Saturday, 14 March 2009

Thoughts-Project Photography

With spring just with us it about to become the busiest time of year for the wildlife/nature photographer, Plans need to me made fast so that opportunities are not lost and you will have to wait another year to get them, I work in project fashion, That means that i only take a couple of subjects and try to get as many different types of shots out of them, I normally have shots in mind that i want or need to get and spend as much time as possible to get these shots, Sometimes you dont get them all in one year and the project will run over 2 or 3 years as it did for me in Switzerland with Great Crested Grebe and Ibex, When i started submitting to agencies there comments were that there wasn't a problem with the quality of my work but that there were lots of different subjects and no story, I took this on board and changed my way of shooting, By doing this my photography actually improved as i spent more time with a particular subject i understood the subject better and could react to certain movements and anticipate what would happen before it happened,Take for instance great crested grebes, Once they pair up they do a lot of head shaking,Watching closely i noticed that if the head shaking became very pronounced that the birds would part and dive,once this happened i knew that if both birds surfaced with weed in the beak that they would rush towards each other and dance frantically on the top of the water,It happens very fast and only by watching their behaviour did i manage to predict what was about to happen and get the shots,Once i had got the courting behaviour i moved on to the mating,nesting and then the chicks on the back imagery so when they were sent to an agent they had a full story to work with, This year i have started my projects by watching osprey nests that are placed around the larger lakes in my area, The other day i took my dog for a walk around the lake and checked through the binoculars the nests and low and behold an osprey sitting on one, So i will now go down at different times of the day and see what time the sun hits and leaves the nest area and learn what i can about the birds and try to get some interaction, I have some shots in my mind that i would like so thats a start, Being in a new country means new species not yet on the files and each night i put some food out for the White Tailed Deer, Grey Fox and Possum so these will also be on the list to spend some time with, Being close to home is also a boon when taking a project on and most of my recent projects have been within an hour of home and most within a mile or 2, That makes it easy to pop out and check the areas,put some food down and keep an eye on your hide/blind, When photographing foxes over the last few years i spend weeks putting food down in a couple of areas and watching those areas from distance and learning where the foxes come from,their prefered times and where they go after,Its a puzzle to start with but as time goes on the pieces fall into place,
What projects do you plan to shoot this year?-do you have one? If not then i would advise taking into consideration, Make it an easy subject that is easily accessible like mallards or even lambs and let us know how the project is progressing


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