Lens-Artists Challenge #120 – What A Treat!
“Travel , photography and wilderness are my addictions….And I’m happy with that…”
There are many terrible aspects of the COVID 19 pandemic, too numerous to count really. On the other hand, there are a few positives as well. This week I experienced the latter – which in the spirit of Halloween week here in the U.S., I am calling “quite a treat”. Thanks to COVID, our local photography club has been able to enlist some well-known photographers who would otherwise be leading group photography tours around the world. At home instead, they have welcomed the opportunity to teach groups via Zoom. This week we were honored to host renowned wildlife photographer Kathleen Reeder, who joined us from her home in Arizona.
“When you look a wild animal in the eye, it’s like catching a glimpse into the soul of nature itself”
Kathleen is a marvelous teacher. Organized and to-the-point, she also illustrated her instructions with superb images. Her guidelines for photographing wild animals caused all of us to wish we could revisit the places where we’d captured God’s creatures in their natural habitat. Personally, I thought immediately of our African safari – yet another incredible treat. I would love to return for a “do-over” (now that would REALLY be a treat!) but that is not currently in the cards. Instead I decided to revisit my images to see how often I’d followed her instructions – either intentionally or by luck. I’m illustrating some of her many suggestions with today’s images.
“Animals are a window to your soul and a doorway to your spiritual destiny.”
I’ve included several of Ms. Reeder’s points in my three opening images. The first capture, of a beautiful leopard, shows tack-sharp eyes, ears up and pointed in the same direction as the eyes, the animal off-center in the image and a clear delineation between the animal’s head and the image’s background. Check 😊. The second image shows the elephant exhibiting a “behavior” which makes him more interesting. The image of the sable, above, uses panning to illustrate motion and speed. It breaks the rule of including the animal’s legs but as was mentioned during the presentation, this is one of the more difficult techniques to master so I’m giving myself a passing grade on it.
“Each species is a masterpiece, a creation assembled with extreme care and genius.”
Another of Ms. Reeder’s suggestions is to use burst mode when interacting with wildlife in motion. Often when using this technique your chances are better for getting one or two good shots – especially when multiple animals are involved. My burst-mode series of two wildebeests in battle resulted in several images that are among my favorites, including the one I’ve chosen above.
“We don’t own the planet earth, we belong to it. And we must share it with our wildlife.”
The image above represents several of Ms. Reeder’s suggestions. First, when shooting animals in a tree, a vertical composition is most effective. Second, when possible try to include the animal’s tail – check! And finally, look for tender moments, such as the interaction between the cub and its mother. I would have preferred better lighting for this one but hey – you can’t have everything!
“The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.”
An interesting suggestion was to capture wildlife in motion by including a raised leg. It’s hard to believe that such an ungainly looking creature could be so fast but in fact ostriches are among the fastest land animals – easily reaching speeds up to 50 miles per hour with a stride up to 25′ long.
“Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much larger and better in every way.”
My image of the juvenile lion above is a reminder of a suggestion that Ms. Reeder illustrated very effectively for capturing an animal’s “mood or behavior”. There is very little difference between an animal that is growling and one that is simply yawning. We were shown several images and asked which of the two behaviors the animal was exhibiting. We got several wrong 😊. So what do you think – growling or yawning on the image above?
Speaking of lions, I’ve illustrated one final suggestion from Ms. Reeder below. Include space above and below to show the animal’s entire mane. Full disclosure, I had several images that did not do so, but happily this image did – and what a mane it is!
“Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”
There were many more helpful hints, including how to photograph through fences, cages and glass enclosures in zoos and wildlife parks. I found the session very helpful and hope to be able to get additional practice when COVID restrictions are lifted.
This week we are including what we hope is a treat for all of you! At the suggestion of one of our followers we are announcing NEXT week’s theme. Our host, Patti will share “FOCUS ON THE SUBJECT” on her blog Pilotfish. Please let us know your thoughts – is it helpful to know the theme in advance or do you prefer to be surprised? Your responses will help us to formulate our future plans.
Finally, sincere thanks to those of you who participated in Ann-Christine’s Hideaway challenge last week. As always we enjoyed your creativity and the peek you gave us into what you consider a hideaway in your own lives.
HAVE YOU SEEN THESE?
- I.J. of Don’t Hold Your Breath gave us an insightful post about how people have reacted to lockdown during COVID
- Ana of Anvica’s Gallery cleverly used clay figures to illustrate her personal concept of a hideaway
- Khurt of Island in the Net shared a beautiful natural retreat in a densely populated area of my former home state, New Jersey
We look forward to seeing what you have in store for us this week. We’d love for you to share something that was a treat for you – a visit from your grandchildren, a special event, a recipe you really loved, maybe even a Halloween surprise ….it’s up to you. Whatever you choose, please remember to link to this post, and to use the Lens-Artists TAG. Until then have a lovely week and as always, please remember to stay safe.
Beautiful Photos… Spiritual Animals… ❤
Pingback: Dillon Falls, Oregon in the Fall: LAPC - bend branches
OMG this sure was a TREAT!! Just WOW….all r outstanding captures…the sable on the move quite amazing!! thanks for the
I think using the lens the right way is even trickier than photoshop!
I agree whole-heartedly William!
Pingback: My Photo Week in Review: 11-01-2020 – Musin' With Susan
I can never get enough of pics from wild Africa! I used a little hybrid camera while there but still managed to get shots I will treasure forever. Someday . . . I’ll go back!
Me too Karen, me too!! 🤞🤞
Sent from my iPhone
Pingback: Lens-Artists Challenge #120 – What A Treat! | Lilacseawaters..Achieve Dreams & Start your best life.
Pingback: Lens-Artist-PC-120-What-a-Treat – WoollyMuses
Thanks for the tips and your quite wonderful photos.
My pleasure Lulu, thanks for visiting
Pingback: Bike Lane | What's (in) the Picture?
I love how you were able to fold new understandings into this challenge, Tina. Here’s my offering for this wide open subject!
Thanks Lindy, the class was terrific and it was fun to go back with her suggestions in mind.
Pingback: ~ Lens-Artists Challenge #120 – What A Treat! ~ | Lindy Low LeCoq
Wow! Those animals ARE a treat! Love the elephant and the mother & cub in the tree.
Thanks Linda – it was an amazing adventure
Zoom photography lessons! What fun. Your photos are so life like – and amazing examples of the different photo techniques.
My treat: https://oneletterup.com/2020/10/29/lens-artists-challenge-what-a-treat/
Thanks Andrea, it was really fun revisiting my images in light of the instructor’s suggestions. Glad you enjoyed.
You’re welcome! I am always grateful to learn new techniques and the internet is a goldmine of info.
Pingback: Lens-Artists Challenge: What a Treat – one letter UP ~ diary 2.0
Pingback: Lens-Artists #120: What A Treat – Wandering Dawgs
hi tina, wonderful pictures you found for the theme I like them very much, my contribution is life in my city for this week’s challenge, https://wp.me/p2AvI7-3D9.
many greetings robert
Thanks Robert, glad you enjoyed these. As always, appreciate your joining us.
Pingback: lens-artists photo challenge – what a treat – photo roberts blog
Pingback: Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: #120 What a Treat! - My Colorful Expressions
I’ve also been taking advantage of Zoom photography class opportunities, they have been a real silver lining for me as well. I really like these images Tina, what a great theme for this week.
I’ve gone with two treats in one post, a shot I liked right out of the camera and a fox! https://wp.me/pbPd2C-4f
Thanks Amy, yes the Zoom classes are great and a nice perk of an otherwise bleak environment. Thanks for joining us this week!
Oh, and you had asked about the challenge topics being announced in advance, I’m undecided on that one. I participate in challenges that are run both ways and it depends on the week which way I prefer. I would say though, that it should be run the way you all as moderators find most helpful and fulfilling. I’ll be curious to see which you end up preferring.
Great answer, thanks Amy!
Sent from my iPhone
Pingback: What I Am Working On: Further Adventures in Custom Settings | Photography Journal Blog: Volume 2
Pingback: The Changing Seasons – October 2020 – Reflections of An Untidy Mind
Pingback: Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – What a Treat! | Journeys with Johnbo
Pingback: What a treat… – mazeepuran (माझे e-पुराण)
Pingback: Lens-Artists #120: A Treat in My Neighborhood and In My Own Yard! – Musin' With Susan
A real treat for us, Tina! What splendid pictures! You were so fortunate to have been able to capture these animals in their natural habitat.
Extraordinarily fortunate Sue, many thanks!
Pingback: Life in My Backyard – Musin' With Susan
Pingback: Lens-Artists Challenge #120 – What A Treat! – aman Kumar yadav
Your theme was a treat, Tina. It got my writing gears spinning.
Here goes my post brewed with equal parts of travel nostalgia and the call of the mountain spirits.
These beautiful pictures, remind me of a video I saw as to what we can learn from theses beautiful animals
Your very welcome, animals are amazing. Thank you!
Pingback: What a Treat! – HorseAddict
Amazing photos of the wild! and big bird. 🙂
Thanks Lily, glad you enjoyed
Pingback: Lens-Artists #120 – what a treat! – lil bit of everything
Pingback: What A Treat | Nut House Central
Tina, Your photos were all a special treat to view. Great topic.
Mine entry this week is just ordinary daily treats found in Canby.
Thanks very much Cee, both for your lovely comment and for joining us this week!
Pingback: Lens Artists Photo #120 – What a Treat and Kammie Oddball Challenges – Cee's Photo Challenges
Pingback: Always A Treat | Out of My Write Mind
Pingback: Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – What A Treat! | Getting the Picture
Thank you for passing on these tips. I am going to review my own wildlife photos to see how well they stack up against them 🙂 Meanwhile, here’s my contribution to the theme: https://www.toonsarah-travels.blog/lens-artists-challenge-120-what-a-treat/
My pleasure Sarah, we all felt we got some excellent suggestions from the class, happy to share them.
Pingback: Lens-Artists Challenge #120: What A Treat! - Travel with me
Your images area treat for me, but how wonderful to be given such wonderful instruction!
Thanks very much Dawn and yes the class was terrific.
Pingback: Lens-Artists Challenge #120 – What a Treat! Part 2 – John's Space …..
Pingback: Corn | What's (in) the Picture?
Pingback: Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #120 – Twenty Four
I am speechless at the stunning compilation of photographs you’ve put up here. This is absolutely brilliant.
Thanks so much Radhika, it was a wonderful adventure