Friday, April 24, 2009

Florida Birding & Foto Festival - Day1

I began the festival with a relatively light day....and I'm glad that I did. It turns out that the anchor location, is over an hour away from my sister's house. That's going to make the days extra long, but I know every minute will be worth it.

Busy and I drove down to the Whitney Marine Labs for my 8:30 class on raw processing. So far, everything I know about photo editing has been self taught. It's a big undertaking to learn this sophisticated software and I've learned it needed. The instructor doled out a LOT of information on how to use Adobe Camera Raw and it was unbelievable what he was able to do with a few clicks of a mouse. Of course, he has the latest version (and I'm one behind) and some of the coolest tricks were done with the latest tools. Now, I have to start considering an upgrade.

I had four hours before my second lecture, so Busy and I found a very cute little restaurant and had brunch, then walked across the street to Flagler Beach for a nice stroll. It was an incredible day in Florida and the beach was beautiful! The water was so blue and there were very few people on the beach. We walked and talked and picked up shells and I took pictures. I didn't have any actual photo sessions scheduled, so I was glad to get a chance to take a few shorebird photos.

My afternoon session was called "Light Illuminates/Shadow Defines" and was taught by Chaz Glatzer. Frankly, I found his talk a little confusing, and I know others did too based on the questions that were asked. I don't know if anyone walked out of there confident they could put his information immediately to work, but I think with some practice...I can figure it out and benefit from what he had to say. He suggests that (when shooting in manual), you start from a baseline setting he called the "sunny 16", and teach yourself to be sensitive to relative quantities of light on the subject and adjust accordingly. You must also take into account the effect you wish to achieve (stop action, bokkah, etc) It was obviously second nature to him and he rattled off a lot of numbers (shutter speed, ISO, F/stop) and that's where the confusion set in. I'm going to start to try and put it into practice today at my field shoots. He is an award winning and extensively published photographer and the wildlife shots he brought along were breathtaking. He does use shadow and light to bring out every feather on a bird as well as every hair on a bear.

I'll be leaving shortly for my field shoot. I'm doing a before hours trip to the wood crane rookery at the Jacksonville Zoo. I'll have a four hour pass to the zoo and I'm looking forward to taking tons of pictures there. This evening, I'm going on an evening photoshoot at the beach. So lots of time with my camera when the light is magic.

Here are a couple of quick pics from yesterday at the beach. I was especially intrigued by the Caspian Terns. They are such funny looking birds. I'm still working on trying to specifically identify the sandpiper. If I can't put a name to it until I get back to NY....oh well.

Capsian Tern



MariesImages said...

Great shots, Kat! Beautiful detail in the bird & sand. The top one looks like he has a band around it's leg.

Helen said...

Beautiful shots on some beautiful birds. Helen

Vicki said...

Kat, Great entry--I love your information. As to the bottom photo, I think it's a willet, not a sandpiper. Not sure, but I saw them at the Edwin B. Forsythe Wildlife Preserve a couple of years ago. They do a great mating dance--was fun to watch.