Peeking out

We often see photography of birds in flight or with their wings expanded.  I enjoy taking a different look at these birds, tucked into their nests. Here are a few more shots from May Term Ornithology Science and Art class at AC.  These shots were taken either on Allendale Columbia’s nature trail, which is right on campus, Mendon Ponds Park, or the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge.

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National Geographic Your Shot Community

National Geographic has a great community site for sharing photography. I know there are many of these sites out there, but Nat Geo Your Shot by far has been the most influential to me. I have used the site for the past 2 1/2 years, and in that time and gotten great feedback from other photographers on my work. My favorite part about National Geo Your Shot are the assignments. I think it’s very easy for me to get caught up in taking only wildlife photography, which is a passion of mine. The assignments and stories part of the site let the editors give an assignment for photographers like myself to submit photographs to that fit a particular theme.  I have enjoyed challenging myself on themes just as “The Gift of Life”, “Invisible Worlds” and “Facing your Fears”, After the editors close the entry period, they craft a story that is then published. I love reading these stories and seeing which photographs made the final cut. I haven’t earned this yet, but I hope to keep submitting my photographs, as my goal is to someday be part of a published story.

What has been really wonderful for me is to be selected as an “editor favorite”. These are special shout-outs from the editors for liking my submission, and some of these shots may have been at least considered for a published piece. The fact that a few of my photos were liked have kept me excited about trying to become better at my work. An even bigger plus is when an editor leaves a comment. For me, that is the best thing that can happen, as I know that a professional who liked my work took the time to let me know that.

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National Geographic Your Shot also just added a “follow” feature, which allows a photographer to follow another photographer’s work. I do not have a large following at all, but the fact that 8 people decided to keep track of my work is a great start and something I think I hope to improve on.  There’s no catch. It’s free, and for a high school student like me, the feedback is priceless.

Back to Basics

School, sports, and life have been busy, and I forgot about how much photography can make me happy. I’ve taken some photos, but haven’t had the time to post them here. Here are some random shots that I particularly like that have no particular theme.  I am still using my Nikon DSLR3300, and am hoping to upgrade as soon as I save up some money.

A Guinea Turaco tips his head as he spots me with my camera.
“Armor” – I liked the contrast of the metal grate, which seems like armor to me and the hard shell of this bug.
Skylon Tower, Niagara Falls Canada – Extraterrestrial or Extra Touristy?
True Colors. I often take photography of the heads of these birds, but I couldn’t help but be drawn in by this macaw’s colorful feathers.

Lamberton Conservatory

Today I went to the Lamberton Conservatory in Highland Park.  It only cost me $2 to get in, and I was able to take some pretty great shots of plants and flowers that are there for the public to see.  It is full of water features, quails, and well worth the visit. We went early when it opened at 10:00 a.m,  and there was hardly anyone there.  I highly recommend visiting here. It is a great place to relax as well as to practice some macrophotography. They do not allow professional photographers in during business hours, so I am glad I visited now.DSC_0001.JPGDSC_0002.JPGDSC_0003.JPGDSC_0006.JPGDSC_0010.JPGDSC_0011.JPGDSC_0015.JPG

Closeups – My Introduction to Macrophotography

Recently I purchased a macro photography extension tube. I attached it to my 55-300 ml lens using my Nikon D3300 HDSLR, and it let me get these shots.

Extension tubes increase your lens length and lets you get closer to the thing you are taking a picture of.  An extension tube fits between your lens and your camera mount. It moves your lens further from the camera. The closer you can focus, the more magnification you get. I used the Fotodiox Nikon Macro Extension Tube Kit for Nikon cameras, Extreme Close-ups.  I bought this on Amazon for around $14.



Not Quite Spring

Today I went down a park and took these photos. Although it’s spring, snow still covers the ground. I thought it was a bit difficult to try to take a interesting photo, the only colors you see outside are brown and white.

Ice Cones
Ice Cones
Winter Hanging On
Winter Hanging On
Stream Saplings
Stream Saplings

Random photos and good news!

These are a few pictures I took recently.  Some were around the house, some were outside.  I just felt like sharing them. I got some great news this week – my “Jake as Albert” piece won a National Silver Medal in the Scholastic Art Awards! I am happy that I was one of the few 7th graders picked to have this opportunity. My Mom entered us in the ticket lottery, so hopefully we can go to New York City to Carnegie Hall go to the awards ceremony. Thank you to Mrs. Oliveri. She is my art teacher who submitted my work.

Inward Icicles
Inward Icicles
Mandarin Orange Row
Mandarin Orange Row

Light Painting with Christmas Lights

This week it has been negative wind chill and finally it has been up in the 20’s, so I took advantage of this and went outside at night to do some light painting with a string of white Christmas lights. I used a Nikon D3300 HDSLR camera to take the photos and  my new Sunpak Ultra 6000 tripod.  I like my Nikon because it is easy to learn how to use and you don’t have to be that experienced.

I set my camera’s F number to 22 and my shutter speed to 4 seconds.