Canadian Nature Photographer Newsletter November 14, 2010

What's New since August Lots! You can read all my new articles

Dear Friends - its taken me a bit longer to get this newsletter out as it's been a very busy Autumn. I returned from photographing in the Arctic at Peterson's Point Lake Lodge in the North West Territories. Our workshop ran in early September and we had the best conditions one could possibly ask for. A large group of caribou were grazing within a 10 minute walk from our cabins when we arrived. We also had a couple of clear nights and the Aurora was spectacular. On one of our hikes we watched two white wolves chase caribou down an esker, then we saw a grizzly and cub wandering over the tundra, we followed a caribou swimming across the lake and we caught 20 pound lake trout to feast on - to read more please see my article on Chasing Caribou and the Northern Lights here... and please visit my new gallery of images posted from this trip.

You are welcome to join me next September to chase Caribou and the Aurora once again - we leave in early September 2011. Cost $4795.

1, Chasing Caribou and the Northern Lights

2. The Essence of Autumn in Ontario

In October I flew home to Midland, Ontario to visit my family, my father was going in for a heart operation. Normally my father and I get together once a year to take photographs - usually in the Fall. The operation was a successful and my father is on the road to recovery and I hope to visit with him to take photographs in the Spring. While visiting I drove north to Algonquin park with a friend Garry Higgins (president of Midland Camera Club) and we photographed several small waterfalls and autumn colours. I also drove out in the country side to photograph farmers vegetable stands with pumpkins and ornamental corn and came across wild turkeys. Closer to home I found a raccoon and numerous mushrooms in the forest - to see the pictures and read the article go here....

3. On becoming a Nature Photographer in the Digital Age

Early November I was invited to the Calgary Photographic Society to present "On becoming a Nature Photographer" where I discussed the ups and downs of trying to make a living photographing nature. I point out the things one needs to be successful and survive in this completive field. If you ever thought about going pro there may be a few things here you want to think about before you do. See my article "On becoming a Nature Photographer in the Digital Age".

Bull Moose in Kananaskis

4. How to Shop for a Digital Camera

I often get questions by E-mail What is an F-stop or How do I go about shopping for a Digital Camera? When I do I sometimes decide to put my thoughts down in writing so others can benefit. If you are shopping for a new Digital camera for the first time this Christmas, whether it's a compact camera or a digital SLR then you might find some of my tips useful. If your are going to spend a significant amount of money, take your time and do your research and Read my article here ...

Pentax Optio - completely waterproof down to 10 meters

5. Get Ready for Winter Photography

I find it surprising that many photographers simply don't take their cameras out in the winter to shoot. Generally speaking digital cameras are able to function quite well in the cold for short periods of time (a few hours) and if you warm them up in your car you can shoot all day. Winter offers a variety of new subjects and completely different type of landscape. I welcome winter and the opportunities it affords. You don't have to go far, you can photograph snowflakes easily in your backyard or ice patterns that form on your windows. If you are more adventurous you can get out in the cold and look for wildlife. Winter in Alberta can last for more then 4 months so I embrace it and try to photograph its unique features. For more read my article here...

Snow flakes photographed with a 100 mm Macro lens, the flakes landed on the black metal railing by my back door.

6. The Magic of Black and White

How many of you shoot in Black and white? My guess is very few. Maybe it's because when I started I could only afford to shoot in Black and white that I still enjoy shooting this way. Winter is a great time to experiment with Black and white because often colour is absent. However, you don't have to go out specifically to shoot in black and white you can take your existing colour images and convert them in your favourite image editing program. It is better to shoot in colour anyway and then convert afterwards as you will have more control. If you have never photographed in black and white, give it a try this winter or convert some of your existing images. For more information read here.

Sometimes an image in BW can be more effective then the same image in colour


7. How to Use Neutral Density Graduated Filters

One of the most useful filters in landscape photography are neutral density graduated filters. These filters are usually used to darken the sky and lighten the foreground. They can be used to add drama to a sky especially those with dark clouds or a storm. These filters are most useful at the times around sunrise or sunset. They come in a variety of sizes and costs. Most of them are made out of acrylic or plastic though it is possible to purchase high quality glass graduated filters from Tiffen - my favorites. To learn more about grad filters read my article...

7. Save $100 off Gift Certificates for Photography\Photoshop or Training when you purchase Two Certificates

I have posted my workshop schedule for 2011 up to September and I am also offering Gift Certificates again with a $100 savings if visitors purchase 2 of them. This limited offer is good only until December 31, 2010. The Gift certificates can be used toward any workshop or private training on any aspect of photography or photoshop and the certificates do not expire.

What's Coming Up in the Next few months - winter and the holiday usually affords me some time to do more writing and working with my images. One article I plan to include in the next newsletter is on high magnification macro-photography and taking pictures through the microscope. I realize a lot of folks will not have some of equipment to do this, but it's a fascinating world that few get to see and it's one of my specialties. Even an ordinary macro lens can open up you to a new world of possibilities and beauty.

Another article I plan to include is one about photographing mushrooms and lichens - plants that we often overlook!

If there are certain topics or questions you have about nature photography please let me know and I will do my best to put something together. Also I invite all photographers to submit short articles in the Featured photographer section. If you are interested Contact me.

Best wishes over the holidays and hope you get the equipment and photographs you deserve.

Robert Berdan
Calgary, AB
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