Archive for September, 2010

Writing My Own Book was Great Fun!

Posted in Book, Dave Black, Pennsylvania Elk, Wildlife Photography, Winslow Hill on September 29, 2010 by bobshank

I earned a journalism degree from Temple University and enjoy writing. Recently I was motivated to self-publish my very own book. It actually was a thought in the back of my head for a number of years. I had some concrete ideas on what I wanted to write about and even pursued the idea seriously about three years ago. A lot has changed in three short years! Just a few months ago I listened to a podcast that introduced me to Blurb.com.

The podcast was an interview with Dave Black and he shared his process of how he self-published a photo book entitled, “The Way I See It.” Well, I was motivated enough to check out the Blurb.com website and it didn’t take me long to view the information online and decided that I was sold on this idea! Blurb.com makes the process very easy. So, I downloaded the software and began to write my own book.

It was an invigorating process and I enjoyed every step of the way. As I said, much of what I wanted to write was already somewhere in the my head, so I just had to discipline myself to sit down and get the words out. Of course, I made sure to include photographs of the PA elk in the book, too!

The book actually describes tips and techniques that are applicable to any wildlife photographer. You can see a more detailed description of the book and preview it here.

Pennsylvania Elk Photography Experience

Posted in Uncategorized on September 27, 2010 by bobshank

This week my friend and professional photographer, Dick McCreight, are hosting our Pennsylvania Elk Photography Experience.

The rut is on and the elk are active. This is a great time of year to photograph the elk, and in fact, is my favorite time of year. I love the sights, sounds, and feelings that accompany the fall season in the mountains. It is truly a beautiful time of year to be sure!

I am busy out shooting much of the day and leading photo workshops this week, so I won’t have time to post any photos. However, I am hoping to have plenty of photographs to share in upcoming blog entries.

You can find out more about our Pennsylvania Elk Photography Experience trips here. They are lots of fun and we always learn a lot about photography from each other on these photo trips. We’d love to have you join us on one of these trips sometime!

Football

Posted in Football, High School, Lehighton, Pleasant Valley, Sports Photography on September 25, 2010 by bobshank

Last night I photographed the Leighton vs. Pleasant Valley football game. It was a very good game from the PV side. Lehighton put up a good fight and it was only 21-0 at halftime. But it was hard to stop the three-pronged attack of the PV quarterback Walling, receiver Irving, and running back Getz. Some incredible receptions and tough running yards kept the Indians on their heels most of the night.

Photographing football sure is different from baseball. For one thing, the game was at night so I had to really make adjustments for the lighting conditions. Secondly, the flow of the game is much different. Fortunately, I coached football for about nine years so this wasn’t all that bad for me, but it was different from photographing a baseball game. Being at the middle school game this past week was also helpful and prepared me well for this high school game.

You can check out the photos I captured at this football game here. And I included a few photos here in my blog entry, too.

Check Out My New Book!

Posted in Book, Pennsylvania Elk, Wildlife Photography, Winslow Hill on September 24, 2010 by bobshank

I just published my first book! The title is “How I Photograph the Pennsylvania Elk.”

The book shares my approach to photographing the elk of Pennsylvania and includes tips on locating the elk, techniques on how get quality photos of the elk, as well as some tips on what to wear when photographing the elk. There is a brief history of the PA elk, too. I’ve been hiking the elk range in Pennsylvania for over twenty years now and I enjoy each and every outing. There is no place like the mountains and my book shares how I locate the elk and photograph them.

I got the idea of self-publishing a book from photographer, Dave Black. I listened to a podcast where he was interviewed and he talked about how he used Blurb to self-publish his book, “The Way I See It.” You can find out more about this by going to Dave Black’s article here.

In addition to sharing some practical tips and suggestions, I also share some personal stories from my experiences photographing the elk.

You can view a description of the book and see a preview of seven pages in the book here.

Football Game

Posted in Football, Sports Photography on September 23, 2010 by bobshank

Yesterday I had the opportunity to photograph a middle school football game. The Stroudsburg Mounties were hosting the Pleasant Valley Bears. I knew several players on both sides, but one of the Stroudsburg moms asked me to get some photos of her son. The action was fast and furious with lots of scoring throughout the game.

I found football to be much different than photographing baseball. The action seemed more non-stop and fast-paced. I coached football for quite a few years, including at the middle school level for three years. Knowing the game sure helps when trying to photograph a game! One quick tip I learned quickly is to line up on the sideline slightly behind the line of scrimmage to get a clear shot of the backfield. Handoffs, pitches, and the QB dropping back for a pass are examples of shots I was able to get with this technique.  Of course, this would also be a good location for a QB sack, too. I found it much harder to capture a receiver catching a pass.

Over all, I believe I was able to capture some good, quality photographs of the game. Here are five photos, but you can see all the photos from this shoot here.

Traffic on Winslow Hill

Posted in Pennsylvania Elk, Traffic, Winslow Hill on September 22, 2010 by bobshank

I was in complete disbelief this past Saturday at just how many vehicles were on the road on Winslow Hill viewing the elk. Granted, I have not been there on a weekend for quite some time since I do prefer weekdays to weekends when viewing the elk. But the sheer number of cars, trucks, and motorcycles was absolutely amazing and mind-boggling to me!

At one point, as we were watching two nice bulls recovering from a fight, there was a line of vehicles almost as far as I could see slowly coming up the road. There was some cooperation among drivers as most vehicles pulled completely off the road to allow traffic to pass by, but it was slow going to be sure. Many passersby were shooting cameras through windows as they stopped briefly to snap a photo.

A few others were completely selfish and rude as they simply parked their car in the middle of their lane of travel, seemingly not caring about anyone else but themselves. This inconsiderate behavior is frowned upon by both locals and tourists alike. It needlessly ties up traffic and creates a bottleneck. The one place this happened had a parking lot not even 100 feet down the road. Trespassing and other acts of disrespect need to be pointed out before these unethical behaviors become habit.

Elk County Visitor Center Looks Great!

Posted in Elk County Visitor Center, Horses, Pennsylvania Elk, Spiderweb on September 21, 2010 by bobshank

This past weekend my son and I were up on the elk range. We were thrilled to see lots of elk and some nice bulls. We also had the chance to make our first visit to the newly opened Elk County Visitor Center. I was not quite sure what to expect. I mean I heard all the reports touting how great the center was going be, but I guess I can be somewhat cynical at times. I am also a Doubting Thomas as well. Rather believing all the hype, I say the proof is in the pudding.

So I drove up the driveway of the Elk Center without many high expectations. When we arrived I liked the appearance of the new building but still took a kind of wait-and-see approach to my impression. Well, let me tell you, the Visitor Center if very nice and it looks great! The architects and those who had the vision for this building did many things right. The building is attractive and creative at the same time. It appears that the intention is to share and teach information about the Pennsylvania elk herd and they are already achieving this goal in a big way.

The displays in the main room are interactive and informative. Volunteers were present to answer questions and talk about the elk herd, proper viewing etiquette, and questions about the center. The theater presentation was creative and informative and fun to watch. Over all, the new center impressed me even though I entered the building with a non-impressive attitude. I really liked what I saw and experienced in the Elk County Visitor Center.

I hope you get a chance to see it, too. And when you do I’d love to hear your impressions on the new center.

Here are a couple photos I captured on my trip.