This past weekend, I had a new camera with me and was stalking chipmunks scurrying around on the stone walls that fronted my path. Chipmunks are quick but many times they freeze, hoping that you don’t see them. That’s when the shutter clicks!
A number of people send MassWildlife photos of wildlife or plants for identification to us at email@example.com . In most cases, the images are good enough to identify the critter or plant in question, but occasionally there are problems. Here are some tips that will help create an image which can help us accurately identify your subject!
- Size Matters!—Include something familiar in size in your photo next or near to your subject, like a coin. We also appreciate image files less than 2MB in size!
- Stay Focused—A blurry image makes accurate identification difficult. Prop your hands or the camera on something solid, or take a deep breath, let it out halfway and stop breathing for a moment while focusing the camera. That’s when you will have the least “shake”. A camera with image stabilization helps, but if you move, the image will still be fuzzy!
- Get Close, but Not Too Close – It’s tempting to move close, but how close is too close? If the animal moves away as you approach, you are too close to their comfort zone. If you have a zoom, use it! Many times you can get an image that will work for identification of the subject without having to get close.
- Light and Shadow – It’s challenging to photograph a subject against the sky or other light background. (Hawk on wire by Westborough office). Try to move slowly and quietly in a direction that allows you to capture colors or markings instead of shadows (Same bird on the wire, a Red-tailed Hawk, but I moved to capture the bird with a leafy background and used the zoom!)
Do you have other tips for outdoor shutterbugs? Share them and we’ll all benefit from the advice!
If you have a favorite image of a bird, bug, flower or other outdoor scene or outdoor recreation activity, consider entering the contest. Submit a photo to the Massachusetts Wildlife Magazine Photo Contest.
The View from Massachusetts posted on Sep 17
While Massachusetts can claim significant success in urban river revitalization, dam removal, cranberry bog naturalization and stream flow restoration, globally there are daunting challenges to restore highly impacted or vanishing ecosystems that will test the acumen of ecologists, engineers and politicians for years to come.
2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: September posted on Sep 12
September’s photo contest winner was Gary Kamen, who photographed Mount Warner Vineyard in Hadley. Mount Warner Vineyards is a farm-winery located in Hadley, a small town in the beautiful Pioneer Valley. Operated by Gary and Bobbie Kamen, their philosophy is to recognize the unique characteristics of …Continue Reading 2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: September
Calling All Shuckers! posted on Sep 3
Do you know where the oysters you ate at the raw bar last night were grown? Do you know how oysters are grown? Oysters naturally inhabited the eastern coast dating back to the 1700s, but due to over-harvesting, disease, and habitat loss, wild oysters have …Continue Reading Calling All Shuckers!