“An African Photo Safari”

This Power Point program was used in my presentation on January 15, 2014, made to members of the Hampton Roads [Virginia] Digital Shutterbug Club. My comments expanded on the slides shown and included, as examples:

Reasons for shooting at particular ISO settings, f/stops, and shutter speeds with respect to some of the images depicted;

Shooting “green,” “scene,” and “clean” (my term – as in starting from scratch);

Along with a suggestion for those who are making the transition from “scene” to “Aperture Priority” (“clean”);

And my use of “Power Frames” (a term that I use) when deviating from applying the generally accepted Rule of Thirds. I favor the “Center Power Frame” at times in my wildlife photography, especially when the image involves confrontation head on with an animal.

When beginning to shoot in Aperture Priority, the objective of which is to select your desired DOF, or depth of field, my recommendation is:

Set the ISO and WB at “auto” so that you only have to select the desired aperture, as the principal variable. In this manner, you avoid managing ISO and shutter speed while easing into shooting “clean.” As a result, a photographer making the transition to shooting “clean” in Aperture Priority may begin to learn the “sweet spot” in any zoom lens used. The photographer may also begin to better identify the manner in which different areas of a composed image (foreground, middle ground, and background) are affected with different f/stops, both as to obtaining sharp focus, together with noting those areas that achieve “blur” or “softness.”

Focus points (pun intended) during the evening were: the prudent use of EV (exposure valuation) and bracketing EV; use of burst for several reasons presented in the slides; favoring the underexposure of images along with some basic editing comments; my use of Perfect Resize; bracketing f/stops when time and conditions permit; and some additional tips and techniques. I also discussed the somewhat counterintuitive use of underexposing to a greater extent in flat light or shade conditions so that more latitude is afforded when editing such images.

Numerous other comments were offered during the presentation, which are not conveyed in the slides. However, I advised the members that I would post the presentation so that they might have free access via my web site for further review of its content. I sincerely hope that the information passed along in our meeting was of use to some members’ growth in the field of photography, as well as for anyone who may peruse this material.

“Wildlife photography is the ultimate catch and release!”

Don Mercer
Rustic 41 Creations

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