Tuesday, December 26, 2006

food poisoning in Florida -

I'm down in Florida for a quick holiday visit with family, and just my luck - I ended up with food-poisoning (I suspect it was raw oysters, but who can say for sure). For a couple days, I felt so wretched I'd rather have been dead. The only consolation was that it was rainy and heavy overcast those days, so I wasn't missing out on much shooting.

Things are much better today (for both my stomach, and the weather), so I went to Fort DeSoto on the Gulf Coast. Below are a few of the results.

Hope you're having a great holiday season!

1. Great Egret
2. Herring Gull with crab
3. Wood Stork in flight

(all taken with EOS 1DS mark 2, EF 600/4 lens)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Great Gray Owl cover

My high-speed satellite internet connection was installed today, so from here on, I'm one click closer to the rest of the world. I can't tell you how much easier this will make my life, being able to upload high-res photos without tying up my phone line for hours. I'm elated!

Here's a cover that I just found out that I got with one of my Great Gray Owl photos.... it's actually the second cover for this shot.

I'm off to Florida in a few days for a quick holiday trip with my family (conveniently, located near some great spots for bird photography!). Will upload a few photos between glasses of eggnog!

Have a great holiday season - and hopefully Santa brings you all the camera toys you asked for!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Going High Speed - YEAH!

For years I've survived (coped) with the world's slowest dial-up internet connection. It's not easy running a stock photo business on a dial-up connection. Emailing/FTPing photos is like trying to stuff a watermelon through a garden hose. Most of the time I end up having to drive into town, and poach a wireless connection with my laptop.

But heh, this is my tradeoff for living in a wild area with endless inspiration and opportunity for nature photography.

Well things are looking way up. In about a week, I'm having a two-way satellite internet connection installed. At long last, I'm going high speed! YEAH!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Frans Lanting's "Life Through Time"

I just bought a copy of Frans Lanting's new book "Life through Time" and I've got to say, this is one fine book. Frans sets the standard for picture books, and Life Through Time is no exception.
He developed an online slideshow to promote/accompany the book. If you haven't already seen the show, definitely go check it out when you have a half hour of time. www.lifethroughtime.com

cheers on a cold, blustery day!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

More Ecuador photos

Have a few minutes before catching the plane, so thought I'd post a few more pics!

Masked Trogon (above)

Green-crowned Woodnymph (below)

Long-tailed Sylph (above)

Giant Antpitta (below)
very hard to photograph deep forest bird

Monday, November 20, 2006

Two weeks in Ecuador - bird photography

I'm on my way back from an intense and incredible two weeks of shooting in Ecuador with my stepfather Tom Hince and friend Robert McCaw. We spent most of our time in cloud forest habitat photographing hummingbirds (I shot about 33 species). There was little time we weren't photographing hummers, but I managed to nab a few other subjects. Lots more photos to come, will update my website when I get home and recover!

Photo info:
All images with Canon 1DSm2.

Dogs in the village of Tandayapa. 70-200mm lens handheld. Background converted to black & white in photoshop.

Sword-billed Hummingbird in flight at Guango Lodge.
70-200/2.8 lens plus 1.4x TC. Two flashes.

Yanococha Reserve - misty morning in cloud forest.
17-40 lens with Singh-Ray 3-stop hard edge ND filter.

New owl species yet undescribed in scientific literature (only known from a couple of locations in South America).
San Isidro, Ecuador
600mm lens + 1.4x TC; full flash at night (focusing by flashlight)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Lion's Head shoreline, Bruce Peninsula

The weather has been very dreary this fall... tons of rain and perpetually overcast skies. I've jumped on the few clear breaks to get out and shoot landscapes. These were taken on a dramatic morning a couple weeks ago.... about 20 minutes north of my house.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

new magazine: Outdoor Photography Canada

There's a new magazine soon to launch in Canada:
Outdoor Photography Canada

As a proud Tim-Hortons chuggin, maple leaf -lovin Canadian, I'm very excited about this new mag. The support of all of us Canadian photographers will help make the magazine a success, and provide us with a great forum to celebrate the diversity and beauty of the country.

Check out the website and join the online forums:

See you there!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Badlands....... WOW!

I just spent a couple days camping in Dinosaur Provincial Park in the Badlands area of Alberta. The park greatly exceeded my expectations, and I can say without hesitation that it's one of the most incredible places I've ever been or photographed. I was surprised to find such an otherwordly landscape stuck right in the middle of the prairies.

I'm back in Ontario shooting for a couple days on the north shore of Lake Superior.

It's been a great trip, but I look forward to sleeping in my own bed again in a few days!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

From shorts to snow!

The temperature dropped sharply and I went from wearing shorts to heavy winter clothing almost overnight! Today I had a most amazing trip into the high altitude of Glacier National Park, Montana. It's a truly amazing park, and I can't wait to spend more time there!

Mule Deer, Waterton Lakes National Park

Low altitude in Glacier National Park, Montana.

High up at Logan's Pass in Glacier....

Friday, September 15, 2006

Banff & Jasper

My trip west continues well. Only catch has been that large forest fires in southern BC and Washington have caused hazy skies in the mountains - so I've had few windows of good light.
Here are a few from Banff & Jasper National Parks.
I'm now back in Waterton Lakes for a couple days and targeting black bears.... cross your fingers for me!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

into the mountains - Waterton Lakes

After several days in the very dusty prairies, I was quite happy to get into the mountains of Alberta and give my car and camera a thorough cleaning. Here are a few shots from Waterton Lakes National Park plus one (me jumping on the round rock) from a small, but amazing spot called Red Rock Coulee.
It's been quite hazy, so I've been relying heavily on my Singh-Ray Gold & Blue polarizer and a host of grad NDs to help bring some color to the washed out skies.

I have to include my standard disclaimer here... that these have been balanced on my laptop in poor conditions - hope they look decent!


Grasslands National Park - Saskatchewan

I emerged from southern Saskatchewan a few days ago. This was my first time in the heart of the prairies and I was blown away by the landscape, which seemed to roll on endlessly.

I spend a few days shooting in Grasslands National Park, and was rewarded with bison, prairie dogs and spectacular light over the landscape. Here are a few of my best... they were balanced on my laptop in my tent, long after I should have been sleeping, so I hope they look ok!

All photos with EOS 1DSm2 body.

Bison and Black-tailed Praire Dog both shot with a 600/4 + 1.4x TC .

Rainbow and rolling landscapes shot with 17-40mm/4 lens and Singh-Ray filters (warming polarizer, grad NDs, Blue-Gold polarizer)


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

on the road... Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba

Greetings from Siesta Internet Cafe in Wasagaming, Manitoba.

I'm on a photo trip through the Canadian Prairies and Rockies right now, currently shooting in Riding Mountain National Park (Manitoba) before heading to the grasslands of southern Saskatchewan.

Riding Mountain has some pretty good wildlife photo opportunities - for moose, beaver, elk and especially bison. The bison herd is in a massive enclosed prairie area that you can drive through - it's a pretty easy shoot if you can put up with the long dusty road to get there.

Riding Mountain is known for its diversity with three ecozones present in the park. Although the scenery is subtle, one of my favorite photos from here so far was taken a couple nights ago when driving back to camp. With the crescent moon low in the sky, I was able to frame it with the silhouettes of dead trees against the sunset afterglow.

EOS 1Ds m2
Bison: with EF 600/4 lens
Trees/Moon: with 70-200/2.8 lens and Singh-Ray Gold & Blue Polarizer

More to come when internet is available!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

In Awe of Panoramic Photos

A few months back I presented at a conference in New York. One of the other presentors was a photographer named Joe Lefevre, who blew the crowd away with his panoramic photos. Not only were his photos outstanding, but he also shared his technique (which anyone with basic gear can do) for stitching panos together from series of 35mm or digital images. His presentation was clear, easy to follow and best of all - Joe's passion for nature photography shone through. This guy isn't afraid to hike to the top of a mountain in the dark to be there at first light.

For some panoramic inspiration, be sure to check out Joe's website:

Well now I can't stop thinking about panos. I'm constantly looking for opportunities to shoot series of images that I can be stitch together on my computer. Expect to see many panos from me in the future!

Happy shooting!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Presentation this weekend

Geez, have I ever been pathetic at posting here on the blog. Life has been busy lately. Expect to see more once fall arrives... I'll be finished some big projects and will have more free time on my hands.

If you're in Toronto this weekend, be sure to check out the Toronto Camera Conference (google it for info).... I'll be presenting on both Saturday and Sunday mornings.

All the best!

Friday, June 09, 2006

A great book!

I just finished reading a fantastic book called 'The Future of Life' by E.O Wilson. Wilson is a world-renowned ecologist, and his book highlights global biodiversity, the challenges that face it and real solutions for preserving it. In an age of 'doom-and-gloom' stories about the environment, this book left me refreshed and inspired.

If you're looking for something to do after the sun is down and your camera gear is stashed away for the day, give this book a consideration. It will inspire you to spend more time photographing


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

wildflowers, birds and Singh-Ray filters

I must be a fool starting a blog right at the beginning of spring - the time of year when there's barely time to sleep, let alone sit at my computer and blog - when instead I can be out chasing warblers and wildflowers.

Spring photography is going well. I've been to Point Pelee National Park and Rondeau Provincial Park a couple times shooting migrant songbirds, with very good success (watch for some photos later). And with the unseasonably warm weather in late April - early May, many wildflowers are out a couple weeks early and in profusion. My yard is full of white & red trilliums, plus an assortment of other species - so that's keeping me busy. You can never have enough trillium photos!

I'm a big fan of Singh-Ray filters, which I've been using for years. The folks at Singh-Ray recently asked me to test some filtering techniques and give them my feedback, so you'll be the first to hear about the results here on the blog, or on my website. Three days after receiving the filters, I bagged a magazine cover shot with their large-sized ND grad. That's definitely my fastest turnaround time for a cover!

Hope you're having a great spring so far!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Sponsor Ethan's birdathon (conservation fundraiser)!

Hello friends,
You all know that I am crazy about birds. Every now and then I put this obsession to a good cause... specifically an annual fundraiser called the Baillie Birdathon that supports Bird Studies Canada, with a portion going to the Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory. Both groups are doing great things for bird conservation. Check out their websites, listed at the bottom of this email.
In late May, I'll spend about 20 straight hours (from 2am to 10pm) on one day, racing between habitats on the Bruce Peninsula to identify (by seeing or hearing) as many different species of birds as possible. This is known as a 'Birdathon' although I prefer to call it 'Bird-Racing', because that sounds much more hip.
I've been doing this for many years with my bird-nut friends, Mark Wiercinski and John Haselmayer. In 2004 we set the Bruce Peninsula Big Day record of 174 species. This year we have our sights set (actually our binoculars) on 180 species.
To sweeten the competitive aspect of the event, I've challenged Mark and John to see who can raise the most sponsorship money. With your help, I know they haven't got a chance!
I'm asking you to please sponsor my birdathon. You can pledge a lump sum, or a per-species amount. All you have to do is email me at info@ethanmeleg.com (telling me how much $$) and I won't harrass you for money until after the birdathon is complete in late May (will send you an email). Best thing, Bird Studies Canada will send you a charitable tax receipt for all pledges over $20.

As an added bonus: I'll put the names of all who sponsor me into a hat, and draw 3 prizes of an autographed 11x17" photo (of your choice) by... well, you can probably guess.
Thank you from me..... and the birds!

Bird Studies Canada

Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory

Monday, April 10, 2006

Digital Slide Show Software

I do a ton of slide presentations for nature and camera clubs. Over the past couple years, I've been working on digitizing all my shows by scanning the slides, and of course adding new images that I've shot digitally.

For a long time, I was using PowerPoint software for my digital shows, but I recently shifted to some excellent slide show software called Pictures to Exe. It's dead simple to use, has smooth transitions, syncs very easily to music and best of all - it's cheap. And for some reason (it may be that my digital technique is just improving) , the photos look much better to me with this program.

Once you've laid your show out, you hit one button and it creates a stand-alone Exe. program for your entire show. To play the show, you simply launch the Exe file - and voila.... your show runs smoothly and reliably.

I love the simplicity of this software and the high-calibre results I'm getting from it.

Many photographers are using another program called ProShow Gold. This software has more bells and whistles than Pictures to Exe, and it costs about twice as much. It's a good alternative if you want to do more complex shows with a greater array of special effects.

Have fun sharing your photos!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Welcome to my new Nature Photogrpahy blog

Welcome Nature & Outdoor Photographers!
Here's my blog to share
facts, opinions and miscellaneous ramblings about nature photography, photo techniques, camera gear and whatever else comes to mind.... all in an informal way.
Happy shooting!
Ethan Meleg