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Two techniques to make you a better nature photographer

Nancy Ricker is a nature photographer who will present her work at Au Natural! — Nature Exposed , the slide show hosted by the Whistler Naturalists Friday, Sept. 26th, 7:30 p.m. at Millennium Place. In this column, she explains two of her favourite techniques for producing unique and striking photos.

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 us at Au Natural! — Nature Exposed. See below for more details.

Upcoming Events:

Au Natural! — Nature Exposed! Friday, Sept. 26th, MY Place, 7:30 p.m.

Come and be prepared to be astounded by this amazing display of photography! This second annual show will feature Nancy Ricker, John Nemy and Carol Legate, David Bond, and Rich Duncan. Doors open at 7 p.m. with a display of framed photos. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Suggested donation $7 (members), $9 (non-members), Free for children under 12.

Whitebark Pine Conservation Project: Cone Collecting . Saturday, Sept. 27 th . 9 a.m. at Blackcomb Administration building, beside Merlin’s. (Weather day, Sunday, Sept. 28 th ). Whitebark pines are the broccoli-shaped trees that grow only at treeline in our area. An introduced fungus has killed many of these trees and the long-term prospects aren’t good. A complicating factor is that the only way the trees regenerate is when Clark’s Nutcrackers plant the seeds, and there aren’t many nutcrackers around now. We will be collecting cones to produce seedlings at a nursery.

Alpine Tree Planting and Cone Collecting . Saturday, Sept. 27th. 7th Heaven, Blackcomb Mountain. Want to spend a beautiful fall day in the alpine helping to conserve whitebark pine trees? Join us this Saturday for a full day of planting seedlings, cone collecting, and measuring seedlings planted last year. Why whitebark pines? Because they are being killed by an imported fungus and need help to survive on our mountains. These activities are part of the "Whitebark Pine Conservation Project" supported by Whistler-Blackcomb employees and the Whistler Naturalists. If interested, please RSVP to Bob Brett. We’ll meet at 9 a.m. at the Blackcomb Administration building beside Merlin's.

Monthly Bird Walk. Saturday, Oct. 4, 8 a.m. Join our local birding experts as they continue the monthly counts of our local and migrating birds. Everyone welcome.

Mushroom Festival! Friday, Oct. 17 at MY Place and Spruce Grove Field House. Lots of folks are discovering the delights of our local forest fungi (a.k.a. mushrooms) and we have two events to help you learn more. Sharmin Gamite presents a talk with slides on Friday night at MY Place (7:30 p.m.). On Saturday, Sharmin and Todd Bush lead a field trip to get up close and personal with their favourite fungi – meet at 9 a.m. at the Spruce Grove Field House. Suggested donations for both events are $5 (members), $7 (non-members), and free for under-12s.

Whistler Naturalists AGM and Talk by Dr. Keys Groot . Thursday, Nov. 13th, MY Place. The formal Annual General Meeting (where we elect a new board) starts at 6 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., we are excited to host Dr. Keys Groot, a terrific speaker and in climate change and its effects on the West Coast Ecosystem. He focuses on salmon migration patterns and how they are a great indicator of change as they pass through so many elements of the West Coast environment. Suggested donation: $5 (renewing members), $7 (non-members), and free for under-12s.

Written by: Nancy Ricker


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