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Archive for the ‘Hot Shot Winners’ Category

‘W’ for Weird; ‘W’ for Wildlife

September 26th, 2013 No Comments

“Weird & Wild,” says NatGeo on the day we post our ‘Weird News’ edition which happens to have a distinct NatGeo flavour: Wildlife.  Here are four stories from the past 24 hours.

A Toad and a Bat

Peruvian wildlife ranger Yufani Olaya was on hand with a camera when a Cane Toad snagged a careless bat.  The remarkable head-on photo he took seems to be that of an extraterrestrial creature.

Though cane toads seem to be omnivorous and voracious, bats don’t seem to be to their taste because the toad spat it out – and though dazed, the bat remained in such good health that it flew off!

The photo and story also appeared on

Yellow Top

Woodpeckers are ‘red top’ birds.  Well, Ken Johnson can show you photographs of a rare ‘yellow top’ woodpecker.  Kerry Wood at The Journal has the story.

Johnson, by his own statements, is “by no means an avid bird watcher” nor does he live “in the rolling countryside.”  All the more interesting, then, that he spotted and photographed these rare birds.

A wildlife expert explained the mutation as a “lack [of] carotenoid in its plumage.”

A Smiling Seal

We stay with the Unusual-Wildlife-in-England theme with a story by James Johnston in the Sunderland Echo.

Retiree Keith Cockerill happened to have a camera on him when a seal waddled up on a pontoon at the River Wear in broad daylight, and said ‘cheese!’

The lucky retiree explained that it “is unusual . . . to see [seals] basking in the sunshine” . . . and, what’s more, smiling!

(Un)Reality Shows

We stay in England and close with a story about a ‘Reality Show’ (which, to some critics, are about wildlife but let’s not go there).  This ‘reality show’ belongs on this blog because it’ll be about photogs!

Zoltan Arva-Toth on Photography Blog brings the interesting news alongwith a lengthy and detailed press release.  The survival test will be amongst style and fashion photographers through nine episodes.  Each participant has to try to make it to the next round by way of completing fashion shoot-related tasks.

Call for contestants to go out soon, in case you’re interested.

Amazing and Tweet-worthy Photo News!

August 20th, 2013 No Comments

Yesterday we had blogged about World Photography Day.  In our weekly roundup of Interesting and Unusual Photography News, we’ll see how a group of Visual Arts students from an Indian college marked this day.

First, though, how about an amazing gallery of Amazing Animals” brought to us by The Vancouver Sun.  The reason this is (really) ‘amazing’ is that all this wildlife has been shot in a city park!   

This 20-plus image gallery actually also has ‘amazing’ photographs: check out this tweet-worthy photograph of a bird apparently feeding its young.  Things get ‘amazing’ in another way too: what on earth is this?  

This gallery will bring inspiration to any citified photographer who can’t find any wildlife to shoot.

Only last week we had alerted you to a photograph of a rare natural phenomenon: a waterspout and rainbow together.  As strange as it may be, another photographer repeated the act.  Maciej Winiarczyk, shooting in Scotland, captured a photo of the Aurora Borealis together with noctilucent clouds which are “somewhere between 47 and 53 miles high in the mesosphere, they are composed entirely of ice crystals and can only be seen between certain latitudes during twilight.”

You can see – make that you must see – the gorgeous photograph with otherworldly hues on PetaPixel (via Astronomy Picture of the Day) alongwith a time-lapse of the seldom-seen sight.  Tweet-worthy encore!

Anyone who likes the British Royals and Baby Pictures is up for a double treat, for a few hours back The Daily Mail published a picture story by Rebecca English entitled How portraits of royal babies have changed through the generations.

This delightful feature takes us from Sir Cecil Beaton’s artistic portrait study of Queen Elizabeth with infant Prince Charles in 1948 to casual snapshots of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton) with infant Prince George (and a lovely black spaniel) taken mere days back.  

In between 1948 and 2013, photos of Prince Charles and Lady Diana in their pomp and glory with baby Prince William are also on display.

This picture story brings to the fore changing social attitudes, as reflected in the baby photos, even in Great Britain’s royal family.

What, then, did those Indian college students get up to yesterday?  Well, even as they documented slum conditions for posterity, they brought smiles on the faces of the slum-dwellers.  

Amutha Kannan, writing in The Hindu, has the story.  About 40 students from Hindusthan College of Arts and Science decided to celebrate World Photography Day by giving slum-dwellers something to celebrate: the rare pleasure of having their picture taken – and given to them!  The students took a printer with them and handed out free 6x4s to their happy subjects.

Featured Hot Shot Photographer | Peta Curnow for the Other Category

June 24th, 2008 1 Comment

Peta recently won the "Other" photo category in the first round of our Hot Shot or Not competition. You can see all winners here.

She kindly shared the story and technique behind her winning image "Action at Avalon Air Show"

Peta Writes:

When I booked my tickets online for the 2007 Airshow, I was initially disappointed that I could only get seats in the top row of the Grandstand. I wanted to be down by the runway so I could get some high speed shots of the big jets before they took to the air. On the day however, I changed my tune. I found that my seats up high gave me a unique perspective I had not seen before from other photographers at Airshows. As the planes left the runway, I felt like I was up there with them (briefly). Many that have since seen this shot asked what plane I was up in to get the shot!
I shoot with a Canon EOS 5D. My trusty Canon 70-300 IS was my lens of choice that day for obvious reasons. I used a circular polarizer to help improve contrast and pump up blues and greens, on what was a very gloomy day. I was shooting mostly on Shutter Priority, with my ISOs up around 500. I also changed from single shot mode to continuous. This shot was 2000 @ f7.1 at 300mm focal length. I chose to crop to a panoramic format in post production, as well as making some slight adjustments to the curves to improve contrast.

Peta’s tip for other photographers:

My tip: Dont be afraid of negative space in your compositions! I find they give context and in this case, room for the subject to move further into the frame.

You can check out more of Peta’s work at her photographic studio site.


Stay tuned for more feature posts from this months Hot Shots.




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