Snappin' Critters


Animals tend to move more at the same times when the light for photography is best: early and late. Your best pictures typically will be when the sun is fairly low in the sky. I try to limit my shooting to the first three hours after sunrise and the last two before sunset. Of course, that's not always practical and possible.

If I'm shooting around water during the day, I often use a polarizer; especially in the Keys. A polarizer removes the glare from the water's surface and makes it look more transparent.

The clearest blue skies usually appear right after a cold front, which cleans the air and makes everything seem sharper and crisper. March and early April, when the foliage is just getting its leaves, is another excellent period.

Fujichrome film does well in Florida regardless of the time of day. Kodachrome, I feel, loses too much of its punch in bright sun. I reserve it for early morning and late afternoon shooting, if at all.

Anticipate very dark conditions on swamp boardwalks. It may not even be possible to take photos without a tripod or a strobe.

For saturated color, even when using flash, I like to underexpose at least a third of an f-stop, as much as two-thirds in the middle of the day.

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