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Intoduction to Kayak Photography: A How-to Ebook

Now available for instant download, my “Introduction to Kayak Photography” is a basic guide to using kayaks for nature photography. Presented in PDF format the book consists of five chapters: Choosing a Kayak for Photography; Gearing Up for Kayak Photography; Camera Equipment Considerations; Making Useable Photos from a Bouncing Little Boat; Finding and Approaching Wildlife. Concise and direct, there is a lot of useful information packed into 20 full-sized pages for only $4.99.

 

Cover shot of new ebook.

 

USD 4.99 / Download

Also posted in Business and Administration, Ebooks, Education, Kayaking Tagged , , , , , |

Sunday Morning Adventure: Kayaking on the White Oak River

I’ve been curious about the canoe/kayak trail on the White Oak river for a long time. But I’d never taken the time to explore any of it. The fact is that for me the kayak is largely a photography platform; a way to get close to wild life or gain access to areas I wouldn’t otherwise be able to photograph. When paddling the area’s blackwater rivers and streams photo opportunities are few and far between. The biggest exception being when the fall foliage is in its full glory. The creeks and rivers can present some lovely imaging opportunities then. Even knowing I’d be lucky to even get one useful photo, the adventure was calling. I wanted to see what there was to see. While kayaking may be mostly and means to and end for me, it can be a joy in and of itself as well.

I launched at the Long Point Landing area. This is a neat little spot with room for a couple of tents if one wanted to do some camping. When I arrived fog was heavy on the river so I delayed just a little to allow some of it to burn off. Upon launching I headed upstream towards the Hayward landing boat ramp. By starting my trip against the current I’d have the luxuray of a little help on the return trip. Along the way I spotted a few ducks… (you’ll almost never sucessfully approach a wild duck in a kayak for a photo op.)… a very skittish Great Blue Heron that never allowed me a single photo, a Cormorant or two and even a Bald Eagle (again, no photo ops). All in all it was a pleasant little 6+ mile paddle on a beautiful early December morning.

A kayaker surveys the White Oak river at Long Point Landing.

Also posted in Kayaking Tagged , , , |

Book Review: Mike Moat’s “Macro Workshop” Ebook.

Like so many businesses Mike Moats ran a “Black Friday” special last week. On the friday following Thanksgiving he offered any of his ebooks art the bargin price of $4.95. How could I resist scarfing up a copy of his “Macro Workshop” ebook. The idea of the book is to present the same material covered in his Macro workshops in a book form. It’s a great opportunity for folks that aren’t near a workshop location, are unwilling or unable to afford the price, or don’t really need the attention they’d receive in a workshop setting.

The book its self is reasonably well written. Granted, Mike isn’t the most talented wordsmith in the world but his matter-o-fact, straight forward style of presenting the material is quite effective. He illustrates his ideas well with sample photos of the concepts he’s trying to share. Some of the technical info is a bit basic… but you have to assume a portion of the readers will need a rudimentary schooling in aperature, depth of field and other basic concepts. If the question is, “can a novice macro photographer build a solid foundation by studying this book?” the answer has to be a big YES! What about the more experienced photographer? You may encounter some ideas and concepts you hadn’t considered before. It’s a safe bet you’ll see some things presented in a way that hadn’t occurred to you before. So sure, even an experienced photographer can learn something from this ebook. If you want to check out this ebook or others offered by Mike Moats visit .

In case anyone is wondering I’ve never met Mike in person. The comments and observations presented are my own and no commercial or professional affilation exists between myself and Mr. Moats.

Also posted in Book Review, Education, Photo Tip Tagged , |

New Partner: Nantahala Outdoor Center

I’m happy to announce the addition of a new retail partner, Nantahala Outdoor Center – Paddle Experts For Over 38 Years! NOC has stores located in Western North Carolina and Gatlinburg, Tennesee.

A Nice Endorsement on “The Casual Kayaker”

Fred Hurteau recently paid a visit to the Crystal Coast with the goal of photographing our wild mustangs in mind. I had the pleasure of spending Saturday evening showing Fred a section of the Neusiok trail and Sunday morning visiting the mustangs of Shackleford Banks. Fred posted a nice write-up about the experience on his blog, “The Casual Kayaker.” Check-out the article here.

Also posted in Business and Administration, Nature Photography Tagged , , , , , , , |

One Daily Shot: Online Photo Contest

I recently read about the One Daily Shot online photo contest in a nature photography blog and decided to check it out. Obviously based on blog software, I went back through all the archives checking out the daily winners. Quite a lot of nice photography displayed there. It’s not limimted to nature photography but images are entered by photographers of all kinds. On a whim I decided to enter a photo Tuesday… it didn’t win. Being a glutton for punishment I decided to try again the next day… it DID win! No big monies, no magazine publication for the winners, no worldwide honors, but hey… it still feels good to have a shot recognized. You can check-out the site here. And, as time passes, here’s a direct link to my winning entry.

Also posted in General Photography, News & Announcements

Just an Oxeye Daisy

I shared a more abstract view of this flower a few days ago, and showed some different versions using Nik Software. I thought I’d share a different perspective this morning and mention that I’m running a limited time offer on a canvas print of the other version for the next 7 days. You can check out the offer by visiting Daisy Print Promotion.

Another look at an Oxeye Daisy

A Frequent Question: How Do I Start Selling Prints Online?

I get a lot of questions from photographers that would like to start making a little money with their art. A popular topic is how to go about selling prints online. While very few professional nature photographers will claim to make a significant portion of their income from online sales, there is a little money to be made. When I decided I wanted to sell prints online the first thing I did was to look for a shopping cart to add to this website. During that search I came across Fine Art America. Their premium account include a shopping cart you can add to your website, or if you don’t already have a website they even provide that! It also includes a number of marketing tools. It’s a really good deal for an extremely fair price. If you’re interested check out the link below:

Websites for Photographers

Also posted in Business and Administration

Promotional Price

Since offering prints on Fine Art America my most popular image has been “Banker Horses on Tidal Flats.” As such I thought it might be nice to take advantage of the special pricing for promotions that Fine Art America makes available to artists. So for one week only you can purchase an 16 x 20 museum wrapped canvas for a very special price. Check it out at Fine Art America special promotion.

Also posted in Banker Horses, Business and Administration

Backyard Wildlife Photography: More Productive than You May Think

Female American Gold Finch on a perch placed near a bird feeder.You might be surprised to learn that many of the lovely wild bird images you see gracing note & greeting cards, calanders, gallery walls and in bird fancier magazines were actually made in someone’s backyard! In fact many working pros put in a great deal of work to provide natural looking perches and environments near their feeders for the purpose of photography. There is a fellow here in North Carolina that is well known for his elaborate backyard bird photography set-up. His name is Gary Carter and he’s not only been successful in using his backyard images professionally, he attracts many photographers seeking workshops or the use of his backyard set-up.

Creating a backyard studio for photographing songs birds doesn’t require a lot of work nor does it have to be as elaborate as Mr. Carter’s set-up. I’ve seen many photographers simply tape or clamp a small twig to a tripod and set that out near the feeders prior to the sessions. Others go to more trouble setting up more permanent perches, installing water features and even planting native plants that attract birds and butterflies.

Of course there’s more to being successful photographing backyard birds than just installing a few feeders and perches. Even bakyard birds are shy around humans. In order to get decent photos a blind of some kind is usually used. For my backyard set-up I have a piece of foamboard cut to fit in a back window. In the center of the board I have a slot cut to extend a lens through. With this set-up I can sit in the comfort of my home while making wildlife images. This is a nice convenience if I’m feeling a bit under the weather or if circumstances won’t allow me to go on a hike or paddle. Of course a portable blind or hide will work quite nicely.

Anyone with bird feeders will testify to the large varitey of birds they attract. Visitors will vary by season, dependent upon the choice of foods offered and due to area of the backyard. While a set-up in a country home will have some advantages urban and suburban feeders will attract many different species as well. While a backyard wild bird studio certainly isn’t an excuse for not going out in the field, it can be a useful tool in the nature photographer’s arsenal.

This morning was one of those times when it just wasn’t possible for me to go on a hike or a paddle. So I wouldn’t totally waste the morning I made use of my backyard set-up. The images in this article were all out of my back window this morning. To be quite honest I’d have preferred to have been out in the wild somewhere, but that’s just not always possible.

Another shot of a female American Goldfinch shot in the backyard studio.

A male American Gold Finch enjoys a black sunflower seed. A House Finch preckes on a metal feeder stand.

wildlife photos

Also posted in Nature Photography, Photo Tip, Wildlife Photography
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