Wildlife Portraits by Our Photo Contest Judge
Clay Bolt, co-founder of the Meet Your Neighbours photo project, shares some of his shots.
We were delighted to enlist professional photographer Clay Bolt as a judge for our 2013 Winter Nature Photo Contest. [EDITOR’S NOTE: The contest is now closed.] His work has been featured in National Geographic, Scientific American, Outdoor Photographer, and Audubon magazines. He created (with Niall Benvie) Meet Your Neighbours, an online photography project that highlights local biodiversity by showcasing portraits of neighborhood wildlife. These are just a few of Bolt’s amazing wildlife portraits. In the captions, he explains a bit about his subjects and techniques.
The photo above was taken using the “field studio technique” required for Meet Your Neighbours. The project’s website explains the protocol:
• All the images are shot in the field, on location and no subject is collected to photograph indoors – unless it’s there in the first place!
• The background of each image must be uniformly 255 in each channel and backlit. This gives the characteristic brilliance and translucence seen in MYN photos and facilitates design and compositing. Photoshop cut outs can’t match this look, especially in respect of how out of focus edges are rendered.
• Front lighting must be diffused and near shadowless to render maximum detail.
• Any subjects that require to be handled must be returned as soon as possible to the spot from which they were collected. Photographers are expect to observe the normal ethical standards of their discipline.