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Register for FREE ZOOM event with the instructor March 22

Ray Hennessy

"Bird and Wildlife"

 

Ray Hennessy: Starting in 2007 my fascination with nature photography began. In the years since wildlife photography with a focus on birds has gone from a very passionate hobby of mine to become my career. I spend much of my free time in natural areas searching for birds and any other wildlife that comes along. I concentrate on using creative natural lighting and interesting compositions to capture unique images of common and rare wildlife. My favorite style is a more scenic photo that includes some of the habitat wildlife lives in. I also enjoy passing along the knowledge and experience that I have gathered over the years to other photographers who are eager to learn. I have had the privelege of working with students both in person and remotely from all over the world to help guide them and accelerate the techniques and refinement of their wildlife photography. rayhennessy.com


Class Outline

"Thoughts on learning wildlife photography"

It's not the gear you have but understanding how to use it that makes a huge difference. Importance of field technique is often overlooked. Slowing down and thinking in the field, not just pointing and shooting

Recommended gear for this workshop 

  1. dSLR or Mirrorless camera

  2. Lenses ranging from 300mm-600mm. If you only have shorter focal lengths we can make that work but please be aware that for bird photographer at least 300mm is recommended and more is often ideal. There may be the option to try out some lenses during this workshop as well.

  3. Monopod or tripod if you use one, if not that will be entirely fine. 

  4. Laptop computer with Adobe Lightroom Classic (the non-classic version will be fine if that is what you use) and Adobe Photoshop is recommended to follow some of the post processing instruction but is not required if you don’t use Photoshop. 

  5. Be sure to bring a card reader or cable to connect your camera to import photos



Day 1


1. Gear: Cameras - classroom
a. What I use
b. Crop sensor vs. full frame c. dSLR vs. Mirrorless
d. Camera frame rates
e. Determining what camera may be best for your style and goals


2. Gear: Lenses - classroom
a. Prime & Zoom Lenses
b. Fixed Maximum Aperture Lenses
c. Variable Maximum Aperture Lenses
d. Vibration Reduction / Image Stabilization e. What lens might be best for you?
f. You don’t need the highest end gear to capture amazing wildlife photos


3. Gear: Camera & Lens Support - classroom
a. Tripods
b. Gimbal Head c. Ball Head
d. Monopod
e. Monopod Head f. Hand Held
g. Ground Pod


4. Other Gear & Clothing - classroom
a. Other helpful gear for wildlife photography b. Clothing for wildlife photography


5. Camera Settings: Exposure Modes - outside

a. Program
b. Shutter Priority
c. Aperture Priority d. Manual
6. Camera Settings: Shutter Speeds - outside
a. Suggested shutter speeds for wildlife situations b. Figuring out your own minimum shutter speeds


7. Camera Settings: Aperture Settings - outside
a. Suggested Apertures
b. Figuring out your lens’ lowest sharp aperture


8. Camera Settings: ISO Settings - outside
a. Auto and manual ISO
b. When to apply auto vs. manual ISO in the field
c. Exposure compensation with auto ISO
d. Figuring out the maximum ISO you can tolerate


Day 2

1. Camera Settings: Metering Modes - outside
a. Center Weighted b. Overall
c. Spot Meter


2. Camera Settings: Focus Settings - outside
a. Back Button AF b. Single Shot AF c. Continuos AF
d. Focus Points: Single Point AF
e. Focus Points: Multiple Points for action f. Bird/Animal eye AF


3. Lighting - outside
a. Lighting overview a. Good sun
b. Bad sun c. Overcast
d. Rain/Snow
b. Lighting in the field - learning to see light with your eyes


4. Background and Foregrounds - outside
a. Background separation b. Low angle perspective
c. What is in the foreground & background
d. Using foreground as a photographic element


5. Composition - outside
a. Using space in a composition b. Rule of thirds
c. Don’t forget vertical
d. Composing with background elements


Day 3


1. Morning Shoot - maybe at nearby Audubon Center - outside
a. We will search for birds and wildlife and put the learned techniques into practice. If wildlife is not cooperative we will practice techniques using staged birds on branches.
b. Reviewing how to use gear to its full potential in the field.
c. Discussing wildlife approach and the importance of learning about your subjects behaviors and habits.


2. Image review from the morning shoot - classroom
a. Reviewing student’s photos and discussing any ways to improve the photos in the field.


3. Overview of post processing goals - classroom
a. What my goals are with post processing my wildlife photos and why I choose to edit the way I do.
b. Show examples of before and after photos with those goals in mind.

4. Overview of Ray’s workflow using Lightroom Classic - classroom
a. Importing
b. Organizing c. Editing
d. Searching for
e. Sharing photos


5. Using Lightroom Classic to organize your photo catalog - classroom
a. Importing photo options
b. Choosing an organization strategy a. Folders
b. Collections c. Keywords
c. Searching for and filtering your photos to make them easy to find d. Simple ways to export your photos for sharing


Day 4


1. Morning Shoot - maybe at nearby Audubon Center - outside
a. We will search for birds and wildlife and put the learned techniques into practice. If wildlife is not cooperative we will practice techniques using staged birds on branches.
b. Reviewing how to use gear to its full potential in the field.
c. Discussing wildlife approach and the importance of learning about your subjects behaviors and habits.


2. Image review from the morning shoot - classroom
a. Reviewing student’s photos and discussing any ways to improve the photos in the field.


3. Using Lightroom Classic to edit your photos to make them look their best - classrooms
a. Overview of the Develop module a. Basic adjustments
b. Tone Curve
c. Hue, Saturation, Luminance

d. Color Grading
e. Detail
f. Lens Correction b. Crop Tool


4. Spot Removal Tool d. Masking Tool
a. Overlay options b. Naming masks c. Select subject
d. Select sky e. Brush
f. Linear gradient g. Radial gradient h. Color Range
i. Luminance Range j. Adding to a mask
k. Subtracting from a mask l. Intersecting a mask

 

Day 5


1. Using Photoshop to further polish your photos - classroom
a. Retouching with layers b. Using layer masks
c. Adjustment layers a. Curves
b. Hue & Saturation
c. Select subject and color range to modify masks


2. Final image review of what students have taken during the workshop - classroom
a. Reviewing student’s photos and discussing any ways to improve the photos in the field and with post processing.


3. Editing students photos in Lightroom and Photoshop - classroom
a. Guiding each student to edit their photos using Lightroom and Photoshop.


4. Final review of techniques and thought processes to capture the best wildlife photos in the field - classroom

*If day 3 or 4 are bad weather I’ll be shuffling around the schedule to put more classroom stuff on the bad weather day and then take students out in the field on day 5 instead.

 

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