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09/22/2021 03:48:06 PM · #1
My entry for the New Year's Resolution XIII challenge was an abject failure and though I titled it "Learn to Capture Birds in Flight" that was a resolution I believed myself incapable of keeping. But a comment from ' . substr('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' GolferDDS was spot on. For some types of photography, it really is all about the camera and the lens.

If I hadn't upgraded from my Canon M50 to the M6 Mark II, I would never have been able to capture decisive moments like this one from the latest Extended Free Study.

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The power of a camera that can buffer a bunch of photos at 30 frames per second before the shutter button is fully pressed is the difference between catching the bird taking off and missing it entirely.
09/22/2021 07:02:54 PM · #2
I had to refresh my memory on your New Year’s Resolution entry and my comment. Having seen the difference in the quality of your 2 images I congratulate you on the quality of your most recent capture. Even Vawendy has sung accolades for her ability to capture images with her new Sony Alpha 1 that she was not able to before. I also have been able to take images I could only have imagined since purchasing my R5. It makes photography more enjoyable!
09/22/2021 07:48:09 PM · #3
I'm actually quite embarrassed by my New Year's Resolution entry. The only good thing that came out of it was your comment. Thanks for making me believe I could do better.
09/22/2021 10:17:06 PM · #4
Originally posted by GinaRothfels:

I'm actually quite embarrassed by my New Year's Resolution entry. The only good thing that came out of it was your comment. Thanks for making me believe I could do better.


There is a more to photography than the equipment. You are developing an eye for subject and composition. That’s where the art comes in.
09/23/2021 05:12:41 AM · #5
I knew the New Year's Resolution photo was a poor attempt when I entered it, but I wanted to enter something and that was the only photo I had which could fit the intention to do better. The fact that I was using a lens with less reach didn't help.
09/23/2021 01:55:01 PM · #6
Thanks for all the comments.

My Extended Free Study entry would have passed advanced editing rules. I tried creating a composite but the result looked fake and probably would have got a much lower score.
09/23/2021 02:20:50 PM · #7
Originally posted by GolferDDS:

Originally posted by GinaRothfels:

I'm actually quite embarrassed by my New Year's Resolution entry. The only good thing that came out of it was your comment. Thanks for making me believe I could do better.


There is a more to photography than the equipment. You are developing an eye for subject and composition. That’s where the art comes in.


The right equipment can make getting the shot much easier. It won't help with composition, but you can't make art without a good capture.
09/23/2021 10:37:31 PM · #8
The right equipment can help you realize your vision. And it can make it easier to get the capture you want. The more the equipment can do for you, the more you can experiment and really hone your skills. A good photographer does the best with what he/she has, and the better the equipment, the more you continue to be unsatisfied with your results.

The last photo shoot I did (animal-wise), I got so many incredible shots!! It was really exiciting!

At first...

Then I looked and they were all very similiar. The challenge of the tracking and the timing were easily met. Normally I'd spend the entire day trying to get the right shot. Now that I can get it so much more easily, I need to figure out the next step. Why do they all look the same? Why am I not nearly as impressed as I used to be? What do I need to change/capture to start impressing myself again?

I'm hoping that I'm never satisfied with my photography. I kept thinking if only I could shoot like Tanguera or Lev or nixter, I'd be so happy!

I hope not. I hope even then I'd still want more. It's the learning, the experimenting, the failing and rising again. Perfection would be boring. (would be fun and cool -- but would get boring. :)
09/24/2021 12:11:37 AM · #9
Originally posted by vawendy:

The right equipment can help you realize your vision. And it can make it easier to get the capture you want. The more the equipment can do for you, the more you can experiment and really hone your skills. A good photographer does the best with what he/she has, and the better the equipment, the more you continue to be unsatisfied with your results.

The last photo shoot I did (animal-wise), I got so many incredible shots!! It was really exiciting!

At first...

Then I looked and they were all very similiar. The challenge of the tracking and the timing were easily met. Normally I'd spend the entire day trying to get the right shot. Now that I can get it so much more easily, I need to figure out the next step. Why do they all look the same? Why am I not nearly as impressed as I used to be? What do I need to change/capture to start impressing myself again?

I'm hoping that I'm never satisfied with my photography. I kept thinking if only I could shoot like Tanguera or Lev or nixter, I'd be so happy!

I hope not. I hope even then I'd still want more. It's the learning, the experimenting, the failing and rising again. Perfection would be boring. (would be fun and cool -- but would get boring. :)

Excellent musing Wendy. I might add that a technically “perfect” picture is excellent depending on its scope. As for scientific purpose or National Geographic or postcards, stock images , for hyper realism, etc. But we aim higher. We want to marry a higher technical quality to what I call the freshness of the first look (the time when we just started to use photography ) . We want to surprise, to understand, to give a second meaning, to inform or to discover. And so much more. That’s art.
And I am convinced that the photographers that you mentioned above and you admire have the same goal of wanting more.
09/24/2021 09:44:11 AM · #10
Originally posted by mariuca:

Originally posted by vawendy:

The right equipment can help you realize your vision. And it can make it easier to get the capture you want. The more the equipment can do for you, the more you can experiment and really hone your skills. A good photographer does the best with what he/she has, and the better the equipment, the more you continue to be unsatisfied with your results.

The last photo shoot I did (animal-wise), I got so many incredible shots!! It was really exiciting!

At first...

Then I looked and they were all very similiar. The challenge of the tracking and the timing were easily met. Normally I'd spend the entire day trying to get the right shot. Now that I can get it so much more easily, I need to figure out the next step. Why do they all look the same? Why am I not nearly as impressed as I used to be? What do I need to change/capture to start impressing myself again?

I'm hoping that I'm never satisfied with my photography. I kept thinking if only I could shoot like Tanguera or Lev or nixter, I'd be so happy!

I hope not. I hope even then I'd still want more. It's the learning, the experimenting, the failing and rising again. Perfection would be boring. (would be fun and cool -- but would get boring. :)

Excellent musing Wendy. I might add that a technically “perfect” picture is excellent depending on its scope. As for scientific purpose or National Geographic or postcards, stock images , for hyper realism, etc. But we aim higher. We want to marry a higher technical quality to what I call the freshness of the first look (the time when we just started to use photography ) . We want to surprise, to understand, to give a second meaning, to inform or to discover. And so much more. That’s art.
And I am convinced that the photographers that you mentioned above and you admire have the same goal of wanting more.


The art is the problem I struggle with. With the wildlife photography, I don't know how to create the art. My main focus (pun intended) is showing the the character of the animal. I want the intensity of the eagle as it's fishing. The flurry of the snowy egret as he's dancing. The silliness of the sandhill cranes during the mating ritual. I'm awed and fascinated by how beautiful things are -- and that's what I'm trying to share. The intimate moments.

I try to find the "tells" so I know what's coming next. The sandhill cranes will lean forward before taking off. The night herons will tilt their head a bit before they strike. So now that the equipment is making it easier to time the shot (I'm sooooo jealous of the Ginarothfels camera being able to rewind and shoot before the shutter is fully pressed! That would so awesome!). Anyway, now that I'm not spending all my time trying to get the timing just perfect, hopefully I can figure out the art process. Some wildlife photographers can do all that and still make art. I just hope that the action itself is so incredible that it is the art.

09/24/2021 11:31:42 AM · #11
Originally posted by vawendy:

I'm sooooo jealous of the Ginarothfels camera being able to rewind and shoot before the shutter is fully pressed! That would so awesome!


That feature comes at a price. Images are cropped and resolution is reduced from 32mp to about 18mp.
09/25/2021 07:56:16 AM · #12
Originally posted by vawendy:

The art is the problem I struggle with. With the wildlife photography, I don't know how to create the art. My main focus (pun intended) is showing the the character of the animal. I want the intensity of the eagle as it's fishing. The flurry of the snowy egret as he's dancing. The silliness of the sandhill cranes during the mating ritual. I'm awed and fascinated by how beautiful things are -- and that's what I'm trying to share. The intimate moments.


And you do it as well as anyone I've ever seen.

Originally posted by vawendy:

I try to find the "tells" so I know what's coming next. The sandhill cranes will lean forward before taking off. The night herons will tilt their head a bit before they strike. So now that the equipment is making it easier to time the shot (I'm sooooo jealous of the Ginarothfels camera being able to rewind and shoot before the shutter is fully pressed! That would so awesome!). Anyway, now that I'm not spending all my time trying to get the timing just perfect, hopefully I can figure out the art process. Some wildlife photographers can do all that and still make art. I just hope that the action itself is so incredible that it is the art.


I see these musings as a perfect example of how we're our own worst critics, the most doubting of the merit of what we do......

I sure as heck am not alone in telling you that it has been an extraordinary experience watching the incredible work you do. And 'cause you're still one of us, we get the back stories, the frustrations and surprises that you encounter along your path.

Screw the introspection and just keep being you.

You're a pleasure to have around.

Message edited by author 2021-09-25 07:56:46.
09/25/2021 08:39:42 AM · #13
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Originally posted by vawendy:

The art is the problem I struggle with. With the wildlife photography, I don't know how to create the art. My main focus (pun intended) is showing the the character of the animal. I want the intensity of the eagle as it's fishing. The flurry of the snowy egret as he's dancing. The silliness of the sandhill cranes during the mating ritual. I'm awed and fascinated by how beautiful things are -- and that's what I'm trying to share. The intimate moments.


And you do it as well as anyone I've ever seen.

Originally posted by vawendy:

I try to find the "tells" so I know what's coming next. The sandhill cranes will lean forward before taking off. The night herons will tilt their head a bit before they strike. So now that the equipment is making it easier to time the shot (I'm sooooo jealous of the Ginarothfels camera being able to rewind and shoot before the shutter is fully pressed! That would so awesome!). Anyway, now that I'm not spending all my time trying to get the timing just perfect, hopefully I can figure out the art process. Some wildlife photographers can do all that and still make art. I just hope that the action itself is so incredible that it is the art.


I see these musings as a perfect example of how we're our own worst critics, the most doubting of the merit of what we do......

I sure as heck am not alone in telling you that it has been an extraordinary experience watching the incredible work you do. And 'cause you're still one of us, we get the back stories, the frustrations and surprises that you encounter along your path.

Screw the introspection and just keep being you.

You're a pleasure to have around.


Thanks, Jeb -- I wasn't looking for compliments. But boy, they sure are nice! You made my morning. :)

But this conversation and introspection has brought up a good point -- what is wildlife art? I've been documentary, which is what I want to be. I want to help inform, intrigue, show the beauty, the majesty and the just plain silliness of the animals I'm photographing.

I'm looking forward to freestudy being over -- I have a batch of wildlife photos that I think are just spectacular. Yet after awhile, they all started looking pretty much the same. (not that there's a lot of leeway in what you can capture at a particular time).

It would be interesting to get feedback on what is/isn't perceived as an art piece in wildlife photography.

Not that documentary has to be art. But how to take something to the next level - or is there a next level?

I have the perfect set of photos for the discussion. But I have to wait until after freestudy is over. :)

As always, I love the discussions on here. They bring up such interesting possibilities

09/26/2021 10:05:52 PM · #14
Originally posted by vawendy:

The art is the problem I struggle with. With the wildlife photography, I don't know how to create the art. My main focus (pun intended) is showing the the character of the animal. I want the intensity of the eagle as it's fishing. The flurry of the snowy egret as he's dancing. The silliness of the sandhill cranes during the mating ritual. I'm awed and fascinated by how beautiful things are -- and that's what I'm trying to share. The intimate moments.


Character, intensity, flurry of dancing, silliness..... These are not (just the facts, ma'am) documentary terms. When, and I have seen it in many of your images, you capture those things, it's art. And it's vision, talent, and experience because you know to look for them, and.... capture them. Really. You do.

Originally posted by vawendy:

Some wildlife photographers can do all that and still make art. I just hope that the action itself is so incredible that it is the art.


I don't know how often you go back and look at your early work. My perspective has changed on my view of both my current and my early work. I used to wonder how long it would take until I was a really good street photographer. I had the desire, the base knowhow, some ideal role models/teachers, the ability to travel.... I miss Steve Hill, but I have connected right here in my little city a friend who is someone I consider to be at that level. Not like him, but really captivating and strong, knows light, and tells a story every time he puts one up. The difference? Time and looking at what I'm doing. I wanted to *be* Steve. All these years later, I'm delighted to be Gabe's number one cheerleader and brute force opiner. I don't know if that's a word, but I can state my feelings for his images and they have value. It's actually helped both of us. One of those ways is that when he's waffling about a shot, one that's GOOD, I can tell him, STFU, that one's good, and I can talk him through it, explain why it's good, how it affects me,what it is that makes it really captivating.

Maybe you can find someone that you'll click with, heck there are prolly a few left here that can help you look at your way of doing it, and see if you can get where you want to go.

I'd be willing to bet inside of a couple of hours I could grab a half dozen shots from your port and show you.

I'm *still* in love with your squirrels.

Originally posted by vawendy:

It would be interesting to get feedback on what is/isn't perceived as an art piece in wildlife photography.


Show of hands of people who would be willing to rummage in Wendy's port and grab three images you love?

Message edited by author 2021-09-26 22:10:19.
09/27/2021 04:39:52 AM · #15
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Show of hands of people who would be willing to rummage in Wendy's port and grab three images you love?


How do you choose just three?
09/27/2021 05:48:30 PM · #16
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Show of hands of people who would be willing to rummage in Wendy's port and grab three images you love?


Originally posted by GinaRothfels:

How do you choose just three?


Here's a funny for ya.....

This is the one of hers that makes me smile every time I see it or think of it.

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Part of it is the backstory. And delightfully often a terrific image has an even more terrific backstory.

This one, terminally cute, is also an example of how a photographer's life becomes enriched and part of an adventure that might not have even existed had the photographer not been there, asked, or whatever other kind of crazy reason we become involved in others' lives.

I know it's been that way for me often.

Oh.....and THIS is definitely art!

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As well as one of the finest damn bird photos I ever saw in my whole life.


09/27/2021 07:11:28 PM · #17

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Hard to pick from the birds topic.
Wendy has a whole range - look at self portraits and also Moriarty...
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