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RL Hopkins.

Normally, books on wildlife photography are packed with sumptuous, ultra close shots of wild life, going about their natural business, unaware of a photographer only metres away.This book has that, but takes the story further by tipping in wild, wild shots of the natural environment, icebergs, cascading rivers, caves, deserts and more. Author Hopkins has covered the wild world for over 20 years, moving from large and medium format cameras to 35mm SLRs, 4×5 sheet film, 645 trannies and on to digital capture. He confides that “photography found me later in life, a consequence of my background in geology and affinity for nature and wild places.” He suggests that you can use this book as a workbook, accessing its contents without any particular order. The messages are clear: know your equipment; be as open as possible to what nature presents; be in the right place at the right time. Preparation is crucial; know the seasons and their characteristics; understand the seasonal patterns of wildlife behaviour. Frequently, the inside knowledge you can gain may not come from photographers but from locals who live in the territory. Gear up with precise knowledge of your equipment; make sure you understand all the camera’s features; comprehend the role of the histogram to fully utilize the image’s brightness range; pack a wide range of lenses; always use a tripod … and so on. The info is techy but highly readable, which makes the book a good read in its own right. Hopkins’ writing style is conversational, with the occasional anecdote to leaven the text. I figure the book would appeal both to beginner and experienced wild life enthusiast. Also, I enjoyed the many images that verged on the abstract … you don’t always need to shoot sharp, clean and clear. Fuzzy is sometimes the way to go!

 

 

 

Author: RL Hopkins.
Publisher: Lark Books.
Length: 240 pages.
ISBN: 978 1 60059 522 6

And a good price at on line book stores.

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Michael “Nick” Nichols National Geographic Photographer

I spend a huge amount of time on a story, but I don’t take that much time to make it easier. A Geographic assignment is going to take a year of my life any way you slice it, because that’s what it takes to get it.

The editor and the director of photography and my editor tell me what to do, but the reality is simple. There’s only one person that goes out the door, and the story has to be made from what I took pictures of. I’m on my own out there. One of the things I think people misunderstand is that there’s nobody that gives you a list or anything, there’s not a whole lot of research that anybody else does. In my case, I usually dream up the stories and try to sell them to my editors.

When I’ve gotten the assignment, I do as much research as humanly possible about the subject. My rule of thumb is usually I spend as much time in the field as I do preparing. So, two months in the field means two months preparing. Even if 90 percent of that research is useless, it’s important. When I’m doing research, ideas about pictures come to my head. That doesn’t mean I’m going to go out and set up pictures, but it gives me a lot of ideas so I can hit the ground running. And as long as I let serendipity through, I’ll still get pictures that just happen. But by going to all the places that I’ve lined up, all the little pieces should start to give us a whole and tell us something about Indonesia or tigers or whatever the particular subject is.

Learning languages is good, though I have to say it’s overrated because I don’t speak languages. I wish that I had learned them as a child, so if you’re really young and you’re reading this, definitely study languages. If I had learned all the languages of places I’ve worked at, you know, I’d just be a linguist. You can do fine drawing pictures, with facial expressions. The language you do want to learn, though, is how to be polite in that culture. If you can say hello to people, good afternoon, thank you, they’ll know, okay, he’s made some effort. And you’ve got to learn what not to do, all those things you can do wrong. You don’t want to make a cultural faux-pas.

I shot 2,000 rolls of film on the Megatransect — how can I not make a hundred good pictures? I would just say try it. It has nothing to do with quantity. Well, it does — I’d much rather have 2,000 rolls than have 2. I wouldn’t want to be put on a rationing diet, because the reason you shoot a lot of film is because the shooting, the pushing of the button, brings you around. It’s like an experiment. You’re dancing. And then you realize, aaaah, that’s where the real dance is — over there! And you zero in on it and make the real frame. So all the bad pictures and the garbage you discard.

But you have to be able to see, and you have to have a point of view. To say photography is completely objective isn’t correct, because it’s not. It’s my point of view about tigers. It’s my point of view about chimps, or central Africa. And I think that’s it — that’s when I realized I really was a photographer, when I saw that I was starting to express myself. That’s why I think it takes 5 years. There’s a point when you’re copying somebody else, or you’re just trying to do what Time magazine wants you to. I don’t do what I think National Geographic wants me to do. I did maybe on the first project, because I was scared to death. But quickly I learned that this is my vehicle, and I can drive this thing. I mean, 2000 people work in the building, but there are only so many of us that go out in the field and do that work, and we can drive the train. And so having a point of view is absolutely essential, and no amount of money or film gets you that. It’s so easy to take boring pictures.

At the Geographic, which is different than other publications, the photographer is involved all the way to the final layout. It’s a fine art to working that situation, because I know that it’s not the 80 good pictures that I got. What the world’s going to see are12 or 20. And if I don’t think a lot about how those go on the page and the display of them, then I’m not really following it all the way through. I got frustrated with the magazine industry because other magazines just took my pictures and published them however they wanted. And everything’s so subjective — you’ve got thirty frames, and the hand is in a different place in each of them — and there might be a particular nuance to a frame that I’m going to push for.

In the past Geographic didn’t assign a staff photographer to do something like wild tigers, they’d have assigned a tiger scientist and said look, you’ve got a few grants here, and when you come up with enough pictures we’ll publish a story on tigers. And the weakness of that is that there’s no point of view. It’s just a scientist’s pictures about tigers. I look at the big story that goes with it. At the same time I want to go out there and spend the same amount of time that scientist did to get pictures of tigers. And I’ve been lucky enough to be able to do that.

I work so hard in the field and what I do is so intense. I go underground for nine months and don’t come up for air. I don’t have a lot of tolerance for someone who can’t get that obsessed.

But there’s another side to that, too. Somebody like Dave Alan Harvey, his whole gig is being lyrical. It’s not that he has to work so hard, it’s that he has to interact and he has to capture those moments around him. There’s so many ways for photography to work.

But whether or not I can maintain that intensity another ten years, I don’t know. I physically don’t think I can — I’m falling apart. Five knee surgeries, I’ve had malaria like 20 times, all this shit. And I would also like to see what young photographers want to do. That’s why I’m thinking about starting a photography foundation, giving out grants, which is all about nurturing young photojournalists, which is exactly what I want to do with this website.

Taken from Michael “Nick” Nichols web site lots of information

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Photographers set to bag free Camera Test Chart

Do you know the exact focal length and aperture to use, to ensure your zoom lens is at its sharpest?  And how do different images styles     affect the colour and contrast of the images your camera produces?  What is the largest aperture you can use without vignetting becoming an issue? Knowing all this information can help make sure you get the best images possible with your particular camera and lenses.
Free with next week’s AP is an exclusive camera and lens testing and calibration chart, launched in association with Ricoh. By following the simple instructions featured in the magazine you will be able to find out valuable information about your camera and lenses. This will help you when deciding what focal length, aperture and image style to select – to help you create better images in camera, and save time when editing your shots. It may even help you decide whether to upgrade to a better lens. On the other hand, you may be surprised by just how good your existing camera equipment is.  Don’t miss out. Next week’s AP goes on sale on 12 April

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Get happy…… Get Snappy…………

The chance to support one of Britain’s best loved institutions, the Great British Pub exhibition launches May 16th and runs until May 23rd

The British Beer & Pub Association presents the UK’s biggest pub photography competition and exhibition – Pub Life. Taking place over the next three months British drinkers have a once in a lifetime opportunity to capture their beloved local and help celebrate a great British institution, which has been facing tough times. 

Regulars, amateurs and professionals are invited to enter photographs of their local pub across six distinct categories in the hope of winning an Olympus camera and for their image to be exhibited at an exclusive exhibition from the 16th -23rd May 2011 at The Old Truman Brewery in East London. 

The Public House has been a national treasure since the sixth century, providing a hub for the community and a lively social watering hole for all walks of life. Fifteen centuries later and the much-loved institution have borne the brunt of the economic downturn despite being one of Britain’s most recognised traditions. 

Now, in a nationwide celebration of everything great about the pub, Pub Life invites members of the public, whether they are a professional photographer or not, to capture their favorite scenes from their local pub under six categories for the chance to win a camera from Olympus and a prestigious spot in the exclusive Pub Life Photography Exhibition. 

All six winners will receive an Olympus E-PL2 Single Kit Lens Camera; six runners up will also win an Olympus XZ-1 camera. One lucky overall winner will win the Olympus E-PL2 Double Kit Lens Camera as well as a host of photography accessories to help them get the best shot possible. 

Pub Life is homage to the local pub through a unique national photography competition that aims to capture the true spirit of life inside a British pub. Entries will be shortlisted to 10 images across the six categories with the winning images being chosen by a panel of judges. The competition will culminate in a series of unique events running alongside the Pub Life exhibition at London’s Old Truman Brewery gallery space. 

Entrants can submit as many images as they like across all six of the competition categories. The categories range from The Sun’s Beautiful Game through to Strange But True category with the most prestigious Pub Life category aiming to uncover the image that best captures life inside the modern British pub. Pub Life is supported by British Beer & Pub Association, the organisation that represents brewing and pub owning & pub owning companies across the UK, making Pub Life a truly unique competition which aims to stretch across the UK and to showcase a truly unique British institution. Your local needs you! 

From the 21st March, budding photographers both professional, amateur and pub locals will be invited to submit images to be judged through the six different categories. From this British Beer & Pub Association and The Sun will nominate a shortlist of photographers who will then be invited to exhibit in a top London gallery for Pub Life. 

The exhibition will be from 16th – 23rd May 2011 in a gallery within The Old Truman Brewery.

The six categories are:

• Pub Life: The image that truly represents the essence of life in the modern pub

•The Sun’s The Beautiful Game: An image that depicts sportsmanship within the local pub

• Strange But True: An image that portrays the bizarre nature of the local pub

• The Regulars: This could be a Landlord, or regular figure or feature of your local pub

• Pub With A View: An incredible landscape outside or through a fireside window

• Lazy Sunday: The quintessential English social activity; spent with great friends and a roast dinner

in order to submit your photographs visit facebook here: http://on.fb.me/hbC9kN

or email them to


entries@publifecompeitition.com

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Junior photographer role

Do you have a passion for travel and photography?

Do you excel in customer service and enjoy working as part of a team?

To find out more about this exciting opportunity,

contact us @ hr@theshipsphotographer.com

http://www.cruiseshipphotographerjobs.com

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Laura Sutherland, Ex MSc Biological Photography and Imaging, The University of Nottingham.

Laura Sutherland is interviewed for the Arkive Blog

I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with nature and the outdoors, and like nothing more than being outside in my wellies, camera in hand. This led me to study Biological Sciences at Oxford University and then Biological Photography & Imaging at the University of Nottingham. After completing my Masters degree I moved to Bristol to start work as an ARKive Media Researcher and have been here ever since.

See the full interview @

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Turn Your mobile Into a High-Powered Scientific Microscope

Using tape, rubber and a tiny glass ball, researchers transformed an iPhone into a cheap, yet powerful microscope able to image tiny blood cells. They’ve also added a clinical-grade cellphone spectroscope that might be able to measure some vital signs.

See Website

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