OP – The Blog

Archive for Kevin Schafer

About Kevin
Kevin Schafer is a professional wildlife and conservation photographer, whose work has appeared in all of the most respected science and nature magazines in the U.S., including National Geographic, Smithsonian, Audubon and Natural History. Kevin specializes in covering endangered species worldwide. He is a Founding Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers and was the NANPA Outstanding Nature Photographer of the year for 2007. www.kevinschafer.com

October 11th, 2013

The Gifts of Weather

Posted By
Clearing storm on the Stirling Ranges, Western Australia
Sometimes, the best pictures we get are 180 degrees from the ones we were after. This is nearly always true when the weather is wacky and unpredictable, and brilliant blue skies are punctuated by passing showers. I set out this day to photograph the sunset on Bluff Knoll, the highest mountain in Australia’s Stirling Ranges. …
July 7th, 2013

Instinct and Opportunity

Posted By
California Sea Lions, Channel Islands
Wildlife photography asks a lot of someone with a camera. In a heartbeat, you must freeze an instant in time, with both flattering light and an appealing design, with a subject over which you have entirely no control. Case in point: this shot of California Sea Lions taken at Point Bennett on remote San Miguel …
June 28th, 2013

Three Cheers for Nikon

Posted By
Fur Seal inside wave, San Miguel Island, CA
I’ve been burned before. A decade ago, Nikon came out with its first VR lens – the original 80-400 zoom. Like Nikon wildlife shooters everywhere, I was thrilled since it seemed to offer a great focal-length combination with real hand-held capability. (I had the old manual-focus 200-400 at that point – a beast of a …
June 5th, 2013

When the Sky Defines the Composition

Posted By
Mallos de Riglos, Spain
The small village of Riglos, on the southern fringes of the Spanish Pyrenees, is not on the way to anywhere, but makes a worthwhile detour, if only for the dramatic rock spires – very popular with Spanish climbers – that rise up behind it. This was a place that demanded more time, and different light, …
May 1st, 2013

Size Matters

Posted By
Steve Shuey below Falls Creek Falls, Washington State
I’m pretty old school; when I am out in nature, I am typically working hard to exclude any sign of humans from my landscape pictures. So when my friend Steve Shuey and I were photographing this spectacular waterfall in the Cascade mountains, I took care to crop out cut logs and any sign of the …
March 10th, 2013

Are Sunsets Overdone?

Posted By
Sunset, Deception Pass, WA
I have a thing about sunsets.  As my friends will testify, I have been known to rant about how we’re being inundated with endless pictures of sunsets, and landscapes bathed in dramatic, richly-colored light (and don’t get me started about digital exaggeration). So what’s my problem?  Simple: I believe that this obsession with sunsets can …
February 16th, 2013

Going Extreme

Posted By
Saguaro Embrace
As photographers, our view of the world is often shaped by the lenses we choose to put on our camera. That’s why, every once in a while, I try to move outside my comfort zone and slap on a lens I rarely use, if only to stretch my way of looking at a subject. That’s …
February 2nd, 2013

Searching for the Picture

Posted By
Snow Goose bathing, Skagit Valley
Over the course of my career, I have been on a lot of airplanes, and traveled to some pretty exotic, far-flung locations. But almost all of us live with an hour or two of something worth photographing.  They may not be icons, like Yosemite or Brooks Falls, Alaska, but I would venture to say that …
January 2nd, 2013

New Year’s Gifts

Posted By
Snowy Owl in flight, Grays Harbor, WA
Snowy Owl in flight, Grays Harbor, WA Forget Christmas – my greatest gifts this holiday season came at New Year’s. This morning promised to be one of  the first clear days after several rain-sodden weeks — welcome to winter in the Northwest…! On a whim, I got up at 4 AM and headed to the coast, …
December 7th, 2012

Beyond the Trophy Shot

Posted By
Red and Green Macaws, Pantanal, Brazil
Some years ago, I was invited to a “slideshow” (remember those?) at the home of a good friend. He was a serious amateur wildlife photographer that had traveled all over the world, and I was delighted to have a chance to see some of his work. He then proceeded to go through 3 carousel trays …