This article originally appeared on Billy Konway’s blog and is republished with permission.
May 6, 2013
Nancy Anisfield of Anisfield Hunting Dog Photography (www.anisfieldphotography.com) recently launched a new website to showcase her commercial bird dog and wing shooting photography. Her new design features an enhanced selection of images for her diverse client base.
According to Anisfield, “I revamped my website to showcase the direction my work is now taking. For many years, my time was spread thin with editing, writing, graphic design and outdoor photography for a variety of clients and magazines. A few years ago I decided to focus more on the photography side of my business. My most recent work represents something of a new artistic approach that demanded a fresh website design.”
Anisfield’s images have appeared in print and digital marketing materials for some of the best known brands in the hunting industry. She has shot for companies such as Tri-tronics, Ugly Dog Hunting and Rivers West, conservation organizations including Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever, the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Ruffed Grouse Society. Anisfield has contributed to a tremendous number of consumer publications such as Shooting Sportsman, Covey Rise magazine, Versatile Hunting Dog, Gun Dog, and The Upland Almanac. Her images have been used for notable sporting venues like The High Lonesome Ranch, Honey Lake Plantation, Krull Lodge and Dream Ranch.
The new phase of her work reflects a significant increase in travel as well as a continued commitment to securing natural images. As a hunter and dog handler, Anisfield has traveled to Alaska to photograph ptarmigan hunting on the tundra, South America for high volume dove and duck shoots, the American Midwest in search of prairie birds, the Southeast for the rich legacy of plantation life that surrounds bobwhite quail, and the solitude of New England grouse and woodcock coverts. “There are lots of fine hunting dog photographers, perhaps more so now than ever before. Each of us have a different perspective on our subject matter. I respond to the energy, intensity, humor, spontaneity, and reality of experience in the field.”
Read and join the discussion on Anisfield Hunting Dog Photography Launches New Commercial Website at OutdoorHub.com.
January 7, 2013
After a successful hunt every person likes to show off what they have harvested, and most of the time this is done with pictures. I believe that if a person is going to take a picture of an animal they harvested and show it to other people, they should take care in how they do it. I am not saying that all the pictures I take are perfect, because they are not, and I will critique them later, but I do my best to show respect to the animal.
There are lots of ways to take a good trophy shot, but there are a few definite ways to ruin them as well:
- Do not stand over the top of the animal. If possible get the animal (and its antlers if present) level with or above yourself.
- Lots of blood. Do your best to remove blood from the animal and from the ground around it if it is going to be in the shot. If you have access to water and a some sort of rag it is easy to clean off blood. Even a handful of grass or something can clean off blood, if it isn’t dry. Sometimes one side of the animal has more blood than the other, so take pictures of the clean side. Also, if the arrow is still in the animal make sure to remove it so it is not sticking out in the picture.
- Put the tongue back in. Sometimes it takes holding the bottom jaw to hold the mouth shut, I have even heard of people sewing the jaws shut to achieve this. If the animal is in rigor by the time pictures are taken, it can be hard to get the tongue back in, but cut it off if you have to.
Here is a picture of an antelope that I really like. One thing I like is how it is positioned. The body is facing the camera with the head turned. This shows off not only the horns, but also the markings on the antelope’s neck which I like. You can tell this buck had some blood around his mouth, which I mostly got washed off.
Here is another pronghorn picture, just taken from a different angle. One thing some people may say that would make this picture better is if I had used a fill flash when taking the picture. This would have removed the shadow from my face. I generally don’t like using a flash, and won’t if I don’t have to. The reason I don’t is because I don’t mind if my face is shadowed, and I don’t like how the flash makes an animal’s eye one big bright spot. I like a natural look. Another thing to note in this picture is the bloody mouth, I could have done better to clean that up. One other thing I did in this photo was to strategically place my bow. I like having it in the picture so usually I use it to cover things I don’t want to see. In this case the antelope was quartering away when I shot and the entrance is at the back of the rib cage. This dirty spot was pretty noticeable, but with the bow there it can hardly be seen.
The top picture of this doe is one of my favorites. I think it might be the black and white that I like, but also how the deer is set up and that the picture shows what it needs to show, and not any more. Compared to the first picture the second shows more of the doe, and is in color obviously. As with some of the others I have cleaned up the exit hole and placed my bow over it to make it less noticeable. One other thing about these two pictures is the background. Notice that it is way out of focus. This makes the subject stand out more, and makes for a better picture. This easiest way to do this is have the camera a ways away from the subject and then zoom in and focus on the animal, this will make the animal in focus and the background blurry.
The top picture of this elk shows how it died. This created a problem since I was by myself and could not move it around how I would have liked for better pictures. I did my best to roll him around and get him somewhat upright. You can also see on the trees to the right side of the picture that I trimmed some branches. Since I couldn’t move the elk I had to take the pictures right where he laid, and that meant clearing some branches so the elk was not blocked out.
These are two of my favorite turkey pictures. They show a couple different poses that I think work well for turkeys. The fan is usually the main focal point in these pictures so that is what I try to show off. In the top picture I am actually holding several tail feathers in place since they fell out when the turkey flopped around after getting shot. It wouldn’t have been a terrible thing to have some feathers missing in the picture, but I think it looks better this way. One thing that has always bothered me about the bottom picture is the couple of blades of grass right by the head of the turkey. I know that is getting pretty picky, but it would have been really easy to get rid of the grass and this is something that often needs to be done in trophy shots, especially for smaller animals.
These pictures show how if the animal does have some blood on it that the photo can be turned to a black and white and the blood becomes less noticeable. These also show why I don’t like using a flash, but I had to since it was dark out when I took those. I will just have to live with the deer’s eye being washed out.
A trophy shot does not have to be one with the hunter in the picture. Here are some “as it lay” and support photos that I like.
My best advice to take a good picture of your next trophy is to look at other people’s pictures, and when you see ones that you like take note of them and try to take pictures like them. This can’t always be done since every situation is different, but at least you will have some ideas on what you want to try. Also, take the time to take these pictures. I am not saying take and hour to do it, 15-30 minutes should be plenty. Take plenty of pictures and from several different angles and positions. You and others will look at these pictures for years to come hopefully, so do your best.
More tips on hunting photography can be found at http://adventurousbowhunter.com/.
Read and join the discussion on Mastering “the Trophy Shot” at OutdoorHub.com.
November 2, 2012
Your son just shot his first buck and you want to capture the moment. You whip out your digital camera to snap the photograph of your son—rifle in hand, grinning proudly with the brilliant buck displayed in front of him. “Hang on, son,” you say, as you fidget with the camera’s zoom button before taking what you are sure is a great shot.
When you arrive home, you immediately upload the photo to the computer, anxious to relive the moment and share it with family and friends. You can’t believe your eyes. The amazing shot you took is out of focus. Your once-in-a-lifetime moment is a blurred mess.
You console yourself with the knowledge that the moment will be etched in your mind’s memory bank forever. Of course you’ll still tell the story of your son taking his first buck; you just won’t have the photo to put it in proper perspective. You’ll still use that fancy engraved hunting picture frame you had personalized to read Pete’s First Deer. The picture will just be a little fuzzy.
If you’re like me, you bought a digital camera, threw the instructions in the trash, and can’t figure out why the camera doesn’t take stunning photographs. After several picture making mishaps, I did a little digging to figure out how I could take first-rate photographs.
Here are 10 simple strategies I found:
- Make sure the camera has plenty of memory. No memory means you have nowhere to store the images.
- Shoot lots of photos at various angles and distances.
- Avoid camera movement by steadying your body during exposure by leaning against a railing, tree, or other structure.
- Zoom in on your subject. More subject and less landscape is better.
- Place your subject to the left or to the right of center. Asymmetrical photos are generally more appealing than symmetrical ones. This will also help you capture the landscape in your photo while allowing you to zoom in on the subject.
- Pay attention to where the sun is or is not. Putting the sun behind your subject creates glare behind the subject and makes for an awful shot. Likewise, putting your subject in the shadows when there is sunlight all around will make your subject hard to see.
- If you have the option, take your photos in the early morning or early evening. Dusk and dawn make for nice light and interesting shadows.
- Lose the hat. The shadow it creates hides the subject’s eyes.
- Make sure the camera’s batteries are charged and have extra batteries on-hand.
- Read the instructions that came with the camera to at least get a basic understanding of the camera settings and features (I know you probably won’t do it, but it just wouldn’t be right for me to leave this one out).
I can’t promise you that you’ll win any awards, but incorporating these strategies will help you take better photographs and prevent photography catastrophes like the one described above. Go ahead–buy that fancy picture frame. You’re going to need it.
Read and join the discussion on Don’t Let Your Perfect Outdoor Moment End in a Bad Photo at OutdoorHub.com.
October 3, 2012
Read and join the discussion on A Michigan Upland Hunting Photoshoot at OutdoorHub.com.
September 17, 2012
DNR is looking for enthusiastic young adults who will volunteer to document their experiences at Indiana’s state parks and reservoirs for the America’s State Parks Youth Ambassador program.
Their photos, videos and blogs will be posted at AmericasStateParks.org, along with entries from other Youth Ambassadors from around the country. The Youth Ambassadors program is a movement to promote the outdoors to other young adults.
Applicants should be between the ages of 18 and 26.
The program is a great way for young people to share their outdoor experiences and get their writing and photographs published.
Youth Ambassadors will visit state parks and reservoirs within a defined region to photograph and blog at least once a month about events, hikes, camping, hunting, fishing and more.
The regions are northeast (Pokagon, Chain O’Lakes and Ouabache state parks, and Salamonie and Mississinewa lakes), northwest (Indiana Dunes, Potato Creek, Tippecanoe River, Prophetstown and Shades state parks), east-central (Mounds, Fort Harrison, Summit Lake, Whitewater Memorial and Brown County state parks, and Brookville Lake), west-central (Turkey Run, Shakamak and McCormick’s Creek state parks, and Cagles Mill Lake [Lieber SRA] and Cecil M. Harden Lake [Raccoon SRA]), southeast (Versailles, Charlestown, Clifty Falls and Falls of the Ohio state parks and Monroe and Hardy lakes), and southwest (Harmonie, Lincoln, Spring Mill and O’Bannon Woods state parks and Patoka Lake).
Youth Ambassadors may be asked to cover specific events.
The program requires at least a one-year commitment.
Youth Ambassadors will receive an annual entrance pass for all state parks and reservoirs and free or reduced camping (when available).
Applicants must have a basic knowledge of Indiana’s state parks and reservoirs, an enthusiasm for natural and cultural resources and outdoor recreation, an ability to write in a conversational style, an ability to use a digital camera for photographs and videos, and must pass a criminal background check.
Youth Ambassadors are expected to provide their own transportation, meals and lodging (unless a campsite is available.) A digital camera will be provided.
To apply, email Ginger Murphy, Assistant Director for Stewardship at DNR Division of State Parks & Reservoirs, at gmurphy@dnr.IN.gov with the following information:
- Name, mailing address and email address.
- Preferred region
- A paragraph describing an experience at an Indiana state park or reservoir.
- A paragraph explaining why you want to be a Youth Ambassador. (Include how you might approach this role.)
- A photograph that you’ve taken of people enjoying the outdoors or of a scenic place/view.
Outdoor Hub, The Outdoor Information Engine - Youth Ambassadors Sought to Document Indiana State Parks and Reservoirs
September 14, 2012
With a nip of fall in the air and temperatures moderating, West Virginia’s state parks offer a wide variety of events the weekend of September 21-23, 2012.
“For example, Nature Wonder Weekend, in its 45th year at North Bend State Park, is like a favorite television show– you never tire of reruns and always discover something new with each episode,” said West Virginia State Parks Programming Coordinator Sissie Summers. “There are other weekend events scheduled that appeal to different interests such as trains, birding, photography, hunting and fishing. September is a month where programmers at parks try new ideas as well as continue with tradition. The goal is to encourage people to visit parks, enjoy fall weather and find some very good entertainment.”
Weekend events at West Virginia state parks, September 21-23, include:
5th Annual Birding Festival – Cacapon Resort State Park
The Potomac Valley Audubon Society Presents a weekend full of activities for the bird enthusiast. Many events and activities are planned for the weekend throughout the Berkeley Springs Area as well as Cacapon State Park. Cacapon posts weekend activities on the park website at www.cacaponresort.com. Contact: Renee Fincham, 304-258-1022 ext. 5209
A Quiet Celebration! Kanawha State Forest Birthday – Kanawha State Forest
Take 1/2 hour today, visit the forest and take a walk. Be it trail, roadside or around the parking lot, the invitation is to get outdoors and enjoy a 1/2 hour of movement! Individuals walking a 1/2 an hour (or more) may stop by the forest office to register and receive a commemorative 75th anniversary pin. The office will be open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. to allow an opportunity for anyone to come walk prior to or after work or during the day. There is no designated trail or pace – just come walk and enjoy the forest. Walking time is on the honor system. There is no charge to participate. Contact: Ken Long, 304-558-3500
Autumn Knitters Weekend Getaway – Tygart Lake State Park
Autumn Knitters Weekend Getaway is a must for anyone who enjoys the company of others and knitting. Sandra Tolin of Yarn and Company in Elkins is the instructor for a weekend adventure in knitting. Contact: Stephanie Bailey, 304-265-6144
Ballroom Dancing Weekend – Stonewall Resort State Park
A weekend devoted to dancing and learning how to “Dance like the Stars.” All ability levels are welcome. Classes include Salsa Dance, Nightclub Two Step Lessons, and West Coast Swing. There is Ballroom and Latin Dance with West Virginia Dance, Inc. as the Deejay on both Friday and Saturday nights. Call for reservations and information. Contact: Stonewall Resort, 304-269-7400
End of Summer Aloha! – Cacapon Resort State Park
Come enjoy dinner and music by Michael Keale as he shares his natural gift of aloha with you. As a Hawaii native, his songs and warm friendly smile will touch your heart. Make your dinner reservations and see for yourself the true meaning of living aloha! Reservations: 304-258-1022 x4157
Fall Photography Workshop – Twin Falls Resort State Park
The workshop focuses on basic and intermediate photography techniques, with indoor and outdoor sessions. There are a variety of packages to choose from but reservations are required. Instructors are Steve Shaluta and Steve Rotsch. Works.op weekend package includes two nights at Twin Falls lodge, full workshop, Saturday and Sunday lunch, and refreshments: $176 per person, double occupancy. Workshop only, no overnight: $70. Advance registration required. Contact: Twin Falls, 304-294-4000
September 21 – 23
Nature Wonder Weekend – North Bend State Park
Experience the bounty of wild foods while celebrating the wonder of nature at North Bend State Park. Enjoy a full weekend of hikes, programs, and a wild foods banquet. This year’s featured speaker is author Sam Thayer. Robbie Vance of Mingo Junction, Ohio, and Ron Nornhold of Troxelville, Pennsylvania, are also special guests and presenters. Registration and additional weekend information are posted at www.northbendsp.com, Events. This is Nature Wonder Weekend’s 45th year and continues a Euell Gibbons experiences with little-used free foods from the land, such as black walnuts, mountain-tea berries, pawpaws and wild fox grapes. Contact: Emily Fleming, 304-558-2754
September 22, 2012
Bluegrass Bar-B-Que at Whittaker Station – Cass Scenic Railroad State Park
An evening train ride to Whittaker Station with bluegrass music and self-serve barbeque buffet dinner is mountain fun. Train departs at 5:15 p.m. An optional locomotive shop tour or Cass Showcase presentation; optional self-guided tour of Camp Whittaker, a recreated logging camp is part of this special evening package. Train ride, music and dinner cost is $36 Adult; Children 5-12, $26; Children under age 5, $16. Reservations are required. Contact: Cass Scenic Railroad, 304-456-4300
Historic Arts Workshop: Using Natural Dyes – Prickett’s Fort State Park Fort
Learn techniques for silk, cotton, linen and wool. Ideal for embroiderers, rug hookers and/or hand spinners from 9 am to 12 noon. Judy Wilson is the instructor. Contact: Greg Bray, 304-363-3030
West Virginia’s Celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Days – Stonewall Resort State Park
More than 100 vendors and exhibits, archery, shotgun and rifle shooting, blackpowder shooting, youth sports, sporting dogs, care and cooking of fish and game, wild food tasting, trophy buck display, trophy fish display, non-game exhibits. National Hunting and Fishing Days is a must-see event for those interested in hunting, fishing and outdoor sports. For a complete schedule visit: www.wvdnr.gov, Special Opportunities, National Hunting and Fishing Celebration. There is a link to a complete schedule posted. Contact: Krista Snodgrass, 304-558-2771
“Wings of Wonder – Birds of Prey” – Cacapon Resort State Park
Three River Avian Center (www.tracwv.org) will present a program and have live bird of prey to view. This is an educational evening program learning about hawks, owls, eagles and other raptors at 7:00 p.m. and is open to the public without charge. Contact: Renee Fincham, 304-258-1022
Outdoor Hub, The Outdoor Information Engine - A Busy Weekend of Fun at West Virginia State Parks September 21-23
August 13, 2012
For most deer hunters, antlers are the thing that really gets your motor running. Seasoned hunters will often tell new sportsmen and women that after you make up your mind to take a particular buck, ignore the rack and focus on the deer and where you want to place that arrow, bolt, or bullet. Why do they say that? Because they know the rack will get you excited and you’ll often blow the shot. This is referred to as “buck fever”.
What is it about antlers that gets us going? We know you can’t eat them…but we hang them over our fireplaces, above the barn door, and countless other places. I interviewed for a job years ago in a hospital of all places and the guy that interviewed me had a deer mount in his office. I haven’t done that yet but I have two moose sets hanging in my living room.
Antlers fascinate us and I seem to get asked more about antlers then any other aspect of hunting or the outdoors and often it is non hunters that have the most questions. Antlers are some of the fastest-growing tissue on the planet. All species of the deer family have antlers, and typically only males grow them. Female caribou grow antlers and female whitetail deer can on rare occasions, as well.
Probably one of the biggest misconceptions people have is they think antlers are horns, which they are not. Typically the antlers are shed (fall off) every year in the winter and the deer will grow a new set. Horns are rather permanent and do not go through as rapid a growth antlers do. This time of the year the antlers are still growing and they are called in velvet. They appear fuzzy and actually are somewhat soft to the touch, but I don’t recommend attempting to pet a wild deer.
In late summer or early fall, the blood flow to the antlers will stop and they will harden up and lose the velvet layer. They’ll go through the fall and winter with the hard antlers till they eventually fall off and a new set begins to grow, starting the process all over. A lot of people think you can tell the age of a buck by his antlers, which is incorrect. Genetics, food and nutrition, as well as available minerals seem to play a much bigger role in antler development then age does. A four point buck last year may or may not be a six point this year.
While a number of hunt clubs have point restrictions (“4pts one side” seems to be a common one or the antlers have to be out past the ears), that doesn’t always ensure you are only killing mature bucks.
His antlers are clearly past his ears, but for clubs that have 4 or more point on one side he wouldn’t be a shooter.
Taking mature bucks only is the key strategy for getting bigger bucks, and if you encourage deer development with food plots and other nutrition, it should help stack the deck so you’ll see nice racks around your stand. Counting points is just not an effective method, so that is why I’m opposed to across-the-board antler restrictions.
Over the last few weeks I’ve had ample opportunity to see a number of species of the deer family with their antlers growing that got me on this topic today. There are all kinds of products for food plots and mineral licks to help improve your local favorite deer herd. I’ve not done any extensive testing with any to be able to recommend one brand over another, so I’d suggest you do some research on that if you’re interested. I will link you to one article I recently read that I found some good information on about antler growth over on the QDMA website that you should check out.
August 1, 2012
The Maine Ghost Hunters, a paranormal investigation group, has set up for a Bigfoot hunt in a remote area deep in the woods of northern Maine. The group will be on the hunt for the legendary ape-like creature from August 3rd to the 5th.
Since the group does not consider Bigfoot to be an animal species that has been proven to exist, it falls within the paranormal realm, according to group co-founder Tony Lewis. Therefore, much of the usual ghost hunting equipment to document any potential sightings will be coming along for the hunt.
Typically, this equipment goes along for investigations of haunted locations suspect of paranormal activity, said Lewis. Although if the group spots anything noteworthy as far as Bigfoot goes, half a dozen night vision cameras and other handicams will be used to put together a documentary-style video following the hunt.
The group plans to release footage of the Bigfoot hunt sometime in October, but Bigfoot experts and cryptozoologists believe the chances of finding Bigfoot in Maine are slim.
Outdoor Hub, The Outdoor Information Engine - Bigfoot Hunt Organized by Maine Paranormal Investigation Group
April 18, 2012
Anyone who wants free Sitka Gear (and really, who doesn’t?) should enter the Sitka //Diverge// Photo Contest and Giveaway, which launched Friday on the gear maker’s Facebook Page.
The winning photo will appear in Sitka Gear’s 2012 Catalog, earning the photographer a full Sitka System, from base layer to backpack, worth roughly $1,500. Hunters not endowed with a golden lens can still enter the Giveaway, no photo necessary, for a chance to win one of five Sitka 90% Jackets, worth $249 each.
The contest is designed to give entrants an opportunity to diverge from the mainstream hunting industry.
“In the hunting world, we see the same photo over and over: a guy poses, grins, and grips a dead animal by the antlers,” says David Brinker, Sitka Gear Marketing Director. “But what about the other 99.9% of the experience? That’s what we want to see.”
“There are so many ways to tell the story of a hunt beyond the same old ‘grip and grin,’” Brinker says. “It’s something we’ve been doing since the company’s inception – the photos in our ads and catalogs, and in the short videos on sitkafilms.com. We know there are others documenting their hunts in beautiful and unconventional ways, and we want to give them a stage to show us all what they’re up to.”
Check the past Sitka catalog shot below and at the top of the article for some inspiration:
The deadline for photo submissions is this Sunday, April 22, at 11:59 p.m. EDT, and hunters can enter the giveaway until Monday, April 30, at 11:59 p.m. All winners will be notified in the first days of May.
TO ENTER and see photos that have already been submitted, go to Facebook.com/sitkagear.
March 7, 2012
Washingtonians have a new way to share their outdoor adventures with others who enjoy hunting, fishing and observing the natural world.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is now accepting photos for a new online gallery of images submitted by people enjoying the great outdoors.
“This is a great way for outdoor enthusiasts to share their fishing, hunting and wildlife-watching experiences with others,” said Nate Pamplin, WDFW’s wildlife program director. “We know Washingtonians have some great outdoor photos to share.”
Key subjects for the online gallery include hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing, as well as scenic photos of WDFW wildlife areas. Photos selected for display in the gallery may also be used in other electronic and print publications produced by the department.
Guidelines for photo submissions are included on the department’s new photo webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/sharephotos/. Viewers can find the gallery of photos posted to date at http://wdfw.wa.gov/gallery/index.php/user-submitted-photos.`
Pamplin said he would like to use one of those photos for the cover of the department’s 2012 Big Game Hunting Pamphlet.
“This year’s theme is youth hunting,” he said. “We’re hoping to use a photo submitted to our photo gallery of a young hunter with their first deer or elk from the 2010 or 2011 hunting season.”
To be considered for the pamphlet cover, photos must be submitted to WDFW by April 6, Pamphlin said.
Outdoor Hub, The Outdoor Information Engine - Washington Fish and Wildlife Enthusiasts Invited to Share Photos