New Jersey Wildlife Photography: White-tailed Deer in Meadow

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White-tailed Deer in Meadow
 
Mercer Meadows, New Jersey
 
Taken on a recent nature photography excursion, this frame is one of my favorite wildlife shots of the year. The soft light, swaying vegetation, and mostly concealed animal gave me an opportunity for a strong image. Photography and art are more about feel, emotion, and mood. Subject is not always paramount.
 
How would you describe the feeling of this image?

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“For The Love Of Wildlife” NJ Photo Contest

I am excited and honored to be one of the judges for the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey’s 2016 wildlife photography exhibit.  As a longtime nature artist, I find it very important to support the local nonprofits and conservation groups that protect New Jersey’s natural resources.

I am quite sure that many inspirational wildlife images will be in the running.  Picking a winner is going to a challenge.

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Please visit http://www.conservewildlifenj.com/contest for info on how to participate.

 

Do you need assistance with your juried photography contest?  I can help, contact me at daveblinderphotography@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Photographing wildlife in harsh lighting: an Eastern Fence Lizard

Below we have a photo of a small, harmless, and downright cute Eastern Fence Lizard.  A native reptile of New Jersey that is widespread within its habitat, but generally not familiar to residents of Northern New Jersey.

Sceloporus undulatus

A closeup photograph of a wild New Jersey reptile taken with a Tamron macro lens and a Canon DSLR.

Photo taken with the Tamron SP 90mm VC F/2.8 Macro Lens and the Canon EOS 7D.  Camera settings: Shutter at 1/100 Aperture at F/3.2 and an ISO speed of 200.  One Shot focus mode, camera handheld, VC On, RAW image format, manual exposure mode, auto white balance.

F/3.2 is not the punchiest aperture of my lens, but it does yield acceptable sharpness.  Shallow depth of field was very important to me in the making of this photo.  My “go to aperture” for macro of F/5.6 brought a lot more detail in the foreground AND the background.  The impact of this photo is in its simplicity and having prominent background shapes and textures strongly detracts from this type of “mid-day silhouette capture”.

Clearly with the sun high in the sky and without cloud cover, the natural illumination of the subject is going to be uneven with a large contrast between the shadows and the highlights.  Many established photographers would call this “bad light” or “problematic light”.  This is not necessarily the easiest condition to create impactful photos in but by manually exposing for the subject’s mid-tones and shooting into an uncluttered background I’ve created a minimalistic photo that evokes thoughts of desert climates.

Julia

We do get a decent variety of butterflies in the warmer months here in New Jersey, but I always get jealous of the vivid tropical butterflies that I see from the warmer states and tropical countries.  I was fairly successful in shooting some of my target species in Florida, and so here is a Julia, one of them:

 

Florida butterfly photograph

Julia

 

Photo taken handheld with the Tamron 90mm VC macro lens mounted on a Canon T2i Rebel camera.  An aperture of F/8 yielded very high sharpness, and acceptable depth of field for a fairly flat subject.

 

 

 

Quack!

As winter quickly approaches, my mind always drifts towards the migrant ducks that congregate near Long Beach Island in New Jersey. Some of the challenges include isolating a single bird amongst their groupings, trying to predict where the diving ducks are actually going surface, and dealing with the very slippery jetty you have to walk out on.

Harlequin Duck

Quack!

I like this intimate view of the Harlequin Drake because you get a nice view of his intricate patterns, and the very comedic value of a cute duck with his mouth agape!