Think the Reciprocal Rule is safe? It fails with high resolution cameras

Esther BeatonBird Images, Photography Techniques, Photography Workshops, Quick Tips, Wildlife Photography

Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) on nest among casuarina trees, Lake Tuggerah, Central Coast, New South Wales

The reciprocal rule is handy to know when you are hand-holding your camera, especially with a long lens attached. It states “always use a shutter speed whose reciprocal is faster than the focal length of the lens”. So if you’re hand-holding a 500 mm lens, you have to use a shutter speed of 1/500 or faster. I still don’t fully trust … Read More

28 Best Reasons to do Bird Photography

Esther BeatonBird Images, Photography Techniques, Photography Workshops, Wildlife Photography

Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) (subspecies coromandus) at nesting site, in willow tree, farm dam, Dooralong, Central Coast, New South Wales

Bird photography is the most challenging, difficult, expensive and time-consuming of all the areas of nature photography. Why on earth would anyone want to go to all that trouble? But something’s going on, because not only is there a rapid rise in bird watching, but also in nature and wildlife photography. If you’re not already on trend, maybe some of these … Read More

Tripods and heads for Bird Photography

Esther BeatonPhotography Equipment, Photography Techniques, Photography Workshops, Quick Tips, Wildlife Photography

Gimbal head holding 200-500 mm zoom lens on Benbo tripod.

A tripod comes with three features: the legs, the head and the mount. Each is an important choice. Needless to say, the more solid and heavier the tripod, the more sturdily it will hold your long lens. A well-built tripod will last decades (like my magnificent and trusty Benbo as you can see by these pics). The legs should splay … Read More

Judging The Nature Conservancy Photo Competition 2016

Esther BeatonAnnouncements, Beautiful Images, Conservation, Exhibitions & Artworks, Nature and Wildlife, On the Beaton Track, Photo Competitions, Wildlife Photography

Eye Spy by Mark Seabury

Nature Conservancy Australia contacted me in June to see  if I’d be interested in being a judge for this year’s Nature Photo Competition. Of course I would! I’ve admired the work of the Nature Conservancy in the US for years. They also spread their activities around the globe and have successfully protected over 48 million hectares of land and thousands of … Read More

Tips from a Judge: How You Can Win the Next Big Nature Photography Competition

Esther BeatonPhoto Competitions, Photo Critiques

Australian Geographic just announced that this year’s ANZANG Nature Photographer of the Year competition is now open. I believe this is one of the most lucrative competitions available at present. It’s almost like a big secret. Everyone knows about the BBC wildlife competition, but hardly anyone knows about this Australian regional equivalent. In both cases the prize money is BIG … Read More

Let’s Encourage Young Photographers

Esther BeatonPhoto Competitions, Photo Critiques

I’d like to acknowledge a budding young nature and wildlife photographer, Mikaela Clews. She won the Young Encourage-ment award at the recent Gosford Council photo competition. Mikaela Clews deserves a lot of credit for getting out into the bushlands around Gosford, New South Wales. The aim of the photo competition was to portray how nature is on the city’s doorstep. Mikaela … Read More

Keep it Beautiful This Week

Esther BeatonBeautiful Images, Photo Competitions

Did you know it is Keep Australia Beautiful Week? Sometimes ugly things are happening in the world and it’s easy to despair. I wonder how people in London and other cities in England feel upon hearing the “Keep it Beautiful” motto. After the damage and chaos of recent weeks, just cleaning up seems an overwhelming task let alone attempting to … Read More

Paul’s Silhouette Success

Esther BeatonPhoto Critiques, Photography Books

One of my favorite topics to post is a photo from a student. I was chatting to Paul Collis after he and his wife came back from the Kimberley, Western Australia. They had printed out a selection of recipes from my photography cookbook to take along on their travels. Paul specifically wanted to try one of the step-by-step recipes on … Read More

Waterfall Trickery

Esther BeatonLandscape Photography, Photo Critiques, Photography Workshops, Quick Tips

It’s great when you learn from your students. The last Day Safari workshop was a big fun day out. We shot wildlife in the morning and waterfalls in the late afternoon. Participants quickly understood how to use different shutter speeds to create various amounts of “silkiness” in the waterfall. But my students taught me something about these waterfalls that I never … Read More