New Article: Perspective in Nature Photography

Photography is the art of compromise: shutter speed versus aperture (and depth of field), ISO versus noise, versatility (zoom) versus sharpness (prime), and so on. In nature photography, obstructions often give the shooter little choice about tripod and camera position. When choices are available, other compromises come into play. Namely, tripod height affects not only an animal’s appearance in profile and the look of the environment, but also photographer reaction time. In Perspective in Nature Photography I explore these issues.

Broad-winged Hawk in tree, Houston, Texas
No choice: Broad-winged Rodent-hunter in Dense Forest. This Broad-winged Hawk was perched at a height of about ten feet in a dense patch of woods. This shot was literally the only one available, taken through a foot-wide opening in the foliage. After watching me drag my tripod and 500mm f/4L in a semi-circle through a tangle of brush for ten minutes trying to get a better perspective, the bird became annoyed and flew off.