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Sunday, April 1, 2007

Wings Of Spring

Try these 10 tips from renowned professional Tom Vezo and get your best avian images this spring

Wings of Spring8 Use caution in the environment. When photographing in a nesting area, use extreme care. Says Vezo, "I almost always set up my L.L. Rue blind for this type of photography, depending on the species I’m shooting. If birds detect your form or any movement, including your eyes, they will take longer to return, or worse, not return at all. No photo is worth the failure of a nest, and it will ruin your chances for photographs as well."

Wings of SpringVezo limits his movements and tries to be as quiet as possible. "I sometimes take the time to set up my blind away from the nest, moving it closer, day by day, so the birds get used to the structure, until I’m within shooting range."

Persistence. To get the shot you want, take the time to repeat the shots you’re not sure of. Return to a promising location and stay with your subjects if the photography is good.

Vezo once spent 11 hours in a blind in the southern Texas heat, using a fan with a water sprayer to cool himself. "You have to seize the moment," he says. "The shooting that day was extremely good, and I felt I had to take advantage of every hour because I knew that the situation might change. Nature never deals the same cards.

Wings of Spring"Every investment of time gives you a better chance of getting what you want. After my Birds of Prey in the American West book was published, I put up a nest box about a quarter of a mile from my home in the desert, hoping a pair of western screech owls would nest there, and they did. That’s how I captured the photo of the owl with a banded gecko in its mouth as it was ready to feed its young."

Recalls Vezo, "Just about every night I’d hike down to the nest site and wait for the male to come in with food. Like clockwork, he’d fly in within a minute or two of the same time every night. By being persistent, I was able to photograph him with snakes, mice and giant desert centipedes as well."

10 First and foremost, be passionate! This is the basis of Vezo’s work. He travels the world in pursuit of his photography and has forfeited time, money and comfort in exchange for these shots. That passion shows in every image!

To see more of Tom Vezo's photography and for information about his books
Wings of Spring: Courtship, Nesting and Fledging, Birds of Prey in the American West and Wings in the Wild, visit www.TomVezo.com. Vezo will lead a photo tour to Botswana in early December 2007. Contact janie@distinctive-journeys.com for information.



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