Category Archives: Photography
OK…I’ve been so busy shooting, processing, and selecting my Wildlife in Focus images that I forgot to mention something VERY important to me. For the second year in a row, Stephen Fisher Photography has been juried into the Rockport Art Festival!
This is a HUGE event held over the 4th of July weekend every year in Rockport, TX. Art patrons come from over and historically are ready to buy fine art. I did well at this show last year and hope to do so again this year.
One thing is always certain for the Rockport Art Festival…It’ll be HOT!
OK…I received some good news yesterday. Stephen Fisher Photography will be exhibiting at the Texas Artists’ Exhibition. This show will be at the Beeville Art Museum in Beeville, Texas from August 3rd through the 24th, 2013.
I submitted two images, and both were juried into this exhibition! I’m both flattered and excited to have my art displayed at the Beeville Art Museum. If you’re in the Beeville area during the exhibition, I hope you’ll stop by…SEF
I used to think that I lived…breathed…and dreamed my photography. I’d go out and shoot several times a week and thought that was committing to my craft. Not even close…
Most of my photographer friends are more or less “specialists”. They might predominantly shoot weddings, sports, landscapes/seascapes, nature, or whatever. Sure…they occasionally shoot other things. But their comfort zone lives within their specialty.
Shooting the Wildlife in Focus photo competition humbled me professionally. I already knew how to shoot birds. I understand birds. I study birds. I can predict bird behavior. For example…many birds lean forward or defecate just before they take off from a perch. I’ve observed this MANY times and always look for it to happen.
Before this contest, I knew VERY little about ranches…mammals…invertebrates…or reptiles and amphibians. I really didn’t have a clue as to how to photograph these subjects. Except for 13 months in Viet Nam…I’ve never hunted. My communing with nature was done mostly on golf courses! As my friend Wyman Meinzer is fond of saying…”These are not zoo animals!”
I had to learn fast. With only 3 months available to produce 100 HIGH quality images, I needed to be on the Texas Photo Ranch MOST days! Just taking some snapshots…which is fun…will not get the job done in this contest. A whole LOT of these other photographers are VERY good!
I was blessed to be on such a good ranch…with owners who want to help in any way. Sometimes we’d (Wade Grassedonio and Steve Cashell) shoot together, but most of the time I was alone. I knew how to work a bird blind, but finding snakes, alligators, caterpillars, rabbits, etc. was new to me. Again, not only did I need to find them, I needed to get high quality images of them.
I’ve learned a LOT through this wonderful experience. I haven’t the slightest idea of how I’ll stack up with the others. As soon as I turn in the 100 images, it’s out of my hands. The judges will chose the images they like. It’s art…and people’s ideas of what good art is varies. I’m OK with that…
So…I now know that I can shoot. My major goal going into this was to exit a better photographer. I’ve accomplished this…SEF
OK…The shooting phase of the Wildlife in Focus photo competition is over. As of today, I have 20 days remaining to sort, cull, and process my final 100 images. I can do this…
After putting in a LOT of days at the Texas Photo Ranch over the last three months, it seems strange NOT to be driving out there every morning! No gathering up my gear…no packing a lunch…no camo clothing…yikes!
I’m back up in Houston processing all of my images. I have to have my VERY best images in the 55 categories submitted by June 24th. The rules allow me to enter up to three images in any single category with a maximum of 100 images. I didn’t compete in a couple of the categories. For example, the Texas Photo Ranch doesn’t have any Javelina on the ranch. Hundreds of feral pigs…but not one javelina! I doubt if there is any participating ranch that actually has every category covered. I think we had species from as many categories as could be expected…and more!
So I’ll get my images submitted on time…and then wait. The judges have a LOT of work ahead of them going through all the photos from every competitor. The awards banquet will be held in Corpus Christi on September 28, 2013. Thats a LONG agonizing wait to see how I stacked up to the others. I know many of the competitors, and the talent pool is DEEP! I know I did my best…SEF
It’s been forever since I’ve posted on my blog. For the last three months my life has been VERY focused (pun intended) on one thing…the Wildlife in Focus photography competition. Just about everything else has taken a much reduced time allocation from me. I kinda sorta think thats OK…maybe…
In less than two weeks this will be over…except for organizing, culling, processing, and selecting 100 images out of the THOUSANDS I’ve shot over the last three months. How many thousands? Probably close to 10 thousand…
I’ve learned a LOT. A lot about photographing nature, and a lot about me. Sitting in a blind for hours and hours, or walking through the woods alone gives one a whole bunch of time to reflect. I’ve photographed things I would NEVER have considered before this contest.
Sometimes I’ve felt that I’ve “bitten off more than I could chew”! Somehow I’m like this Brown Pelican…just keep on trying, and it’ll go down.
I’m a MUCH better photographer today than I was three months ago! That was my prime goal for the contest. Anything else is just gravy…
I’m taking a day off of the Texas Photo Ranch today. That means I’m going to stay in my home office here in Rockport, TX and try and catch up on the rest of my life…
I have just 30 more days to make it happen. Shooting in this competition has been much more demanding than I originally thought. I’ve been driving the 100+ miles round trip out to the ranch at least 5 days a week for months now. It’s my JOB! At least thats the way it feels…
They’ve changed the name of this photo competition. What used to be the Coastal Bend Wildlife Photo Competition is now called Wildlife in Focus. These folks have done a great job getting this organized. They’ve finally announced the judging panel, and I personally know two of the judges. Not that it matters or will it impact anything in a positive way for me. All of the judging will be double-blinded. I have an identification number that will be part of the file name of every one of the 100 images I plan to submit.
This is a throwaway image…but it has a story. Wade Grassedonio…owner of the Texas Photo Ranch, and a participant in this competition…was telling me he wants to make an image of a Cattle Egret on the back of a cow. I kinda-sorta hurt his feeling when I told him it was PROBABLY the most common Cattle Egret pose known to man! I sent him this image and I don’t think he has forgiven me yet!
This is a handsome Pintail Drake that I photographed on Little Bay in Rockport, TX last year. I was reviewing some images and found this guy…thought he had potential…and had Ron Brant print him on canvas for me.
I’ve always like this image, and we had him hanging in the living room of our place in Rockport. I needed something to place in the Member’s Gallery at the Rockport Center for the Arts this month, and Sharon suggested I take in the Pintail Drake. I was hesitant, but finally decided to do it. I put him in a nice floating frame and took him down to the RCA.
Well, in less than two weeks he sold! I’m hoping he’s hanging in a place of honor in some discriminating patron of the art’s home!
OK…The weather here has been a real challenge for me. I was out on the Texas Photo Ranch all day yesterday and NEVER saw the sun. It was that that dull gray all day. We did get a few drops of moisture…but it sure didn’t rain. We need rain…
I toured the ranch in my Jeep and tried to focus…pun intended… on doing some macro stuff. I did find a couple of things that might just work! I ended up in the “77″ photo blind to have lunch and try to call some birds in. I heard a turkey gobble pretty close, and returned his call with my iBird Pro iPhone app. I was getting a return gobble from him pretty regularly. I thought he had moved on when all of a sudden four turkeys strutted into the scene. This image isn’t competition quality, but I like the curious expression. I do have better ones that will make the contest!
I’ll be heading back to the ranch in a bit. The forecast is for more of the same, but I’ll take my chances. More later…SEF
I had a GREAT time at FeatherFest down on Galveston Island last weekend! If you like birds…and you like making photographs of birds…this is the show for you…
As I mentioned in my last post, I was asked to serve as a Liaison for several of the Event Leaders. The speakers/presenters I had the privilege of working with were outstanding…Larry Ditto…Sean Fitzgerald...Kathy Adams Clark. I did two field trips and two workshops with Larry, and workshops with Sean and Kathy.
I hope the organizers of FeatherFest will invite me back next year…SEF
I was asked by my friend Barbara Rabek to serve as a Liaison for the 2013 Galveston Island FeatherFest. My job will be to assist the presenters during a couple of workshops and field trips. I was assigned to help some real pros…folks I really respect. More on this later…
I’ll be driving down to the Island tomorrow AM to get registered. I’ll spend the day checking out the equipment vendors and do some serious “meeting and greeting”. This will be fun…SEF