Sunday, December 26, 2010

Osprey in Canadian Geographic

I am a bit late posting this, but my osprey image (the one from the cover of my new book) is in the December issue of Canadian Geographic.

For next year, CG have asked me to produce a full feature on a less-celebrated Canadian wildlife subject.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Special Guest at Book Signing: Roy Ramsay

Roy Ramsay, editor of Outdoor Photography Canada Magazine, will be on hand at the Decisive Moments book signing to mingle and chat about outdoor photography. OPC is Canada's leading photography magazine and meeting Roy in person can definitely do no harm to the career of Canada's up-and-coming photographers!

Roy will only be attending the Saturday (4th of December) event, so clear your schedule to get a chance to chat candidly with this Canadian publication maverick!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Decisive Moments Book Signing!‏

Hello everyone,

The time has finally come for my new book to make its way into the world! To accommodate everyone's busy schedule at this time of the year, we will be hosting two signing events on consecutive evenings.

We invite you to join Scott and Stephanie on whichever evening suits you. You can expect good food and good conversation with folks sharing mutual interest in the arts, photography and nature. Feel free to extend this invitation to anyone else that you feel might be interested.

Signing Events Time/Place

December 3rd and 4th (Friday and Saturday)
Le Bouquin D'Occasion
233 D'Anjou
Chateauguay, Quebec

Hope to see you there!

Scott Linstead

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Popular Photography Magazine review Decisive Moments

Senior editor of Popular Photography Magazine, Peter Kolonia has reviewed Decisive Moments.

Monday, November 15, 2010

2011 Phototrap Workshops

The 2011 workshop schedule is up!

Here are some images taken by Scott as well as former clients.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Kari Post Reviews my book; now available at!

Kari Post wrote a flattering review of Decisive Moments to coincide with the book's availability for purchase on the premiere nature photography website Her insights on what distinguishes Decisive Moments conceptually from countless other photography books are clear and accurate.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cardinal Jumping Spider

Here's another, tinier spider in a similar jump pose as the last one. When this juvenile spider molted, it went from a drab brown to these spectacular colors. It is common to not really know exactly what the species is until it has molted closer to its adult coloration and markings.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Apache Jumping Spider

Apache Jumping Spider: A relatively easy shot. The really good jumper images are reserved for the pages of the book....

Monday, November 1, 2010

Neil Losin Reviews My Book!

Neil Losin, PhD candidate at UCLA, photographer, filmaker and all-around talented dude, wrote a glowing review of my book Decisive Moments.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Chameleon Photo Wins AEP Award!

The image below has done surprisingly well in a number of publications. Recently, it was voted Best Photograph by AEP. That means that the photo was judged as best in all children's publications for 2009 including National Geographic Kids, Weekly Reader, Scholastic, and Highlights for Children.

For those of you who are not fully aware of the significance of having one's images appear in Ranger Rick magazine, it is considered as one of the greatest showcases for world-class images in North America. Yes, it is a children's magazine. Nonetheless, it is one of the highest paying natural history clients that a photographer can have.

PS -- The image and how it was accomplished are in Decisive Moments.

"SLURRRRP! Chameleon Photo"
Ranger Rick Magazine
National Wildlife Federation

Monday, September 27, 2010

Scott's Book Pre-Order!

That's right! I am publishing my first book! Read more about it here!

The official publication date will be in mid December, but some preliminary, signed copies will be available to die-hard fans in early November. Preliminary copies will also be available for the book signing events that I will be hosting in early November. Pre-order customers also benefit from 10% off!

Reserve your signed copy here!

What people are saying about Decisive Moments

“Scott's macro work, especially the jumping spiders, is absolutely spectacular. It's always exciting to see new talent and I'm certain this young man is just getting started.”

—Daniel J. Cox

“In nature the decisive moment is often a moment of life and death, where predator and prey meet. A lot of photographers try to catch that instant with their camera. Where many try, Scott Linstead succeeds and he brings us a glimpse into the natural world that we seldom get to see up close. Linstead's images tell the story of the struggle for survival in those fractions of a second when it's actually happening.”

—Chistopher Robinson
Editor, Outdoor Photographer Magazine

“Most coffee table books are strictly spectator experiences. This one doesn't just make you ooh and ahh -- though it does that -- it invites you to jump in and tells you how to create your own action nature photographs. It's a participatory coffee table book. A coffee table and photo blind book.”

—Annie Gottlieb
Copy Chief, Natural History Magazine

"Scott brings a generous spirit of humor, intelligence and a refreshing modesty to this collection of nature stories and photographs"

—Susan McElhinney
Photo Editor, Ranger Rick magazine.

Secret book preview image added for the "Delete Me! We're Top Banana, Grape Beyond Compear!" gang.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

First Impressions on Microflash Pro

Recently, UPS showed up at my door with a large box. After a few signatures I was taking my new Microflash Pro out of the packaging to gaze upon it in reverence. Is it big? Yes. Try to imagine a front loader VCR (remember those things that played VHS tapes?) that is 2 or 3 inches shorter from left to right.

The Microflash Pro dwarfing my D300

For those of you not familiar with high speed photography you may be wondering why such a flash is needed. Speedlights are much smaller and generally more convenient, right? And if they don't provide the amount of light that is required, there are plenty of big Metz and studio strobes out there with very impressive guide numbers, right? So why a specialized flash?

The answer is the need for speed AND power. Speedlights can have very fast durations but can only do so when set on rather low light outputs. A fair work around is bringing these flashes very close to the scene. But then there's the problem of light modifiers that eat up their share of photons such as the softbox. Studio strobes put out larger quantities of light but they generally accomplish this by keeping their bulbs lit for longer periods of time, often in the order of 1/1000".

So, to have a lot of light in a very short duration requires a different beast entirely. It means dangerously high voltages and currents and large capacitors to store this energy. A new standard of safety engineering needs to be applied if such a unit is to be distributed to consumers. Is the VCR-like sizing of the Pro's flash head a necessity based on physics? Yes. Much in the same way that you need a very large gasoline engine if you require 500lb-ft of torque and 500hp. The Pro provides about the same amount of light that two Nikon SB-800s could provide at full power. But, instead of delivering that light over 1/1000 of a second, the Pro gets it done in an astonishingly fast 1/28000 of a second.

Speed and Power allow the Pro to be placed away from the subject

Even with the light modifying softbox attached, the Pro can be withdrawn comfortably away from the area in front of the lens, hence leaving plenty of space in that normally cramped area for infrared beam emitters and receivers as well as other bits of hardware typically associated with high-speed photography. I can typically operate my high speed sets at f22, iso200 and have regular Nikon speedlights take care of the secondary lighting such as backlighting and the lighting of artificial backgrounds. I get by quite well with only one Pro flash head providing the primary lighting for the scene.

The external battery has the same feel as the flash head of the Pro: think "military hardware"

As the subjects get smaller and faster, as is the case with insects in flight, the speedlights no longer provide the light that is needed to properly expose the scene without compromising iso or depth of field. In the past I have used speedlights at 1/16 power (1/10000 of a second) for many applications where this speed was sufficient. I came to realize that the speedlights were insufficient when 1/32 power (1/17000") was barely enough to freeze my insect subjects and I needed to bring the flashes within inches of the subject in order to illuminate them properly.

Zero Lag Applications?

A perhaps unforeseen benefit of the immense power of the Pro is the ability to simulate a near-zero shutter lag in the studio environment. By limiting the ambient light in the studio the high speed photographer can afford to hold the camera shutter open for a second or two in anticipation of the action without affecting the exposure. This can only be accomplished if the aperture is stopped down to f16 or f22 (already a requirement for other reasons such as DOF) and low iso sensitivities. The Pro can be triggered directly by any tripwire system such as the StopShot or the Phototrap, both of which I use extensively. Since flashes respond much faster than camera shutters (in the order of millionths of a second as opposed to the hundredths of a second required for the mechanical shutter of a DSLR to open) the photographer can come as close to the zero lag ideal as possible.

A most demanding of situations: The subject approaches the camera and is traveling over a very short distance. The infrared beam or laser beam that triggers the camera cannot be repositioned to accommodate the lag in this case because the distance traveled by the subject is too short.

How, exactly, is the above image achieved, you ask? Find out in my new book, due out later this year. Keep an eye out for a pre-orders page!

More info on this company's products here

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Spots Remain for September Bat Workshop in AZ!

There is one spot in block 3 and block 4 has two spots available. Come and check out one of the most unique and reasonably priced photo workshops around.

Included is a copy of my manual (regularly priced at $75USD + shipping)

Monday, July 26, 2010

The arrival of a specialized high-speed flash system from a company in the UK draws near! I am anxious to find out what new heights to which my imagery might be elevated by's very unique products.

High Speed Flash, a subsidiary of First Light Lamps, is perhaps the first company to manufacture a truly accessible flash aimed squarely at the tremendous speed and power requirements of high speed photography. The demands of this kind of photography translate to higher voltages and currents that need to be dealt with to a higher safety engineering standard than normal flash units. This, combined with the very specific market for such a product, has kept a reasonable alternative to the current, rather rag-tag offerings, outside of the interest of flash manufacturers.

The two products are the Pro and the Ultra. The Pro is ideal for wildlife photographers who need the speed available at the low-power range of a conventional speedlight (around 1/30000") but with the power output that is equal or greater a conventional unit at max output. In other words, the Pro provides more light in 1/28000" than a Nikon or Canon flash can in 1/1000".

The Ultra has an extremely fast duration of 1/111111" and is intended for ballistic photography. The higher speed of this unit is also useful for the very fastest of wildlife applications including, for instance, the lateral jump of a grasshopper.

Once my unit arrives I will be posting my experiences and hopefully some supporting imagery! Exciting times for high speed photographers!

Friday, July 23, 2010

High Speed Feature goes Viral

What started out as a feature in a UK newspaper has gone viral and is now present what appears to be dozens of newspapers around the world, both in print and online. Here are some examples including MSNBC. Other countries where variations on the feature appear include Germany, Switzerland and Brazil.

Monday, July 12, 2010

6th Place and $11000 in ICF Pro Tour!

38: Days in Texas
4 to 5: rattlesnakes encountered per day
1: number of geckos gone missing in trailer
1: number of pubic haires found inside fridge door of trailer
2: black widow spiders living in terrariums on my kitchen table
27: average daily temp during the month of April
9: length in miles of drive to get out of ranch
30000: acres of land on ranch
5: days of straight rain leading to complete vehicular immobility
1: number of deer mice greeting me next to my pillow in the middle of the night
7: number of $500 images in top 100 of contest
50: percentage of $11000 winning that goes to the land owner

So, the results have been published. I was one spot away from where I thought I might be satisfied (top 5). Here are some selected images, now free of the publication ban: