7 Quick Tips for Shooting Birds – Guest article by Steve Russell
March 4, 2014  Author:   (1)

Desperate for sun, warmth and shooting opportunities I recently joined a group of experienced wildlife photographers in the San Diego area to shoot birds. What I learned from them and from my own trials and errors over five days has opened up a whole new, exciting world of nature photography for me and I’d like […]

Random Acts of Photography – Guest Article by Steve Russell
January 15, 2014  Author:  

In the lowlands of the Pacific Northwest’s late fall and winter it is usually light-starved, wet and 50 shades of gray. Occasionally, though, the sun peeks out and it stops raining long enough for some shooting opportunities of the outdoor nature kind. For example, I found salmon leaping out of the water trying to get […]

Arachnophobobes, Avert Thy Eyes: The Annual Spider Issue – Guest Article by Steve Russell
November 13, 2013  Author:  

They’re creepy and they’re crawly; they cause more screams and heart palpitations per millimeter of length than just about any other creature; and they make great models for photo shoots as long as they don’t jump onto the photographer (i.e., ME) or crawl into the camera bag. Spiders. Arachnids. Orb weavers. Stalkers. Jumpers. Trappers. Lightning […]

The Tamron 90mm Macro VC Lens: Handheld Heaven – Guest Article by Steve Russell
September 3, 2013  Author:   (1)

My Tamron 90mm 2.8 1:1 Macro Lens has been very, very good to me. I would have been content to use it as my primary macro lens for life because of its sharpness, versatility, lightness and shooting distance. But Tamron upgraded the lens this year and added vibration control (VC) and I took a chance, […]

Dragonflies – Guest Article by Steve Russell
July 18, 2013  Author:  

It’s easy to miss them – as I did for years riding my bike fast around the local lake – and easy to dismiss them as they whiz by at breakneck speed. But up close, dragonflies have an amazing array of colors, and set against nature’s greens and yellows and oranges and blues they make […]

Shooting Into the Sun: Back-light + Flash = Cool Effects
June 20, 2013  Author:  

I have long shot macro mostly with side- or front-light, although using a macro twin flash gives me the flexibility to shoot in most any direction. However, it wasn’t until recently that I discovered shooting directly into the sun can create some very cool effects – under the right circumstances. I came upon a butterfly […]

A Matter of Perspective: Shooting Butterflies from All Angles – Guest Article by Steve Russell
April 25, 2013  Author:  

Starving for small, living creatures to shoot during the winter months, I visited the Butterfly House in the Seattle Science Center hoping to get a shot or two up close. Butterflies from all over the world live their brief lives in an 85-degree glass greenhouse filled with tropical plants and it’s open to the public. […]

Arctic Snowy Owls in Washington – Guest Article by Steve Russell
March 25, 2013  Author:   (2)

I have long admired Paul Bannick’s photographs of Arctic Snowy Owls and, living in the Pacific Northwest, it never occurred to me that I would ever get the chance to shoot them myself without heading north. But the opportunity came my way when I discovered that the owls were making one of their “irregular” winter […]

Eat or Be Et – Guest Article by Steve Russell
December 28, 2012  Author:  

This is a photography blog, but sometimes subject matter themes present themselves at timely moments of the year. As we humans celebrate our holidays by consuming turkeys and other animal life, so too, do the bugs around us consume each other and it is all done in concert with the natural law of the jungle […]

Shooting Dragonflies: Show Up, Watch Stuff Happen, Shoot it When it Does (Part 2) – Guest Article by Steve Russell
October 4, 2012  Author:  

See Shooting Dragonflies: Show Up, Watch Stuff Happen, Shoot it When it Does (Part 1) here. Shooting Roosters Some roosters startle easily so shooting with a longer lens helps. I use a 70-200mm lens with a 1.4 extender and can fill a frame with a dragonfly from about 4-5 feet away or stand further back […]

Shooting Dragonflies: Show Up, Watch Stuff Happen, Shoot it When it Does (Part 1) – Guest Article by Steve Russell
September 13, 2012  Author:   (1)

Dragonflies are remarkable subjects to shoot. They come in brilliant arrays and combinations of colors from cherry red to sky blue to emerald and olive greens. Each huge compound eye has up to 30,000 lenses and they see better than any other insect. Their four independently controlled wings flap at 30-80 times per second, which […]

Macro Mating Revisited: Guest article by Steve Russell
August 6, 2012  Author:   (2)

It’s been almost two years since I last wrote about shooting bugs in the act of procreation, and you know what? They’re STILL doing it! Right out in the open in public parks and backyards. This time around, though, I have more macro experience behind me and I’m better equipped to shoot them when I […]

Raindrops, Dew, and Bubbles – Macro Heaven: Guest Article by Steve Russell
July 6, 2012  Author:   (1)

Raindrops, Dew, and Bubbles: Macro Heaven Climate change has hit hard in most of the nation, but the Pacific Northwest continues to experience even cooler and rainier weather than usual. With the sun behind the clouds much of the time, I took a chance one early damp morning a month ago and ventured out to […]

Shooting Super Close with the Canon MP-E 1-5x Macro 65mm Lens: Guest Article by Steve Russell
April 20, 2012  Author:   (1)

First off, I love my Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 lens. I’ve shot thousands of quality macro images with it, but I began hungering to get closer still and discovered the Canon MP-E lens, which delivers extreme close-up images of up to five times (“5x”) the magnification of the standard macro 1:1 […]

One Subject, Eight Legs, Eight Ways
October 11, 2011  Author:   (2)

One exercise that had a lasting effect on me in Elizabeth Stone’s and Doug Johnson’s Intermediate Photography Workshop four years ago was how to work a scene. We learned to shoot from the same spot or shoot a single subject at least eight different ways. In the macro world having the mindset to find eight […]