June 27, 2012
Nature photography is a popular pasttime in New York. There is plenty of diverse wildlife throughout the state, along with a wide variety of landscapes. Here are some tips for photographing nature.
-Be sure to include objects in the foreground as well as the middle and background. For example, if photographing a bridge, include some of the shoreline and nearby trees.
-Avoid centering the subject. Instead, use the rule of thirds, and imagine your picture as a grid. The main focus of the picture should be slightly off to the side of the grid, top or bottom.
-Photograph in all weather conditions, even when it is snowing.
-Remember to look up; take a picture from the bottom of a tree looking up through its branches.
-Try photographing reflections, which can result in a calming/relaxing image.
-Get down on the level of your subject, and shoot the picture from the side, not from the front.
-Be patient, still and quiet. Wait for the right moment.
-Put up bird feeders near your home to photograph birds and even squirrels.
-Look for wildlife in parks and at public wild centers.
-Consider even the smallest subjects, such as a tree bud or a single snowflake.
-Take pictures from different angles. For example, try lying on the ground.
-Keep it simple. Don't clutter the image.
-Always note where the light is coming from, and avoid shooting directly into the sun.
-Use the flash to get rid of shadows.
-Take both horizontal and vertical images of the same shot.
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Learn the best places to view wildlife at DEC's Watchable Wildlife pages.
Picture Scavenger Hunt
Take your camera outside on a picture scavenger hunt to shoot photos of things that you wouldn't normally photograph:
-Birds at a birdfeeder
-Squirrels in a tree
-Sunrise or sunset
-A waterfall, lake or stream
-A leaf or flower on a bush or tree branch
-An ordinary object taken from a different perspective
In addition, take some pictures around your yard, and have another person guess where they were taken. E-mail your best photo to Conservationist for Kids.
Read Conservationist for Kids for more information and activities!
Upcoming DEC Events
Lakeside Fishing Clinic
Wednesday, July 11 from 6:00 PM to sunset
Lake Ronkonkoma County Park - Town of Brookhaven Beach
Geared to families, basic instruction focuses on fish identification, techniques, regulations and stewardship practices. Open fishing to follow. Call I FISH NY staff at 631-444-0283 to register.
Programs at Stony Kill are now offered by the Stony Kill Foundation; there are no DEC education staff at the site due to fiscal constraints.
Open Barn Tour
Saturdays and Sundays, June 30, July 1, 7 and 8 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Saturday, June 30 at 10:00 AM
Family Fun: Spiders for Kids
Saturday, June 30 at 2:00 PM
Parents and children must accompany each other. This program is free of charge, but space is limited. Call Five Rivers at 518-475-0291 to register by Wednesday, June 27.
Herons and Their Kin
Saturday, July 7 at 10:00 AM
Citizen Science: Annual Butterfly Census
Saturday, July 7 at 2:00 PM
Parents and children must accompany each other. This program is free of charge, but space is limited. Call Five Rivers at 518-475-0291 to register by Tuesday, July 3.
Citizen Science: Bat Count
Tuesday, July 10 at 7:30 PM
Call Five Rivers at 518-475-0291 for more information.
Albany Pine Bush Preserve Discovery Center
Thursday, June 28 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Call 518-456-0655, or go the Albany Pine Bush website to register. Cost: $3.00/person, $5.00/family, children under 5 free
Central New York
Programs at Rogers are now offered by the Friends of Rogers; there are no DEC education staff at the site due to fiscal constraints.
Full Moon Member Night
Tuesday, July 3 at 8:00 PM
For all members and those interested in becoming members! Join us as we take a night hike at the Rogers Center. Please meet us in the MAIN parking lot.
Evening Bird Watch
Wednesday July 11 at 6:00 PM
Meet members of the Chenango Bird Club in the Rogers visitor parking lot for a guided hike.
Western New York
Advance registration is required. Call 716-683-5959.
Thursday, June 28 at 4:30 PM
Enjoy a one-hour program for kids featuring a different, fun, outdoor activity each week. For children in grades K through 5. No registration required.
Secrets of the Hidden Pond
Saturday, June 30 at 10:00 AM
Every Tuesday from April through September from 6:30 to 7:30 PM
Assist with hour-long projects to help maintain and improve ecosystems and trails throughout the preserve. A variety of projects ensures there is something for almost every age and ability. Refreshments provided.
Red, White and Blue Walk
Saturday, July 7 at 10:30 AM
Nature offers all kinds of colors, as well as shapes, patterns and textures for kids to discover. Bring your young child on this sensory exploration. For children ages 3 to 7.
The Reinstein Woods Experience
Saturday, July 7 at 1:30 PM
Spiders: What's in Your Web?
Tuesday, July 10 at 10:00 AM
Family Nature Hour
Wednesday, July 11 at 6:30 PM
Hands-on activities allow families to investigate nature together on a different topic each session. Please note: this program will take place at the Julia Boyer Reinstein Library at 1030 Losson Road in Cheektowaga. To sign up, contact the library at 716-668-4991.