Archive for April, 2012

Being Efficient When You are Busy, Busy, Busy!

Posted in Editing Photos, Efficiency, Keyword, Photography, Workflow with tags , , , , on April 28, 2012 by bobshank

Just the other day I asked Siri, “Why am I so busy?” She quickly responded, “I don’t know. Frankly, I was wondering that myself!”

I am currently in the middle of a lot of photo shoots. Four days in a row with five photo shoots altogether! I’m not complaining; not in the least. I’m just busy, but good busy. During these stretches I sometimes find it hard to keep up with shooting, uploading the photos to my computer, editing them, creating galleries, charging batters, cleaning lenses, connecting with potential photo clients, and everything else. Busy, busy, busy!

Streamlining routine tasks is essential in busy times. I like to use the Energizer rechargeable NIMH batteries in the quick charger because they are charged in about 15 minutes or less! This saves a lot of time from the days when I had to charge batteries overnight. Now I can charge all 14 batteries while I am uploading photos from my compact flash cards to my Drobo.

Staying on top of these tasks is critical especially when photo shoots are so close together. Forget to empty a card and there will be no room for more photos during the next photo shoot that day. This is definitely not a time to be forgetful or fly by the seat of your pants! Good habits, predictable patterns, and a logical strategy all help to stay on top of everything in busy times.

Keywording is best done right away. Why wait to do it later when it might be forgotten? Some keywords can be entered automatically as we import them. Other more specific keywords have to be entered manually. Doing this right away makes it easier to remember the details of this shoot rather than relying on a spotty memory later on down the week or month. Stay on top of key wording and the rewards will be more than obvious down the road.

Editing photos is another key area in which to aim for efficiency. This, for me, includes locating the keepers, confirming or changing the proper white balance, and making any necessary minor edits to the photograph if needed or desired. The absolute best way to be efficient here is to get everything right in the camera. With some photo editors this is required, so it is a great goal to aim for from the beginning. It saves time, too.

What ways are you finding to be efficient in your photography?

Advertisements

My Favorite App

Posted in Apps, Bird Photography, iBird Pro, Identification, iPhone, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , on April 25, 2012 by bobshank

$14.99 for an app. My daughter thought I was nuts! But this powerful app has quickly become my favorite app so far!

Earlier this week I posted a blog entry revealing the difficulty I had in identifying a bird I photographed in my backyard. Now, I can sit in my blind, or later in my recliner, and punch a few search parameters into my iPhone and quickly id a bird. It is that easy!

iBird Pro has 924 different species in its database. The app is easy to use and very powerful. You can also add your own photos of each species to the database if you desire.

iBird Explorer Pro contains many features that will help me identify, study, track, and share my favorite birds. I love it!

Check it out at: http://ibird.com/

 

 

What Bird is This?

Posted in Backyard, Bird Photography, Blind with tags , , on April 21, 2012 by bobshank

I spent some time in my blind this evening watching and photographing a few birds and a chipmunk. I always enjoy this time spent outdoors and the blind really conceals me and most of my movements. Every once in a while, moving my camera into the right position scares a bird away, but overall it works very well to get some decent photos of these amazing birds.

For you birders out there, what species is this?

It looks like some variation of a sparrow to me, but I am not a birder. Any help you can offer in properly identifying this bird is much appreciated!

This Photo is in the Running for Photo of the Month

Posted in Baseball, Peak Action, Photo of the Month, Pleasant Valley, Sports Photography with tags , , , , on April 20, 2012 by bobshank

This photo is the running! Each month I select my best shot of the month and give it the honor of “Photo of the Month” on my all-sports website, Perfect Game Photos.

Last month was easy because I captured a bat breaking as it was swung at and hit a baseball. I always try to get the ball in the frame because it shows the intensity and action of the game. This photograph I captured today shows the second baseman’s eyes focusing on the baseball as he is tracking down the ball to catch in his glove. One of the player’s feet are in the air as he is running it down. I love the action of this shot!

I am picky though and there is one bad part to this image and that is the background. There was a house behind the field and it usually shows up at the exact wrong time in an otherwise great photograph. Still, this is a quality shot and is now in the running for the honored spot for the month of April.

Time Behind the Camera

Posted in Bull, Camera, Pennsylvania Elk, Pennsylvania Elk Photography Experience, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , on April 19, 2012 by bobshank

I like to say and I do believe, “There’s no better place to be than behind the viewfinder!”

If you enjoy photography, I think you will agree at least to on some level. Just to be able to spend time with my camera trying to capture the beauty of God’s wonderful and amazing creation is a pure joy for me. It is also one that I try real hard never to take for granted. I enjoy each and every moment I spend with my camera and the wildlife around me.

This week, try to find more time to spend behind your camera. Besides the thrill of being in the best place in all the world, you will also learn how to better use your camera and get better at the craft of photography. There is no doubt that spending more and more time behind the camera is helpful.

I will be behind my camera tomorrow. Will you?

Muddy Elk Antlers

Posted in Antler, Bull, Muddy, Pennsylvania Elk, Wildlife Photography, Winslow Hill with tags , , , , , on April 16, 2012 by bobshank

The fall rut is always an exciting time filled with lots of action. This bull is lying down, but you can clearly see the signs of this exciting season just by looking at his antlers — they are coated with mud!

Bulls get themselves into a frenzy time after time during the mating season. Hormones are running rampant and the action can be almost non-stop at times. Even when things slow down you will hear the call of the bugle or see signs of the rut in a variety of ways.

I know the fall rut is a long way away, but I was going back through some archived photos for a project I’m working on and found this one. It was slightly cropped but nothing much else was done to this photograph. I do believe in getting things right in the camera to cut down on post-production time, which saves a lot of time and energy!

This is a great week for me as some neat photo opportunities are opening up for me. Spending time behind the viewfinder is not only the best place in the world to be, but it also helps to keep the photo passion going! Are you spending time behind your camera?

My book “How I Photograph the Pennsylvania Elk” is now available as an ebook!

Posted in Bennezette, eBook, Elk Country Visitor Center, Elk County, How I Photograph the Pennsylvania Elk, PA Wilds, Pennsylvania Elk, Pennsylvania Game News, Wildlife Photography, Winslow Hill with tags , , , , , , on April 14, 2012 by bobshank

How I Photograph the Pennsylvania Elk is a book I wrote to share my methods of how I photograph the beautiful Pennsylvania Elk. I don’t pretend to be an expert on the subject; I just wanted to share with others what works for me. I am blessed to have incredible mentors who shared with me and now I am sharing my photography passion in return.

Over the past 22 years I have spent time walking through the hills of Elk County near Benezette, PA. I own some property up on Winslow Hill and thoroughly enjoy every minute I get to spend up there! My photo passion has increased greatly over the last four years and some of my photographs appeared in a few newspapers and the Pennsylvania Game News. I also have postcards, matted prints, photo buttons, and printed copies of my book available for sale at the Elk Country Visitor Center.

Wildlife photography is like nothing else in the world to me and I can’t wait to be out in nature trying to capture the beauty of God’s incredible creation! In this book I share some of my favorite methods of finding the elk. Then I share some techniques to make quality photographs. I also go through the seasons of the elk and talk about how to brave the elements when photographing them. Photo equipment is mentioned, too. My favorite chapter is “Don’t Just Shoot the Bull,” and encourages the photographer to aim the camera toward the cows, calves, and spikes, too!

The new eBook version can be uploaded to an iPad, and iPhone, or your computer.

Check it out here: How I Photograph the Pennsylvania Elk