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Posts by: Scott

Behind The Shot: Remote Birding

Behind The Shot

Behind The Shot is a recurring feature where we dig deeper and find the backstories that accompany amazing photos. Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Anna's Hummingbird Nest

Photographer: Michael Chen

Gear: Nikon D3Nikon 400mm f/2.8D AF-S, TC-14E II 1.4x, Nikon SB-900 SpeedlightsPocket Wizard MultiMAX transceiversManfrotto Magic Arms, Gitzo 3-series Tripod

Settings: ISO 1600, f/9, 1/250 – Flash Power @ 1/16

Backstory: One of the most frequently asked questions that I’ve been getting is how I shot the hummingbird nests with the mother feeding her chick.  Most of the time, I actually trigger a camera remotely using Pocket Wizard MultiMAX transceivers.  A remote camera allows me to keep some distance between me and the nest, lessening the amount of attention I draw to the nest area.  In general, nesting hummingbirds in a suburban environment do not mind a human presence and adapt quickly to a humans that they perceive as nonthreatening; however, one’s presence will draw and hold the attention of predators, such as crows and jays, and make it easier for the nest to be discovered.  The angles I can shoot from are also expanded by using the remote camera, as I can squeeze the camera and lens into places where it would be hard for me to be looking through the viewfinder.

Here, I’ve taken advantage of a nearby tree house-type structure and have placed the still camera on a tripod; the tree house allows me to simply use a tripod instead of having to be more creative in safely suspending the camera up in a tree.  The lens on the Nikon D3 camera is a Nikon 400mm f/2.8D AF-S; the tripod used here is a Gitzo 3-series.  I used a TC-14E II 1.4x teleconverter on the 400mm f/2.8 to fill more of the frame with the hummingbird and her nest, though I ultimately still had to crop off quite a bit of empty space.  Two SB-900 flashes, also triggered by the Pocket Wizard MultiMAX transceivers (using the relay mode function), freeze the motion of the mother and chick, and allowing me to shoot at f/16 for sufficient depth of field to keep everything important in focus.  The flashes are held in place by Manfrotto Magic Arms and allow me to position the flashes wherever I need them.

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After I set everything up- carefully and hopefully unnoticed by predators- all I have left to do is find a place to stay out of sight while being able to observe when the mother has returned to the nest, and then trigger the camera to make some images.  Remaining vigilant and patient at the same time is key to capturing the mother feeding the chick, as while the mother will feed the chick many times per hour, the actual moment of feeding is quick and fleeting; one can easily miss the mother entirely even while positioned close to the nest.

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More of Michael’s hummingbird photos can be seen here and here.

Check out more of Michael’s work on his website.

If you like this photo be sure to share it! Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Behind The Shot: Redbull Athlete Profile

Behind The Shot

Behind The Shot is a recurring feature where we dig deeper and find the backstories that accompany amazing photos. Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Kenny Belaey - Action

Photographer: Long Nguyen/ Red Bull Content Pool

Gear: Canon EOS 5D Mark IITokina 10-17mm Fisheye, Alien Bee/White Lighting 1600, Pocketwizard Flex TT5 , Human Tripod (my friend Thil)

Settings: ISO 100, f/8, 1/500

Backstory: This was a last minute shoot. World Champion trails bike athlete Kenny Belaey was visiting SF to do demo for the Golden State Warriors half time game. Kenny had just gotten off of an injury and this was his 2nd time riding. I had a very limited time window to work with Kenny. When I pulled into our location in Pacifica, I noticed a boulder on top of the hill. I knew I wanted a shot from up there.

After Kenny warmed up we hiked to the top. I peaked over the cliff and ask if he would rear tire stale his bike on the ledge. I really didn’t know what to expect since it was a dangerous maneuver and Kenny was not at 100%. He peaked over the ledge and said let’s do it. Kenny is a talented athlete and great to work with. Wether I saw something he did or vise versa, we were able to make it work. The whole shoot in about 2 hours and we left knowing that we had made some great images.

Long Nguyen is an adventure/sports journalist, and goes wherever his camera takes him – for the thrill of an adventure and the action of the sport. Long enjoys photographing many things but his emphasis is in mountain biking. He’s feels lucky to have the opportunities to travel the world and meet new people on all of his journeys. Long thanks his family and friends for all of their support & continues to live for the quest for amazing photography.

Kenny Belaey - Portrait

Check out more of Long’s work on his website.

If you like this photo be sure to share it! Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Behind The Shot: Artillery Mission

Behind The Shot

Behind The Shot is a recurring feature where we dig deeper and find the backstories that accompany amazing photos. Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

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Photographer: Sean Huolihan

Gear: Nikon D600Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G AF-S ED VR

Settings: 390 Images, 30 sec exposures, ISO 200, 24-85mm @ 24mm, f/10

Backstory: I took this during my deployment to Afghanistan. I had been waiting months for the right nighttime visibility and had never seen a star trail image with a HIMARS launcher and just thought it would make an awesome shot. The final image was composed of 390 stacked photos. I am currently a SGT serving in the WI National Guard and working on becoming a full-time photographer.

Read more about Sean in “Soldier focuses on documenting historic Guard artillery mission“.

Check out more of Sean’s work here.

If you like this photo be sure to share it! Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Behind The Shot: Triple Fogbow

Behind The Shot

Behind The Shot is a recurring feature where we dig deeper and find the backstories that accompany amazing photos. Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

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Photographer: Daisy Gilardini Gear: Nikon D800ENikkor 24-70mm f2.8Polarizer filter Settings: 1/100 @ f/11, ISO 100, 24mm

Backstory: Since 1996 I have been working on expedition ships to the Polar Region for documenting the climate changes that affect the end of our earth. In the summer of 2012 I was onboard the Akademik Ioffe with OneOcean Expeditions and while cruising through the ice we came across this breathtaking fogbow. During all these years I have seen many of them but never a triple formation. A fog bow is a similar phenomenon to a rainbow, however, as its name suggests, it appears as a bow in fog rather than rain. I was stunned and I waited until I had enough ice around it to  bring more dynamism to the image captured.

Check out more of Daisy’s work on her website.

If you like this photo be sure to share it! Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Behind The Shot: Tiger Shark Frenzy

Behind The Shot

Behind The Shot is a recurring feature where we dig deeper and find the backstories that accompany amazing photos. Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

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Photographer: Todd Bretl

Gear: Nikon D7000Tokina 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5, Nauticam housing, and Sea&Sea strobes

Settings: 1/160 @ F9, ISO 200, 14mm, Nikon D7000

Backstory: I captured this image in the Bahamas. A few of us were shooting tiger sharks down at about 100ft on a sandy clearing. We had lured them in with egg crates full of dead fish — keeping the fish in the egg crates attracted the sharks, but kept them from actually being able to get and eat the fish, and then get bored and leave. Unfortunately one rather large tiger shark was able to crack an egg crate open, spill the fish, and cause a complete frenzy. That frenzy stirred up a whole lot of sand and we needed to get out of there because the poor visibility created a dangerous situation. I took this image as I was back peddling out of that mess. You can see one of the tiger sharks in the background.

Check out more of Todd’s work on his website.

If you like this photo be sure to share it! Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Lenstag Releases “Text to Check” Feature to Combat Gear Theft

BL News

Lenstag is a new service that collects serial numbers from your lenses and cameras and keeps them in a registry to be flagged in the unfortunate event that they get stolen. It’s easy, it’s free, and is a great supplement to your existing insurance plan or personal security methods. By locking down a serial as belonging to its owner, the reselling and pawning of stolen gear becomes increasingly discouraged and it is now even easier to flag hot items. (more…)

Behind The Shot: Lightning Strike Near Lake Powell, UT

Behind The Shot

Behind The Shot is a recurring feature where we dig deeper and find the backstories that accompany amazing photos. Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

6a0105371bb32c970b019aff8ef803970c Photographer: David Rankin Gear: Canon 6D SLR Body, Canon 50mm f/1.8, NeoTrigger Settings: 6 seconds @ f/3.2, ISO 100 Backstory: After a long and very active monsoon season, the last summer storms blew by heading off to the east and zapping the ground as they wound down with the day’s heat dissipating. I was able to capture this shot under the light of a bright moon which nicely lit up the top part of the storm as a very powerful bolt lit up the rest. This was shot in Southern Utah close to Lake Powell. The plant in the background is the Navajo Generating Station – a coal fired eye sore that looks rather neat at night. Stars are also visible in the shot. A great composition that I was happy to have featured as an EPOD on October 14ht, 2013. I shot this picture using the new NeroTrigger from NeroTrigger.com. I am very satisfied with this trigger and how well it performs. It has 6 built in functions including sound, lightning, time lapse, HDR, laser, and DIY.

Check out more of David’s work on his website and Facebook page.

If you like this photo be sure to share it! Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Shoot the Blues Away: 10 Motivating Winter Photography Tips

Tips & Tricks

Photography often takes a hit during winter. Wedding gigs start to slow down and holiday obligations, bad weather, and shorter days give us plenty of reasons to procrastinate shooting. We have compiled 10 tips for staying motivated during these brumal months. Discover new ways to practice your craft and avoid a rusty start during spring’s heavy shooting season. (more…)

BL’s Orderly (and Massive) GoPro Order

Gear Talk

Someone’s going to have a lot of fun this weekend. We can’t say for sure what all of these will be used for on this order but it’s pretty safe to say it is bullet-time related. Enjoy the pictures, GoPro fans!

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Alex Enman had the task of checking and charging all of the GoPros.

(more…)

Lenstag: Discouraging Camera and Lens Theft One Registered Serial at a Time

Gear Talk

UPDATE: Lenstag, the service that collects serial numbers from your gear and keeps them in a registry to be flagged and indexed online if they get ever stolen, now has free apps for iOS and Android in multiple languages. Some features include: gear name auto-complete, picture-taking of your gear right from your phone, easy and immediate flagging, and more. Lenstag aims to curb theft by making it harder to resell stolen items.

Download it here:

• http://lens.tg/ios
• http://lens.tg/android


Lenstag is a new, free service that collects serial numbers from your lenses and cameras and keeps them in a registry to be flagged in the unfortunate event that they get stolen. By locking down a serial as belonging to its owner, the reselling and pawning of stolen gear becomes increasingly discouraged. The more people who register the gear, the more effective the registry system is. Stolen serials are indexed online, so checking up on a serial before purchasing in the resell market is easier than ever. We have already registered our gear and want to give a few pointers on finding your gears’ serials. There are a lot of numbers listed on cameras and lenses and not all of them are unique identifiers–be sure you have the correct number! (more…)