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Two techniques to make you a better nature photographer

By Nancy Ricker, Whistler Naturalists

Nancy Ricker is one of six nature photographers who will present their work at Mountain Images - Nature from Peak to Valley, the slide show hosted by the Whistler Naturalists (next Friday, Sept. 20th, 7:30 p.m. at Millennium Place). Nancy will open the show with a brief introduction to techniques to make your nature photos great. In this column, she explains two of her favourite techniques.

Multiple exposures

Multiple exposures allow two or more images to be superimposed on the same transparency or print and can result in some stunning effects. Depending on what effect you wish to achieve, you can either handhold or shoot with the camera on a tripod. One thing to remember is that you will need exposure compensation; it can be achieved in one of two ways:

1. Set the ASA or Din number by multiplying it by the number of images you wish to take on that one transparency. For example, if the ASA = 100 and you want 5 exposures, then set the ASA to 500 (5 x 100). Remember to reset the ASA after the picture has been taken.

2. Set the exposure compensation setting to minus (-) the square root of the number of images you wish to achieve on your one transparency or print (do not alter the ASA setting of the film). For example, if you want 9 images on one transparency or print, then set the "exposure compensation setting" at -3.

Sandwich (or Ortin) Technique

The sandwich technique involves sandwiching two or more transparencies and is often called the "Ortin technique" after the individual who made it popular. First, you must have your camera on a tripod as you will eventually super-impose one image of your subject over another. For the first transparency, set exposure compensation to plus (+) 2. Depth of field should be at least f 22 and the subject should be sharply focused. Take the picture.

For the second transparency, set exposure compensation to plus (+) 1. Depth of field should be minimal (eg. f 2.8) and image should be thrown out-of-focus so that the image becomes spread out greater than the initial one (the image will appear out-of-focus). Now take the second picture.

After the transparencies have been processed, take the two transparencies out of their mounts and superimpose one on top of the other. Remount the sandwich in a new mount and enjoy the great effect.

For more of Nancy's tips, and to see beautiful nature slides from other local photographers, we hope you'll join at Mountain Images on Sept. 20th. See below for more details.

insert photos? please see Bob Barnett or Andrew to ensure different photos are included here vs. in the article. Thanks.

Peak to Valley - The Ups and Downs of Life in a Mountain Environment .

Friday, Sept. 20th to Sunday, Sept. 22nd

The Whistler Naturalists present three days of nature-oriented events, all part of this year's fall meeting of the Federation of B.C. Naturalists. Join 100 naturalists from around B.C. as we explore all aspects of mountain nature. Highlights include:

Friday, Sept. 20th, MY Place - Nature Presentations . Five speakers indoors, plus a morning field trip to the Whistler Interpretive Forest and an afternoon field trip to local wetlands. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 20th, MY Place - "Mountain Images". Featuring Nancy Ricker, Leanna Rathkelly, Bonny Makarewicz, Dean Cote, and two special guests. Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m. Admission by donation.

Saturday, Sept. 21st, Whistler Mountain - All-Day Nature Presentations and Guided Walks . Featuring Jack Souther (geology), Kathy Martin (alpine bird migration), Bob Brett (alpine plant ecology), Cathy Conroy (alpine mammals), and Mitch Sulkers (alpine ecology). Meet at 9:15 a.m. at the Whistler Mountain gondola.

Saturday, Sept. 21st , MY Place- "Managing for ecological integrity in Banff National Park: Is all of the 'easy' stuff done?" A presentation by Tom Hurd, wildlife specialist for Banff National Park. Admission by donation. Starts at 8:30 p.m. and followed by the FBCN Awards.

Sunday, Sept. 22nd, Lost Lake - Traditional Plant Use with Morgan Wells . A terrific opportunity to learn from Morgan Wells of Mt. Currie, 1 to 4:30 p.m. Limited to the first 15 participants to register. For details or to register, call Bob Brett (604-932-8900).

Sightings and Memberships: NatureSpeak is prepared by the Whistler Naturalists. To become a member or to report noteworthy sightings of mammals, birds, or other species, contact Cathy Conroy (604-894-1124).

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