Nature Photographer of the Year always presents us with some amazing images of the natural world around us. The contest has just announced its 2020 winners, and a mystical, fairytale-like photo of a giraffe won the first prize. Of course, there are plenty more fantastic photos, so read on and take a look at the selection.
Roger Brendhagen has mastered the art of capturing wildlife and birds with backlight. It takes a lot of planning, experience, and patience to nail these shots. And while this is not about the gear, it helps to know the camera and how to dial in the optimal settings for each shot.
Roger was kind enough to share his process, gear, and techniques with DIYP readers. He will also share some of his favorite images and tell the story behind his most cherished shot.
Shayne McGuire has a deep respect and love for everything living and that is the main reason why she became a wildlife photographer. She spends large parts of the year traveling, even to remote destinations such as Antarctica and Africa. Shayne captures bears, penguins, birds, horses and sometimes her husband. The latter often comes with a funny caption.
When the opportunity presents itself Shayne also shoots landscapes, even from the southernmost parts of the globe where ice and snow reign. It was in Antarctica she shot the stunning image of a super moon.
During her long career as a wildlife photographer Shayne has captured many humorous moments of the animals she portrays – perhaps unwittingly from the animal’s point of view, but they nevertheless put a huge smile on our human faces.
In the following Shayne generously shares some of her funniest moments behind the camera with DIYP and our readers. The image explanations and captions are hers.
Dag Ole Nordhaug is a Norwegian landscape photographer who shoots outstanding grand landscape images. He is also considered a very talented forest photographer. Dag Ole skillfully combines mood, visual interest, and life to forest scenes. Many years of exploring the woodlands around his hometown of Trondheim, Norway, has honed his skills and provided him with plenty of experience.
Shooting intimate landscapes, forests included calls for thinking outside the box. Though the resulting images are well worth the effort, and you may learn a thing or two about composition. You will also probably improve your technical camera know-how. Forests offer a multitude of compositions that are new and fresh. While it’s hard to innovate with the grand landscapes’ classics, you can still create unique and personal images.
Social media can be lukewarm in its response to intimate landscapes, but they are well suited for printing and can yield stunning and calming prints.
Finding order in a chaotic forest can be very challenging. What should you look for that offers some rest for the eye? How important is light when attempting to photograph trees? Dag Ole will share some of his insights and images with DIYP.
Sometimes things go wrong in the field. Many times, the first reaction is to trash the images as soon as we get home. However, it just may happen just a mistake turns into a piece of art.
Ole Jørgen Liodden experienced just that during an expedition to Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. He shot a polar bear flowing on a sheet of ice from the expedition ship. To take those kinds of air/sea split photos, you attach the camera to a poll and dip it in the water. Specifically, this time it was a 2.5-meter long pole to get the angle right.
This spring, Roger Brendhagen spent quite a few afternoons sitting as quietly as a mouse along the edges of a field. He was waiting for a Horned Owl, which would hunt for smaller mice. The Horned Owl is most active early in the morning and during dusk. Then one can watch it fly low over the cultural landscape, hunting for mice and other small rodents.
When the owl hunts, it makes sounds with its beak to terrify its prey into the open. The owl can identify the prey area with its amazing hearing capabilities. During the daytime, it is challenging to spot the Horned Owl. Then it sits close to a tree trunk and makes itself small by drawing in its plumage.
A few years ago, I got this beautiful chance to spend time living and photographing on a freezing island located right in the central Helsinki. I spent 24 nights there as the cold winter turned to spring.
It all started when I saw an article about an island that was for sale for one million euros. Katajanokanluoto is the only privately owned island in central Helsinki and is located just a few hundred meters from the Helsinki shoreline. I had seen the island many times before from the Suomenlinna ferry. Suomenlinna is one of the most popular locations in Helsinki among the tourists and one of my favorite places.
The study of natural history reveals that palaeolithic humans steadily evolved over millions of years as hunter-gatherers, grouped in small, tribal societies. They refined harmonious relationships with their environment, gathering plants, fishing, and hunting wild animals. Anatomically, modern humans are much the same as our ancient ancestors. Our bodies remain designed to move with endurance, speed, strength, and precision of movement over the landscape, much as we were before towns, farming and domestication of animals began to develop 5,000-10,000 years ago.
Pinhole photography is a strange aspect of photography. On the one hand, it’s used to teach people about the bare basic principles of light and photography and building one can be a fun weekend project with the kids. But on the other, it’s also a whole craft and art form in and of itself that can be taken to quite some extreme measures and produce amazing imagery.
One such photographer who definitely seems to have mastered pinhole photography as a craft and an art form is fine art and landscape photographer Martin Henson, who in this video takes us on a journey creating a seemingly simple image with a fantastic end result.
The German Society for Nature Photography (GDT) has just announced winners of its annual Nature Photographer of the Year contest. I miss the outdoors badly, and I must tell you – I absolutely enjoyed these beautiful images. For a brief moment, they brought the beauty of nature to my home, showing it in all its glorious beauty.