Selecting the right time and place to make a photograph is my first priority. But meticulous attention to detail with respect to field technique is also required. This involves critical adjustment of camera settings prior to anticipated subject(s) action and changing those adjustments as lighting conditions and subject(s) behavior change. Sometimes recognizing a behavioral clue prior to quick subject action is necessary to hit the shutter button in time or keep a moving (or potentially moving) subject in the camera frame. It is often useful to know how a species flies; for example, whether it’s typical fight is undulating, swooping or straight. I may need to lock down my camera and lens on my tripod, put much of my weight leaning on top of the lens and try to release the shutter between heart beats, or I may handhold my camera and lens to my face and track a moving subject.
I work with today’s digital darkroom techniques to optimize contrasts, colors, tonality, etc. in an attempt to bring the viewer to the experience I witnessed and felt. I do not add or remove anything from my images.
Since my beginning in photography I have used Canon equipment. For well over a decade I have used one camera that tracks and focuses moving subjects very well: Canon EOS Mark 2. I combine that with one of 3 lenses: EF 600mm F 4.0 imaged stabilized lens, EF 300mm F 4.0 image stabilized lens, or EF 28-135mm F 3.5-5.6 image stabilized zoom lens. Sometimes I use a 12mm extension tube for small subjects.