When One Door Closes, Another Opens
August 1, 2016  Author:   (0)

When One Door Closes, Another Opens (or substitute your own cliché here) Have you ever planned a shoot only to have things go wrong or fall apart? It happened to me – twice – on what has become my own annual two-day dragonfly fest near Las Vegas. Funny thing, though, the turn of events stretched […]

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Eyes of a Damselfly – Guest Article by Steve Russell
July 1, 2016  Author:   (0)

One thing that was drilled into me at RMSP’s Summer Intensive seven years ago was how supremely important the eyes are when photographing a subject. Of course, at the time this fundamental tenet was applied to portraiture and images of people, but the same rule applies to bugs in the macro world, and damselflies are […]

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Photographing Florida Wildlife: Three Can’t-miss Locations to Hone Your Skills – Guest Article by Steve Russell
March 31, 2016  Author:   (0)

Okay, so you are a nature/wildlife sort of person and you took an RMSP workshop and/or thrived in Summer Intensive. You have a pretty good handle on the manual adjustments of your camera but are looking for a place other than a zoo to practice your skills and creativity when shooting wildlife. Boy, do I […]

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California Dreamin’ with a Canon 100-400mm II Lens – Guest Article by Steve Russell
March 3, 2016  Author:   (1)

This is neither a paid product endorsement nor a comparison between Canon’s 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens and other telephoto lenses with similar focal ranges, such as Tamron’s and Sigma’s 150-600mm and Nikon’s 80-400mm lenses. This is, however, a firsthand testament as to the versatility of Canon’s version, which I happen to own. And […]

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The Birds of the Bosque – Guest Article by Steve Russell
January 25, 2016  Author:  

According to Wikipedia a bosque (“boss-key”) is an area of green vegetation near water sources in arid or semi-arid climates (think “oasis”). The most notable bosque in North America is a 200-mile stretch along the Rio Grande River in New Mexico. Not coincidentally, it is a common stop-over for sandhill cranes and snow geese in […]

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Personalized Cards and Gifts – Guest Post by Steve Russell
December 15, 2015  Author:  

‘Tis the season in my part of the world, weather wise, to do less shooting and more with the images I’ve already shot this year. It’s become a tradition for me to create a holiday e-card that I can send out to friends and family (and now, to everyone who reads this blog). Despite all […]

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Just in Time for Halloween: Spider Art – Guest Article by Steve Russell
October 16, 2015  Author:  

This is that creepy time of year when spiders take center stage in the live subject macro world – they’re everywhere, displacing more palatable and photography-friendly bugs like cute little butterflies and lady bugs. But aside from the considerable creep-factor – which virtually precludes their images from ever winning photography contests – spiders make pretty […]

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The Dragonflies of Las Vegas – Guest Article by Steve Russell
August 11, 2015  Author:  

It’s dragonflies – NOT gambling, NOT Penn and Teller or Celine Dion, NOT the mega-casinos – that put on the best show in Las Vegas. That’s right, dragonflies. A little online research before heading to a conference recently turned up the City of Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve just southeast of Sin City and it’s full […]

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A Second Season of Shooting Dragonflies in Natural Light: Three New Lessons Learned – Guest Article by Steve Russell
July 20, 2015  Author:  

Dragonflies have survived since prehistoric times with their extraordinary hunting prowess and prolific procreation (I highly recommend the excellent You Tube video, “Sky Hunters,” to drive home just how remarkable they are). But as a macro photographer I am drawn to them because of their vast array of colors, their always-surprising behaviors, and the fact […]

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From Larva to Lunch: The Brief Life of a Dragonfly Caught on Camera – Guest Article by Steve Russell
June 9, 2015  Author:  

  Nature can be cruel. After living three years in the muck of a marsh and finally crawling out and miraculously exploding out of its larval exoskeleton in the course of an hour, the life of the brown-eyed dragonfly I had been photographing up close was cut short by the beak of a bird. From […]

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Subject, Light, Background: When it All Comes Together – Guest Article by Steve Russell
April 13, 2015  Author:   (2)

National Geographic photographer, Adam Jones, simplified the elements of a good wildlife photograph for me in a presentation last year: subject, light and background. Light that is soft, warm, low (as in the sun low to the horizon), front- or side-light; a subject that is compelling, crisply focused, well-exposed, with catch-light in the eye(s), and […]

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For the Love of Shooting – Guest Article by Steve Russell
February 3, 2015  Author:   (3)

My second annual January trek to San Diego to shoot birds and wildlife gives me the perfect opportunity to share three reasons why I love doing this so much. The thrill of surprises. Not only do animals appear out of nowhere for shot opportunities, but sometimes astonishing and unexpected shots show up on the computer […]

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In the Spirit of Ansel Adams: Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons in Black and White – Guest Article by Steve Russell
December 5, 2014  Author:   (2)

At the tail end of Fall I had a chance to join a small group of experienced photographers on a photo expedition to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Our goals were to “hunt” and “shoot” wild animals, photograph the Milky Way, and capture the grandeur of the Teton mountain range. Of course, this is […]

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Metamorphosis of a Dragonfly Caught on Camera – Guest Article by Steve Russell
July 23, 2014  Author:  

It was an amazing sight – the transformation of a beetle-like larva into a fully functioning flying dragonfly right before my very eyes – and camera. I’d been shooting dragonflies this summer at my favorite marshy spot on the edge of nearby Waughop Lake. I happened to look down and spot an ugly little larva […]

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Shadowlands: Five Tips for Capturing the Beauty of Back-Light Macro – Guest Article by Steve Russell
June 27, 2014  Author:  

How is it that one can walk by, even photograph, the same thing thousands of times year in and year out – and not really see it? It’s happened to me. I shot small subjects for years in soft front-light and side-light or with flash and have had great results, but it wasn’t until I […]

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