Wednesday (20-July-2011) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

10,000 Hours to Become an Expert. Over the last couple of days I have seen several blogs referencing that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in a subject, activity, profession, etc. Thom Hogan and Mike Hagen have related this to becoming a photography expert. Thom Hogan pointed out that 10,000 hours is 40 hours/week for 5 years. (About as long as it took me to complete my PhD studies in Organic Chemistry). This could be doubled if visualization/acquisition of the image, and post processing are separate areas of expertise. Unless totally committed (and not having a day job to pay the bills) how many folks have 10,000 hours to commit to becoming an expert in 5, 10, or 20 years?  I have always taken on new challenges every few years, both professional at work and outside of work. It was about 5 years ago that I decided to take on photography. From my point of view, the technical side was easy (but still requiring a lot of work and practice). For me the artistic side is the challenge. I have had several teachers/mentors (Winston Hall, Thom Hogan, Michael Marriant) over the past 5 years. One thing I learned from Winston was to share a new image every day (and thus my “Image of the Day” postings) and then learn from the feedback. Thom Hogan also pointed out today you also need to accept and learn from failures. If you don’t like one of my images, let me know.

Back to my “Images of the Day”.  Another hot summer evening in New Jersey. Each of my tomato pots on the deck took 2 gallons of water. As I was sitting out on my deck I took some images of a young fawn, a grey cowbird, and Harvey the backyard rabbit. All were taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens. Because the D3x camera has a 24 MP sensor, I was able to do significant crops and still retain significant detail. I will break this into 3 posts (one for each animal) because of the number of images.

Grey Catbird with Insect Lunch. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 600 mm f/4 lens (ISO 400, 600 mm, f/4, 1/250 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro 6, Nik Define 2, and Photoshop CS5. (David J Mathre)
Grey Catbird with Insect Lunch. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 600 mm f/4 lens (ISO 400, 600 mm, f/4, 1/250 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro 6, Nik Define 2, and Photoshop CS5.
Grey Catbird. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 600 mm f/4 lens (ISO 800, 600 mm, f/4, 1/125 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro 6, Nik Define 2, and Photoshop CS5. (David J Mathre)
Grey Catbird. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 600 mm f/4 lens (ISO 800, 600 mm, f/4, 1/125 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro 6, Nik Define 2, and Photoshop CS5.

Author: David Mathre

I am a scientist by training (Eckerd College, BSc; Caltech, Ph.D.). I worked for 27 years as a Chemist in the Pharmaceutical Industry developing processes to manufacture medicines for human and animal health. I now spend my time as a photographer updating images in My Image of the Day Photoblog, and My eBird (with images of nearly 450 bird species). hope post COVID-19 to be a world traveler again. My interests include the natural world, wildlife, landscapes, sky, and seascapes, travel, and astrophotography. I look for unique ways of viewing the world and presenting my images. I have traveled to over 55 countries in six continents, often on Semester at Sea voyages. While at home in New Jersey, I spend time on home renovation and expansion of a wildflower garden/meadow.

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