Our Favorite Reader Photos from the "Wildlife and Nature" Assignment


Tiger Stare
William Wagnon was at the Sacramento Zoo to photograph some flamingos when he noticed this tiger sitting in the shade. When it heard Wagnon clicking away with his Sony A550 DSLR, the tiger turned toward him and that’s when he captured this shot of its intense stare. Wagnon used his A550 with a Sony 18-250mm lens at 200mm, f/4.5, 1/125 second.
© William Wagnon

Without a doubt, this month's Wildlife and Nature assignment brought out the best in Shutterbug readers. There were so many excellent entries, we could've easily picked twice as many favorites and still felt we left some great shots out. In the end, we narrowed it down to 10 wildlife and nature images that truly stood out.

Richard Rothstein shot this potent portrait of a pair of wolves in northern Minnesota. He used a Nikon D4 and a Nikkor 600mm f/4G ED VR lens at f/4, 1/1000 second, + 0.33 exposure compensation, and ISO 560.
© Richard Rothstein

Dawn Blast-Off
“Thousands of wintering snow geese erupt from the ponds at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge at dawn in a spectacular visual and auditory experience,” photographer Timothy Van Minnick says about this photo. The image was shot with a Canon EOS 20D at 28mm, ISO 400, 1/125 second at f/6.3.
© Timothy Van Minnick

In Sync
“I found these two cranes in a cornfield at the end of winter while cruising the countryside near Shipshewana, Indiana,” Lynne Kasey says about this shot. “They were walking away from me and came to a fence. I knew that they were going to have to take flight to get over that barrier, so I aimed where I thought they might be taking flight. Got lucky enough to have been right. They are such beautiful birds.” She shot the image with a Canon EOS 7D and a Tamron 150-500mm f/5.0-6.3 lens at 350mm, f/9, 1/320 second, ISO 320.
© Lynne Kasey

Green And Golden Bell Frog
This image of a Green and Golden Bell Frog (Litoria aurea) with a human-like expression was captured by Dave Horton using a Canon EOS 6D and an EF 75-300mm lens at 300mm, 1/250 second, f/8, ISO 3200.
© Dave Horton

Don’t Poke The Bear!
“While walking through the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, I was informed that they had completely redone the Polar Bear exhibit,” Brett Anderson says about the scene for this shot. “The bear sanctuary was impressive, and one of the polar bears was clearly enjoying himself by swimming lazily in slow methodical circles. The other bear in the sanctuary had just woken up from a nap and decided that the swimming bear was having way too much fun and decided to pick a fight.” Anderson shot the image with a Canon EOS 60D using a 50mm lens at f/2.8, 1/800 second, and ISO 200.
© Brett Anderson

Five Zebras
“In Kenya, East Africa, it is not unusual to see two or three zebras standing side by side to help keep the flies from each other’s faces,” Hal Muhrlein says about this symmetrical image. “This was the only time I saw five helping each other and our guide said he had never seen five together.” He used a Nikon D200 and a Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 ED VR lens with a polarizer at a full-frame equivalent of 400mm, f/9, ISO 800, 1/1250 second, with his lens supported by a beanbag.
© Hal Muhrlein

“This is the last of a coalition of four cheetahs crossing the plain in Kruger National Park,” Douglas Croft says. “This one had been distracted and fell behind. Once he realized he’d been left, he raced to catch up. I caught him nicely with a slow shutter pan.” Croft shot the image with a Nikon D5000 and a Nikkor 70-200mm lens at ISO 400, f/13, 1/30 second.
© Douglas Croft

Yellowstone Dawn
Rob Santeramo used a Nikon D800 and a Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 lens to capture this classic scene in Yellowstone National Park. Settings were 1/160 second, f/20, ISO 800 at 70mm. “This image was produced by the special dawn light that creates magic in Yellowstone Park,” Santeramo says.
© Rob Santeramo

Elephant Courting
Max Lieberman shot this image in the Serengeti, Tanzania, in May 2013. “We came across this old bull elephant with a sprig of flowers sticking out of the side of his mouth,” he explains. “The shot was taken as he crossed in front of our vehicle. He then took a drink and sprayed himself, all the while holding the flowers. The guide joked that he was on a date.” Lieberman captured the scene with a Nikon D7100 and a Nikkor 70-300mm lens at 300mm, ISO 400, 1/400 second at f/8.
© Max Lieberman

Picture This! – Our Next Assignment
Sports and Action

Shooting sports and action can really put your gear and your timing to the test. But there’s more to a great action shot than simply capturing the moment and making sure it’s in focus. For this assignment, we want to see sports and action images that have great composition, effective use of backgrounds and scenery, and powerful human emotion. (And, of course, it wouldn’t hurt that the image is in focus, or out of focus, where appropriate.)

Head-To-Head Battle
I shot this photo at the MLS Cup in Seattle, Washington, in 2009. These players from Real Salt Lake and the LA Galaxy were battling the whole match and I thought this image captured the occasional brute physicality of “the beautiful game.” I used a Nikon D3S and a Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II lens at 200mm, f/2.8, 1/2000 second, ISO 4000.
© Dan Havlik

How To Submit Online
1. Go to www.shutterbug.com and register. Scroll down the page and on the right side you will see a box for entering your username and your password. If you have already registered and/or submitted images for the Galleries you can skip this step. Respond to the activation e-mail. Registration is free. You will use your username and password whenever you visit or, with some systems, it will automatically load for you when you visit www.shutterbug.com.

2. Check the assignment and closing dates in the magazine. When the magazine is printed we will create an appropriate gallery for your images. The limit is two images per assignment.

3. Select and prepare your images. We only accept files at a maximum 5MB size, JPEG format. Save the JPEG at a quality level of 10 or higher. Note that file size in your image folder directory will determine upload size, not the “opened” file size, as JPEG compresses at 1:4 at higher quality ratings. If your images do not load it probably means you have exceeded the file size or have not used JPEG format.

4. Click on the Galleries tab on the homepage. In the Category section use the drop-down menu to select the Picture This! assignment. Note that images are simultaneously loaded into the assignment category as well as your own personal gallery. When the Picture This! assignment deadline date has lapsed the assignment gallery will be removed, but your images will still reside in your own gallery.

5. In the Description box add title, camera, lens, exposure information, and your full name. Also add any other comments or anecdotes you think relevant. We reserve the right to edit comments as needed.

6. Click the Save button at the bottom of the page. This uploads the image.

7. You retain copyright on the image.

8. We will choose the images after close of the due date.

9. Please feel free to comment on images submitted by other readers.

Please Note: If the photograph includes a minor or a recognizable individual or group you are guaranteeing that you have a signed model release form, and especially a parental or guardian release form for minors. You should keep a copy of that release in your files. Scan that release and keep it handy. If an image is chosen for publication, failure to provide a form when requested will eliminate the image from consideration. You can find release forms at http://asmp.org/tutorials/model-release-minor-child.html and other resources on the Internet. By uploading images you attest that the model release form is valid, that any depiction of a person is with their consent, that you have a model release form available on request, and that all images you submit have been made by you.

Deadline For Submission: August 1, 2015.
Images will appear in our November 2015 issue.

Our next topic: Street Photography
Deadline: September 1, 2015
Publication Date: December 2015

Please Note: By submitting you agree to give us the right to show the image(s) on the web and for publication. You give us publication rights in the magazine and on the website(s) of Source Interlink Media.

Want to see images selected for past picture this! Assignments? Go to www.shutterbug.com and click on picture this! In the “more articles…” box on the homepage.

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