Editor's Choice: Creativity & Beautiful Whites
VIEW PUBLICATION
Editor's Choice: Man O' War, Rhino & Deer Caught Our Attention This Week
VIEW PUBLICATION
Our Wildlife Photography Contest Winners on (1/23/18-2/13/18) are...
VIEW PUBLICATION
Great Grey Owl by Stuart A. McKay (Best Photo of the Week) Ending 11/5/17
VIEW PUBLICATIONVIEW PUBLICATION
Fall Nature Photography Contest Winner is Randy Jacobs
OCTOBER

Fall Nature Photography Contest Winner is Randy Jacobs

Photo by: Randy Jacobs

NatureGraphy’s nature photography Fall Contest winner is Randy Jacobs and his photograph of a yearling doe, resting on fall leaves.

The fall equinox is a highly anticipated season for most nature photographers. The winds bring a new scent and the birds sing a different tune. The migration of new creatures and the natural changes to sceneries bring forth new adventurous opportunities.

Congratulations, Randy, you magnificently captured the beginning of the new fall season and the coming of age of this beautiful yearling doe.

Yearling doe resting on the Fall leaves

Yearling doe resting on the Fall leaves – by Randy Jacobs

Tell Your Nature Story

NatureGraphy asked Nature Photographer Randy Jacobs to share with us his nature story.

When I was growing up in the city, in Michigan, I enjoyed my trips up north; seeing and experiencing nature and all it had to offer. My love and passion for nature photography was a way I could enjoy what I had seen and places I had visited, when I was back in the city. My favorite type of nature photography is without a doubt the animals that inhabit the woods. They can be very challenging to photograph, so you have to be prepared at all times for that special shot. The best part of nature is just being able to be out there photographing it. Some people never get to experience all that nature is. Sadly, nature is threatened by the urban sprawl by turning what was once woods and fields, were deer and other animals inhabit, into sub-divisions and apartment complexes. When this happens, the animals are forced into smaller areas and often wind up killed on the side of a road.

Behind the Photo

Randy Jacobs shares with us the highlights of the day he took his yearling doe photograph.

The photo I had taken of, “Deer enjoying fall leaves,” was a beautiful fall day with the sun illuminating the leaves in the maple trees. I was driving to the park, where I hike and photograph, when I saw several does walking by the trees. I parked away from them and grabbed my camera. I stood a ways away from them and waited for one to get under the trees. She posed and I took the photo.

Final Thoughts

Most nature photographers have great aspirations. We asked Randy Jacobs, what were his plans and ambitions for the future?

The future I see for myself in the way of photography is the day I retire from my job, I will be outside every day I can, enjoying  my love and passion of photography. NatureGraphy and all the fantastic photographers here are an inspiration to me. Photography to everyone that picks up a camera, is a story we tell about ourselves. There are no bad photographs, in my opinion. We tell a story through our own eyes and to me that is the real beauty of photography. So pick up your cameras and tell your nature story.

Don’t forget to share with your friends and leave a thought below.

Winning Post

Beginners Guide: Nature Photography and Lighting 2
OCTOBER

Beginners Guide: Nature Photography and Lighting

The first step in taking better nature pictures is recognizing the light conditions in your environment. A DSLR camera’s fuel, like a car, is the light available to reach the camera sensor. Many beginning photographers stick to auto modes and these modes work best with the right amount of light.

Why is light conditions important?

With more available light, the faster the DSLR camera’s shutter speed can be. Nature is rarely still enough to shoot at slow shutter speeds and a slow shutter speed introduces movement in the capture, rather than a perfect still.

Light and Shutter Speed

For an example, lets look at the butterfly and shutter speed setting. The Giant Swallowtail flutters fast constantly, rarely giving a photographer a still moment. A shutter speed less than 1000, more than likely will produce too much motion in your image, rather than a complete still photo.

Giant Swallowtail

Giant Swallowtail photo: motion introduced due to slow shutter speed. By Rafael De Armas

In order to obtain a shutter speed of 1000, the right amount of light must be available. Shooting on a cloudy day or in the shade with a shutter speed of 1000 will result in an overly underexposed capture.

Giant Swallowtail

Giant Swallowtail still capture. By Rafael De Armas

Light and F-Number

The right amount of light allows you to increase your F-Number. The right F-Number gives better focus on your subject. Take a look at the difference in these two captures of Mockingbirds. The first one was captured with a lower F-Number and the result is less focus on the entire body, leaving the feet out of focus. The second one was captured with a higher F-Number and the result is that the entire bird is in complete sharp focus.

Mockingbird

Mockingbird: Feet out of focus, by Rafael De Armas

Mockingbird

Mockingbird: Entire body in clear sharp focus, by Rafael De Armas

Tip: Direction of the Sun

Here’s a quick tip in recognizing the right time to click. If the sun is hitting your eyes, meaning you’re facing the sun, it’s a bad time to take a picture, because your subject is facing you and the front of it is shaded.

Beginning nature photographers tend to get overly excited when seeing a wild animal and the position of the sun becomes an after thought. Over the course of your career, you’ll start to notice that your best pictures are captured when your patience includes your lighting conditions.

Team NatureGraphy

Stay tuned for part two of our Beginners Guide: Nature Photography and Lighting Part Two

Feel free to add to this article using the comment section below or simple add your thoughts and share with your friends.

Cinnamon Black Bear Stare by Martyn Green (Best Photo of the Week) - 9/30/17
OCTOBER

Cinnamon Black Bear Stare by Martyn Green (Best Photo of the Week) – 9/30/17

Photo by: Martyn Green

That moment, every nature photographer out in the field has at least once, in their lifetime; a stare down with a mighty predator. In this situation it was the Cinnamon Black Bear.

It gave Mr. Green a stare that would send chills down the back of the most bravest men and women in the world. In his photo caption, in the NatureGraphy Group, photographer Martyn Green states,

Don’t turn, Don’t run, Don’t breathe, just walk slowly backwards! – Martyn Green

An inexperienced photographer would be hard pressed to remain relaxed and just walk backwards, but he is right. Sudden moments will entice the predator to pounce on its prey.

Brown Bear Stare

Cinnamon Black Bear Stare by Martyn Green

Martyn we are very glad that you made it out alive to share this magnificent capture with us all. Congratulations on winning Best Photo of the Week.

Note: This post was updated to correct a species misclassification, from Brown Bear to Cinnamon Black Bear.

Original Post

European Robin named Monty by Terry Taylor‎ (Best Photo of the Month) - 09/30/17
OCTOBER

European Robin named Monty by Terry Taylor‎ (Best Photo of the Month) – 09/30/17

Featured photo by:  Terry Taylor

Now, how many people have a wild bird friend, that trusts them so much to eat from their hand? Terry Taylor that’s who.

Terry has a European Robin bird friend named Monty, that he occasionally visits and feeds at the park in the United Kingdom.

Feeding with one hand and capturing a stunning photograph with the other, Terry captures a cherished heart pounding moment, that will captivate nature enthusiasts for years to come.

NatureGraphy awards Terry Taylor “Best Photo of the Month” for this once in a lifetime photographic moment to awe over.

European Robin named Monty

European Robin named Monty by Terry Taylor

Congratulations Terry Taylor.

Original Photo Post

18156387_10213773799845685_6766669550304865873_o
OCTOBER

Fall and Nature Photography Contest

Featured Photo by: Kenn Stilger

This week’s NatureGraphy contest is all about Fall and Nature. Fall is upon us and so begins the noticeably shorter daylight and cooler temperatures. Fall is highly recognized for its beautiful foliage, harvesting of crops and in some areas, leaf peeping.

Share your best fall and nature photography for a chance to be this week’s winner.

  • Contest Start & End Date: 10/2/17-10/7/17
  • Winner Announcement Date: 10/8/17

Contest Rules & Guidelines:
1. The theme is Fall & Nature. As we love all the beautiful places earth has to offer, please enter photos directly related to Fall & Nature.

(For example: A castle surrounded by beautiful foliage. The foliage is related to fall but the castle is not nature it is man-made.)

2. Use hashtag #FallContest when posting your entry in the group.

3. Only 3 photo entries per member
*Follow NatureGraphy’s current Contest Rules & Guidelines (https://naturegraphy.com/contest-guidelines/)

Contest Reward:

Winner will be interviewed and featured on the front of NatureGraphy.com
SHARE, LIKE, COMMENT! HAVE FUN! It’s your time to shine.
[blog_subscription_form]

wp-image-1445569813
SEPTEMBER

Editing photos on mobile like the pros with these 3 apps

Want to touch up your Raw nature photo files but don’t have the time to sit behind your desktop or laptop?

There are several apps developed for mobile that can take your photography to the next level. Photographers use top names like Adobe Lightroom when it comes to editing their Raw files and most of that software is only available for desktop computers and cost a lot of money to use.

In this article, we share with you our top three mobile apps for Android, with professional photo editing tools and the good news is, two are completely free.

First, lets take a look at a quick example of how mobile editing can professionally transform your photos.

Before mobile editing (Photo Credit: Rafael De Armas)

After mobile editing (Photo Credit: Rafael De Armas)

The second photo was edited using Snapseed. Technology has brought mobile devices to desktop capabilities, with easy one tap tools, that can bring your photos to life. These mobile programs/apps also provide more advanced professional tools that help you create your envisioned masterpiece.

So, what mobile apps can edit photos at professional levels? Here’s a list of NatureGraphy’s top 3 apps for mobile devices:

Adobe Photoshop Express

With its latest update, that tacked on many new features, Photoshop Express can edit photos at near professional levels. Also, with its catalog of free presets, editing photos are now easy and fast.

Snapseed

Snapseed is avaible from Google and it can compete with top of the line desktop photo editing software. Snapseed also provides presets but not as many as Photoshop Express.

Photo Mate 3

Our personal favorite and unmatched by any other photo editor currently available for mobile. Photo Mate isn’t free software, you’ll have to buy it to take advantage of its many features and tools and it’s currently available for $7.99 USD on the app store.

Know of any other apps that are great to edit photos? Share them in the comment section below.

Can We Still Love Nature After What Hurricane Harvey Did? 4
SEPTEMBER

Can We Still Love Nature After What Hurricane Harvey Did?

On August 25, 2017, a category 3 hurricane named Harvey made landfall in the United States of America, devastating some areas of Texas.

This is a true story about a Nature Photographer named Ana R. Love (A member of the NatureGraphy Group on Facebook) and the devastation nature left behind in Hitchcock, Texas.

21361937_1910082529243221_155917305_o

Photo showing hurricane Harvey flooding Ana R. Love’s home in Texas Credit: Ana R. Love

Before The Storm

Ana’s interest in nature and photography started at an early age, looking at magazines like National Geographic, wondering how the pictures of wildlife and landscapes were taken so clear. When she became older, taking pictures of her children experiencing the outdoors became a passion.

Then one day, while visiting the Houston Zoo with her Nikon P510, Ana captured her children feeding a squirrel and her husband took photos of her, coming together around Nature Photography (NatureGraphy). During her first cross-country trip, landscape photography became her true love of the art.

For Ana, photography is about the moment, wanting to show the world what her eyes see.

The Coming Storm

Hurricane Harvey approached the Gulf of Mexico, making landfall in Corpus Christi. Ana and her family had an entire day with no rain and very little wind in Hitchcock, Texas, setting the illusion that her area wasn’t in danger, then came midnight. While Ana slept, her daughter woke her father up, afraid because water started to leak into her room.

Harvey flooding inside the house

Harvey flooding inside the house. Credit: Ana R. Love

At that very moment, Harvey came like “a thief in the night.” The family attempted to move items out of the room but by the time they finished it was too late. Water came pouring into the kitchen and master bed room. It took one hour for the entire house to be flooded with a foot of water.

Harvey rising flood waters.

Harvey rising flood waters. Credit: Ana R. Love

The family grabbed clothes and their animals and went for higher ground but Harvey was intense, never letting up. The water rose to 4 feet very quickly.

Harvey flooding inside the house. #2

Harvey flooding inside the house. #2 Credit: Ana R. Love

Her husband shut the power down to the house and they made their way through several feet of water, toward their SUV, which was parked on Highway 6.

Ana R. Love's family makes it to their vehicle during Harvey storm.

Ana R. Love’s family makes it to their vehicle during Harvey storm. Credit: Ana R. Love

After The Storm

On the third day, Ana slept on the floor of her house, after the water subsided, using one hand to hold the entrance door because she feared the water would come pouring in again.

Ana's emotional moment after Hurricane Harvey floods her entire home.

Ana’s emotional moment after Hurricane Harvey floods her entire home. Credit: Ana R. Love

Harvey destroyed everything they owned. They’ve spent a few days with relatives and a few nights at hotels but she and her family are struggling because of lack of work.

Nature is beautiful but yet furious, leaving us powerless toward its might, embedding memories of terror and if we’re lucky to survive, a humbling feeling of gratefulness.

Though, Harvey destroyed everything Ana and her family worked so hard for, leaving her home to be repaired, they struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Ana keeps her head up, at times not wanting to in despair.

Items destroyed by hurricane Harvey

Items destroyed by hurricane Harvey. Credit: Ana R. Love

The question we all most ask ourselves, envisioning going through an ordeal like this is: Can we still love nature after what Hurricane Harvey did?

Don’t forget to drop a comment below and share with your friends.

Written by Nature Photographer Rafael De Armas

Edited by Stephanie De Armas

This was a collaborating effort by NatureGraphy and group member Ana R. Love.

Total Solar Eclipse, August 21, 2017 Contest Winners 4
AUGUST

Total Solar Eclipse, August 21, 2017 Contest Winners

The August 21, 2017, Total Solar Eclipse was a sight to behold and our NatureGraphy group members captured natural views of its totality, for the world to see for generations to come.

Every capture was beautiful but like our contest title suggested (Total Solar Eclipse Photography Contest), we could only choose the best photos of a Total Solar Eclipse, not partial.

We would like to thank every member that participated. Everyone is a winner to us just for effort but we can only present the Top 5 best. Team NatureGraphy presents to you the best Total Solar Eclipse photos, submitted to the group on Facebook. Congratulations!

1st Place: Janet Jester Riekenberg‎

Total Solar Eclipse, August 21, 2017

Total Solar Eclipse, August 21, 2017 by Janet Jester Riekenberg‎

2nd Place: Rosemary Browning

Total Solar Eclipse in Symsonia, August 21, 2017 by Rosemary Browning

Total Solar Eclipse in Symsonia, August 21, 2017 by Rosemary Browning

3rd Place: Gregg Thomas

20988581_1904172239906760_6309052548461525030_o

Total Solar Eclipse, August 21, 2017 by Gregg Thomas

4th Place: Eric T Kreft

Total Solar Eclipse, August 21, 2017 by Eric T Kreft‎

Total Solar Eclipse, August 21, 2017 by Eric T Kreft‎

5th Place: Michael Gooch

21032395_1536598559730729_1019750302286753829_n

Total Solar Eclipse, August 21, 2017 by Michael Gooch

Don’t forget to share with your friends…