Tuesday, December 25, 2012

   So, it finally came, the book I ordered (actually it was my wife who posted the order). Two weeks of waiting and less than one more week and it's been read through. I thought it might be nice to share a few thoughts about this piece of work, which carries the name "Digital outdoor photography, 101 top tips", by Heather Angel.
                This how the book looks like, if you stumble a cross it in the book store.
 For me reading a book is somehow related to inspiration. Especially when there is a lack of inspiration, a good book or even a magazine might help to give that so much needed punch to pack the gear, get out and start to shoot. Somehow, usually I just don't manage to get that same feeling when reading and watching stuff on the internet. I need to have something concrete and real in my hands, so a good book will most likely to do the job. Why? Looking images made by other photographers, especially when the pics are made by someone who has a vision, makes me want to do the same, go out and find something beautiful and show it to others. Reading stories makes me want to experience similar kind of things. And finally, good tips and tricks are always appreciated, right? You never know too much so that you couldn't learn a bit more.

   Heather Angel is an author for whopping 52 books, this one is the 52nd. She has a long and successful career in photography, so she surely knows what she's writing about. As the title suggest the book concentrates on outdoor photography. Practically, all types of nature photography is gone through, landscape, flower, wildlife and macro photography. The book is divided in thirteen sections, starting from "Planning and preparation" and ending in "After a shoot" section. So actually the book contains a workflow from the start to the end of a shoot. There's tips for composition, ideas for subjects to shoot, advice for clothing, neat tricks for macro photography and so on. Besides everything is accompanied by images that fit the tip. Actually the title "101 tips" is a bit miss leading, there is quite a lot more tips and tricks than just 101.

  So did I get inspired? Honestly, not as much as I wished. This book is best suited for a beginner. If you've been in to nature photography for a while, then you maybe won't find too many tips you already don't know from this book. The good thing with "Digital outdoor photography, 101 top tips" is that the tips are between two covers, in the internet you might have to search for a while to find all the information which is packed in to this book. Some of the images are absolutely stunning and inspiring, but on the other hand there are a few which made me feel that "this is something that even I could do". So if you are starting in outdoor photography or dreaming of getting out to the wild accompanied by your camera, this book might be an invaluable investment. If you are a seasoned pro, this book maybe won't give you so much (or who knows?).  

  By the way, what I especially liked with this book is that it didn't immediately tell you to go and get the most expensive D-SLR and a bunch of fast glass. So if you don't have "pro gear" it's not a big deal, the most important is to get out and make pictures with what you have. There's also lots of tips for accessories you might need on a photo shoot.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

   I'm not actually a very keen movie maker, but I do sometimes make a clip or two. If I'm sure that I have the image I wanted and there still is time and the action is there, why not, just turn the live view mode on and push play.

  Last spring I photographed lots of Wolf Spiders. There's plenty of them hunting in our garden. One way to identify a male from a female is to look at their pedipalps, that small leg kind of thing between the jaws and the first leg. The males have enlarged pedipalps, in my opinion they sometimes look like boxing gloves, and there in these pouches is its sperm, which the male spider most likely would like to donate to a receptive female. It's time for a courtship dance and this is how it goes...
  This guy wasn't lucky, hes date left before he managed to deliver hes package. Just hope some other female was more impressed of hes dance, drumming and waving.

  Sometimes the Female might be interested of something else. Caught this male in the next clip, when he was furiously trying to make an impression on a female. After a few pics the female hid her self behind the rocks. The male was still waving, but suddenly it stopped. Let's see what happened...
  Amazing things going on in the tiny world of invertebrates.