I returned home last night from 3 days in the nature photographer’s paradise that is Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where I participated in a “photo safari” sponsored by the New Media Consortium, an organization I belong to through work. It was a truly incredible experience. There were about 18 people, including some experts (Bill Frakes, who shoots for Sports Illustrated and who has a Pulitzer prize to his name, and Scott Diussa, who works for Nikon Professional Services and is a really, really nice guy), and some seriously talented and experienced photographers such as Diana Robinson, trip leader Larry Johnson and local guide Robin Elledge. My mind is still trying to process it all, and I’m sure that I’ll be referring to things that I learned in the blog posts to come; for now, I’ll just list some things that made the biggest immediate impression:
- Given the same subject material, 12 photographers will produce 12 very different photographs, even with similar camera settings.
- Getting away from the pack allows you to see different things and see things differently. One of the group, Shelley, was missing on Thursday morning when we were getting ready to move on – this was slightly worrisome given that there were fresh bear tracks in the area. It turns out she was way down the road sitting next to the creek, with a group of otters swimming around her.
- Experts are able to look at a scene and do all of the following in a matter of seconds:
- determine whether it’s worth getting a shot
- identify and set the right camera settings
- identify the right framing for the shot
- hit the shutter button a few dozen times in rapid succession
I’ve put a bunch of my better shots up on flickr; if you’re interested, you can see additional photos from the group by going to flickr and searching for nmcphotosafari (or just click here.) (Some of the group is still traveling, so it may be a little while before they get their shots posted.)
Can’t wait to find out where the next safari is going to be!