Friday, November 9, 2012

Indonesian Glider workshop (in Quebec)

I currently have the following Indonesian gliding species in the studio for high-speed, camera trap photography of the subjects gliding/flying.  All camera trap and high-speed flash equipment is provided.  Legitimate Indonesian vegetation is also on site for set building.  Prior camera trap experience is not required.   

Flying Dragons (Draco volans)
Gliding Geckos (Ptychozoon sp.)
2 species of Gliding Frogs (Rhacophorus sp.)


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

- Decisive Moments: Creating Iconic Imagery

One day workshop fee:


Saturday, October 13, 2012

SOLD: Aerial Photography Helicopter for sale

Ready to fly, flight tested and vibration tuned by me (BEng).
Carries full size DSLR.
Capable of video or stills
Open Loop stabilized 2-axis gimbal
10min. flight time


T-Rex 700E                             ($1000)
Photoship One 2Axis Gimbal ($700)
Pelican Cases for travel           ($500)
Skookum SK-720                    ($500)
Jive 80HV                                ($400)
Align 470kV                            ($200)
JR 9503 + JR 9ch DSMX        ($500)
4X Pulse battery                       ($500)
4X Thunder Power battery       ($1000)
Hyperion charger                      ($150)
2X Futaba 401 gyro                  ($200)
Spektrum 6ch Rx                       ($50)
video rx/tx/LCD/antenna           ($250)
Hercules BEC                             ($70)
Spin Blades asym.                      ($150)
Spektrum 6ch Tx                        ($200)

Total retail less taxes                  $6370
Asking                                        $5000




Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Photo Earns Other People Money

About a year ago the agency that controls the publication rights to the first 5 years of my photography career stopped paying.   You might be thinking "Non-payment is a legit reason to end a contract".  Let's just say that in the most ideal of situations this is true.  Without getting into details (the agency in question briefly came out of a non-communicative state to threaten to sue me for mentioning them on Facebook) the quote that comes to mind is "the law is only there for rich people to make a point."  So, in a nutshell, "you can't get out, we won't pay you and we will continue to profit from your work" is essentially the message that was sent.

I firmly believe that it is human nature to not be able to fully empathize with what it is like to have something you created stolen from you until it actually happens.  This might be at the heart of why so many seemingly law-abiding citizens are okay with downloading pirated music and movies.  But that is a whole other blog entry for another time.

John Fogerty, lead singer and songwriter for Creedence Clearwater Revival, recently gave an interview for the Edmonton Journal.  Fogerty effectively lost the rights to his own songs in 1972 when the band split up and Fantasy Records retained control over the entire CCR songbook.  During the last few decades, if he wanted to perform his own songs, Fogerty would've had to pay royalties.  To add insult to injury, he was sued by the label when his solo tune "The Old Man Down the Road" was claimed to sound too much like "Run Through the Jungle".  So, it was not enough that he lost out on revenue from his original, monumental works of the CCR years, the owner of the CCR songbook seemingly also wanted to prevent Fogerty from even sounding like himself.

When asked by the interviewer what it was that allowed him to finally shed his understandable bitterness, he answered "“My family,” ...  “I healed because of being with my wife and family. It’s a great thing; one day you wake up and you’re not worrying about all of those things that were so dark and bothersome."  I am trying to find the same sense of peace that Fogerty has found through family.  And maybe since I am so much less significant than he is it might take me less time. 

Sometimes that peace of mind is threatened when reminders of how the creative material that I quit my day job to produce is still out there, padding the pockets of others.  I received the following email message last night: 

Dear Mr. Linstead, I just opened National Wildlife and saw your  
stunning image of the Osprey. Truly the best Osprey photo I have ever  
seen. Just a dazzling shot. I have no idea how you did this ..but it  
is awesome! This is what wildlife photography should be!
best Regards
Here is the article in its online version where, as a double page spread 
in a national magazine with digital rights, it is likely to have 
fetched between $750 and $1000.  It is probably the best-selling image 
of my short career.  The trip to Finland alone cost me $7000.  I am far from a statistical blip. 
Be careful who you sign with.  


Saturday, June 23, 2012


Two full-frame images followed by heavy crops of each to illustrate the improved file quality using a different technique than the image in the last blog entry.


Thursday, June 21, 2012


Getting a quality file is not easy in this situation, even with a high-iso camera.  I needed high iso and a wide open aperture as well as low magnification and 1/60 of a second in DX mode (of the Nikon D700).  In other words, the shoot requires extreme light sensitivity to make firefly's glow substantial against the flower. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

UPB shoot

This cottontail checked out the UPB

Ghost Town Bats: Ruby, Arizona

A peak of 60,000 Mexican free-tail bats exit the abandoned mine nightly.

 One of several relatively well-preserved buildings in the town of Ruby. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

UPB Updates!

The quirky graphic above was produced by a friend of mine, John Belanger

Here are a few Iphone videos of the prototype in action.  The UPB can control any RC platform to which it is attached.  The truck in the videos is a Traxxis Summit. 

Prototype UPB haulin' a$$ through heavy vegetation

UPB Controller and Monitor

Exciting features and versatility

The UPB can toggle between two video signals: the DSLR in Live View mode and this tiny video camera. The tiny lens, which points out the front of the CPU case, is very wide so you can take a peek at what's going on outside the blind without turning on the DSLR in Live View mode. This saves DSLR battery power and is also useful when using longer focal lengths (so you don't have to pan the camera around to see the what's going, potentially scaring off your subject)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Private Workshop Series: Jumping Spiders

In this technically rich workshop, participants will learn to major techniques employed in my jumping spiders series which appeared in Canadian Geographic, Ranger Rick, BBC Wildlife Magazine, Discover Magazine and a number of foreign publications.   

The two major techniques covered are

1) High-speed tripwire techniques for short duration events

2) Focus stacking for high-magnification macro photography


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

- Decisive Moments: Creating Iconic Imagery

One day workshop fee:


The Unmanned Photo Blind promotional video

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Unmanned Photo Blind (UPB) Unveiled!

My latest creation will revolutionize remote camera photography! 

The Unmanned Photo Blind

Taking remote camera photography to new heights! 

The Unmanned Photo Blind UPB is a remote camera gimbal that accepts a DSLR camera. 

The UPB can

-         Pan and tilt the camera remotely
-         Focus and trip the shutter remotely (in the Live View mode of your DSLR)
-         Feed back real-time video of what your DSLR sees (in Live View mode) to an offsite LCD screen
-         Stand-by for up to 24 hours

The UPB allows placement of a DSLR in

-         Harsh environments
-         Awkward positions that preclude human presence
-         Sensitive areas that can be upset by human presence
-         Areas that are home to unapproachable wildlife
-         Positions that allow atypical lens choices
-         On top of a tripod with standard ¼-20 thread

The UPB includes: 

-         UPB
-         Futaba Control Transmitter
-         Charger
-         LCD Screen
-         Video receiver and antenna
-         Camouflage water repellant cover
-         Pelican Case

Monday, April 9, 2012

Private Camera Trap and High-Speed Photography workshops: Montreal Area

To respond to popular demand, I am offering a private workshop in the Montreal area. participants will learn the fundamentals of camera trap and high speed photography while getting awesome chameleon action images.

This hands-on workshop is designed to suit your schedule; choose any day you like.


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

- Decisive Moments: Creating Iconic Imagery

One day workshop fee:


Topics Covered

  • 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 depths
  • 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

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Denied by BBC Veolia Contest

I know this is gonna sound like sour grapes, but I was just appalled to find out that the two images I entered into the king of nature photography contests did not even make the first cut. I felt these two were perhaps the most contest-appropriate images that I have ever produced. Past years have shown that most people with a heartbeat make the first cut. And although I am not bold enough to think I had this one nailed, I was fairly certain that I would not be denied their equivalent to a "Thanks For Participating" certificate. Here are the two images:

A common poorwill does not have the ability to swallow. As such, it much eat and drink on the wing so as to benefit from the relative velocity due to its forward motion. The pond is a common source of water for bats but the poorwill flying through was a chance occurrence. Photographed with a Nikon D3, 300mm f2.8, Phototrap infrared tripwire system, two Nikon SB-800 flashes, Microflash Pro flash for back-lighting
(entered into Birds: Behavior)

The widows were in huge numbers in AZ during June of 2011 and their nightly ritual was to exit holes in various structures and descend downwards to the hunting zone of their w
ebs. The webs were usually based around a small hole or crevice in man-made structures. Lining up an abandoned desert structure with a quintessential-looking saguaro cactus was tricky.
D300, 35mm f2.0, 2 flashes (entered into Animals in Their Environment)

Addendum: As I type this brief blog entry, an email arrives asking for yet another free corporate usage of one of my basilisk images (the lizard that runs on water; actually running on water in the photo). Although this image cost me thousands of dollars to produce, the email is just another sign of the times and it disturbs me to say that my passion for creating wildlife imagery has followed the world's perceived value for such things: $0

Friday, February 17, 2012

2012 Phototrap Workshops in Arizona

Join Scott Linstead and Bill Forbes in the AZ desert for the very last workshop of this series. This will be your last chance to photograph a variety of bat species at what is perhaps the best location in North America to do so.

Come and spend three days and nights with
Scott Linstead and Phototrap inventor Bill Forbes.

Come away with:

  • Practical and theoretical knowledge of tripwire and high-speed photography.
  • The satisfaction of incredible, bragging-rights photographs.
  • A fun and memorable experience in the Arizona desert.

The Details:

  • $1895USD per person, $500USD due at booking.
  • A maximum of 3 photographers per 3-day block.
  • Transport and lodging not included.
  • Non Photographing spouses can attend at no extra charge.
  • Only a DSLR and a medium telephoto lens required.

What we will photograph:

  • Bats
  • Nectar Bats (September session only)
  • Insect action (grass hoppers, flight, etc.)
  • Hummingbirds
  • Owls (western screech, possible great horned)
  • Traditional photography subjects at the pond include:
    • Greater Roadrunner
    • Gambel’ Quail
    • Northern Cardinal
    • Various Woodpecker species
    • Northern Cardinal
    • Harris’ Ground Squirrel

The Schedule:





1st, 2nd, 3rd

Sat, Sun, Mon


6th, 7th, 8th

Thu, Fri, Sat



11th, 12th, 13th

Tue, Wed, Thu


16th, 17th, 18th

Sat, Sun, Mon