Digital Photography at the Manship

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CC Lecture at the Manship Theatre Photo by Kelly Tate

Last Friday we had a great crowd of digital nature photographers at the Manship Theatre.  It is truly a wonderful venue to sit and watch anything on that stage.  I told the crowd I was humbled to show my images on the same platform as Jessie Winchester, BeauSoleil and other fine musicians. I pointed out the four things that go into a good photograph and in my opinion that is equipment, technique, composition and location.  Once you accomplish that you need to always be ready and look and wait for the good light. Then wonderful photographs will dance off your memory cards.

After the lecture and a few door prizes that Nikon Professional Services offered, we went up to the Manship Gallery where the Louisiana Photographic Society exhibited some of their work along with images from Steve Uffman and I. The exhibit will run until July 30th.  To the attendees, get out in nature and keep on clicking.


Birds and Flowers

Do you remember Billy "White Shoes" Johnson? The kickoff return specialist for the Houston Oilers in the 1970s? He was known for his white shoes and his fancy end zone dances. I thought about him when I saw this Neotropic Cormorant in Cameron Parish a few days ago. The bird not only had white shoes, but flew a little awkwardly due to its heavy feet. Perhaps his feet are covered in bird poop. Anyway, it really stood out in a crowd of thousands of cormorants, egrets, spoonbills and herons nesting here. I plan on bringing a photo workshop here next spring when the birds are nesting.

 Neotropic Cormorant
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One of his brethren did not fare so well. I was focused in on a roseate spoonbill's nest with my 600mm lens when I heard a big splash and turned to see a small alligator grab a swimming cormorant. As I moved the lens to the left, the alligator submerged with its prey to drown it. After waiting patiently, the reptile resurfaced with the now dead bird locked in his jaws. I got the shot below. 

Alligator eats a cormorant
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Later we went to Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge to find the fragrant water lilies and American lotus in full bloom. Acres and acres of this important wetland were covered in creamy colors. I'll be showing images from this shoot at my lecture at the Manship Theatre on Friday. My intention is to help budding photographers learn the tricks to get the best shots.

American lotus in bloom
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St. Bernard Parish

Image #20616 - 10/19/05

I went to Breton Sound to catch some fish and take some photographs of the birds and marsh southwest of Yscloskey, Louisiana.  With me was expert fisherman Steve Uffman who is also a very good nature photographer.  He will show some of his work at my lecture June 21st at the Manship Theatre (you can buy tickets here).  He loves to shoot flying birds and we saw many species on this trip. Some were Forsters, Least, Royal and Sandwich Terns, Oyster Catchers, Brown and White Pelicans, Snowy and Great Egrets, Little Blue Herons and Laughing Gulls. We did not catch a fish and I'll just blame it on all the time we spent taking pictures.

Image #WE-4191 - 8/10/2006

I’ll show you the birds later. Today I want you to see the same wrecked front porch I had photographed after Katrina.  The house was washed away by that terrible storm.  The three images were taken from about the same spot in different years. The rebuilding is slow for a lot of homeowners in some areas of Southeast Louisiana.  On the other hand, the public buildings and schools have been built back beautifully and looking like they are hurricane proof.  I am hoping we go hurricane free this year.

Image #130509-0481 - 5/9/13