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Posts Tagged ‘wildlife’

Photographers have launched a campaign demanding councils abandon plans to build hundreds of new homes near a nature reserve in the North East. Photographers Kaleel Zibe and Alan Hewitt have blasted as ‘ill thought-out’ plans by Newcastle and Gateshead councils to build up to 600 homes near Gosforth Park Nature Reserve. ‘If the houses are built here, wildlife will have nowhere to go and will die,’ they claim. Campaigners say deer, badgers, hares and red squirrels are among the species under threat. The Natural History Society of Northumbria expressed fears that fields providing ‘essential foraging habitat’ will be destroyed. ‘Without this habitat this wildlife will be lost foerever,’ claims the society on its website. The plans, announced by Gateshead Council and Newcastle City Council, are part of the ‘One Core Strategy 2030’ project which aims to boost the local economy. A draft of the proposals, which are subject to consultation, states: ‘Our shared vision is to provide for our increased population, anticipated to be at least 500,000 by 2030 and within this to increase our core working age population (20-64 age group) by around 9,000 from the 2010 level, to 300,400.’

 

Chris Cheesman amateur photographer magazine

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Biological Photography Museum

I was having a wander through the museum at Biological Photography and Imaging yesterday and I came across some very strange items { well to me they were } and I am not talking about Dr David Fox the museum curator.

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Odd things in that museum, even the Kilner jar. Dr Tom Hartman said that it was unique in the fact that they stop making these jars back during the war when the factory was blow up. There is a lot to look at and photograph in this museum more then enough to hold anyone’s attention. If you have a interest in old bones, fish heads, small hedgehogs and strange looking mussels then drop a line to thomas.hartman@nottingham.ac.uk if you would like to know more on the course we run at Nottingham University, MSc Biological Photography and Imaging then contact david.mcmahon@nottingham.ac.uk

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Male wolf spiders cannibalise older females, scientists in Uruguay have discovered. In several species, female spiders are known to eat males, but this is the first time biologists have seen the roles reversed in the wild.
The male spiders were observed mating with virgins and eating older, less reproductively successful females. Researchers suggest that harsh habitats force males to prey on females for food.
Their findings were published in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. The species in question, Allocosa brasiliensis, is a nocturnal wolf spider found in South America’s sand dunes along riverbanks and the Atlantic Ocean coast.

Full story

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Carol Grant
Winner of the 2009 Nature Conservancy Photo Contest

Growing up in Southern California, Carol Grant has always been intrigued by the beauty of the ocean. “As a child, I vividly remember watching episodes of Sea Hunt after school and wondering if I could ever have underwater adventures too,” says Carol.

This curiosity led Carol to pick up a camera. “I think [al]most anyone who has a passion for the natural world dreams of being able to communicate that beauty through photographs,” she says.

As her experiences with marine life grew, Carol says she became determined to learn how to photograph the unique creatures and habitats with which she fell in love. “Underwater photography is challenging because it entails not only a knowledge of photography, but specialized equipment knowledge, excellent buoyancy skills and confidence in handling oneself well underwater at the same time,” explains Carol.

Full story at Nature Conservancy

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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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Although emasculated spiders can no longer be lovers, they are better fighters, a new study says.

In many spider species, males have sex using two appendages known as pedipalps. But males will often lose one or both pedipalps during the act—behavior that might seem like a bad idea evolutionarily, since it renders the male sterile.

See the story here

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