Thinking of Paris as I get on a plane to fly to France this morning. The Eiffel Tower is easy to photograph but it is very difficult to photograph with a new perspective. When I took this almost 3 years ago, I was walking from the Trocadero towards the Tower and noticed these “things with pipes” pointing the same direction. I found out later these are water cannons – powerful fountains – that spray into a reflecting pool and are turned on occasionally.
I liked their weathered surface and how they were composed of many basic geometric shapes so I got low and close to feature them equally with the Tower. At the same time, I used a moderately long focal length (105mm) to compress the foreground and background, intentionally decreasing the perception of depth to make the cannons seem closer to the Tower than they actually are.
This has been one of my more successful images from that trip and, since the cannons are not well known, they always spark conversations with viewers online and at galleries who want to know what they are. I’m trying out some new gear on this trip and I hope I come home with as many images that I’m as happy with as I did the last trip. If I can, I’ll post initial edits of images from the trip as I go.
This image is one of my favorites from a safari last year and not just for the main subject. One of the things I love about incorporating the African landscape in my wildlife photography is how backgrounds can reveal layers, or stripes, of tone and color.
Using a long lens can amplify the effect as it did here. I used Canon’s 500mm lens with a 1.4x extender giving me a 700mm total and the result is a stacking effect of the different shades of grass from foreground to background. Because this was taken in the Ngorongoro Crater, the foliage in the back extends up and out of the frame. And it helps that the elephant, which is a dark subject, was standing in a lighter strip of grass which makes it stand out.
One of the best places to see elephant in Tanzania is in Tarangire National Park, especially in the dry season as the large herds congregate around the river. We caught this group on an overcast day with the matriarch and her daughters leading their young ones down to the river for a drink.
One of my favorite drives in one of my favorite places for a photo safari is along the edge of the Silale Plains in Tarangire National Park. On this day, we had great clouds and I liked the look of these acacia trees placed in the foreground.
Greenport, NY is a great place to wander around for photographs at sunset. Poking your head through the gate at the Greenport Yacht and Shipbuilding Company reveals a huge variety of abstract shapes and colors. I liked this composition with the boat’s hull and the power cord set off by the shadow behind it but I can’t decide whether I prefer the color or black and white version though. Any opinions?
We came across this cheetah mother and cub in the short-grass plains of Ndutu on one of my photo safaris. In this photo, she patiently scanned the horizon for game to feed this and three other cubs and that patience paid off. We watched her hunt from the beginning, when she stalked a herd of gazelle, to the end when she walked out of the dust cloud that her running she had created. She carried one back to her cubs in her mouth and we stayed with them while the sun set and they fed – about another hour or so. One of the most magical moments I’ve had on my many safaris.
We came across this elephant on my photo safari last October in Tarangire National Park. While the elephants in the northern part of the park are more accustomed to safari vehicles, we took a long drive that day to the southern areas near the Gursi Swamp where the elephants are more skittish. This one turned from browsing this tree and I waited for him to flare his ears at me before I snapped the shutter.
I intentionally left the elephant smaller in the frame so that the photograph shows the surrounding environment and I love the look that my infrared camera gives to the trees and sky.
Found this in my files from Barcelona. Photographing La Sagrada Familia is a blast because it has infinite combinations of patterns, lines, and tones. You can spend a few hours just playing with compositions there (and I did!).