|'Photographing Nature More Creatively’||11 Sepember 2018|
|Professional Wildlife photographer David Boag made a very welcome return to the club to give his presentation on how to be more creative with photography.
With his keen interest in nature David’s first foray into photography was about 40 years when he endeavoured to capture the flight of a kingfisher as it dived into a pool. At that time film cameras were unable to capture such fast speed so David pioneered the use of synchronised flashes and obtained many superb images of kingfisher behaviour.
This resulted in David’s first book and since then he has published many books on a variety of subjects.
David leads safaris to Africa, lectures on cruise ships, broadcasts on radio and television and travels all over the world on photographic assignments.
With his enthusiastic approach David inspired members to look at images in a new way and challenge themselves to come up with new ideas.
Creativity is not about your photographic equipment but using your imagination and capturing interesting images. An image can have all the criteria such as perfect focus and exposure but can still frankly be rather boring.
By understanding the behaviour of wildlife you can get something dramatic rather than a straight dull shot. An example shown was a Kea - which can appear a rather dull looking New Zealand parrot but which when encouraged to leap showed the bright colour under its wings and makes a striking image.
Be persistent and wait for just the right moment to press the shutter. This image of an Osprey was caught just as it was about to take off instead of just an image of 'a bird on a stick'!.
When something interesting catches your eye then don’t just take one photo – take at least 3 using different lenses or finding different angles was David's advice.
The choice of lens is vitally important and David demonstrated the differences using a wide angle or a close up can give subjects taken from exactly the same spot.
A close up can look dramatic on some occasions but including the habitat can show behaviour and give a sense of space.
Look out for foreground interest to lead the eye through the image – diagonals can add drama and complimentary colours and shapes add interest.
Don’t be put off by wet weather or poor light – there is always an image to be had and today’s digital technology can capture sharp images in any conditions. Image stabilisation allows a 300mm lens to be handheld and still get a sharp image.
Get down low and look up as that makes the subject look more important and stand out from the background.
As shown by his exuberant presentation David is an excellent tutor and has expertly made interactive tutorials which can be obtained from his website. His helpful advice on capturing interesting, creative images can be applied to any subject not just wildlife.
See Natural Focus for more information.
Summing up club chairman Steve Hardman said he had learned a great deal from the evening and thanked David very much for his very inspiring presentation.
During the evening Steve welcomed Richard Watson LRPS who had been the clubs chairman for the previous 4 years. Richard was thanked for the contribution he had made to the club and was made a life member and also a bottle of very special whisky that reminded him of the club field trip to Skye. PM
Images © David Boag