Peggy Farren interviews nature and landscape photographer Constance Mier. Constance shares some of her experience and insights about photographing the Evergaldes from a canoe. Thanks for tuning into episode #86 of The Understand Photography Show!
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Tips for Wildlife and Landscape Photography from a Canoe
Episode 86 with Constance Mier
She loves to explore the Everglades in a canoe.
She started taking photographs for something to do while her companions were fishing.
She has taken many classes and workshops, as well as listened to podcasts and watched YouTube videos to improve her photography and photoshop skills.
“The more I have photographed, the fewer photos I take. I’ve become more discerning.”
Why a Canoe?
Many people explore the Everglades in kayak. Kayaks are closed. They have a low profile, and sit low in the water. There’s not much room for extra gear.
Canoes sit higher in the water and are completely open on top. The openness allows Connie to have easier access to all of her equipment – which fits in a case directly in front of her.
Connie uses a watertight Pelican Case to keep all of her equipment safe and dry.
– She keeps the case locked with all her gear except for the camera in her hand.
– The case will float, even when fully loaded.
– ALWAYS test the case for watertightness BEFORE you put your equipment inside!
Since most of her trips are solo, she uses a Lightweight Solo Canoe that she can easily lift by herself.
Gear for a Typical Day Trip
2 camera bodies – her main camera is a Sony Alpha A77 Crop Frame
Lenses – telephoto 70mm-400mm and wide angle
Tripod with gimbal head
GPS is very helpful to keep from getting lost.
– Use a stand-alone GPS unit – you will probably not get cellular service in the more remote areas.
– There are apps that you can use with your phone: iSail and iHike
– Download the maps of the areas where you’re going so you can access them without a wifi signal.
– The app can locate you and help direct you back.
Biscayne Bay is great for sunrises.
Islands with campsites
– look at a map of Everglades National Park to help you locate islands.
– learn from people (fisherman) that have been going to these islands for years.
– some islands are better than others for birds or sunsets
Most of the mangrove islands all look the same.
“You spend hours looking at mangroves, water, and sky. The pace of the canoe forces you to slow down, see things differently and look for the details.”
Connie’s favorite lens, her 70mm-400mm telephoto, allows her to capture more intimate landscapes. Tiny landscapes on the water, a few strands of grass with reflections can create a stunning artistic abstract.
Tips and Tricks to Getting Great Shots from a Canoe
- You can get closer to wildlife if you stay in the canoe and take it slow.
- The key to a great shot is keeping the boat steady.
– Connie uses “Stick-It-Pins” which she forces into the mud on either side of the canoe to keep it steady.
- Use a tripod
– Can be set up in the boat for her long lens by keeping the legs short.
– Can be set up in the water for long exposure shots.
- You need to be VERY careful and methodical about setting up gear on the water!
Facebook: C. Mier Paddler