Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Wildlife Photographer's Guide to High-Speed Tripwire Photography Using the Phototrap

I am now taking orders for the English version of the manual. This book is an economical alternative to attending the workshops. All the theory and tricks that are covered in the lecture portion of the workshop are included here. Purchase of the manual entitles the client to technical support by telephone (long distance fees may apply) Also, clients who have bought the book and decide to attend the workshop at later date will receive a $75CDN rebate.

-English Version, 35 pages, spiral bound: $75USD plus shipping

-French Version(COMING SOON), 35 pages, spiral bound: $75USD plus shipping

1.) Lighting

1.1) creative flash positioning
1.2) directional lighting
1.3) duration considerations for action
1.4) color temperature
1.4.1) white balance
1.4.2) blue sky and mixed color temperatures
1.5) light modifiers
1.6) water reflections
1.7) supporting hardware suggestions

2.) Setting

2.1) artificial backgrounds
2.2) mixing artificial and natural background elements for depth
2.3) natural lighting
2.4) mixed lighting considerations
2.5) geographic accuracy

3.) Sensor Placement and Calibration

3.1) direct versus Reflect mode
3.2) angular orientation’s effect on sensitivity
3.3) focus calibration and the pendulum method
3.4) the ‘black cotton’ trick

4.) Set-up examples

4.1) “A to B” subjects: the Basilisk
4.2) insects in flight
4.3) hummingbird at flower
4.4) saw whet leaving cavity

The Only Tasteful Gift in the Room

Do you have to buy a gift for one of those 'who's my Santa' gigs at the Christmas office party? Give the only tasteful gift in the room, a print of one of Scott's wildlife images! They start at only $37USD!

When Ordering from my online gallery at, you may notice that the largest print format that I sell (36" on the longest side) has been reduced in price by $50USD.

Check my gallery and try the 'frame selection' feature that gives you an idea of how a given frame will look before you order it!


Monday, December 14, 2009

Phototrap Workshops Taking Off!

The Montreal area workshops are filling up nicely and the client demand seems to be re-shaping the product somewhat. Many busy professionals from around the US who are also serious amateur photographers are requesting private weekends one-on-one. So, I am now booking private dates on request throughout 2010. I will be adding another 4 person workshop in Montreal shortly, so stay tuned. Surprisingly, the Toronto area workshops have not been quite as successful in terms of interest, so they are currently at risk of cancellation.

Here is the current pricing structure (old pricing applies for 7 more days, till midnight December 21st):

4-person(max) workshop weekend including lunch(2) with Phototrap: $1199CDN/person

4-person(max) workshop weekend including lunch(2) without Phototrap: $799CDN/person

Private, one-on-one workshop weekend including lunch(2) with Phototrap: $1399CDN

Private, one-on-one workshop weekend including lunch(2) without Phototrap: $999CDN

Phototrap for Canon or Nikon system: $525CDN(shipping included)


The definitive Phototrap Manual for Wildlife Photographers

Don't want to travel and spend the money on the workshop? Buy the manual outlining all the theory and set-ups covered in the workshop!

Shipped anywhere in Canada and the lower 50 for $150CDN! (shipping included)

Each hard copy shipped is numbered and entitles the client to technical support by telephone (long distance fees may apply)


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wild Barred Owls!

Today John Belanger and I drove 5 hours each way to find these barred owls. The low light was no match for the Nikon D3 combined with the 300 f2.8. Still, I was really at the limit of what parameters I am comfortable with; even for the D3. Most of the action shots were done at 1/1000, f2.8, iso2000.


Monday, November 30, 2009

Nature Sauvage Front Cover!

I was excited this morning to receive a request to invoice a handful of images for the latest Nature Sauvage. One of the shots used was labeled as 'Page 1". Evidently, Page 1 means the cover for this particular magazine! What a thrill! Nature Sauvage sets the very highest standard for Quebec natural history publications. It seems that their editorial staff choose the images that appear in the magazine based on the visual impact of the images and not any other secondary considerations. ;)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Day Into Night

One of the coolest things about the red-eyed tree frog that is not often captured in still imagery is the amazing transition that they make from sleeping/camouflaged mode into the state of wakefulness. This is a first try at capturing this transition.

Creative lighting with speedlights in the studio environment is just one facet of what will be covered in my Phototrap Workshop.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Hello everyone!

I am very excited to announce this new workshop series!

"Take a workshop, take home a PHOTOTRAP!"

"This is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the dynamic world of tripwire photography AND acquire the specialized equipment at a lower price than that offered by the manufacturer! Scott will pass on to you all his years of experience on how to light captive set-ups to look natural using speedlights and how to capture fleeting action that would otherwise be impossible with conventional photographic techniques. The skills that you will acquire in Scott's studio will be directly applicable to wild species. "

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Osprey on Front Cover

An image from the Finland osprey series is on the front cover of the December issue of Nature Friend magazine. Nature Friend is a superb, children's publication rooted in family values and is a supporter of home schooling.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Week of Freebie Requests

Here's something just for entertainement value. They are actual requests for image use from this past week. The funny thing about "The Very Big" case is that the gov't agency in question did have the budget to hire a third party to undertake this promotional campaign, just not for the single image around which the campaign would be based. :D

The Very Small

Them: "I received some grant money to installa permanent sign, such as you would find at a State or National park.Unfortunately there is no money in the budget for imagery."

Me: "Thanks for your inquiry. It is essential that I produce revenue for any andall usages of my work. That being said, the beauty of the rights managedsales model is that the small application pays the small fee. You couldhave full resolution files for all the images you mentioned for a one timefee of $100. Keep in mind that the principle of the time value of money appliesuniversally. Finding equivalent quality from a serious amatuer at nomonetary cost is possible, but at the expense of your time. Same dayresponse and quality of service are generaly not associated with the seriousamatuer who is often pre-occupied with a day job. I would be happy to provide those to you under the above terms."

Them: "Thanks for your response. I certainly understand the need to producerevenue and you make good a good point about my own time. I will keep yourterms in mind as I move forward."

The Very Big

Them: "As discussed over the phone we are interested in the following image for an upcoming campaign for the ********"

Them: "Again, the ******** is a government agency and would not have a large purse for image purchase. If you are interested it would most-likely more be for the recognition and portfolio than a financial gain."

Them: "It is not a large campaign for them, it will be around a 4-week campaign. As it looks now (however the marketing plan is always changing) a rough estimate would be: 3 magazines inserts, 4 large scale banners, some transit shelter ads, 8 newsprint insertions and possibly a :05 or :07 V tag"

Me: "If obtained through a stock agency, the usage described would command a conservative estimate of $1500~$2000. Now I realize that government agencies have limited budgets and as such I am very open to negotiation. But I am not in the position to provide such usage without monetary compensation."

Them: "It turns out that the ******** is going with another image and will not be moving forward with yours.
Thanks for your time"

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Saw-Whet Owl Images

I have been on the road for the past few days photographing saw-whet owls. Here is quick process job on one of the better shots from the shoot. These little guys have always been a fav of mine. Imagine an owl the size of a rolled up pair of wool socks. So photogenic...


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

WILD Halloween Issue Front Cover

Here is one of my Arizona bat images on the front cover of WILD magazine. This is a children's magazine published by the Canadian Wildlife Federation.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Prints for Sale: reasonably priced, uncomplicated ordering!

Prints of Scott's images are now available through Fine Art America. You can choose the size of your print and whether you want it framed and matted or just rolled in a tube. You can also choose where you want the print shipped by UPS. Payment is easy through Paypal and all major credit cards.

I am just starting to get images up on the gallery, so if there's a particular image that you'd like to see up there for sale, let me know and I'll upload it.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Coming Soon! A reasonable, safe and efficient way to buy prints of Scott's images!

Print sales are a rather small part of my business. But, occasionally, someone will see a shot of mine in a magazine and they will want to give it as a gift. Some people want just the print, others want something framed. Ultimately, I am not really equipped to respond to these demands and come away with any sense of satisfaction. The client's interest often diminishes I think that once they realize that the transaction is not an easy one. So, I have been searching for an online gallery that can sell my work as prints in a number of sizes, with or without matting and framin and take care of the shipping as well.

I feel that once the potential client doesn't have to worry about some guy (me) printing stuff in his basement and getting around to mailing it off, they may be more inclined to buy (since a transaction of this nature is much more reliable and familiar -- unlike contacting someone on a private email address and Paypal-ing money to a stranger, etc.).

Once the gallery is up and running, I will post the link here as well as on my website.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Presentation to Montreal Zoological Society

Scott will be giving a presentation to the Montreal Zoological Society on Tuesday October 20th, 2009. This will be Scott's third presentation to the society in as many years.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Publication News

A feature on the Finland osprey series will appear in a major North American magazine in the December issue. Also in December, the image below will appear as the front cover of a North American children's magazine.

Monday, September 21, 2009

OPC Fall Issue on Newsstands

The fall issue of Outdoor Photography Canada is currently on the newsstands. This issue, my regular column features part 1 of a two-part series on flight photography. Check it out!

Also, fellow OPC columinst Kelly Funk has the front cover this issue as well as a superb feature on the isolated Grizzly bear hotspot, the Khutzeymateen Valley. When I first started in photography as an amateur I would hang on Kelly's every word when he appeared on the short-lived TV series Nikon Wildlife Expeditions.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A few more Finland Osprey

My earlier post on this trip showcased my two very favorite images. But I would have been reasonably satisfied with any one of these if I had never got the "money" shots.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Few Covers from 2009

These two are probably the most noteworthy front covers published so far this year. Truth be told, I strive for the cover shot as a matter of philosophy. I believe in the stand-alone image that conveys universal impact to the viewer, regardless of their interests or place in the world. I still maintain that the images that I produce on yearly basis that approach this ideal are numbered in the dozens.

National Geographic Junior, Feb. 2009

Outdoor Photography Canada, Spring 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bats in Flight to be Published

It looks like two of my bat-in-flight images, much like the one below,

will be published in the Halloween issue of two magazines for young people. I am happy to see these unique images find a home. They were shot at Bill Forbes' pond south of Tucson Arizona using the amazing Phototrap camera trigger as well as 4 camera flashes.

Bill Forbes to Assist at ICF Pro Tour

Bill Forbes, inventor and manufacturer of the Phototrap high speed photographic trigger system, has volunteered to be my photographic assistant during the ICF Pro Tour in April 2010. Bill's extensive knowledge and creativity in the domain of photographic set-ups is second to none. I am relieved to have such a skilled individual step forward to help out in this highly competitive contest, where having a competent assistant can make a world of difference.

Monday, September 7, 2009

2010 ICF Pro Tour

"the world's richest nature photography tournament, featuring international nature photographers randomly teamed with regional landowners"
Barn Owl "rejecting" owl pellet (ewwww...)

Yup, I will be competing in the ICF Pro Tour again in 2010. Back in 2008, I came in 9th place with a portfolio that featured strong bird coverage, but I displayed a rather ho-hum performance in the four other categories. Still, above and beyond the prize money for 9th place, I also placed 7 of my images in the top 100 of contest, bringing my total winnings above that of the 8th place photographer. This is consistent with what has always been my photographic work ethic: low quantity, high quality.

A link to my profile at the ICF site.

With way more tools in my photographic toolbox and perhaps a better work ethic (slightly), I hope to place higher in 2010. We'll see...

One of the "Top 100 in Contest" 2008 ICF Pro Tour, Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (wild), South Texas

Friday, September 4, 2009

Osprey in Finland

As promised in the last entry, I am uploading a few of the best images from four days spent in a hide shooting osprey in Finland. All the images were shot with the blisteringly fast combination of the Nikon D3 camera and the 300mm f2.8 lens. I'm a big fan of the head-on perspective in raptor photography and the equipment did not disappoint despite this most demanding of auto-focusing challenges.

Here's a brief video showing the perspective from the hide. What you are seeing is two aborted dives followed by one complete dive with the osprey flying away from the hide.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Inaugural Blogural

This is an odd time to start a blog as I am currently between projects. I have just wrapped up my second try at the "Jesus Christ Lizard" project. This was a studio effort to capture the unique ability of this special creature to run on the surface of water.

My wife, Stephanie, and I are preparing for a trip to Europe. The photographic highlight of this trip is four days that will be spent with well-known UK photographer Miguel Lasa at what is arguably the best spot in the world to photograph osprey catching fish.

Hopefully the coming weeks will produce some world class osprey images! For now, I leave you with the one decent image that I have of this spectacular phenomenon.