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An Introduction to Outdoor Photography

by Cody Altizer 30. March 2012 09:19
Cody Altizer

It was that time of year that deer hunters across the country dream about; mid-November, overcast, temperatures in the upper 30s and a little breezy.  The weather was perfect.  I was set up downwind of a sanctuary that I knew several bucks felt comfortable moving in and out of during the daylight and, coupled with the time of year and weather conditions, I had high hopes for the afternoon’s hunt.  I caught movement coming out of the sanctuary a little early than I expected, about 3:30, but I certainly wasn’t going to complain.  A quick glance through my binoculars revealed the sex of the whitetail; perfect, a buck.  

I was downwind and he was clueless of my existence.  I took a deep breath and calmly grabbed my weapon, all the while keeping my eyes locked on him as to immediately freeze should he peg my location.  He aimlessly crossed the steep ditch that separated his safety net from my stand location, and I slowly shifted my position to ready myself for the upcoming shot.  He was at 20 yards, but the angle was poor and I knew he’d come closer.  Finally, he stopped at 8 yards and began munching on acorns.  This was it, the perfect shot, the perfect angle, it was now or never.  Quietly, I focused on the unaware buck and... CLICK! Perfect!  I had just executed the shot on an unexpecting whitetail buck, what could better? 

This "soon-to-be" giant buck made the mistake of stopping right underneath my treestand in mid-November.  I took several photos of him that afternoon as he munched on acorns and kept me company for hours.

Well, several things could have been better.  For one, I could have “shot” the buck with my bow, not my camera, and two, the buck could have been bigger than a button buck, but I was thrilled nonetheless.  For me personally, hunting whitetail deer and photography are one in the same.  They both provide me with an inexplicable amount of satisfaction and enjoyment. Conversely, they are a skill and passion of mine that I will never fully understand and master, and do quite well knowing that.   

That being said, I’m sure the majority all of us have been outdoors, not even hunting I’m sure, and the natural world struck us with such beauty and awe, that we felt compelled to take a picture.  There’s no such thing as a bad picture, except a picture not taken.  The world famous Ansel Adams once authored this quote, “There are no rules for good photographs, just good photographs.”  I agree wholeheartedly.  However, since outdoor photography is art, a form of personal expression, I  wouldn’t feel comfortable authoring a “How To: Outdoor Photography” article, but I’ve learned enough through trial and error (many errors) on how to get the most out of your outdoor, landscape, scenic and hunting related photographs.

Rules of Composition

As stated above, I don’t feel comfortable at all writing an article telling you how you should go about taking your photos.  We’ve all been blessed with a creative mind, some more so than others, but it would be repulsive of me to claim to stake as an omniscient photographer, because there is no such thing.

There are however, a few rules that should be followed to get the most out of your photos, the rules of composition.  A poorly structured photo can turn a beautiful image into a train wreck.  

Rule of Thirds

The first and most common rule is the rule of thirds which states that you should place the most important subjects of your photo along 9 equal, imaginary segments broken down by two vertical and horizontal imaginary lines.  This adds depth, interest and balance to your photo, and can help tell a more involved story opposed to a subject centered image.

An example of how the rule of thirds helps balance the photo.

Ascending or Descending Lines

A little quality time in a treestand will tell you that we live in a vertical world.  It makes sense, because everything grows towards the sun, so it’s only natural that our eyes are drawn to lines.  Keeping these lines in mind when taking photos can greatly determine how we look at a photograph and the best part is, it’s up to the viewer to determine what each line means and how it tells a story within a photo.

An example of descending lines can take your eyes straight to the subject of the photo.


Experimenting with different viewpoints is a very fun and unique way to develop your own creative photography style.  When outside shooting photos, we often feel rushed to get the perfect shot, without taking into consideration how the image could look if we changed our view point.  Changing your viewpoint can be easily done by shooting your subject at an angle, from an elevated position or from ground level.  Again, it’s your creative decision.  Photography is starting to sound pretty cool now, isn’t it?

I dropped down to my knees to capture this photograph.  Simply standing and shooting down at my dad's hand wouldn't have created such a dramatic effect.


Depth is perhaps my favorite photography “rule” simply because the majority of my photos are meant to tell a story, and adding depth to an image is a great way to do so.  Altering your framing as to place different subjects at varying distances in the foreground, middle ground, or background (or all three) adds depth to the story literally, as well as figuratively.  Another cool photography technique is using one subject to block, or reveal (your creative mind will decide that for you), another subject.  Again, this is another cool way to tell a story with an image.  

There are two subjects in this photo, one the foreground and one in the background.  Combined, the two come together to tell a story about the hunter and his beliefs.

Another shot where depth helps tell a more complete story.

Photography Equipment

In a world powered by social media, beautiful outdoor images pop up in our news feed and timelines regularly.  That’s because the technology in cameras continues to evolve making photography easier to learn and practice, more user friendly.  Fantastic photos can be taken with small point and shoots, and even mobile devices can capture a beautiful image. 

However, if you’re truly interested in outdoor photography, you’re going to need much, much more than those devices.  A point shoot can’t gather enough light to do a sunset justice, and your iPhone isn’t capable of the long exposures required to capture starlit nights.   

Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras are becoming more and more popular, because they are becoming cheaper, easier to use and are capturing incredible images like never before.  What body you decide on is a lot like what bow you decide to shoot, it’s purely a personal preference.  Some cameras just feel better in hand to some photographers, while others don’t.  The bottom line is the camera doesn’t make a great shot, the photographer manning the camera does.

Before purchasing a camera and lens, develop a budget with which you are comfortable.  When making purchase decisions, however, remember that a quality lens is far more important that the camera body.

Many folks who are new or inexperienced in the world of photography mistakenly think that a camera body is the most important piece of equipment needed for their arsenal, when in reality they couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Yes, a camera body is important, of course, but it takes a figurative back seat to what lens you are attaching to that body.  Provided you don’t crack the glass, your lens will outlive any camera body, and your glass quality is what really gives you the beautiful contrast, sharpness, clarity and depth of field that will really make your photos pop.   

Landscape, Scenic Photography

Landscape photography is perhaps the most common form of photography, simply because the natural world is filled to the brim with beautiful imagery everywhere you look.  Whether you live in the city, the mountains or the Great Plains, breathtaking views are plentiful and willing to be captured by the creative and willing photographer.  

I've often heard folks say that the world just looks dead in late December.  I beg to differ!

Personally, I want to create a sense of passion with my landscape photos, a feeling that the viewer was there with me when I took the photo, and I want to share with them how I see the world.  Rarely do I want to trigger a viewer’s intellectual.  To me, as complex as photography can be, it should be more about feelings and emotions, and less about thinking and the analytical.  This can be easily achieved with landscape photography.  A shot of a bronze sky over a barn could tell a story of a hot, hard day’s work during the summer.  While a barren field with overcast skies certainly tells illustrates a blustery cold winters day.

What mood do you feel after viewing this photo?  I think of a springtime thunderstorm about dump buckets of rain on a booming clover food plot!

To me, this photo has great sentimental value.  But for you, however, it could mean something totally different!  That's the beauty of photography.

Wildlife Photography

Wildlife photography is perhaps the sexiest form of photography, especially to us hunters, because if there’s a substitute to putting an arrow through a mature whitetail, snapping a photo of him with your camera has to be a close second.  Unfortunately, wildlife photography is also the most difficult form of outdoor photography, because, like hunting you’re at the animal’s mercy.  

This is my favorite photo of a whitetail deer that I have ever been lucky enough to capture.  I was simply in the right place at the right time.

The most common obstacle outdoor photographer’s encounter when trying to capture images of wildlife is getting close to their subject.  It’s been well documented that animals aren’t comfortable in the presence of humans, especially when said human has a strange decide pointing right at them, it tends to make them uneasy and on edge.  So, to capture wildlife when they are calm and relaxed, a lens with a strong zoom, at least 200mm, is almost necessary.  This will allow animals within 40 yards to be photographed tightly enough for a strong image, and will allow for incredible detail for close up shots on animals less than 20 yards.  

This buck was no more than 20 yards from my car when he posed for me for a little over 2 minutes this past August.  I was able to capture several photos and record about 30 seconds of video footage of him as well.

Actually capturing images of wildlife (okay, some wildlife) isn’t as hard as it first sounds.  When I say wildlife photographer, I am sure you are thinking of an individual in a ghile suit hidden in the brush waiting for a deer to walk by.  While that is certainly one way to capture photos, and necessary for many species of wildlife, beautiful photos of deer, turkeys, birds of prey, and the occasional fox or coyote can be attributed to a simple drive around back country roads.  Animals feeding in fields near roadways are usually very tolerable of vehicles and will often allow you to snap several shots before either trotting back to cover, or resume feeding, especially during the summer.  

Every so often you stumble your way onto a crisp, clear and colorful photo.  Such is the case with this nervous doe.  She was very close to my car, and I was fortunate enough to grab a couple photos of her before she bolted back in the timber. 


Outdoor photography is a wonderful art form and a beautiful means of expression.  It gives creative minds a chance to come out and play and, with a little practice, it gives not so creative minds a chance to explore the world in ways they never thought possible.  If you’re an amateur or photographer who is just beginning to explore the world of capturing still images, or a seasoned veteran who’s been shooting their entire lives, I hope this article has given you some useful information you can to the field with you.  Just remember, there are no rules when it comes to photography, so grab your camera, head outside snap some photos and about all else, enjoy the beauty that is the natural world! 

Buffalo Point: Land of Enchantment

by Daniel James Hendricks 20. October 2011 13:58
Daniel James Hendricks

   Bears were plentiful with lots of opportunities for both bows and cameras.

If you’ve never experienced the taste of chocolate and someone tries to describe the sensation to you, it’s impossible to grasp the undeniable pleasure that you will experience when the sweet substance finally passes over your tongue.  Such is the case I experienced with an enchanting land called Buffalo Point.

  Wyman Sangster is the outfitter at Buffalo Point and was please I finally made the trip there.

Wyman Sangster and I first met at the Wisconsin Deer and Turkey Expo a few years back; my personal relationship with him has been one of those special affiliations that was rich right from the very start and like fine wine has only gotten better with the passing of time.  From the very onset of our association, he pleaded with me to come to Buffalo Point in the Northwest Angle on Lake of the Woods to see where he lives and the hunting and fishing Nirvana he had just discovered just a few years earlier, himself.  What he neglected to mention was what a wonderful getaway it was for those of us who are addicted to digitally immortalizing our trophies with photographic paraphernalia.

I dilly-dallied on Wyman’s invitation and finally this spring took him up on his offer to hunt bear there.  By the time the week ended, I had been exposed to enough of the natural wonders of Buffalo Point to be hooked on that outdoorsman’s paradise for the rest of my earthly existence.

 The Points 18-hole golf course was a beautiful with wildlife running all over it.

Upon arrival, I quickly tracked Wyman and his wife, Darlene down on the fifth hole of the beautiful Buffalo Point golf course.  It was the first time I had met Darlene so I took some time to get to know her as I followed along while they finished their first nine holes.  This bear hunt, which will be an HBM Hunt Club Annual event, is the only one that I have ever heard of that offers free golf during the week of the hunt.  From dawn to mid-afternoon, it is golfing or fishing and then the evenings are packed with the nail-biting excitement of bear hunting.

At the end of the first nine, Wyman instructed me on how to find my lodging at the Marina.  With that information securely locked in my head, I headed for what would be my home for the next week.  I stopped at the Marina, which serves as the main desk for the dozen or so lakeside cabins as well as being Buffalo Point’s grocery store, bait shop, camping & boat launching headquarters; and the local coffee shop for the seasonal residents that call Buffalo Point home from early spring to late fall.  I picked up my key, got directions and quickly found my luxury cabin.  It was beautiful!  Screened in porch, full kitchen, 2-bedrooms, whirlpool tub in the bath, a deck right on the lakeshore and satellite TV so I could watch Fox News.  It was military clean and exceedingly wonderful. 

Curt Thunder and his wife, Cheryl were gracious hosts and excellent company.

Within an hour, I met the gentleman who was to serve as my guide for the week.  Buffalo Point has its own Gamekeeper, a local by the name of Curt Thunder.  Curt grew up on Buffalo Point and knows its lake, land, swamps and rivers like the back of his hand from 40+ years of traipsing from one end of it to the other.  He has a gentle soul, a sharp wit and we quickly formed a bond that deepened during the many hours we spent together over the next seven days.  I was the only hunter on this trip so I was able to accompany Curt as he made his rounds replenishing the bait stations each day; I also spent a lot of time with him and his wife Cheryl who went out of her way to provide wonderful meals, great company and a heck of a lot of laughs.  The Thunders are a great family and I am pleased to have added them to my special-friends list.

Curt’s job is to oversee the wellbeing of the Buffalo Point wildlife and to serve as host to the bear, deer and duck hunters that come there to fulfill their hunting dreams.  His keen intelligence and seemingly endless wood lore provide a stimulating and entertaining atmosphere enriching the experience of all who come to harvest wild game at The Point. 

Signs warn hikers about the baits close to the settlement.

As the number of permanent homes increased at Buffalo Point, so did the number of nuisance-bear incidents.  Buildings were broken into, there was exterior damage, and garbage cans were destroyed and scattered creating a hazardous problem.  Over fifty bear complaints a year was a serious dilemma; but, when you build a burgeoning community in the middle of bear country, you should expect a certain amount of “incidents” with a sleuth of bears living in the neighborhood.

To remedy the problem, Curt has been put in charge of feeding the bears from the time they exit their dens in the early spring until the bountiful berry season begins on the Point.  Blueberries, wild strawberries, saskatoons, chokecherries, pin cherries and acorns are all prolific on the Point, easily keeping the bears fed, once the natural food comes into season; but for the first few months after thaw, Curt’s daily trips into the thick forests and swamps of the Point, keep the bears exactly where they belong – in the woods.  This system not only nearly eliminates bear complaints, but it also creates an arena of premium bear hunting.  My wildlife photo morgue is plump with bear photos thanks to the six nights on the stands at Buffalo Point and two of those nights I sat in the rain and saw no bears at all.

Cheryl Thunder has a natural way of putting the animals of Buffalo Point at ease. 

The second night of the hunt I blew a chance at one of the biggest spring bears I have ever seen in the bush.  It was in the very last moments of daylight and I had just put away my camera as was sitting there thinking when I should have been picking up my bow.  The big bruin suddenly appeared from out of the thick cover, causing my heart to momentarily stop.  It was truly an incredible specimen!  In the heat of the adrenaline overdose I was experiencing, I reached for my crossbow, which was hanging on the tree.  It was just enough movement to alert the bear and give me a good glimpse of its ample behind disappearing into the bright green undergrowth; proving once again that one is never too old to make stupid mistakes.  I passed on a lot of bears at the Point, but that humongous creature was the big-daddy of the week and I had blown it.

On that very same stand the last night of the hunt, amid desperate prayers for another opportunity at that burly beast, I took a smaller bear as the day was fading into darkness. This particular bear had been stuffing itself for an hour and had shown no signs of alarm or concern indicating to me that the big bear was not in the immediate area.  When the big boys are within spitting range of the bait, the little guys can sense their presence and head for cover so they are not brutally beaten for their lack of respect.

 The very last night of the hunt, this bear fell prey to my crossbow as the daylight fled.

It had been several years since I had taken a bear so decided that this one would be a perfect specimen to break the drought; it definitely would make for a good freezer stuffer.  A lot of good photos of the bear had been taken, so I definitely had my trophy to hang on the wall.  Watching the bear eat had done little to arouse my excitement, even when it started to climb my tree at one point; but once the decision to take it was made, I lost control as the adrenaline surged through my system in anticipation of the kill.

Sitting on the very point one morning I was joined by a pair of curious otters. 

Waiting until I had a perfect broadside, I placed the glowing red circle of the scope on its black rib cage and gently squeezed the trigger of the Kodabow.  The silence of the darkening forest was crushed by the discharge of the arrow as I watched it blaze a brilliant red streak to the target, compliments of the Lumenock tip.  The doomed bear spun on its hind legs, ran to the tree directly behind the middle barrel and climbed high off the ground.  The bruin, I believe, thought that it had been sneak-attacked by the bigger bear and was fleeing up the tree to safety.  Little did it realize that its fate had already been sealed by the Rage broadhead that had ventilated its goodie box.  Eventually the bear came crashing to the ground in a fall that would have killed it were it not already gone.

 There are more Canadian Geese that people on Buffalo Point with goslings galore.

I signaled Curt and his nephew who were sitting offshore doing a bit of fishing and they came to assist in the removal of the bear.  The process brought to a perfect end, what had been a wonderful week.  The next morning after skinning the bear, I packed and headed for home, already looking forward to coming back to play some more in the natural beauty of Buffalo Point.

Buffalo Point 2012

If you are interested in booking a spring bear hunt or a fall bear/whitetail or waterfowl hunt at Buffalo Point give the HBM Main Desk a closer look. The entire Buffalo Point experience is one that will definitely leave you wanting to come back for more.  Curt Thunder, the Buffalo Point Gamekeeper, is also willing to work with disabled hunters for both bear and whitetails in the fall.  If you are physically challenged and want a truly remarkable adventure in an enchanted land of the wild things, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Eagles were everywhere.  This shot was taken near one of two nest on the golf course.













Final Food Plot Preparations and Whitetail Photography

by Cody Altizer 25. August 2011 11:06
Cody Altizer

I hate this time of year.  Late August and early September to me is like Christmas Eve to a 5 year old youngster ready to jump on mom and dad’s bed the minute they wake up on Christmas morning.  So close, yet so far away.  What I enjoy most in my simplistically complex world is about to begin so, so soon: college football, the fall season, but more importantly the start of another bowhunting season.  This last stretch is brutal, because I can see myself sitting in an opening day stand, but it’s all a little blurry still.  However, the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting cooler and I’ve just spent the final month prepping my final food plots and getting a gauge on the caliber of deer in my area.  It won’t be long folks, it won’t be long…

I am counting on these oats to provide a consistent and reliable food source this fall.

My food plot season has been very erratic this year so far.  If you are a follower of my blogs, you read back in May how exceptionally well my clover was doing.  With spring rains and warm nights, it had grown to lush 17 inches in height and the deer couldn’t eat it down if they tried.  Fast forward to mid-August, and my clover was on the brink of exhaustion.  As deer farmers across the country are well aware, this summer has been brutally hot and dry, and West Central Virginia was no exception.  From July 4th to August 15th, we went without a drop of rain.  And when I say not a drop of rain, I don’t mean a trace here or there, I mean zero drops of water touched my food plots.  Still, there was a respectable amount of Imperial Clover in the plot, but it was hurting badly.

Quality fertilizer will give your food plots an added boost!

I still had to get my fall food plots planted, though.  So, with on August 14th my dad and I got the tractor, seeder and spreader ready to plant our fall plots.  There was rain in the forecast so we going to take advantage of a sunny Sunday and trust the weatherman.  We had a lot of success last year broadcasting oats, turnips and rape so I stuck with that combination again this year.  I manned the hand seeder and dad hopped on the ATV with the spreader and we got our seeds in the ground in no time, although we were both a bit dusty.  The next step was to throw down some fertilizer to give the crops a boost once they germinated and hopefully taste a little bit sweeter to the deer this fall.  The final step, a step that is critical for all food plotters and one I feel they often neglect, pray for rain.   And rain it did!  That night and into the morning we got a slow steady soaking rain, the perfect rain to get those seeds germinated and growing in no time!  The following afternoon we received another good soaking and I, along with the wildlife in West Central Virginia all took a deep breath and gave Thanks.

What's bare earth now will hopefully be loaded with turnips, rape and oats here soon!

The moisture we received from those rains should be enough to shock my clover plots back to life, and get my fall plots off and running.  Provided we get average rainfall (and I type this with my fingers cross, pretty talented, eh?) my plots should be alive and well come October 1st.  I have never had a consistent, reliable food source on my property during the hunting season, but I am confident I will this season.  Despite the harsh weather this summer, I stand by my prediction that I will shoot a whitetail opening day.  While a specific stand hasn’t been decided on (why can’t the wind blow from the North West all the time?) I will either shoot a buck or doe going back to bed after a nightly feeding in my food plots during a morning hunt, or arrow one on their way to snack during the afternoon.  It will happen.

I was also able to get out and snap some photos on the deer on my property as well.  I’ve had my worst summer ever running trail cameras, but I had a little bit more luck with my Canon 7D.  I was able to get some decent photos of a couple does and a young 8 pointer making his way to feed in a hay field one afternoon.  If outdoor photography is something that interests you, let me recommend Cambell Cameras to you.  They have everything the aspiring outdoor photographer and videographer could want or need.  Enjoy the photos!

This doe already has it figured out and the season is still over a month away!

I intercepted this buck on his way to a freshly cut hay field for an afternoon snack.  I still haven't made up my mind if I would shoot this buck or not?

Over the years my family and I have done a good job of keeping doe numbers in check, but each year brings new opportunities to harvest does.  Hopefully, I'll get an opportunity at one opening day!

As close as I am to sitting in a tree stand, I still have over a month to wait.  That’s a harsh reality that I, and many of you out there, must accept.  True, it will be here be we know it, but that doesn’t make that time go by any quicker.  Think of it this way, after reading this blog, you are that much closer to your opening day.  

Summer Trophy Shots

by Daniel James Hendricks 24. June 2011 00:56
Daniel James Hendricks

The summer months are a great time slot to hone your photography skills with a bevy of occasions that afford the serious camera buff an opportunity to capture some great trophy shots.  One just needs to have their camera ready and then be observant enough to recognize a good photo op when he or she sees one.

Carrying your camera in your car could provide a photo like this one that will be captured rather than remembered as an occasion that you wished you had your camera.  

 With the advent of digital photography, any concern about cost and wasted shots should be permanently shelved, since they are no longer relevant.  One should never be accused of taking too few photos, however, that is still one of the greatest errors most shooters make.  You have the camera and should have a spare disk so use them!  Shoot everything and shoot often, keeping in mind that the more photos you take, the greater the chances of shooting a real winner.  As with so many other things in life, photography is a numbers game.

Watch for interesting character-study shots like the furrowed brows of this little fellow at a community art festival.  

A serious photographer should have his camera close at hand for that special shot wherever he or she goes.  But if you leave it at home hidden in a drawer and are presented with that classic “once in a lifetime shot”  all you will have is sad memories of what could have been.  Even if your camera is in your vehicle, you can make a mad dash to the car if an opportunity presents itself.  The best remedy, however is to purchase a camera case with a shoulder strap or belt loop and carry it with you at all times.  Definitely make sure that it is close at hand if you plan an outing of any kind, be it a reunion, a trip to the lake or a jaunt to a summer community event, which is almost a mandatory happening in most towns.  Even a road trip can provide countless photo opportunities that will dress up anyone’s photo morgue.

 Candid shots, often using a telephoto lens will allow you to catch people reacting without the pressure of knowing they are "in focus".

Family outings are great for humorous shots as it seems that someone is always clowning around and they provide one with a great opportunity for “people-photo” practice.  Try to capture as many candid shots as possible as shots of people doing what they do naturally always seems to make for better photos.  Even as common place as cameras are, there is something about pointing one at a person that just seems to drain the “natural” vitality from your subject.  Very few people will remain true to their form when being zeroed in by the lens.

Never go to a flea market or fair without your camera to record the colors, the sights and the vast array of poeple you will find there.

While at these social gatherings, don’t forget to look around for other subjects that may catch your eye.  Pets, landscapes, flowers, a grill full of food, and street scenes are just a few of the things that could possibly provide the sharp eye with a rewarding image caught in the right light, the right time or with the right activity taking place there.  And always look beyond the main area of activity.  Sometimes a great frame will present itself just around the corner of a building or as close as fifty yards from where the main center of activity is.  Don’t be afraid to wander away towards something that catches your attention, it may very well provide you with the shot of the day.

 Keep your eyes peeled for subjects that are clowning around.  You never know what clicking your shutter at the right time can capture.

Community events are a natural for a camera.  It seems like each community has its own summertime celebration filled with special events, parades, good food and lots of people activity.  County Fairs, the State Fair, a carnival or sporting event are all excellent opportunities to hone your photographic skills.  Record the meetings with your friends and neighbors at these centers of activity by taking their pictures, which can later be used as a framed hostess gift or included in a personal Christmas card.  There is no one who does not openly or secretly appreciate a copy of their image doing whatever they do.  Again, if you are walking down the street during a community celebration, don’t forget to keep you eyes open for a planter filled with beautiful flowers, a unique angle shot of the geometric layout of a handsome brick wall or an interesting cloud formation that is framing an interesting skyline.

 If you go to see fireworks and you don't bring your camera, you're missing an  opportunity to learn more about your camera and collect some great shots.

Animal shots abound especially in the early morning and late afternoon if one takes a drive in the country.  Most shots can be taken from the car window, others require a stop and stalk procedure.  In the earlier part of the summer, it is easy to find areas where families of Canadian geese are tending their young affording some great shots for the naturalist photographer.  It is also common to see young deer that have yet to be taught the danger of human beings, as well as young animals of a multitude of species.  Spend a couple of hours camped out at a humming bird feeder.  You will be surprised what you will be able to capture.

 Keep you camera handy becuase you never know when you will be presented with an opportunity for a family photo like this one.

Over 90% of all living things are insects and with the macro capabilities of the latest cameras, this is one area that will provide some really great shots and bugs are everywhere.  This is one more area that provides countless photo ops if the photographer has not limited his vision to the big stuff.  Butterflies are some of the most obvious, but there are kinds of colorful, crawly-stuff that will provide interesting snapshots of a world most folks are oblivious to.  I don’t let bugs bug me, I shoot `em with my camera.

Moving slowly and using your zoom can produce shots like this one when you are ready with your camera and perhaps a monopod.

 There are far too many opportunities to list individually in a short article, but hopefully this short piece has given you some ideas and will serve as a reminder that every day is hunting season when you are carrying your camera.  And remember that there are no limits, no gut piles and the outstanding trophies that you shoot will adorn your walls and the walls of others for years to come. 

Remember to think small and look for the littlest of subjects.  Make learning to use the Marcro feature of your camera a priority.




Categories: Blog | Current News

First hard antlered buck of the summer!

by Scott Abbott 28. August 2008 11:58
Scott Abbott

It is almost that time..... I am now exactly one month away from Ohio's 2008-2009 bow opener. The anticipation has been building and last evening I got another shot of adrenaline while pulling out of a gas well access road after checking a game cam. Across the road in a very lush and green soy bean field was a bachelor group of four bucks. It was a hodgepodge of a bachelor group if I have ever saw one as well. A yearling spike, an 80 inch eight point, a 110 inch eight point and a very good looking 10 point, in hard antler I would put into the low to mid 140's!

Unfortunately, I was unable to get any photos of them. I did however run into a few more bucks as I drove to another farm. I snapped this photo about 3/4's of a mile down the road from the farm I hunt. Not a slammer, but a solid buck none-the-less.


Summer Sightings

by Justin Zarr 22. August 2008 09:59
Justin Zarr

The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting cooler, and summer is finally starting to wind down.  Here in Northern IL we had a great summer for deer sightings and trail camera photos.  The spring rains and moderate temps throughout this summer have allowed the crops to flourish and bean fields that started off slow are now more than waist-high.  As many people know quite often the single best time to spot deer during the entire year is during the summer while they're relaxed and on fairly predictable feeding patterns.   Just about every evening from mid-July through mid-August you can take a right around and spot deer feeding in fields, front yards, and anywhere else they can find food sources high in protien. 

Unfortunately I live a good bit away from both of my hunting spots so to get my fix of deer sightnings without spending a fortune on gas I stayed closer to home and patrolled many of the backroads and forest preserves in the area.  I decided to bring my still camera with me and experiment a little bit with some amateur photography while I was at it.  I am using a Nikon D40 camera with a 55-200mm 4-5.6 VR lens, for those who are wondering.  It works well enough for now but eventually I'd like to get a nice f2.8 telephoto lens.  Too bad they're a little out of my price range for right now!  The photos are cropped and color correct to make them look a little better than my photography skills really are.  

Here are a few of the shots I got during some of my trips.  I hope you enjoy them!

This nice 2 year old was with a group of 7 other bucks feeding in someone's front yard while I took pictures of them for close to 20 minutes.

A beautiful summer evening in Northern Illinois.  You've gotta love it!

Fawns are always fun to watch and this one didn't seem to mind me one bit.

This buck was with another giant that I couldn't get a shot of through the trees.  The amazing part is they were at least a mile from the nearest woodlot and walked up a pencil thin fencerow along the back of some houses to get to this bean field.  It's amazing how much a buck's stomach will dictate his movements throughout the year.
Categories: Justin Zarr

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