The Hidden Draw (Creating Depth of Field)

The Hidden Drawword

Early March on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park was cold and brought the unexpected surprise of snow.  Most of us think of the Grand Canyon as a high desert and are surprised to see pictures of the canyon in snow.  Although the cold and snow was not something I was thrilled about I took full advantage of the opportunity.  Here the canyon stretches for miles disappearing into the fog.

In order to capture the vastness of the Grand Canyon I took a seat on a rock in order to get lower to the ground and stabilize myself.  By placing myself lower and getting the trees and bushes in the picture it gives the viewer a new perspective.  I don’t usually use people so I use pieces of nature to give a perception of size.  The snow also allows the viewer to feel the coolness of the moment.  Shooting from different angles in the same places can create uniquely different photos.  So give it a try.

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Take a Hike

Grand Canyon

Take a Hike: Grand Canyon National Park VIDEO

Here is something new that I have started.  After having several people ask me to start documenting some of my stories and sharing my adventures I started a YouTube series called Take a Hike.  This is the newest episode based around my trip to the Grand Canyon.  Take a look at my other episodes.

Discovering Yourself and the Outdoors

Encountering Yellowstone’s Wildlife

Yellowstone’s Changing Weather

Photographing Sunrise

Bird at Sunset

Bird at Sunset word

Sunset and sunrise are a great time to get out and photograph.  In Kansas the wide open spaces allow a photographer to see for miles.  Even when I am not planning on spending much time in the field I do try to get out to find the a good spot in the mornings and evenings when I am home.  The flat land and vast spaces can create some amazing colors.

In this shot I was set up trying to capture the vibrant colors of the sunset with the land and fences silhouetted in the scene.  As I was shooting this bird landed on a fencepost within my eyesight.  I got it focused in my camera and started shooting as the sun went down.  The bird silhouetted in the orange clear sky made for a striking image in what I thought would be an uneventful night.

Photographing Bald Eagles: The Catch

the catchwordsOver the last several weeks I have been taking short trips to Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge in northwest Missouri to try to photograph bald eagles that are migrating south following the other bird migrations.  It reminds me of my first experience trying to photograph the birds in the wild.  I have spent many long hours in the field trying to photograph different species of animals, but I must say that photographing bald eagles has taught me more about patience than any other animal I have photographed.

During the school year I spend most of my time in western Tennessee.  Often on weekends I will drive down to Shiloh National Military Park to walk the battlefield and photograph.  Last spring I learned about a nesting pair of eagles that call the park home during the spring.  My first day to make my attempt I arrived at the park just as the sun was beginning to rise.  I drove the park and then found the nest where I made myself comfortable for the next 8 hours or so.  After spending the day attempting to capture the birds I did not come home with anything that I felt was worthwhile.

The following week I headed back out to make another attempt.  It was my last weekend in Tennessee before I had to head back to Kansas for the summer.  I arrived early in the morning and prepared myself for a long day in the field.  I photographed as the birds came back and forth from the nest feeding the eaglet.  After spending the day in the field I decided to pack up in the late afternoon.  I was unsure if I had anything worthwhile, but I knew there was a god chance I had something.  When I got home I discovered this photograph of the female coming into the nest with a trout from the Tennessee River.

I must admit that there is something that comes over you when you are close to these majestic birds.  I have been extremely lucky to photograph some pretty amazing wildlife, but bald eagles are special.  There is something about the thrill that comes over me when I am close to these birds.  Shots like this make the long hours in the field worth every minute.  These experiences also are what make me go back for more.  The main lesson I learn from these birds is to be patient and tenacious.    Keep shooting and keep exploring!

Mysterious Wonder

Mysterious Wonderword

Over spring break in March of 2013 I was fortunate to spend a couple of days at the Grand Canyon.  It was a thrill to experience the fantastic sunrises and sunsets the landscape offers.  This photograph was taken on my first evening in the Grand Canyon.  I was traveling with some of my family and we arrived about an hour or so before sunset.  I was hoping to scout out a good place to photograph the sunrise the next morning while I took some shots.

We made our way along a paved pathway and past the visitors center on the on the south rim of the canyon.  I would stop occasionally when I found a potential shot.  As the fog started to fall over the canyon and the sun began to set shadows bounced around all over the canyon.  Even though it was not the height of the season there were still several people there.  I knew I was not going to really find an empty or unexplored spot, but there are always possibilities if you look and work at it.

The snow in the late winter added a new dimension to the canyon that many people are not familiar with.  I found this spot as I was moving around.  I liked how the trees could frame the canyon and add a sense of depth and size to the place.  I took several shots from different angles.  Finally, I knelt down in the snow and took some shots from almost ground level.  Luckily for me in this shot the light hit the canyon perfectly reflecting off of the canyon walls and the clouds.  For the first night this was a wonderful experience and a perfect example of trying different angles and getting new perspectives.

Enjoy and Thank you,

Pamela Peters

Poised

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One of my favorite places to photograph is Pinson Mounds Archeological State Park near Jackson, Tennessee. The park offers many miles of biking and hiking trails. There are also several varieties of wildlife. The most common animal I come across are whitetail deer. Often I am unable to get very close to the deer, especially in the fall during hunting season. However, sometimes I get lucky. Persistence and luck are often the biggest assets to being a photographer.

I came across this young whitetail deer buck one morning as I was heading out for a short hike before class. I never made it to the trail, but I was lucky to get to spend some intimate time with this deer. He was standing in one of the meadows and was not bothered by my presence when I came up. He spent about an hour grazing as I sat on the ground snapping pictures a few yards away. This is what makes wildlife photography so special to me.