All images in Current stream (started: 4/1/2013 6:52:00 AM)
Greg Downing (6343) Member since: 11/10/2001
My passion for nature photography began with my love for birds. I have been fascinated with birds ever since I was a young child. I can remember watching birds through the window as they came to my family's feeders. I learned to identify them using an old hardback Peterson field guide. As I grew up, I began spending almost all my spare time birding, learning to identify birds not only by their field marks, but also by song, behavior and flight patterns. I have been a member of the Cape May Bird Observatory for years and have participated in workshops with some of the well-known experts there, like Pete Dunne and Pat and Clay Sutton. I subscribe to several local birding discussion forums and lists. After years of addicted birding, I had the revelation that it often left me unfulfilled and that it simply wasn't enough to just view the birds in nature. I wanted to see and to study the details of their faces, feathers and shapes. I had no idea that I was about to get myself into a second addiction . . . bird photography. It began with the purchase of my first SLR camera and "The Art of Bird Photography" by Arthur Morris, considered to be THE book on learning the craft. I have since studied bird photography with Arthur by attending numerous tours and seminars. We became friends in the process. With these tools and a strong commitment to learn, I found new creativity and achievement within myself. In the summer of 2001, I assisted Arthur on two of his BIRDS AS ART/Instructional Photo-Tours. Today bird photography is what defines me. I now travel almost monthly to far off places to capture birds on film. My vision is to capture the beauty of birds and to share it with others through my still images. When one sees a bird, it is usually a fleeting glimpse. Their beauty is often readily obvious, but it is only through still pictures that we can truly study and appreciate all that they are. I strive to capture birds in action in their environment as well as to create artistic, simple, up close and intimate portraits that show the details of their beauty. More recently my passion has spilled over into the desire to teach others---to help others learn to capture the beauty of birds through photography has become my goal. As I travel the world to capture my subjects, I enjoy meeting others, teaching, and sharing my passion and expertise with them as well as making new lifelong friends in the process. My equipment includes professional SLR camera bodies including the EOS 1VHS and an assortment of Canon lenses. My everyday lens is the Canon 600 F4L IS. I also use the Canon 400 F5.6L for birds in flight as well as the Canon 100-400 IS. I use the Canon 28-135 IS for general photography and close-ups. For use with larger lenses, my favorite tripod is the Gitzo 1548 with a Wimberley head. For general use with smaller lenses, I rely on the Bogen 2110 with an Arca-Swiss B1 ballhead, which goes back and forth between the tripod and my Kirk window mount when shooting from the car. For flash I use the Canon 550EX with a Better Beamer mounted on a Wimberley flash bracket. My favorite films are Fuji Velvia and Provia F, both for their rich color palette and fine grain.