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

5x Growth – a Conservation Success Story

Esther BeatonBehind the Scenes, Bird Images, Conservation, Ecology, Environment, New South Wales, Professional Photography, Threatened species

Gould's Petrel chick

Several years ago, I partnered up with science write Karen McGee to produce a feature on Gould’s Petrel for the UK magazine, Geographical. Most stories of endangered species I find confronting, but this one turned out to have a happy ending. Gould’s Petrel nests almost exclusively on a tiny bunch of rocks off the coast of New South Wales. One of them is … Read More

Don’t frame too tight

Esther BeatonBird Images, Cute Animals, Nature and Wildlife, New South Wales, Photography Techniques, Quick Tips, Wildlife Photography

Sometimes, when I’ve been judging photo competitons, I’ve had to evaluate an image where the subject in the photo is wedged so tight in the frame that you get an uncomfortable feeling looking at it. When I’ve commented that “there’s no room to breathe” the photographer usually rebuts me by saying “but I’ve been criticised in the past for not cropping tight enough!” … Read More

5 Steps to Buying a Tripod

Esther BeatonPhotography Equipment

So many of my students avoid tripods. Sure, they bring them to the workshops, but then they diligently avoid using them until I just about take a leg off and beat them with it. The reason they don’t want to use them is because they’ve brought along a tripod that is painful to use. You know the ones; they are … 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

Magic happens when you least expect it

Esther BeatonDid You Know?, On the Beaton Track, Outback

I arrived at Cooper Creek, in South Australia’s Channel Country, in the middle of this year’s unusual rains. The scene I planned to photograph was grey and ordinary. But after spending an hour or two – and after I stopped whinging about the gloomy skies – the real beauty of the scene emerged. To get the story behind this photo, … Read More

Meredith’s Superb Wren and the Great Tripod Debate

Esther BeatonPhoto Critiques

Thanks to everyone for the great comments on my first blog post. I’m really stumped by who could be behind some of those quirky aliases! Instead of one of my photos, I’d like to post a winner sent in by Meredith Foley, one of my Day Safari participants. She’s asked a question and I’m sure many of you have similar frustrations. … Read More