A new feature of this blog for you all to chew on. I’m going to present a picture and then ask if you see the things I think are photographically significant. I may give some broad hints if I am feeling nice. Here is the first one- This picture of me was taken at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, Oregon in July. This is a teaching shot I set up during a workshop. I am trying to get a head shot of a tufted puffin. Study the image and count the photographically significant things you see.




Here is what I see:

I am hand holding a 70 – 200mm lens because my tripod is not with me. To get proper support I for the long lens I have 4 points of contact- foot, other foot, knee, elbow. the more points of contact the more stable I am going to be and the better the image will be.

The camera’s plane is parallel to the plane of the puffin’s head allowing me to shoot more wide open and thus giving me the softest possible  background. I was shooting at f5.6

It is a rainy cloudy day. This means that there is very little contrast so the white on the puffin’s face is less likely to blow out. Even so the exposure compensation was set to -.7 to capture the white properly. Also the low contrast will give me more detail in the black feathers and richer orange on the bill.

I am in an aviary in a controlled situation. Getting head shots of tufted puffins in the wild is not possible unless you can find a extraordinary circumstance or have a 2000mm lens.

There are not crowds of people around because I went early and went straight to the aviary which I had scouted out the day before.

Behind the puffin are lots of choices for soft out of focus backgrounds- I can shoot him against the green of the plants, the black of the shadows or the light brown of the fake rock just by slightly moving my position.

Because it is July the bird is in high breeding plumage thus it is looking it’s best.

To my right I can kneel down and shoot the puffins and murres swimming in the water at their eye level- always the best perspective.

My gray hair nicely matches my pants

I need to wear longer socks!