E.J. Peiker, Nature Photographer


Newsletter of E.J. Peiker, Nature Photographer and www.EJPhoto.com

All contents ©2004 E.J. Peiker


Spring 2004

(Vol  2 , Issue 2)

Welcome to the quarterly update from E.J. Peiker Nature Photography.  In this quarterly email publication, I will keep you all posted on upcoming workshops including the DuckShop Series as well as sharing some photos and experiences with you.  I will also give you brief impressions on any new equipment that I get the opportunity to use and any other general information in the world of digital nature photography.  Please feel free to forward this along to other photographers and interested parties.  If you would like to be added or deleted to the mailing list or if you would like copies of past issues, just send me an email message at ejpeiker@cox.net. 


The Waterfowl Project


Those that know me and have photographed with me may know that I have been working on a project to photograph all ducks that are indigenous to North America.  I have almost accomplished the task but the remaining three species that I have not yet photographed will not be easy to capture.  They are King Eider, Steller’s Eider and Spectacled Eider.  On my quest for North America’s Ducks I was exposed to some of the other awesome waterfowl that the rest of Planet Earth has to offer so the project has expanded in scope to wishing to photograph all of the world’s waterfowl species.  This is probably something that will keep me busy for the rest of my life and something I will never complete since there are a number of species with very small range (a single Island in the Antarctic region of the Indian ocean for example).  While pursuing these photos I became aware that a big problem I was facing is that there do not appear to be any truly complete lists of all of the world’s (non-domesticated) waterfowl and where they live.  There are many lists but invariably I found them to be incomplete.   There are some very good ones but invariably something was left off.  This has spawned a side project which I have been working on for more than a year - to complete the most comprehensive waterfowl species list possible.  I now feel that the list is complete.  My research through numerous sources has turned up 171 unique species of waterfowl (ducks, geese, swans, etc) that roam and fly over our planet.  Arriving at this was not easy as there are sources that are in conflict with each other on naming, species name, range and so forth but I feel that at this time my list is the most accurate out there.  Of these 171 species, I now have photographed 70 and they are all viewable on my web site at www.EJPhoto.com.


During this research I found some excellent resources on-line and in print.  By far the most comprehensive text ever written on Waterfowl is a large 500 page book called "Natural History of the Waterfowl" by Frank S. Todd.  While the photography in it is good, it is not up to the standards that those reading this bulletin are accustomed too; however, the text and comprehensive information on virtually every waterfowl species is excellent and there are many photos that are a great aid in identification of the species.  An excellent online source is the Harteman Wildfowl site from The Netherlands: http://www.harteman.nl/  (Note the waterfowl listings can be viewed in Dutch and English so make sure you pick the right one)


For those interested in getting a version of the list that I have compiled of all of the waterfowl species, it is accessible at the following link:


If you would like an Excel Spreadsheet version, please send me an email requesting the list to ejpeiker@cox.net.



EJPhoto.com an Excellent Resource for Birders and Bird Photographers


With over 400 species, alphabetically indexed, the Bird section of EJPhoto.com is becoming an increasingly valuable resource for Birders and Bird Photographers alike.  If you haven’t visited recently, you will see a new and much more easy to navigate index that will take you directly to the bird you are looking for.  I am constantly adding species too so check back regularly.  The same new indexing scheme has been applied to the Flora and Fauna sections.  Meanwhile, look for some additions to the scenic sections as I plan to spend some significant time in the field this spring and summer.  Usually around April my interests turn from bird photography to landscape photography and this year I have shoots planned for Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, California, and Tennessee. 



DuckShop 2005 Dates Set


The Phoenix DuckShops dates for the 2004/2005 winter have been set.  I will be offering 4 workshops in the Phoenix area where we will once again photograph a wide variety of waterfowl that visits the Phoenix area in winter.  An additional DuckShop in a new location is in the works and I hope it will come together – stay tuned or learn how to sign up for any DuckShop at www.ejphoto.com/Duckshops.htm



Beyond Nature Photography


I have always toyed with human portrait and glamour photography and have usually kept it to just my kids.  I recently started playing with some natural light portrait techniques with excellent results in both black and white and color.  People that have seen these have liked them a lot and I have received a few requests to photograph their kids.  Its quite fun.  The technique consists of setting the subject next to a large window with a gold reflector close to the subject on the other side.  Behind the subject and not directly in front of the window, I place a dark backdrop.  As is usually the case in portrait photography, solid colored clothing works best.  I like having the subject prop their head with their hand in a "Thinker-like" position.  I use the EOS 1Ds with the 70-200 f/2.8L lens for this.  I like this technique and it does not require large and bulky lightboxes, strobes or any of the other large and heavy traditional portrait equipment.  Here are a couple of samples:



Summer Plans


As Spring turns to Summer, my interests shift from bird/wildlife photography to landscape photography and I have a lot of landscape photography planned.  But first to close out Spring, I plan on a Triple D wildlife shoot in the Western Sierra's with Charles Glatzer and a Kauai trip to photograph in the Kilauea National Wildlife Refuge as well as some of the spectacular scenics that this island in the middle of the Pacific has to offer.  For summer I have plans to photograph the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, and the Black Hills of South Dakota.  The Summer and fall issue of Quack will feature some of the photos and experiences from these trips and also impressions of some of the new equipment from Canon including the new flagship action camera - the EOS 1D Mark II.



© 2004 - E.J. Peiker, Nature Photographer. 

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