Juan Pons has been a photographer for more than 20 years. His images have been featured in numerous publications, including the magazines Sierra, Nature Conservancy, Audubon, American Photo and many others. Juan teaches photography workshops all over the world, and also hosts "The Digital Photography Experience" podcast with his friend and fellow Craftsy instructor, Rick Sammon.
Materials: What you Need
Lesson Plan: What you Learn
Meet your instructor, professional wildlife photographer Juan Pons, and hear Juan's philosophy on ethically photographing animals in the wild. Discover how the DSLR camera has transformed wildlife photography as Juan offers his gear recommendation for lenses, DSLR features and tripod construction. Finally, learn the importance of making your equipment an extension of yourself as Juan offers advice for building up muscle memory so that you don't let the mechanics of shooting get in the way of a professional-quality photo.
Capture animals in their natural habitat as you learn about the different behaviors they exhibit depending on season or environment. Discover how their behavior changes when it's mating season or if predators are nearby. Then, discover how to research the animals you wish to photograph as Juan offers tips for using the Internet, local authorities and even apps to help you understand and locate wildlife.
Transform your photography from taking photos into making photos as Juan gives you the tools you need to create dynamic compositions and compelling images. You'll learn how to frame your subject against its background and how to move your camera to get the image and angle you want. Discover Juan's formulas for capturing or blurring your background and adjust your point of view to mirror your subject's. Then, learn how to critique your own work as Juan takes you through his portfolio and points out what he looks for when creating engaging compositions.
Gain an understanding of light as you delve into the direction, intensity and the quality of light. See how to maximize the light you have and use a flash to fill in the light you're missing. Juan offers a detailed explanation on how to set up a flash, use a diffuser and adjust your camera settings to bounce just the right amount of light off your subjects. Finally, learn Juan's secret for adjusting your camera settings using the histogram to capture as much information in your photos as you can, without losing any details.
Take an in-depth tour of all of the gear that will help you create your best wildlife photos. Juan ranks his favorite lenses and accessories, from ball heads to tripods. You'll learn what gear you absolutely need and what gear you can do without. See how to hide in plain sight with the help of a hunter's blind and learn how to properly attach and balance a large lens to a gimbal head. Learn how to use a bag filled with sunflower seeds as a portable and lightweight support for your camera.
Hone your skills as a wildlife photographer in your own backyard. Gather Juan's tips for creating a welcoming environment for critters small and large as he shows you how some simple landscaping will attract birds, insects and reptiles, with small mammals soon to follow. Then, learn to adjust your expectations depending on your setting, urban or rural, and learn where to look for wildlife, no matter your location.
Take a peek into Juan's post-processing workflow as he uses Adobe Lightroom® from initial import through photo selection and final editing. See how Juan applies his favorite tools to his photos and pick up insider tips for brightening, sharpening and color-correcting photos. Learn how to harness Lightroom's cataloging capabilities to organize you photos as you easily add keywords and copyright your own work.