Thursday, September 30, 2010

Barry and Cathy Beck

This week I decided to look at more flyfishing photography pictures. What I found was photography by Barry and Cathy Beck at When I was doing this I was really looking for some action shots but what I found was another interesting way to hold a fish for a photo.
A nice brown trout from River View Lodge in New Zealand

He uses the fish as diagonal line in the picture, adding more to the overall photo than just a fish. I have become interested in finding ways to make those pictures of average trout a little more interesting and I really like this idea.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pictures that are bad

While looking through all of the hunting pictures I have been lately I have realized that there are some picture types that I absolutely hate. For example this is my least favorite of all hunting pictures. It's terrible, but I have seen even worse ones where the guys hunting are pointing their guns at the bird right in front of the photographer. Hopefully their guns are not loaded and guranteed they are dumb pen raised birds that don't ever fly until that very moment after some old farmer planted them in that spot maybe even in a little wire cage so they can't run anywhere and have to fly right up between photographer and "hunter". These photos don't capture the feeling of the hunt at all, because there really is no hunt even going on. This one is just as bad, the hunters are like 20 feet apart, and to add to it, they are clearly not in a milo field, I believe that is corn. Another thing I hate, when photographers can't label their pictures right because they don't know what they are talking about.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

7 Rules of Photography

niklas kronwall, kill pinguins, niklas kronwall poster, pittsburgh penguins stanley cup poster
Red is better than yellow, enough said.

Light is more attractive than dark. My eyes were drawn to the fisherman trying to reach the river and the darkness on the sides pushes me towards the middle. Photo by Copi Vojta.

Jagged lines are more striking than curved ones. My attention is caught by the left side of the photo because of the peaks and leads down to the lake. Photo by Copi Vojta.

A picture of a man fishing from a graffiti'd bridge piling within the Carbondale, Colorado city limits.

Difference draws more attention than conformity. Without the graffiti, this would just be a picture of a man fishing. Normally one would not think to be fishing in an area with lots of graffiti. Photo by Copi Vojta.

A photograph of a man holding a fly rod while a seagull flies by in the background.

Sharpness is more attractive than blur. The point of this picture was probably to try and sell it to sage, not a birdwatcher, and therefor the reel is in focus and the bird just adds a little to the picture. Photo by Copi Vojta.

Large draws more attention than small. Because this fish is so small, I held it out in the center of the frame so that it would attract the most attention. I wouldn't have had to do this if the trout was 20 inches.

Diagonal lines are more attractive than vertical ones. I chose to take the picture of my dog in this location because the barbed wire was more interesting than it was where it was just straight and normal.

See post Copi Brookbear Vojta for more information on his pictures.

Copi Brookbear Vojta

Copi Vojta is another photographer that recently had a few pictures featured on midcurrent flyfishing news. When I first got to his page I looked at his about me section on his website and got a good laugh out of it. It seemed like an interesting attitude he portrayed and I was immediately excited to get a look at some more of his pictures.

Like his small autobiography, there is a unique sarcasm to many of his pictures that only a fly fisherman would understand. A lot of his pictures are abstract, and he uses a lot of black and white. Even when not in black and white the colors in his photos are not very vivid, and there is a lot of grey. It is a nice change from normal fishing photography, where the bright colors of the fish and the sky and equiptment are emphasized, and it works very well for him. He appears to be one of those photographers that takes the rules that my next blog will be about and then breaks as many of them as possible in every picture because he can. Normally I can't stand abstract photography, and I want vivid colors and sharp photos, but these pictures have been my favorite so far this year.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I strongly believe that the most prominent problem with having no formal training in photography for me is not knowing anything about exposure. I rarely switch from the auto-focus sport mode on my camera for this reason, even though I know it handicaps my ability as well as the camera. The only thing I really ever did to change the lighting of the picture was to turn the flash on or off or change where the sun was in relation to the subject if possible. My interest in photography is more to capture special moments and take pictures for my family and friends to enjoy, so I never really worry about any manual settings on the camera to change exposure. After reading the chapter on exposure, I am starting to think that manual settings could help more than I thought they would originally. It seems that the things I enjoy most climax at sunrise or sunset, or shortly thereafter, which can lead to some difficult situations to shoot in a pre-programmed mode. The best hunting and fishing times are usually near dark, when it is very important to pay attention to exposure, and also the times that I want to capture the moment.

Before reading this chapter, the histogram was only that annoying thing that popped up on the viewfinder if I accidently pushed some button that I then had to figure out how to undo. I now see how the histogram can be very useful. On a histogram, tall bars on the far left side can mean that the photo is underexposed, and something in the picture is black. Tall bars on the far right sixe can mean that the photo is underexposed, and something is very white. This can also be advantageous if the effect you are looking for is a black bird silouhetted against the sunrise or if you are trying to capture the whiteness of snow or something else that should be pure white for example.

Light metering is something that I had never even heard of or considered as something that could really affect the way my pictures turn out. Once again, I rarely find myself shooting in an average light scene because of the things I enjoy taking pictures of, so this could have a large impact on my picture quality. The reading suggests evaluative or matrix metering as the go to mode for most situations. This takes light from 15 to 30 different points on the scene and makes the exposure using real life algorithms. Spot metering may be useful for me as well because it makes sure that the main object of importance is correctly exposed. I think this could be a good option when trying to take picture of my dog at close to mid range. Another option is center-weighted metering but this option focuses on only about 75% of the frame, and even I know that the middle of the picture isn't usually where you want to focus your main subject.

There are a few different modes on my camera that let me have more control over exposure than the pre-programmed modes. Aperature priority mode allows me to choose the aperature while the camera decides on the shutter speed. The book suggests using a large aperature size for shooting moving objects such as wildlife, or my dog that won't sit still for a picture. Shutter priority mode is the exact opposite of aperature priority, and full manual mode allows me to control both aperature and shutter speed.

The suggested way to deal with the difficult and strong lighting at sunrise and sunset is to take a spot meter reading of the sky not including the sun. This ensures that the exposure of the sky is correct, and the rest of the picture will usually go with it. After getting the reading from the spot metering, the photographer should use the same exposure settings and take the picture the way that they want it to be. Then all is left is to hit that once annoying button that now leads to the useful histogram that will give an idea of what the lightest and darkest parts of the picture will look like.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tosh Brown Photography

Daily if I have a working computer at home, and every other day if not, I go on my favorite flyfishing news site Midcurrent and look at everything new and exciting in the flyfishing world. Usually about once a week there is an interview with a photographer that almost always is involved with nature photography and of course fly fishing. This week was an interview with Tosh Brown. Tosh got into photography by trying to promote a travel agency. When he started selling pictures to editors, he sold his company and became a full time photographer. When I went onto his website I started looking around at a section properly named "not too serious" and found a picture that I saw in the drake magazine pamphlet that was given out at the flyfishing film festival. I felt that whether the picture was set up or actual action, it captured one of the most prominent occurances in flyfishing, losing fish.

Going through more of the pictures in the category not so serious gave me a lot of ideas about my own photography. I enjoy how the pictures are excellent quality, but about things that happen that weren't really supposed to. So much of photography is about that perfect moment in great light, and this is a completely different direction than all of that. It shows all of the imperfections that happen when out in the field.

I also almost didn't finish this blog before class because I spent time reading a blog that Tosh Brown and a few others create, called A Mouthful of Feathers.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hunting Photography

Although I strongly considered looking at more pictures of people flyfishing, I got the urge to take a look at some hunting pictures. A simple google search brought me to Mitch Kezar at I am hoping to get a few good pictures during this hunting season of the dog that I am borrowing from my dad for the season and was looking for a few ideas.

I really enjoyed looking through the hunting pictures from Mitch. As mentioned, I really want a nice picture of my dog, so my favorite was the third one as I clicked through from the main screen. The picture is of a man casting his yellow lab after what is assumed to be a downed duck. What I really liked about the picture was how well it portrayed duck hunting. The excitement of the dog, the man standing in the water to hunt, the cloudy skies and the dark water are all familiar to me, and they capture the essence of the hunt. The angle chosen for the picture is excellent as well.

Winter Photography

After reading the chapter on winter photography, I really only took one important thing from the entire chapter. The author suggests before leaving a cold environment to wrap up gear in a plastic bag so that the change in temperature doesn't cause too much condensation which could be harmful to the camera. There were 5 pages on how to properly dress in the wintertime that really weren't of much use to me. I was expecting a little more on what camera settings to use to shoot in certain light settings in the winter and possible filters to be using. I was pretty disappointed in the chapter because I like shooting in the winter and wanted to know more about it than how to dress.