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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Congratulations Terry Taylor.
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/)
Winner will be interviewed and featured on the front of NatureGraphy.com
SHARE, LIKE, COMMENT! HAVE FUN! It’s your time to shine.
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.
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:
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 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.
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.
On August 25, 2017, a category 3 hurricane named Harvey made landfall in the United States of America, devastating some areas of Texas.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.