorer, or God forbid a prisoner in nature, once you're in it, you communicate with nature in one way or another. Nature has to be respected. If you go into a forest without any knowledge or sense of humbleness, you may not find yourself leaving.Q
/ ChrisStudioART "When you are around the nature world what do you feel? And what's your favorite thing to take close up pictures of?A
/ A bit of euphoria and a sense of wonder and freedom. Not many things can match the feeling of being in the midst of a beautiful forest, and especially the feeling after creating an amazing photograph. If you're referring to close-up as in macro, then probably weird plants and the life of tiny insects.Q / Natakiro "
What has to be one of the most difficult things when trying to capture a great image?"A
/ The trek to the destination or getting the timing right. It's not easy to walk over slippery rocks with a backpack full of camera equipment to photograph a waterfall. Especially if there is ice. Waiting for the light to change or for the animal to make a certain movement or move into the right light....one moment it is there, the next never to be seen again.