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 firstname.lastname@example.org . 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.
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March posted on Apr 23
Girard’s Sugarhouse in Simsbury, CT. The sugarhouse was built in 1887 and produces around 250-300 gallons of syrup annually. Photo by Michael Girard March’s contest winner was Michael Girard who photographed his family’s sugarhouse in Health. Michael Girard has been a sugarmaker since 1961 when he …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February posted on Feb 25
February’s contest winner was Amanda Bettle, who photographed sheep at The Natural Resources Trust of Easton. This photo features Dog, a former 4-H show animal and sole male sheep among the nine ewes in the Natural Resources Trust of Easton (NRT) flock. It is the mission …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: January posted on Jan 26
January’s contest winner was Renee Finnegan, who photographed a pensive Highland cow at Oak Meadows Farm & Garden in Rutland. Glenn and Mary Kauppila have been farming 100 acres of land in Rutland for approximately 15 years. With the help of their three adult children, they …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: January