Finland is one of Europe’s last places of true wilderness, its also the most forested country in Europe with around 70% of the land being covered with trees. Most forests are coniferous and reach so far north that they lay on the same latitudes as Alaska or Central Siberia. Finland is also known as the “Land of a Thousand Lakes”. Most of these lakes are small and shallow but cover vast areas of this amazing country.
Finland is a country of vast green forests, beautiful Baltic Sea islands, windswept arctic fells and thousands of blue lakes. These untouched and beautiful landscapes provide habitat for thousands of wild animals and birds.
Those hoping to see images of people dancing in a provocative way from my title then Im sorry to disappoint you in that sense. But I have something much more beautiful; the dance of the Black Grouse during their Lek from their breeding grounds in Finland that is both beautiful but at times can be violent.
Back lighting can give your subject a strong outline and add a great atmosphere to your image with a great deal of impact at the same time. Allow where possible you’re subject to be the main feature of your photograph with the use of simple composition with the sun directly behind it. The best times for back lighting to be at its best is dawn and dusk when the sun is low in the sky, creating the warm colours and glow from this wonderful time of the day. If the shape of the subject is easily recognizable through its strong outline it will make for a beautiful photo.
The correct exposure for backlit shots can be tricky so you will have to experiment with darker and lighter exposures in order to get the desired effect and overall feel and mood of the image you want. Use single selected focus point and spot metering where you can take a reading from the subject’s body and set the exposure in camera. Dealing with the ever unpredictable subject of wildlife though the subject may not allow you the time to take a reading for the perfect exposure. And always try to keep the affect of lens flare down by keeping out of direct sunshine as much as possible when taking the photo.
So in closing back lighting can transform an image, adding a beautiful atmosphere within the photograph with loads of impact to the main subject. Great care must always be shown not to point the lens directly at the setting or rising sun as it will damage your eyes. The lens must be clean and free from smears and dust, and sometimes the effects of flare can add a lot to the image so don’t throw the images away until you get them home and reviewed them on your computer. I hope that has helped you a little in understanding back lighting in wildlife photography, if you have an queries about anything I have mentioned then drop me a line here and I’d be pleased to answer them.
I will be presenting my presentation; Dawn to Dusk at Calumet’s spring open days in Manchester and London over the next couple of weeks. Click here for details and dates. I will be available all day to answer any questions or general help or advice you may need for your own wildlife photography. I also run one and two days seminars in conjunction with Calumet, for more details click on their seminars page.
Over the last two weeks I have found that my time just vanishes and the days turn into weeks,where with the early summer time light you find yourself getting up in the middle of the night,packing your car in total darkness and heading off in search of your images for that day.I always go with a relaxed mind and find this has always resulted in good sightings and images in most cases,where just being out in nature is enough for me.This approach works and by adopting this attitude you put less pressure on yourself to get the image(s).
The image’s below where taken as I was waiting to photograph Kingfishers,a bird that has eluded me this year.As the sun came up it lit up the low lying mist on top of the water,breaking through the dense background and creating this amazing light and colour.I captured two Mute Swans coming into land and together in one of the shafts of light and the third image is a lone Grey Heron perfectly still,watching for the slightest movement below him.Two lovely images that I never expected
In between this I have successfully completed four great days at the Pavilion Gardens, Buxton where I’ve just finished another two day display this weekend at their Summer Fete event.Again great meeting so many nice people over the two days a few wildlife photographers came to visit me so that was nice,lots of bookings on my Workshops and One To Ones,look forward to meeting you all that booked.My next event at the Pavilion Gardens,Buxton is the Art & Design event Sat 18th,Sun 19th September.
I have had two great High-Tide Workshops in the last week at Snettisham,where this place can be good for birds all year round but the best shows come only at the very highest tides when the birds are forced into the ‘Pits’ giving a breathtaking experience to those lucky enough to be there,seeing and hearing the sounds of this magical event in mothernature that you’ll never forget within this truly wild place on the Norfolk coast.
There was thousands upon thousands of wading birds flying around.feeding on this rich mud that Snettisham is made up of,where the birds are forced to take off and form vast flocks all the time heading closer into land adding to the drama of the place with the sounds and sights of nature that you will not forget. A quiet and remote experience to the intense noise known as the ‘Norfolk Rhapsody’, a truly astonishing spectacle.
The clients had some amazing views and bothdays where a complete success and joy for me.I have around two dates per month now until next February 2011 so should you wish to book just send me an email to see if the dates suit your needs.The cost is £160.00 per person and are for up to four people,homemade packed lunch,hot and cold drinks all provided and these brilliant,action packed days last from dawn until dusk,where we finish the day off at one of my many Barn Owl sights I visit in Norfolk.
Showing you everything I use from expert fieldcraft skills,simply tracking skill’s,building a picture of whats happening around you,reading nature,right the way through to the simple camera settings and composition I use.Where for me its all about nature and a little understanding of the wildlife around you,capturing the subject in their natural habitat,capturing beautiful,wild moments within the natural world.
I have been able to get out photographing wildlife at this wonderful time of year also and its a real joy to be in and around nature during the morning and throughout the day,so much new life and noises going on as you walk through our beautiful countryside.Chicks constantly begging for food they are able to catch for themselves but prefer the easy lunch.The image below kept me in suspense for nearly ten minutes,it’s a juvenile Whitethroat,not long fledged,here he was watching flies and bees going backward and forwards over these colourful berries.
As I watched him through the viewfinder,then in a flash he moved and tired to capture this fly that had become tangled up in this spidersweb.I just managed to capture that very moment here with this image in the morning light,in the end he missed and the fly freed himself ,the whole event had be smiling.I did feel sorry for this fellow as he had tied in vain to capture his breakfast,but still much to learn,lovely moments though just providing there is something you can witness anywhere and get so much fun at the same time.
A big thank you to all the wonderful people who have booked onto my trips,I’m glad I’ve helped and to all those booked on future trips you can see the level of help and passion that’s coming your way!!.My next big event is at this years Birdfair
Where it will be my first time there as a Exhibitor,having been there several times as a visitor so I’m really excited to have a stand there.I am in Marquee 6 right in the center of things which is great.Feet away from the Events Marquee,where there’s loads of talks and events throughout the 3 days.I have also donated one of my Limited Edition Tiger Prints for the Birdfair Auction helping them raise money for the brilliant cause(s) they help and support around the UK and World.The 2009 Birdfair raised £263,000 to support BirdLife’s work in saving critically endangered birds around the world. This takes the total raised, to date, to over £2,000,000 which is just brilliant and something I personally want to help them with so the Tiger print is Lot number 83,please give as much as you can many thanks.
If you plan on visiting this years Birdfair then please do drop in and say hello,where some of my work will be on show along with my Tiger images from this years amazing trip to India,Gift Vouchers,Workshops,One To Ones,30 years of knowledge on wildlife, I have something for everyone,or if you just need some advice in regard to Wildlife Photography then I run an Open-Door policy where I’ll help and answer all your questions on this topic.I look forward to seeing you all there in the meantime should you want any help on the tours and trips I do then please send me an email.
All my Photo-Tours,Workshops have now been updated taking you through until next June/July 2011.My Texel trip is nearly full,Mull trip filling up and my Tigers trip to,which is amazing in these hard times,so a big thank you to all who have booked so far.Next years Masai Mara Migration trip is also up now and my trip to Finland for Brown Bears next June,will be up very soon also.
I also have a Craig Jones Facebook page where I give tips,advice and up to date reports on my trips and day to day goings on,with over 1200 friends its growing all the time,its free to join and becoming very popular.Where it’s good to talk as the saying goes.Thanks again for all the support and hope to see you in the future,many thanks.