Five reasons I’m attending the March Photography Workshop at the Howell Nature Center

BaldEagleJenniferMcCallumwebblogThe Howell Nature Center in Howell, Michigan, has one more spring photography workshop scheduled on March 10th.  This will be the third year that I have gone this workshop and I can’t wait.  Here are the top five reasons I’m attending the workshop:

1.  I can learn more about general photography tips and get inspired by Steve Gettle’s presentation

As I’ve mentioned in my first post, Steve Gettle is Michigan based nature photographer.  His images have been published in many books, magazines, and calendars.  Steve gives nature photography workshops and leads groups on tours around the world.  The photography workshop opens with an hour long presentation by Steve, highlighting his images and his suggestions on composition and lighting.  Even the most experienced photographer can learn a few things from Steve’s presentation and since I’m not the most experienced photographer I will definitely learn something.  Steve will also be on hand during the shoot to help with any questions that the participants might have.

2.  It doesn’t take a long lens to get really close to the birds here

Because these birds are used to being around people, and being ambassadors for the Howell Nature Center you can get quite close to these birds without disturbing them.  The volunteers handling the birds can tell us how close we can approach each of the birds.  I’ve seen some people use point and shoot cameras and get great shots since they can walk right up to the birds.  In most cases even camera flash doesn’t bother these veterans.

3.  The birds are in natural settings so post-processing can be kept to a minimum

I hate to spend hours in Photoshop trying to remove the jesses (the tethers that keep the birds from flying away) from any captive bird photographs.  I prefer to take bird portraits to avoid the tedious post-processing.  Steve works with the Nature Center to pose the birds on natural perches – logs, tree branches with berries or fall leaves, etc.  These perches can usually hide the jesses of the birds, or in the case of the owls, their own feathers will camouflage the jesses.  Steve is also very careful to make sure that backgrounds of each of the perches add to the overall composition.

4.  I’ll walk away with some amazing images of birds that are normally hard to find.

Owls are most active at night, which makes it difficult to get good photographs of them.  These birds are used to being out in the afternoon.  In addition, the Howell Nature Center has a beautiful snowy owl that looks amazing in the spring workshops surrounded by the snow.  I don’t have to walk for miles through the forest hoping to see one, maybe two birds, I’ll have five or six to choose from.

5.  I’m supporting a good cause

These birds are at the Howell Nature Center for various reasons, but all of them are there because they cannot live on their own in the wild anymore.  These birds are well-cared for and serve as educational ambassadors for the Nature Center.  The Howell Nature Center saved hundreds of birds and animals in the past year, and the workshop fees help support this amazing place.

Winter Photography Workshop March 16, 2014

$75 per person (includes lunch)

Howell Nature Center in Howell Michigan

Call 517-546-0249 for details and to register

 

February 10, 2014

Jennifer McCallum

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