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Mar. 14, 2013

Wildlife Portraits by Our Photo Contest Judge

by Leslie Taylor

Click to enlarge images
We were delighted to enlist professional photographer Clay Bolt as a judge for our 2013 Winter Nature Photo Contest. 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. You can see some of Bolt's amazing wildlife portraits below. In the captions, he explains a bit about his subjects and techniques.
 
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The following photo 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.
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About Leslie Taylor

Leslie is the online editor at Workboat.com and NationalFisherman.com. She has a background in oceanography and is passionate about getting non-scientists and young people to realize how cool science can be. She is also Science Friday's former web editor.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

Science Friday® is produced by the Science Friday Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Science Friday® and SciFri® are registered service marks of Science Friday, Inc. Site design by Pentagram; engineering by Mediapolis.

 

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