Category Archives: Techniques

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How To Properly Balance A Gimbal Head

“Hey! You’re doing it wrong!”

That’s what I want to shout pretty much every time I’m out and spot other wildlife photographers with gimbal heads. It seems that well over half of them believe they have their gimbal properly balanced when they really don’t. It’s a shame too – a properly balanced gimbal head is so much nicer to work with than one that’s only half way there.

In the …

Also posted in Using Your Gear, Wildlife
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Amazing High ISO – The End Of Fast Glass?

(NOTE – when I refer to “fast glass” in this article, I’m referring to the maximum opening, not AF speed.)

Do we really need fast glass anymore?

After all, with all that fantastic high ISO performance we find in modern cameras, should we all just agree to relegate fast glass to the Jurassic section of the Camera History Museum? Is it time to stop spending crazy amounts of money on …

Also posted in Opinions, Using Your Gear, Wildlife Tagged , , |
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Nikon’s New “Recall Shooting” Feature

Nikon just released a new firmware update for the D5 that, at least at first, seemed somewhat minor. There were a couple of bug fixes along with a new feature called “Recall Shooting.” (Get the update here if you have a D5.)

The name of this feature may lead you to believe that it’s somewhat trivial – until you see what Recall Shooting actually does! For me, this looks like

Also posted in Nikon Gear, Using Your Gear
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Free Back Button AF Guide For Nikon

(Note – if you already have my Secrets ToThe Nikon Autofocus System e-book, you don’t need this book – you already have all the info 🙂 )

Have you ever wondered how back button autofocus works?

Have you ever wondered how to set up Back Button AF (BBAF) for your Nikon?

Well, you’re not alone! My inbox overflows with questions about Back Button AF all day long, so I decided to …

Also posted in Nikon Gear, Using Your Gear
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My Tripods For Wildlife And Landscape Photography

I have to admit, I always believed I was alone when it came to my love of tripods. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I use them for nearly every shot I make. Still, I never thought anyone else really cared all that much about our three-legged photographic friends, especially based on the lack of discussion found on internet forums and such. The fun stuff – bodies, lenses, and such …

Also posted in Landscapes, Using Your Gear, Wildlife Tagged , |
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How I Got The Shot – Costa Rica Squirrel Monkeys

In just a few short weeks, I’ll be back in Costa Rica running our May workshops. (Yeah!) So, it’s probably not too much of a surprise that visions of rainforests have been sneaking into my thoughts with increasing regularity.

At the forefront of those musings is one of my favorite species, squirrel monkeys. Now, before you click away with the idea that this article may not apply to you, just …

Also posted in How I Got The Shot, Using Your Gear, Wildlife Tagged , , |
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10 Tips For Photographing Local Wildlife

So, here’s the thing, I travel quite a bit. If you’re a regular here, you know this isn’t exactly the kind of news that would cause any concern over at the USGS earthquake monitoring center. Since I do get around, the images on the site and in my articles tend to reflect those adventures – almost to the point where one could conclude that doing serious wildlife photography requires packing …

Also posted in Locations, Photo Trips, Wildlife
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7 More Of The Best Nikon Tricks Ever

First some backstory.

About 10 months ago, I created a video called The 7 Best Nikon Tricks Ever. This video has become my most popular upload with nearly 1 million views already. 

Well, as it turns out, when I did that last video I had a lot more than just 7 tricks up my sleeve, but I didn’t want to make a video that went on so long it …

Also posted in Nikon Gear, Photo Trips, Using Your Gear Tagged , , , |
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How I Got The Shot – Storm Warning

It was a dark and stormy night.

There I did it. I know it’s painfully cliché but I’ve always wanted to start an article with that old line. Although, in this case, it truly was a dark and stormy night. I remember it just like it was yesterday.

I had just captured the shot you see below and had beat tracks back to my new solo backpacking tent, arriving just …

Also posted in How I Got The Shot, Landscapes, Photoshop Tricks, Using Your Gear Tagged , , |
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How I Got The Shot – Pouncing Coyotes

I love pouncing coyotes! And I don’t think I’m alone – these airborne coyote shots are by far some of the most popular images on the site. They also generate a few questions from time to time, so I thought they were a good candidate for the “How I Got The Shot” series.

These photos were captured back in 2013 in Yellowstone National Park – just after a late lunch.…

Also posted in How I Got The Shot, Using Your Gear, Wildlife Tagged , , |
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Photographing Birds At The Beach – 10 Easy Tips

As a nature photographer, I must admit that when someone mentions going to the beach I frequently don’t have the same seaside scenario in my mind as they do.

For most people, a typical day at the beach involves a good deal of sun tanning, construction of sand castles, and the occasional dip into the ocean. Me? I’m all about hitting the oceanside before the sun peeks above the horizon and …

Also posted in Using Your Gear, Wildlife Tagged , |
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Taking Terns

When my D850 review came out, I received more than a few nice comments about the tern photos in that video – frequently followed by questions asking how I captured them. So, I thought I’d try something new and put together a short article all about “how I got the shot.” In fact, after thinking about it I decided to take it one step further and make this a regular series …

Also posted in How I Got The Shot, Locations, Photo Trips, Using Your Gear, Wildlife Tagged , , |
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Burst Into The Perfect Moment

I recently received a nice compliment from one of our blog readers who mentioned that I seem to have a knack for capturing the “perfect moment” with my wildlife images. She also mentioned that she would like to know if I had any tips/tricks for grabbing these decisive moments or if it was mostly a product of luck.

While I readily admit that luck plays a part in any compelling …

Also posted in Using Your Gear, Wildlife
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Nikon D850 Unboxing And Setup

OK, I normally don’t do unboxing videos, but I’ve had a few requests for it – along with a a boatload of requests for my initial menu setup. So, in the video below, we’ll do a very brief unboxing so you can see just what you get with the new D850 and then we’ll dive into the menu system and I’ll show you how I set everything up in my camera.…

Also posted in Nikon Gear, Opinions, Using Your Gear
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Get The Most From Nikon’s Auto AF Fine Tune System

Do you have a Nikon camera that features Auto AF Fine Tune? If so, then this video is just what you need to get the most from it!

When Auto AF Fine Tune first came it, it was pretty exciting – In fact, I think we all had visions of never going through a tedious lens calibration process ever again. However, the reality is, it didn’t seem to work all that …

Also posted in Nikon Gear, Photo Trips, Using Your Gear