elvin siew chun wai - wildlife and nature photography

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Wildlife and Nature Photography

Wildlife and Nature PhotographyPresentation byElvin Siew Chun Wai

Some people view it as easy More to it than just being at the right place at the right time.Being prepared with the right equipment and knowing how to use it is essential.

Know your locationWhere are you shooting and what time of day will be best for the locationUse a compass to track the sun and determine how the lighting might change through out the day.Check sun and moon charts to know the exact time

What will you be shooting Determine living habits.FoodDoes it feed in the tree or on the groundDoes it sing at the tops of trees, what kind of sounds does it make so you can flush it outWhat are its mating habits Cardinals mate for life and usually hang out togetherbut not to close to each otherDragonflies tend to return back to the same spotKnow your subject

Equip considerationSome obvious: Buy cheap stuff to get started, but budget to upgrade.Most of my first lenses came from pawn shops.Canon 500d vs. dedicated MacroBuy usedif it was good enough for a pro yesterday, it is good enough for me today.Find alternative uses of non-traditional items, making items if possible.Get extra lens capsUse UV filters for hazardous conditions.Camouflage netting, build a blindHire a sherper to carry your equipment

Packing for a TripPhotography is always about compromisesWill you benefit from any given piece of equipment on any given day?If it all possible, drive rather than fly so you can take all of your geardifferent hikes dictate different gear.Hiking 1-5 miles in to a remote location in Big Bend is going to be vastly different than driving up to the road side and taking pictures at the scenic overlook.Bring enough memory cards to try not to formatBack up in the field to a portable device, like a laptop, portable hard drive or device that records DVDs in the field.Bring wet weather gear economy lens rain suitsaran wrap, or shower cap from the hotel room

Understanding ExposureWhy use different Shutter Speeds and Apertures.

SilhouettesAny time you have the sun in your picture, you are going to have a tough exposure.


Using Exposure CompensationProgram and Automatic Exposure Modes do a pretty good job when the subject is evenly lit. But when the subject is off centeror much darker/bright than the back ground, you have to use the Manual exposure modeor dial +/- Exposure Compensation.

When hiking, try to walk by yourselfBirds tend to come back out quickly after people have passed by. Just stop and wait.

Equipment ConsiderationsEvery hike is different. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer, and much of my equipment is duplicate in function but serves different purpose.Drive by vs. walking toTerrainLightingProtection to equipment70-200/2.8 vs. 70-300/4-5.670-200/2.8 with 1.7x vs. 150-500 400mm with 1.7x vs 600mm or 800mm

Have your camera with youHeat is bad for the camerabut not having a camera is worse. Just protect the camera from extreme heat.On the way to work spare camera in car.A Quote I shared with my students today:Pictures hold life's experiences. And I feel that with every experience you learn something. Therefore, you learn something with every picture you take. - Anonymous

Thank You