Learning Your Digital Camera can be Fun!

In the film world, photography was relatively simple for the photographer. We selected our film, shot our photos, developed the film (either ourselves or at a lab), edited the photos, and finished with a final product. We had a choice in film speed, and type of film. For creative affects, we had filters for our lenses, camera mounted flashes and other gadgets.

With digital photography, cameras are programmed with all this information. Film has become a media card (Compact Flash, SD, XD, etc.). Digital Photography is defined by processors and megapixels, instead film brand and speed. Instead of the photo lab developing our pictures, we have computer software (Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements, Picasso, Gimp and others). We can print our photos at home on our printers or send them to a photo lab.

So, where do we begin with our digital cameras?

copyright Karen Ulvestad
Kodak Slide Film scanned to a Digital file.

For some, the transition from Film to Digital is easy. For others, it is a struggle, and can be confusing. I’ve worked with all ages (children, teens, adults & seniors) and levels (beginning & intermediate) photographers with understanding the functions of their Digital cameras. Each person has a different way to learn the complex menus and functions of modern cameras, and need individual attention to learning the information.

The photo above was taken in 1997 with Kodak slide film and scanned to a digital file. It was taken at Arches National Park, and all the elements came together for a wonderful photograph. The photo below was taken in 2005 with a Canon 10D digital camera. It was taken at Arches National Park too. Both of these images were shot in Manual mode.

From the Digital Camera to the Digital Darkroom Intensive is a one day (6 hour) hands-on venture into camera operations and workflow for digital photography. I offer this class once a year at the Pacific Northwest Art School on Whidbey Island. Here is a link to their website and the class.

Join my workshop for a fun-filled day of learning Digital Photography and the Digital Darkroom. The last photo is John Day Fossil Beds, and was taken in 2012 with a Canon 5D Mark II.

Happy Shooting. . .Karen

copyright Karen Ulvestad
Canon 10D (6.3 megapixels)
copyright Karen Ulvestad
Canon 5D Mark II (21.3 megapixels)

Migratory Birds are at the Skagit Flats

Last Saturday, I spoke at the Historic Concrete Theatre with 30+ people. The presentation went well, and the participants left with a greater understanding of photographing birds. The Skagit Valley from Newhalem in the mountains to Puget Sound is filled with migratory birds this year.

The last of the Chum Salmon run is happening on the Skagit River, and the last eagle count was 121 between Sedro Woolley and Newhalem. The high count this year was around 250 eagles. This area holds the highest numbers of migratory bald eagles in the lower 48 states (US).

There is one last weekend of the Skagit Eagle Festival. This weekend is filled with events. Most are located in Concrete or Rockport, along Highway 20.

copyright Karen Ulvestad

The image above was taken this month in the Skagit Flats. These are Trumpeter Swans. This flock has both adult and immature birds. The adults are pure white, and the immature are gray. Currently, the swans are feeding between Highway 20, La Conner and west of the Skagit River. There are many flocks in the area, though not all are easy to photograph.

The Flats have more Bald Eagles this year. They are hunting Snow Geese and other migratory birds. The photo below is showing an eagle feeding on the remains of a Snow Goose. The geese seem to be in larger flocks this year. While we were watching this, two other eagles came in to feed. There was a conflict, though the light was too low to capture the interaction.

copyright Karen UlvestadThere is a visiting Snow Owl this year. This one (photo below) was resting on driftwood on the dike. There are several other birds on the Flats, including Short-earred Owl, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk and various migratory Sandpipers.

The presentation at the Skagit Eagle Festival went well. Here is a link to a short video clip of the photos used in the presentation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sGSOvoIm2Q.

Happy Shooting. . .Karen

copyright Karen Ulvestad

Skagit Eagle Festival

The Skagit Eagle Festival takes place during the month of January. The event had many speakers, Native American events, float trips, and more. I will be speaking at the Concrete Theatre on January 19th from 12 pm to 1 pm, on photographing eagles and other wildlife.

This Festival comes at the peak of Bald Eagle migration to the Skagit River valley. The highest concentrations are from Concrete up to Marblemount along Highway 22. The photo at the end of this blog is from the Skagit Valley. Eagles congregate in the 100s.

copyright Karen Ulvestad

The photo above was taken on Fir Island. It is where the Skagit River comes into Puget Sound. The Skagit Flats are home to resident Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers, and other birds.

copyright Karen Ulvestad

During the winter, the Skagit Flats become home to thousands of migratory birds. These birds include Tundra Swans, Trumpeter Swans, Snow Geese, various species of Sand Pipers, Ducks, and more. Often, these birds can be seen from the road, and at the wildlife refuge areas.

For more information, comes see my presentation on January 19th, or follow my series on The Examiner.

Happy Shooting. . .Karen

copyright Karen Ulvestad


Best Holiday Escapes Near Seattle « CBS Seattle

The locations listed in this article are great areas for photography. For the complete article, check out the link. Thanks. . .Karen

Best Holiday Escapes Near Seattle « CBS Seattle.

Stormy Weather Photography. . .

Late fall and winter weather is happening in the northern hemisphere, and it presents different photography challenges. The weather plays an important part at this time of the year. It is more likely to be windy, stormy, rainy, foggy or snowy at our outdoor destinations. The leaves have left the trees in many areas, giving fewer hiding places for wildlife and birds. The landscape takes on a different “feeling” than the warmer months of spring and summer. The colors change, and daylight hours are shorter.

During strong winds and stormy weather, birds seek refuge in sheltered areas. This image below was taken during strong winds. This great blue heron is sheltered from the winds by the marsh grasses, and is feeding in the shallow water. In this image, he is cleaning his feet. There were several great blue heron roosting in the tall grass behind this bird. The weather brought these birds closer to the walk-way through the marsh, and made them easier to photograph. Other birds finding shelter in the marsh were Northern Shovelers (ducks) and Killdeer. Small song birds were feeding in the cattails and trees.

copyright Karen UlvestadThe beach is a wonderful location during high winds or stormy weather. In this photograph, the wave is coming into shore, and is about 4-6 feet tall. It wasn’t raining, but the winds were very strong. It is good to watch the surf, before going onto the beach, to see where the high-water mark is at. Even with this information, the wind can send waves higher on the beach. On the ocean, these are called sneaker-waves. They can pull people into the water, and can be deadly. It is important to be prepared for the environment and weather.

copyright Karen UlvestadIt is important to wear the appropriate clothing for adventures during the winter. Hypothermia can affect those who are not prepared for rain, wind, snow and colder temperatures. It is good to dress in layers, with a good water-repellent shell over the top. The wind will drop the temperature (wind-chill factor), and the cold can hurt exposed areas of skin (hands, fingers and faces). It is important to wear footwear that will keep feet warm and dry. This type of equipment can be found at outdoors stores, such as ski shops or REI.

Camera batteries will lose their charge faster in the colder weather. It is good to bring an extra battery, and keep it in a warm place (pocket near body heat). Most camera equipment is water-resistant, but it depends on the manufacturer and model of the equipment. It is good to keep the gear dry with a good camera bag (water-proof), covering for the camera/lenses and a quick-dry cloth to dry any water that does get onto the equipment.

The photograph below illustrates being prepared for the weather. More later. . .

copyright Karen UlvestadHappy Shooting. . .Karen

Day adventures to relieve holiday stress

The holidays can be a stressful time for everyone. There are more people on the roads, in stores, and everything seems to take longer. A great way to keep perspective is to step away from the crowds and take a day to relax. These locations are great for Photographers. Each offers many opportunities to photograph landscape, people and wildlife. Please check it out, like it and enjoy. . .thank you. . .

For the entire article, go to Day adventures to relieve holiday stress.

Apology for Spam

I want to apologize for the spam posted on my blog. I was hacked. Please let me know if it happens again.

Thank you. . .Karen

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