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 (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