Category Archives: nature photography

A new book worth buying – The Masters of Nature Photography

I saw a post today on Jim Brandenburg’s Facebook page, announcing the release of the new book, The Masters of Nature Photography. It’s a fabulous new coffee table book containing over 100 images from the world’s top 10 nature photographers. All have won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award. The ten photographers featured in the book are: Jim Brandenburg, David Doubilet, Pal Hermansen, Frans Lanting, Thomas E. Mangelsen, Vincent Munier, Michael ‘Nick’ Nichols, Paul Nicklen, Anup Shah and Christian Ziegler. Each photographer presents a 20 page portfolio of images, as well as describing their style of photography, influences and aims and the equipment used to make the image.  It also includes descriptions of why the pictures have special meaning to the photographer as well as telling the stories behind them.

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For only $45 U.S., you can purchase a copy of the book, signed by Jim Brandenburg. Just click on the thumbnail above to go to Jim’s blog site. You can purchase the book directly from his blog site.

I plan to buy one and oggle over the amazing images by ten of the world’s best. A book containing that many images by the top wildlife photographers from around the world is not only brain-candy for me. It is also a great opportunity to study the images, to learn why these are winning images – what is it about the composition, lighting, perspective and other aspects that give these images that “wow factor”? I figure if I can’t be taught directly by these masters, I can certainly learn something from studying their images. I think we all strive to be better photographers. I know I am never satisfied with my images. Oh sure, my photography has improved and matured immensely over the years. But that’s different from being satisfied with my images. I’m always looking forward, looking to improve. And I have no doubt the images in this book with provide a lot of fodder for contemplation as well as just a great evening of pouring over a book of spectacular images.

Let me know if you buy one and if so, what you think.

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Filed under Creative Photography, Featured Wildlife Photographer, nature photography, photography, Wildlife Photography

Wandering Doe – Photo of the Week

Sorry folks! I’ve been absent for a while. Tons going on and then away from home for work for a week. Busy times! But I’m back and have posted another Photo of the Week. This time, it’s an image taken with my new Nikon D7100. Am very happy with the camera so far. It’s early days, but so far, I like it. I look forward to lots more photography to really put the camera through its paces. And hopefully, there will be more opportunities to photograph the beautiful doe, the subject of this week’s Photo of the Week from 44th Parallel Photography.

Click on the thumbnail below to view the Photo of the Week.

 

18 August 2013

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Filed under Digital Photography, Mammals, nature photography, Photo of the Week, Wildlife Photography

Swimming Through Salad – Photo of the Week

This week’s Photo of the Week has an odd but fitting title. I’m going to let you tune into my Photo of the Week webpage to read about it, rather than telling you what it’s about. Note that no salad dressing was used in the making of this photo. 😉

Click HERE or on the thumbnail below to visit 44th Parallel Photography’s Photo of the Week.

27 July 2013

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Filed under nature photography, Photo of the Week, Wildlife Photography

On Display – Photo of the Week

Finally a chance to post some images from my bird photography outing a few weekends ago. We came across this really cooperative and response male Red-winged Blackbird. He had a female on a nest nearby and came to let us know. We were at the side of the road at a marsh and he clearly wanted to make sure we got the message. It was a windy day, but luckily he was down low, in the cattails, which made it far easier to focus on him.

Click on the thumbnail below to see 44th Parallel Photography’s Photo of the Week.

22 June 2013

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Filed under Digital Photography, Nature, nature photography, Photo of the Week, photography, Wildlife Photography

44th Parallel Photography website has a fresh, new look

Hi Folks,

It’s been crazy-busy lately. For you too? Maybe it’s just that time of year…. There are so many exciting things on the go. The most recent is that I’ve just given my website, 44th Parallel Photography, a bit of a freshen-up. There’s more to add – including nature note cards and fine art prints for sale, but that’s coming soon. So be sure to tune in regularly. I know the summer is busy and so if checking back is hard, why not sign up for my newsletter? That way you’ll know what’s new.

I hope you’re all having a great summer so far and hopefully you are just about to start a vacation. But 44th Parallel is still here so be sure to keep in touch.

Cheers!

Shell

 

44th Parallel Photography's new and improved website. Have a look.

44th Parallel Photography’s new and improved website. Have a look.

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Filed under Creative Photography, nature photography

So, how many polar bears are there?

Recently I wrote a blog post about the potential for negative impacts of mis-infomration about species and the environment. In my blog post, Do Species Suffer From Poor Communication?, I explained how someone at an arctic photography presentation I was at this past winter, commented that northern locals (Inuit) encountering more polar bears meant that there are more polar bears. In other words, if locals were encountering and seeing more bears on the land, this meant that the polar bear population was increasing and all the worry about the potential for polar bears to go extinct was bunk.

This bothered me. There is a huge and untested assumption implicit in this fellow’s assertion. He’s assuming that the frequency of encountering bears is directly related to the number of bears in the population. Just because you see more bears, doesn’t mean there are more bears. What if locals encounter/see more bears because bears are not getting enough food in the wild and so these hungry bears are coming closer to humans’ communities in search of food? In this scenario, there could actually be fewer bears in the local population, but people see them more frequently because they come close to humans more often.

I recently saw a really interesting webinar about polar bears. It was given by Natural Habitat Adventures, an adventure tour operator associated with the World Wildlife Fund. It was a great webinar. It included a talk by a polar bear biologist. What intrigued me about her talk was that she addressed the issue of the current status of polar bear populations around the globe. In this biologist’s presentation, she showed the figure below – a map of the world’s circumpolar region and the status of polar bear populations.

polar bear population graph

If you have a look at the map, you’ll see that of the 18 polar bear populations define on the map, 6 of them are listed as being in decline. Seven of them are listed as being data deficient, meaning that scientists just don’t have enough information about the populations to say what is happening to them.  Four populations are listed as stable, meaning they are neither increasing or decreasing. And finally,  3 populations are listed as increasing.

There are some notable take home messages from this figure showing polar bear populations status. For roughly half of the polar bear populations around the world, we have no idea what is happening to them. They span western Alaska, across Russia, to Greenland. That’s a huge part of the polar bear’s population for which we have no information.

A second notable take home message from the figure is that the populations in decline, shown in pink, are not small. They cover a substantial chunk of the polar bear population in Canada.

Perhaps most notable and relevant, is that the figure shows three populations in green, populations which are increasing. One large population is in the Labrador region; one small population and one medium-sized population in the central Canadian arctic are listed as increasing. So the question is, why are these three populations increasing? Aren’t polar bear populations around the world in trouble? Was this fellow right? Are Inuit seeing more bears because there are more?

Image by Bruce Raby, taken in Churchill, Manitoba.

Image by Bruce Raby, taken in Churchill, Manitoba.

Someone in the webinar asked to the biologist what the global status of polar bears really was. She explained that these three populations, shown in green, were increasing because of decreased hunting pressure. Bear quotas had been reduced to prevent these populations from declining. So at this point in time, these populations are increasing because fewer bears are being hunted. But by how much will they recover? And will that recovery be sustained? If these bears  experience the same issues of decreasing ice coverage, lack of ice floes for hunting, and therefore, lack of food and places to raise their cubs, reduced hunting pressure may not matter eventually. These increases may  just be a tiny blip on a graph.

The biologists’ comment was that on a global scale, polar bear populations are declining and we should be concerned. Clearly we need more data to understand what is happening to the populations across Russia. Thankfully, a few of our Canadian populations are rebounding from reduced hunting pressures, at least for a while. Sadly, one third of the polar bear populations around the globe are decreasing. This isn’t a rosy outlook for polar bears. We can only hope that actions taken now will ensure the persistence of polar bears throughout their range. But given their precarious status as a species, do we really want someone telling a room full of people who polar bears are doing just fine and that the concern over this species is purely hype? I think not.

Image by Bruce Raby, taken in Churchill, Manitoba.

Image by Bruce Raby, taken in Churchill, Manitoba.

With some populations stable and a few rebounding from hunting pressure, what this means is that it buys us some time. It gives us a chance to effect change while these populations are not in decline. So that means we don’t sit back on our heels or dust our hands, saying ‘no problem here!’ Not at all. It means we get even busier. It means we take advantage of this ‘buffer’ for polar bear populations and act now while there is still a chance to ensure the bear’s continued existence. Those green and blue patches on the map are not a reason to get lazy and do nothing.

I should also note that the biologist  mentioned that human-polar bear encounters were on the increase, as more people visit or live in the arctic and as the climate changes and bears alter their foraging behaviour.

Image by Bruce Raby, taken in Churchill, Manitoba.

Image by Bruce Raby, taken in Churchill, Manitoba.

We don’t have all the data we need and we don’t have all the answers. It takes time to get these things. But in the meantime, let’s focus on communicating the facts. Perpetuating mis-information can have negative consequences for species and for the environment. As scientists, we also need to do a better job of communicating the facts to the media and the general public. Let’s get it right, before it’s too late.

My friend and fellow photographer, Bruce Raby, kindly provided the polar bear photographs for this blog post. These images are from Bruce’s trip to Churchill, Manitoba a few years ago. To see more of Bruce’s wonderful photographs, please visit his website at www.brucefoto.com.

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Filed under conservation, Conservation & Environment, nature photography

Flowers are in bloom, so grab your camera!

With spring transitioning into summer, many flowers are in bloom, with many more on the way. Whether your home is surrounded by flowers, you live near a botanical garden, or maybe you live in an apartment and don’t have room to grow flowers, but love to have a fresh bouquet on your table, there are plenty of opportunities to photograph flowers.

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There are a variety of approaches and techniques for flower photography – portraits, macros, abstracts and other creative methods for making stunning flower images that you’ll want to hang on your wall.

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Flowers: fine art photography techniques and tips is an e-book jam-packed with easy to follow instructions, lots of example images with descriptions on how they were made, and loaded with inspiration so that you can learn how to shoot your own fine art flower photos.

The new cover for my e-book.

The Details:

Flowers: fine art photography techniques and tips is all about fine art flower photography. It’s a guide that shows you how to create your own beautiful fine art flower images that you’ll want to hang on your wall. Through descriptions of techniques, equipment, and creative approaches, I describe easy to follow instructions on how to create your own beautiful images. I also present many examples showing how I’ve applied these techniques and approaches in making each image shown in the book.

Available as a downloadable pdf e-book that can be read on any device that is capable of reading pdf files (e.g. iPad, Android tablet, Kindle, laptop and desktop computers, etc.), Flowers: fine art photography techniques and tips is a full-colour 109 page e-book available for $8.95.

You can purchase Flowers: fine art photography techniques and tips from my website by clicking HERE or by clicking on the thumbnail below, which will take you to a secure shopping cart for your purchase.

To order a copy of Flowers: fine art photography techniques and tips, please click on the thumbnail above.

To order a copy of Flowers: fine art photography techniques and tips, please click on the thumbnail above.

Flowers: fine art photography techniques and tips is also available for purchase through the Earth & Light Digital Media website, along with other fantastic photography e-books.

Click on the link below to visit Earth & Light Digital Media.

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Filed under Creative Photography, Flowers, learning, nature photography