Stephen Kirkpatrick

Friday, March 30, 2012

Hanging By A Thread

Nature has a beautiful side and nature has a "survival" side. Below is a photo of a great blue heron with its foot dangling, held in place only by a slender ligament. I assume a gator almost had a meal. The heron escaped an instant death, but for a wading bird, walking will be tough.

Great Blue Heron with Dangling Foot
October 1983

Close-up of Foot

Monday, March 26, 2012

Look, Up In The Sky

It's a bird, it's a plant...No, it's a new way to see. 

Because we aren't wired to look UP, we are often oblivious to the photographic opportunities above us. Next time you're outdoors, look straight up. You might be surprised by what you see. (Still looking for shot #8 On A Roll.)

Great Egret in Flight

Bigleaf Magnolia

Sunrays Through Clouds

Green Sea Turtle

Sweetgum and Pine Trees

Green Iguana in Moonlight

Fragrant Water Lilies

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Impatience, NOT A Good Trait

I just got a roll of film back that included a shot intended to be the first image on my current On A Roll shoot. I had suspected the shot might be blurry, and decided to start over again with a fresh roll. Seeing this film now proves my instincts were right. The initial shot was indeed blurry and overexposed. I'm glad I started over.  

Below is an excerpt from my December 19th blog (read entire entry there.)

I was preparing to head out myself when an nice eight-point buck walked out and headed for the spot then stopped to smell. When he lifted his head, click. I got it. 

But from the moment I pushed the shutter release, I worried about the shot not turning out well because of the shutter speed being too slow, causing the image to be blurry from lens movement. It was, after all, the very first shot of what would  be a long, challenging photo assignment. Yesterday, when I saw the evening clouds building, I decided to pull the roll and start over. It turned out to be a good idea. While loading the new roll, I noticed I had adjusted the exposure compensation to give another stop of light. I had done this on one of my last shots in California a couple of weeks ago and had forgotten to go back and reset it. The deer would not only have been blurry, but it would have also been overexposed. This was all caused by two weeks of trying to get an opening shot for On A Roll for which I had become very impatient, NOT a good trait for a wildlife/nature photographer, especially shooting film.

Close-up view (blurry and overexposed)

1)  White-tailed Deer Buck - (H)
Madison County, MS
December 14, 2011 - 4:55 pm
Partly Cloudy, 66 degrees
500mm, 1/6@f4, Tripod

(original entry before I started over)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Two Days, 3 Minutes

Later this month, we'll release a promotional video for Muddy Water Camo on our website The footage was shot last Monday and Tuesday near Stuttgart, AR. Following are a few "behind the scenes" shots that you might enjoy. It's hard to imagine how much goes into a three-minute video. 

Day 1:  Scouting the location, setting up a jib in a swamp, and prepping the site for the next day's shoot.

"McGyvering" the jib base
(which consisted of some cinderblocks and plywood) in the swamp

Setting out decoys

The Muddy Water Crew

Not your average production studio 

In keeping with the company name...

Day 2: Setting up electronics and cameras, rehearsing lines in the swamp, and shooting scenes

The talent arrives on set

Director Joel Strickland checks the camera placement 

Testing the camera, monitor, and jib swing arm

Positioning the talent, aka Steve Maloney

"Have you rehearsed your lines?" - Producer Marlo Kirkpatrick

Co-star Jazzy waiting for her cue

Getting into final position

Rehearsing and blocking Steve Maloney's opening line: "Water. Hellooo, Waaaater!" 

(all photos taken with Nikon P7000 camera)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Moments In Time

Ansel Adams

"Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.”                                                                                              - Ansel Adams -
The Tetons and the Snake River (1942)
Ansel Adams

A photograph or series of photographs tells a story. It could be a short story, caption, novel, mystery, poetry, news feature, memoir – the list goes on. But the image lives as a moment in time, a record of life on earth as it passes before our eyes. Capturing that moment with a camera is the challenge.

There are many elements that contribute to photographic success, but timing is the single most important one. Capturing the perfect moment in the perfect light is easier said than done. It may take much preparation, traveling many miles, or waiting hours, days, weeks, or even years, but when the time is right there is no arguing the result. Great moments are more “time" important than “subject" important, and a great subject can be ruined or exalted by timing. In photography, the old cliche holds true - timing is everything.

Below are several examples of perfect timing, from a split second to a year.

Wood Duck Taking Off
1/500 sec.

Downey Woodpecker
1/15 sec.

Mallard Hen Taking Off
1 sec.

White-tailed Deer Feeding
8 seconds

Dragonfly Growing
1 Week

Green Dragon Fruit
1 Month

Sweetgum Tree in Summer
Sweetgum Tree in Fall

Sweetgum Tree in Winter

Sweetgum Tree in Spring
1 Year

Follow by Email