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Spring Bloom by Kari Post

Spring is my absolute favorite time of year. I love everything about it—the warmer weather, longer days, singing birds, and burst of new life in the form of colorful fragrant flowers and cute fuzzy baby animals. The pink-purple blossoms of these Eastern Redbud trees, photographed during late April at the lower elevations of Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, are a perfect example of why spring is my favorite season.

Equipment Used: Canon 1D Mark II N, 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, 1/4s, f/16, ISO 100, tripod.

  Table of Contents - April 2012  
Behind the Lens with Kari Post - Photography tip, interview, and trip report New Gitzo tripods for 2012 Tropical workshops to Costa Rica & Ecuador 5 featured articles Store coupon: Save $20 now through Sunday! New workshops in New Mexico, Arizona, and California Last chance for Florida workshops & more
BEHIND THE LENS: This month's photography tip, interview, and trip report
  Copyright Kari Post PHOTOGRAPHY TIP Angel Wings

Knowing your subject is imperative to getting good photographs of nature on a consistent basis. The more you know about the wildlife you are shooting—its behavior, where it lives, when it is active, what it likes to eat—the more likely it is that you will end up in the right place at the right time ready to capture its finest moments. Forster's Terns, for example, like to fly into the wind, like most birds. They also feed on fish, which they hunt by hovering over water, and then plunge diving below the surface to catch their prey. On this visit to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, I noticed a bunch of terns hovering over a culvert that passed under the road. The culvert churned up the water, bringing the fish close to the surface and making for easy pickings for the terns and other birds. I observed the birds for a while, and noticed that the wind was at my back, coming from the same direction from which the sun would set, perfect conditions for getting head on shots of the birds in flight and hovering over the water. I got into position and practiced tracking the birds as they repeatedly returned to the culvert to hunt. As the sun sank lower into the sky, I was able to capture this beautiful image of a tern hovering in mid-air, its wings stretched like those of an angel against a powdery white cloud hanging in the pale blue sky. Knowing a bit about the location in which I was shooting and the subject I wanted to capture enabled me to predict that a good photo opportunity was forming and make the most of the situation.

Pictured: Canon 1D Mark II N, 300mm f/2.8L IS USM, 2x Mark II Extender, 1/2000s, f/5.6, ISO 400, handheld.

–Kari Post
Editorial Staff and a Forum Moderator of the Landscapes Forum
  Kari Post NSN INTERVIEW Kari Post

Kari Post may be NatureScape.Net's youngest forum moderator but she's certainly no newbie to the nature photography scene. A lifelong lover of both nature and photography, she stumbled across NatureScapes more than six years ago, and has since become a well respected member of the staff, contributing behind the scenes as an editor in addition to moderating the Landscapes Forum since 2009. For this feature, we caught up with Kari to learn a bit more about how she got into nature photography and what she hopes to accomplish with it in her promising years ahead. Continue reading »

  WORKSHOP TRIP REPORT Costa Rica Copyright Kari Post

Everything I have ever heard from those who have been to Costa Rica has been overwhelmingly positive, and after having just spent two weeks there as a student participant in a graduate level class on Tropical Ecology and Conservation, I can easily understand why. Continue reading »

  Hummingbirds and Toucans - Costa Rica  
  Learn with two of the most technically knowledgeable and talented instructors in the industry with NatureScapes co-founder/ professional bird photographer E.J. Peiker and Foto Verde Tours co-founder Greg Basco. This exciting itinerary focuses on obtaining outstanding images of elusive toucans, various species of parrots and macaws as well as hummingbirds in flight, perched and pollinating local flowers. Participants: 8 maximum (4 open) Register Now  
  Hummingbirds & More - Ecuador  
  Greg is a pioneer in multi-flash hummingbird photography and will share the tips and techniques he has developed over the last decade for capturing these tiny jewels in flight and in action while keeping everything looking natural. Due to the nature of this type of photography our group will be kept small to ensure everyone gets ample opportunities. We will be focusing on outdoor flash photography techniques, from balanced fill light, to main light and even techniques to simulate wing blurs. Participants: 8 maximum Register Now  
New Workshops Just Added! See all workshops »
  Copyright Greg Downing Bosque del Apache Socorro, NM November/December 2012   Copyright E.J. Peiker Arizona DuckShop™ Phoenix
December 2012/January 2013
  Copyright E.J. Peiker Southern California DuckShop™
February 2013
Last Chance for Florida Workshops!
  Copyright Greg Downing Sarasota, FL West Coast Bird Rookeries By Boat
April 10–13 6 max (1 open)
April 14–17 SOLD OUT
May 8–11 SOLD OUT
  Copyright Greg Downing Vero, FL Osprey by Boat
April 18–21 6 max (2 open)
May 4–7 SOLD OUT
  Copyright Greg Downing St. Augustine, FL Historic Coast Technical Series
April 30–May 3
10 max (1 open)
  Florida's Birding and Photo Fest Also join us later this month at the 10th annual Birding & Photo Fest!

Meet Greg Downing, Kari Post and Tara Woodfin—come say hi at our booth near the main registration desk and register to win door prizes, get product demos, etc. Also Greg will be conducting a series of popular classroom seminars and field workshops.

Even More Workshops:
  Copyright Greg Downing Kamloops, B.C., Canada Loons and More
June 17–21 5 max (4 open)
June 22–26 SOLD OUT
June 27–July 1 6 max (1 open)
  Copyright Alan Murphy St. Paul Island, Alaska Puffins and More
August 3–10
12 max (3 open)
  Featured Articles  
  Copyright Abe Borker Photographing the Ocean's Winged Wanderers: Pelagic Bird Photography
by Abe Borker

Seabirds are an oddball group of extremes, and photographing this enigmatic tribe of birds can challenge the best photographers. Collectively defined as birds that depend on marine environments for a part of their life cycle, seabirds are a varied group spanning over 15 families with over 300… Continue reading »

  Copyright Tim Grey Missing Photo Mystery
by Tim Grey

One of the things I enjoy about publishing my daily Ask Tim Grey eNewsletter is that it often leads to something of a conversation among different readers. One question and it's answer will trigger a question from another reader, and sometimes that question… Continue reading »

  Copyright Joseph Rossbach West Virginia Holds A Secret
by Joseph Rossbach

West Virginia holds a secret! Its mountains offer some of the most beautiful landscapes in the United States. From the rugged and windswept plateau of Dolly Sods to the roaring waterfalls of Blackwater Falls State Park, the Appalachian and Allegheny chain of… Continue reading »

  Copyright Jessy C. Eykendorp Behind The Beauty Of Kawah Ijen: A Hard Way of Making a Living
by Jessy C. Eykendorp

Picturesque Kawah Ijen is the world's largest highly acidic lake and is the site of a labor intensive sulfur mining operation in which sulfur laden baskets are hand carried from the crater floor. In the future, the crater and its sulphur will be a major source of clean geothermal… Continue reading »

  Copyright Kari Post 2012 Updates to Gitzo Systematic Tripods
by Kari Post

Everyone loves new toys, right? Well Gitzo's Systematic tripod family just got a facelift. The Systematic series has long been the choice of many top nature and outdoor photographers, who rely on Gitzo's durable, reliable carbon fiber tripods to support their… Continue reading »

  Store Specials  
  Save $20* now through Sunday on all orders over $199! Expires Sunday April 8 at 11:59 PM PST. Use code Spring20  
  New Gitzo Systematic Tripods for 2012! Check out our full line of NEW Gitzo tripods and watch Greg's video! >  
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*$20 Off Coupon:
The $20 off store coupon applies to orders that total $199 or greater after all coupons and discounts and is not valid on Gura Gear, Think Tank Photo, or Wimberley merchandise. Expires Sunday, April 8, 2012 at 11:59 PM PST. Use code Spring20 at checkout.