My Process

Selecting the right time and place to make a photograph is my first priority. But meticulous attention to detail with respect to field technique is also required. This involves critical adjustment of camera settings prior to the anticipated subject(s) action, and changing those adjustments as lighting conditions and subject(s) behavior change. Sometimes, recognizing a behavioral clue prior to quick subject action is necessary to hit the shutter button in time or to keep a moving (or potentially moving) subject in the camera frame. It is often useful to know how a species flies. For example, whether its typical fight is undulating, swooping, or straight. I may need to lock down my camera and lens on my tripod, put much of my weight leaning on top of the lens, and try to release the shutter between heartbeats; or I may handhold my camera and lens to my face and track a moving subject.
I work with today’s digital darkroom techniques to optimize contrasts, colors, tonality, etc., in an attempt to bring the viewer to the experience I witnessed and felt. I do not add or remove anything from my images.

Since my beginning in photography, I have used Canon equipment. For well over a decade I have used one camera that tracks and focuses on moving subjects very well: Canon EOS Mark 2. I combine that with one of 3 lenses: EF 600mm F 4.0 imaged stabilized lens, EF 300mm F 4.0 image stabilized lens, or EF 28-135mm F 3.5-5.6 image-stabilized zoom lens. Sometimes I use a 12mm extension tube for small subjects.