Photography

Best Photos of 2016

by Tin Man Lee, Jan 12, 2017 “So it’s pretty safe to view the lava, right?” I emailed my good friend Carl right before the trip, imagining a relaxing time sipping Mai Tais next to the ocean in my Hawaiian shirt. “You will need a mask. When the poisonous gas blows your way, put on…

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6 Must-Read Books for Wildlife Photography

Why do we read books?”I read a lot, but from time to time, there are books that changed my life. Well, it’s not that the book itself changed my life; it’s that I was already ready to change, and needed to not feel alone.” – Paulo CoelhoI always believe that we somehow already knew what…

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10 Things You Can Learn From Stephen Curry On Wildlife Photography

Every once in a while, a player would come to a sport and change the game forever. Talent is one thing. But may be. Just may be. If they have some special mindset and training techniques, then mere mortals like me without any talent can borrow some onto my wildlife photography.When Mohammad Ali was asked how many sit-ups he could do, he…

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5 Critical Elements of Wildlife Photography You Should Never Miss, Part 3

“Why nature photography?”Many would answer, “to capture the beauty of nature.”3. BeautyFive years ago (when I was not as obsessed in wildlife photography as now), I took a one-day portrait photography class by a rather successful Hollywood photographer in downtown Los Angeles. He said he once had an assignment to photograph Janet Jackson. Starting from…

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5 Critical Elements of Wildlife Photography You Should Never Miss, Part 1

“The world doesn’t need another pretty picture. People only want to see what moves them.” – David DuChemin “Within the Frame”When I first started wildlife photography, I would check out the online galleries at nature photography sites such as naturescapes.net, bird photographers.net, naturephotographers.net, Fred Miranda forum, and Flickr. “Dang. Those pics are so perfect,” I said…

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How Cold Is -50?

I have seen “cold” before. I have been to Yellowstone in deep winter several times (Yellowstone 1, Yellowstone 2). The windchill reached -26F one early morning when I was waiting for a wolf. I felt that my nose was almost falling off. But it’s still manageable. Bison in snow, Yellowstone National Park. There was also…

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My 10 First Encounters (Part 1)

“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” This quote was supposed to be written by Lao Tzu in “Tao Te Ching.” I browsed through “Tao Te Ching” (in Chinese) but couldn’t find the corresponding Chinese words. Anyways,…

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My Quest for Barn Owl: 7 Unforgettable Experience

“Haunting, beautiful, startling, innocent, ghostly, adorable” — all these words came to mind as I was clicking the shutter nonstop like a machine gun, before the loud voice in my brain said “DODGE!!!” … Barn owls are nocturnal. Photographing them flying with natural light is not supposed to be possible. If you have seen pictures of…

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How wildlife photography taught me about life

What’s it like then, the road of life? Just like geese taking off from the muddy snow. (excerpt from a poem by Su Dongpo) Who would have thought I had the opportunity to experience what the grandmaster Su Dongpo wrote 900 years ago, here in one of the biggest snow geese takeoffs in the world. It was…

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Surprising power of Less in Wildlife Photography

Ever watched a movie when in the first few minutes you had no idea what was going on? It felt like the movie started from the middle of nowhere. Then as the story unfolded, as the protagonist overcame one danger after another, you gathered more and more information. In the last 20 minutes of the movie,…

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The Number One Secret to Wildlife Photography

Recently I have been enjoying a little book called “Anything you want” by Derek Sivers. He started with a question to the readers: “What’s your compass?” Excerpt: Most people don’t know why they’re doing what they’re doing. They imitate others, go with the flow, and follow paths without making their own. They spend decades in…

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6 Things you don’t know about Mountain Goats

I said to myself “Tin Man Lee you are a freaking genius” when the idea suddenly bestowed unto my head. “If I go to Mount Evans in June instead of July like last time, I could get photos of newly-born mountain goat kids in the SNOW before it was melted. Woohoo.” Pre-visualizing your shot. Check. And…

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How goose changed the world of literature and photography

“Please tell me that geese do mate for life.” I chased down my good friend Melissa Groo, who is an expert in birds as well as an excellent photographer, and texted her in a big hurry. She immediately said, “Yes, but why did you ask?” I slowly sat down, my eyes fixed on this one particular paragraph of a…

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My Quest for the Snowy Owls: Four Unforgettable Experience

I regretted not listening to my friend Conrad who had been here before. “The snowy owls are on the beach. It’s cold. It’s a long walk. Bring more water,” He said. Living in Los Angeles, I imagined any beach would be like Santa Monica Beach, where I would park my car next to the ferris wheel and…

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Yellowstone National Park in the Winter: My 6 Unusual Encounters

  My hope was slowly fading away. Five days have passed. For each of those days, we left at six in the morning and drove for twelve hours straight, back and forth, on a figure “8” shaped road inside Yellowstone National Park. We were desperately trying to track “her” down through the snow covered mountains…

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Yellowstone: One Small Step

I still remember an incident that happened in the Spring time at Yellowstone several years ago. We were driving on a mountain road when we came to a big traffic jam. Over ten cars were parked on the side of the road. Big traffic jam usually meant wildlife sightings. I quickly took my cameras and…

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Last Moments of a Bison Calf

  Our photographer group of seven saw them around eight in the morning. We were in Lamar Valley, at the north of the Yellowstone National Park. There are frequent wildlife sightings, including the gray wolf, bighorn sheep, bison, coyote, and elk. A three mile long two-lane road going from east to west penetrated the Valley,…

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