Nature Photography in Your Own Backyard

Nature Photography in Your Own Backyard
by Kristel Schneider

Nature Photography in your Backyard sounds easy but you still have to walk around and look for the right light, different angles and backgrounds to create an interesting image.
Yesterday afternoon I decided to remove the dust from my Sigma 150mm macro lens. I noticed that lately I was stuck to my 300mm L 4.0 lens for close-up photography so I made myself walk around with the Sigma lens and I looked for a nice insect or a nice flower.

This little Crab Spider (Thomisidae) was waiting for its next pray. I did not see the spider at first because it was white and sitting on a white flower.
For me ‘the white on white’ was interesting  so I looked around for some nice soft background light. I turned and turned to get another  flower  in the upper part of the frame to make the composition complete.

The white little spider has two orange/red stripes and while I was looking for different angles I noticed an orange Lily nearby. In my mind this could be a nice repetition of the two colors and the white from the flower against the orange background would provide a nice color contrast.  While waiting for the little spider to move into the right position on the flower I walked around and tried out different angles and positions.

Both images were taken with a Canon 5DMII -Sigma 150 Macro lens, natural light.

Nature backyard photography tips:

  • Look for an interesting  subject (flowerbeds, insects, different details, water movement, etc.) and study it.
  • Think about different compositions.
  • Look for the right light (natural light or fill flash, reflectors)
  • Look for a nice background color and/or elements.
  • Walk around your subject and try out different angles.

The first Woman Only Nature Photography Tour in Iceland

Iceland – Photography Workshop for Woman Only
Southern Iceland and Highlands in 9 days

Photographers: Kristel Schneider and Marketa Kalvachova
Date: 4 – 12 July 2013

Iceland, an inspiriting and unique popular destination amongst photography tourists. This is one of the reasons why Kristel Schneider and Marketa Kalvachova have chosen this destination for the first women’s only Nature Photography Workshop Tour. To explore top photographic locations in a female only environment participants will reconnect with themselves, develop their creativity and most of all feel free in a group who shares the same interests and creative mindset.

What to expect during this trip
Diverse scenery will take your breath away as well as the different light conditions and untouched nature sceneries. We will explore the South coast of Iceland by car and along walking trails. Although the main focus will be Landscape Photography those of you who like macro or close-up photography will have plenty of opportunities to indulge during the walks. You will get personal field instruction and photo feedback. There will be no competition or lots of technical talks but a great learning experience, and of course a lot of fun with great out-door activities. We will travel in a small group and sleep in guesthouses whose warm and welcoming owners will make you feel at home. In the evening we will share enjoyable nice local food.

Photographic topics
Glaciers, glaciers lagoons with ice rocks, rugged coastlines, waterfalls, meadows with wild flowers, spouting geyser, seals, hot bath and much more.

Term and duration
4 – 12 July 2013  – 9 days and 8 nights

Click here for more information.

Autumn Photography

Autumn Photography
by Kristel Schneider

Autumn, one of the most beautiful seasons of the year. A season full with colors and atmosphere .

Every year the Autumn season makes a photographer’s heart go faster and every year is different. This year the season was late, the climate was too warm to bring out the nice autumn colors on the trees. But when the trees finally are at their best, photographers have to act quick because the top season does not last long. Rain and wind can destroy the scenery overnight.  The sun is not always required for Autumn photography an overcast day and mist are great weather conditions to get these colors popup.

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TIPS for successful Autumn Photography:
– go out even if the weather is cloudy and grey
– get up early to get the first light even in combination with mist.
– use a polarization filter, the colors  get more intense and the filter is also very useful for
wet leaves reflection .
– look at your white balance settings, try out different modes.
– when taking photos of mushrooms look at your background to create a nice color

Even the late Autumn colors (red/brown tints) are nice to capture in landscape photography. So although this year may not have been the top Autumn season, even now,  in November, it is still nice to go out and enjoy some mushrooms and  the late season colors.

New autumn workshop/tour dates available for 2012.

Photowalk in Clermont Ferrand

Word Wide Photowalk
Clermont Ferrand, France
By Kristel Schneider

Saturday, October 1st, Clermont Ferrand was part of the largest global Social Event for Photographers: the 4th edition of Scott Kelby’s World Wide Photo Walk.
I was happy to organize this local walk and be the leader of a small but enthusiastic photo group. We had a great day and were lucky to enjoy some very nice weather!

From today on the group members can upload a photo of their choice and take part in the Local and World Wide photo contest. I will pick the Local winner, the best image from the Clermont Ferrand walk which will then take part in the WWPW photo contest. Scott Kelby and his team will choose the grand winner.

See for more images my Facebook page .

Stag Beetles series

Stag Beetles Series
by Kristel Schneider

Stag Beetles (Lucanidae) are robust insects with black or reddish brown colouration.
The smaller ones even have a bluish sheen. The males have greatly enlarged, toothed mandibles; females are often smaller. The antennae are elbowed or bent in the middle.
More info about this wonderful insect click here.

For my Beetle photo shoot I wanted to get some soft focus images and some general detailed ones. The insects were wandering around on and in  the tree trunk, the males didn’t really fight but where just getting in the defense ‘position’ what was nice for a background. The morning light provided me with some nice soft (background) light.
I tried some different angles and depth of fields and worked with my Canon 5DMark II and Canon 40D with different lenses (300mm + extension tube and the 150 macro lens).

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