Rick Hobbs Photography

Wildlife/Nature/Outdoor Photography

Photo Tips

Creating Images with IMPACT!!!

We all love creating and seeing photographs that have impact. When you look at my images - I don't care if you love them or hate them but I want you to have some reaction to them other than - oh, nice picture ;-)

Grizzly Bear snarling

Not every image we create can have that WOW factor, however, there are several common characteristics found in those photographs that make us respond to them.

6 month old Grizzly Bear Cub with dandelion

Often, the process begins with a good subject. Add a touch of great lighting and a pinch of drama, in the form of weather or wildlife behavior, and you are well on your way toward a recipe for success.

Moraine Lake and Valley of the Ten Peaks, Lake Louise, Canada

Good technique and applying the right tools for the situation are also important. Good technique begins with a sturdy tripod and in the image below, using a slow shutter speed and a cable release on an overcast day.

Stream in the Great Smokey Mountain area

Using the weather to your advantage to add impact to your images is always a plus like on the foggy, icy morning below. I try to create simple images that make it clear to the viewer what I am trying to show them.

Wolf breaking through the ice on a foggy morning

Make sure your backgrounds are clean if that is appropriate and use the best combination of shutter speed and depth of field to get the look you desire. When photographing wildlife - portraits are always nice but dynamic action or capturing wildlife behavior usually has more impact.

Snow Goose landing in corn field

Of course, lighting is one of the most important issues and I will use front, side or back lighting depending on the situation and the look I'm going for at the time. I will also use flash if necessary but prefer natural lighting if possible.

Grizzly Bear at sunset

Years ago a famous photographer/speaker, Dewitt Jones, taught me that creating great images comes down to four basic principals - vision, passion, purpose and creativity. He went on to say that when your vision is in focus then your passion and creativity are there, and when your passion and creativity are there, discipline and commitment are non-issues. Such as the discipline and commitment to get up a four in the morning to create an image like the one below.

Lake McDonald at sunrise, Glacier National Park

Great photographs are usually not created by chance. The planning that goes into the process, your vision, creativity, technique and openness to the possibilities all play a role in capturing great images - and if we get a little luck on top of that - it's magical.


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