Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Tripod & iPhone

Standing out in the crowd

You can't get much lighter than that. My initial attempts iPhonography were dismal. Of course, it was the quality of the phone's camera. Then I noticed I was ignoring all the principals of photography. Getting back to the basics, a tripod and shooting the light, changed my shots. Technology in the 21st century may have changed but photography is still the same as it has been since the 19th century. Now I just have to remember to turn off the phone when out in the prairie.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Clematis in the Rain

An early evening shower gave me the opportunity to explore the slow motion capabilities of the iPhone6. It shoots at 120 and 240 frames per second which when played back at 30 frames per second gives video at 1/4 or 1/8 normal speed. For me slow motion works best when it is not obvious and the brain believes what it sees as normal. Watching a rain drop land is always a slow motion event is my mind so this was a perfect opportunity.

Another pleasant surprise shooting video with the phone is the excellent audio quality. For this video I looped the best audio of a clip for the entire sequence and put a Youtube soundtrack over it. Editing is done in Final Cut Pro X. 

Technical: Most of the slow motion shots were at 240 fps. I don't know which clips were shot at 120 or 240 fps.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Shadow Flower

Shadow Flower
I'm continuing to explore the range of photo possibilities with the iPhone6.  Yesterday I went into the park to see how it did with macro subjects.  I was so happy with the results that I ordered a couple lens attachments to further explore macro and movie options.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sunday Morning Test

I've seen some great nature videos taken with an iPhone and yesterday was a perfect day to explore the slow motion video features on it. The camera was attached to a gorilla pod which was wrapped to a branch for stability. Natural sound was recorded as it happened. Everything was edited in Final Cut Pro X.

Technical: The white is slightly burned in some frames but the contrast range seems good. The last clip seems to have some focus searching. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Iphone, Instagrams, & Nature

Can an iPhone6 capture an image your brain sees? That's the question I have been exploring since upgrading an old iPhone. Then what do you do with the images?  There are real challenges to getting a good iPhone image.  The stock camera app is weak for someone spoiled by DSLR settings, a much better app is Pro Camera which has full DSLR features for tweaking WB, exposure, and focus. It also has a good enhancing  platform. Of course, you can always use Lightroom to enhance your images. However, unless you go directly from the phone it is a lot of work to go to Lightroom and then back to your phone to get the images into Instagram.

Technical: Instagram only accepts square images. Image on left shot with fill flash. On the right human diffuser used on a sunny afternoon.

Bottomline: Share nature your images of nature any way you can. It is disappearing from the hearts and minds of too many people.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Yellowstone's Overlooked Wildlife

I'm getting to the end of the video collected during my mid-May visit to Yellowstone. As is always the case, the biggest and most powerful get my first attention. However there is something to be said for a spending a quiet morning off trail watching a chipmunk go about it's life.

Friday, June 12, 2015

King of the Hill

This is another in the series of recent camera trap images from Cottonwood Prairie SNA. The camera was set up at a fresh dig with the hope of capturing a badger family.  No luck but this wet pheasant rooster did stop for a portrait as it looked over its domain. Technical: captured from video clip.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

How much wood would a woodchuck. . .?

For some reason this tongue twister has stuck since childhood. While growing up I would frequently see woodchucks (groundhogs) but it has been years since I saw my last one. This camera trap was set up over a hole hoping to get a skunk with young. This was almost as good as what I was expecting.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Bond

I recently collected memory cards and was surprised to see this doe cleaning her new fawn in the water. I have an image of her (?) pregnant the afternoon before this was taken. She came into the water twice during the morning but has not returned since. My video camera trap was at a likely badger den which only captured a wet pheasant. A video would have been precious. Technical: the tilt is from slippage of the camera on the tree, cropped to remove camera info

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Bear Jams

Bear jams (as well as bison, badger, fox, wolf, and any other charismatic animal near the roads) are a fact of life in Yellowstone National Park. I have mixed feelings about them after being in the middle of one for the first time a couple weeks ago.  The dynamics are complex and each is unique. About the only thing I can say with certainty is they are here to stay.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Snowy Moose

by Angela Bohlke

For a two hour period we had nonstop photo opportunities. More unique shots were taken between 6 and 8 am than the previous 10 days. I looked great as a tour guide and had a blast watching the images being captured. It was a time to sit back and enjoy the moment.