Puerto Rico Nature – Photography

Enjoy Photography

Enjoy Photography

Starting out in photography or thinking about it? Okay; here is the secret to enjoying photography. Beautiful pictures of nature (or just about anything) can be captured following just three basic steps.

First; you need to want to do it, it’s a burning desire to grab the camera as soon as you wake up or it’s the “darn-it” thought; I wish I had brought my camera along. It’s waiting for Saturday morning to go out on the hiking trail… and hoping all the while that it won’t rain.

Second; you need to have a device that captures images, you certainly don’t need a $2000 camera (unless you have the money for it). In reality to capture a moment you could even do with an old cellular that still has a functional camera on it. Just take a look at Instagram. Capturing incredible nature images is not all about hardware (although it helps); it’s about timing, seeing the moment no one else has time to see, all through your camera lens.

Third; you need to have the capability to point and press the shoot button. Ok; I bet all the “real” photographers out there must be cringing by this step… Hey people, there is something called auto focus on most point and shoot cameras… use it, at least while you start out… remember it’s about having a good time taking pictures. As a beginner that bird or butterfly is not going to wait for you to analyze every shot. Dirty little secret; get a big memory card and take the same picture many times; there is nothing worse than finding out afterwards that the image was blurred.

That’s it people! Now go out there and start taking beautiful nature pictures. Believe me there is really no magic in photography other than pure luck, being at the right place/right time and being curious of the “what if I snap it at this angle…” that’s 90% the other 10% is technical stuff you can learn later.

I recall an article I read the other day where a photographer (Borut Furlan) captures the instant a female cardinal fish transfers her eggs to the male’s mouth and the image wins a first-place prize in the Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest. This event occurs in less than two seconds in a semi-dark cave of the Adriatic Sea and it’s not known until he reviewed the photo on the camera’s screen. That’s 90% luck and 10% underwater technique. And by no means am I undervaluing his achievement; the photographer did deserve the award, for being at the right place at the right time.

One of the images I most like was taken by my son Adrian, just took my camera and shot the picture, amazing picture! See it below…

And to please those real photographers that might feel hurt… Ok; maybe I have over simplified, but these three steps are a darn good start and that’s all you need to get out there and enjoy photography.

The benefits of photography are many and include some of the following: With a photo you can capture a moment, and have it forever. Everything around you looks different when you start to see the world as a photographer. You lose yourself in shooting, and all your worries and daily stresses just melt away. Photography also lets you express yourself. Bottom line is photography can change your life in a very positive way.

As you can see, it does not take much to enjoy photography. Anyone can become a photographer all it takes is those three simple steps described above. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, what country you live in, or what language you speak. Just get your hands on a camera and start taking pictures of the world around you. Learn all you can, practice, think about the fun your having, and open yourself up to your experiences. Keep at it and you’ll see firsthand why being a photographer is so much fun!!!

“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” – Ansel Adams

So what camera do I use? Well I have two.

So what camera do I use? Well I have two.

My first camera was the Canon SX50 HD. This camera falls in the middle; between simple point and shoot cameras and DSLR (DSLR: Is a digital camera combining the optics and the mechanisms of a single-lens reflex camera with a digital imaging sensor, as opposed to photographic film).

It has an integrated lens that does not require changing. All I really need to do is point, zoom and take the picture. After a lot of internet reviews and in depth analysis (that stands for wasting time on the internet) I decided on the Canon X50 for two reasons:

One: Extreme close-ups, excellent for close-up shots of small things like insects, flowers etc. Although sometimes to get a close-up of an object I end up walking farther away and then zoom in. I try to stay using the automatic focus function most of the time. Sometimes it takes a few tries for the automatic function to get it right.

Two: A powerful 50x ultra zoom for extreme telephoto shots. This camera can really zoom. The SX50’s monster zoom provides what was the longest zoom range available on any camera at the time I bought it. A DSLR shooter would need a virtually unlimited budget and an extremely large (and very heavy) camera bag to carry enough lenses to cover the 24mm to 1200mm focal length range of the SX50 HS. With a current street price of around $350, this camera is still a great deal. (PS: I am not getting paid for this advertisement.) If you check some of my bird close-ups taken with this camera I can tell you I was no where close to those.

My second camera is a Canon EOS 7D Mark II. This is a semi-pro camera for those who don’t have a budget in the range of the top of the line professional Canon EOS-1D C Camera (that will set you back $12k). This is a recent edition of the highly acclaimed 7D series. It is specifically designed for sports and wildlife photography. This is what you start using once you decide that photography will be a lasting hobby and you have a loving wife that gives it to you for Christmas.

The Canon EOS 7D Mark II can shoot 10 frames per second and has focusing system that is heaven for bird photography. It has a lot of configurable parameters and you can configure it to your liking and specific photographing needs. I am still learning how to use it. Take in account that this camera is not to be use in automatic mode since the real plus is achieved in taking advantage of the manual mode and making use of parameters that affect shutter speed, aperture and ISO.

The Canon EOS 7D Mark II provides for interchangeable lenses. I currently have two; the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM for landscape photography and the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD for bird photography. On my specific camera the Tamron gives me more than 900mm! What is on my wish list? A macro lens so I can get up close and personal with the little things around us.

My photography gear also includes a Induro Carbon 8X CT214 Tripod and Jobu Jr.3 Deluxe Gimbal Kit with Swing-Arm HM-J3D Gimbal. The Canon EOS 7D Mark II with the Tamron 150-600mm can get very heavy after hiking around with it for a while, also tripods help a lot in achieving sharp photos.  I also use the RS-Sport Extreme Sport Strap to carry the camera when shooting handheld.

My advice for those interested in nature photography is to start small and see where it goes. If you are like me you will fall in love with the rush of capturing those amazing moments through photography and end up learning all about it. A good start is at your hands right now; the internet. A great source of information can also be found in the Wildlife Photographic: Wildlife Photography Magazine that you can download through iTunes.

There is no better way to enjoy God’s creation than through photography, it’s recognizing his amazing creation through the lens of your own recognition. As we all see the world in different ways photography lets us share our vision with the rest of the world.  I invite you to give it try…

And one final inspirational thought… “Some butterflies were meant to keep the world beautiful for only a few days… it’s only through photography that you may keep them with you forever.”- Ivan Cordero

Thanks for visiting Puerto Rico Nature – Photography – WildAtPalmas.