To Cull…Or Not To Cull

Redhead, Male. Duck, Sunrise, Water, One of the BIG challenges in the Wildlife In Focus photography contest is choosing what to submit for judging. And it’s everything…

We all know that art is one of the most subjective spaces in the world. People like what they like! Art buyers generally make an emotional decision on what they want to buy. And it’s really no different for judges. They see so many really good images that it usually comes down to some intangible reason for picking one piece over another. You figure that one out and the world will beat a path to your door.

So my conundrum is what to keep and what to cull. I don’t like to use the word “cull” at this stage of the process. I’ve ALREADY culled all of my images with obvious technical issues. Being in focus or compositionally strong isn’t an issues with these images. It just boils down to what I want in my final portfolio for 100 images. Yes…I’m just like everyone else. It’s an emotional decision that I have to make…

OK…this handsome male Redhead duck won’t make the portfolio. Does it make it a bad image? I don’t think so. I put my branding information on it…and I’m putting it here in my journal. But the judges will never officially see it. I have better ones for them…

 

 

One Month Down…Four To Go

Red Winged Blackbird, Juvenile, Perch. Thorn,OK…It’s official and it’s a fact. The 2017 Wildlife In Focus photography contest is 20% over!

The first month of this 5 month competition is over. It seems like I’ve been shooting this contest a LOT longer than 30 days. I’ve had good days…and I’ve had NOT so good days! Overall, I think I’m exactly where I need to be at this stage.

This year I’m trying to work smarter and certainly more efficiently. Not every one of the 59 different categories are even available on the River Ranch yet. We’ve worked up a calendar that helps us know what to shoot and when to shoot by month. It’s not 100% accurate…but it sure helps to focus (no pun intended) our efforts.

For me the most important thing right now is that I’m really enjoying the contest this year. I’m not feeling any pressure or angst! I feel like I’m shooting better right now than ever. The rules have loosened a bit regarding editing this year. I consider myself a pretty good editor, so I think that plays into one of my strengths. Let’s see what happens going forward…

 

 

Spring? Maybe…

Clouds, Spring, Trees, Pasture, GrassIt’s way too easy to get fooled by Mother Nature here on the Coastal Bend! In the last week, things have changed a lot on the River Ranch.

All of the different grasses have really “greened up” this week. Just about every one of the trees have buds, and many have begun to leaf out. If I were a betting man, I’d say Spring is on it’s way!

But Mother Nature has a way of teasing you. I made this image yesterday and the light was flat. The clouds over Refugio County looked like snow clouds I’ve seen before. The wind was blowing pretty good…and it was almost cold. Wade and I drove around the ranch on one of the Gators and we could have used jackets.

So is Spring just around the corner? Who knows. This is Texas…

 

 

 

 

Should Have Gone To The Beach

shorebird, wading feeding, beach, surfOK…So I learned a BIG lesson yesterday. Actually I already knew that lesson…but I got a fresh reminder of the way it works!

I tried a new type of setup and technique yesterday…and it failed miserably! Over 1400 clicks and not a single usable image. I’ve used my photo trap before, and I’ve had some pretty good success. But it’s been a while since I’ve used it. It was painful downloading all these images and finding ZERO! But I’m over it now. I know exactly what and where I messed up. Operator error…

This little shorebird has nothing to do with my experience yesterday. It just reminded me that maybe I should have gone to the beach instead…

 

 

 

What’s Wrong Here?

female northern cardinal, perch, portraitI like this portrait of a sweet female Northern Cardinal a LOT! But it won’t make my final Wildlife In Focus portfolio of 100 images. Any guesses why?

It was a severe case of “operator error”! One of the rules for this competition is that the file has to be at least 6 megapixels after cropping. I had some distracting elements in the scene that I didn’t take into consideration when I made this click. As a matter of fact, that whole morning’s production is unusable for the contest.

Is this the end of the world? No. I still have plenty of time to get some usable files in the Northern Cardinal category. But still…this was a major error on my part. It won’t happen again…

I wil print this image…and I bet it sells. Everyone loves Cardinals. And she’s a beauty!

 

 

 

WordPress Loves AJAX