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Sunday, May 14, 2017
By Terrill Bodner Photography

Loaded for Bear

Springtime in northern British Columbia brings an abundance of wildlife to photograph and this weekend was no exception. My friend, Jan, picked me up at 5:30am to drive us east of Prince George as the sun was rising. But it would still be early enough to get us past Purden and heading to McBride in hopes of sighting a few black bear, maybe even some cubs. Before we were even outside Prince George, we already saw one very fast little deer hoofing it into the bushes near Cottonwood Island Park. It looked like it might be a good day!

It's been said that the road from Prince George to McBride is one of the best places to find black bear. It wasn't long before we started spotting the dark blobs among the treeline. Most of them were actually bear! Whoo hoo!! There were two of them. Maybe a year old, maybe two, we weren't sure. Not too big so we stopped to photograph from the car windows as they sauntered along the grassy area beside the trees. Then one spotted us and moved closer. We watched as it headed towards us, and we backed up quickly in hopes it would stop and go back to the grass. No luck, it kept meandering along the yellow line of the two lane highway. We were the only ones on the road but we could see cars approaching from the east. We backed up further, trying to decide if we should pass it right then or not but the cars were closing in so Jan flashed his headlights at them. They stopped as the bear sniffed the air around the road and slowly made his way back to the grassy area. We left as soon the other two cars passed. We didn't want those two young ones to get any friendlier with a vehicle. They weren't afraid, which made me think that they may have already been hand-fed by passing cars. Not a good idea!

"Have I got anything in my teeth?"

We were fortunate to see a sow and her cub. This little guy was very cute, stayed really close to his momma and seemed to be enjoying his breakfast of skunk cabbage and grass. Most animals will not eat skunk cabbage because it causes a burning sensation, but bears enjoy eating young plants in the spring. The stretch of road has many patches of skunk cabbage so perhaps that is what makes it one of the best bear spotting areas in the province in the spring.

It was a thrill to see seventeen black bear, one being the cub, and all in a morning's drive. The elusive grizzly will have to wait until next time.

All photos captured with a Canon 7D, 1.4x extender on a 70-200mm lens. Most captured at 1/800 sec f 4.5 ISO 640..

Terrill Bodner, MPA is an Accredited Professional Photographer living in Prince George, BC, specializing in Real Estate, Contemporary, and Fine Art photography. Terrill is a member of Professional Photographers of Canada, accredited in Fine Art/Photo Decor, Animals, Wildlife, Nature, Ornithology/Bird, Botanical, Pictorial/Scenic, and Travel Illustration photography and holds the designation of Master of Photographic Arts from Professional Photographers of Canada.
 She shoots in studio and on location. Come on in and snoop around!

 
Sunday, April 30, 2017
By Terrill Bodner Photography

So when's the best time to go and photograph some fox kits? We decided that the crack of dawn around 4:30 am, when the first light hits us this time of year, was just too early. For us, anyway. So we headed out at 6:30 am, found our spot by 7am and settled down with our Timmie's to wait. It wasn't five minutes before momma fox popped out of the hole in the tree roots, saw us immediately and started yipping at us and moving away from her den. We stayed put (which was our plan anyway), knowing she wasn't too pleased to have spotted us sitting in the bushes 100 feet away. When she got far enough away from us she stopped making the racket. Perhaps she no longer considered us a threat and the need to hunt for food for her wee ones was her first priority.

Red foxes generally breed in late winter, probably February or March in BC, and with a gestation period of 51 to 53 days, the offspring would be born in April or May. The red fox kits are blind and helpless at birth, weighing about 100 grams but grow quickly and become mobile in about three weeks. They are weaned at about five weeks. We weren't sure if the kits would even be old enough to venture outside the den yet, being the end of April, but with the snow all gone now we were surprised and pleased to see a parade of three fluffy little ones venturing out of their den. They were probably around four weeks old, considering they don't open their eyes for about three weeks. All three were different colours! I didn't expect to see them so early in the year. But perhaps the early spring weather we had in February and March attributed to their being here today.

Resting my 70-200 mm lens with 1.4 extender on a monopod made it easy to sit in one spot and follow them through the viewfinder. Focusing was a different matter. Finally switching to manual because of all the twigs in front of my subjects, I was able to lock in my focus on them as they cavorted in the grass and tightrope-walked the logs near their den.

We are so lucky to live so close to nature and I'm thankful for the two hours of sitting in the quiet, listening to the birds twittering, woodpeckers pecking, and the geese and seagulls flying overhead. I would have sat there all day and waited for their return but in a week, they will have grown a little bigger. If only my lens would do the same.

Terrill Bodner, MPA is an Accredited Professional Photographer living in Prince George, BC, specializing in Real Estate, Contemporary, and Fine Art photography. Terrill is a member of Professional Photographers of Canada, accredited in Fine Art/Photo Decor, Animals, Wildlife, Nature, Ornithology/Bird, Botanical, Pictorial/Scenic, and Travel Illustration photography and holds the designation of Master of Photographic Arts from Professional Photographers of Canada.
 She shoots in studio and on location. Come on in and snoop around!

 
Saturday, April 15, 2017
By Terrill Bodner Photography

Before and afters aren't just for headshots! Here's two images from a recent real estate marketing photo shoot on a lovely home. The before ones are straight out of camera and the afters are touched up using Photoshop techniques.

 

When using a wide angle lens (10-22mm) on a Canon7D, there is some distortion that happens but it is just part of the process. In the shot above you can see the walls are slightly leaning, not vertical, which is not what we want the viewer to see. We live in a world that has straight walls and when we look at the before shot our subconscious tells us that something is not right.  Using Lens Correction in Photoshop is not enough. By using the Camera Raw filter Transform tool, I can adjust the Vertical and/or Horizontal perspectives to correct the leaning walls. Then cropping the image in a 2:3 ratio I am able to avoid the annoying piece of the ceiling fan and show less of the ceiling. Lastly in this image I use a tool which I call "Dog Be Gone", which is a Patch Tool in Photoshop set on Content Aware. I love that tool! It's like magic!

Sometimes the use of flash can lighten an area too much and sometimes it just doesn't reach where I want it to. By positioning the flash in a different direction I can reach darker corners like the floor area in this image. But sometimes it needs a little more pop so I lightened the floor and lower cupboards by adding a Curves adjustment layer in Photoshop to get it where I want it. In the before shot, the fridge is noticeably distorted, but the procedure used above to straight walls applies to appliances and cupboards as well.

Do you often compete with other listing agents to sell a home? Why not offer the seller more than the standard pictures taken by most agents? Stand out from the competition by taking the time to hire a professional photographer. Your client will appreciate your efforts to do more to sell their home.

Pictures are the most important ingredient in a successful marketing campaign. Why not ensure your images are the best out there? Call or text me today (250-649-8422) to book your next listing. You will be putting your best foot forward by hiring a professional, allowing you more time to do what you do best.

Terrill Bodner, MPA is an Accredited Professional Photographer living in Prince George, BC, specializing in Real Estate, Contemporary, and Fine Art photography. Terrill is a member of Professional Photographers of Canada, accredited in Fine Art/Photo Decor, Animals, Wildlife, Nature, Ornithology/Bird, Botanical, Pictorial/Scenic, and Travel Illustration photography and holds the designation of Master of Photographic Arts from Professional Photographers of Canada.
 She shoots in studio and on location. Come on in and snoop around!

 
Saturday, April 08, 2017
By Terrill Bodner Photography

For maximum effectiveness of real estate marketing photos, follow these ten tips. If you can't stick to these rules, hire a professional who can.

 

1. RE photos are created to present the best features of the property. Each photo should be visually correct, as in walls are vertical, not leaning inward or outward in the frame. Those kinds of visual distractions divert the viewer’s attention and need to be eliminated.

 

2. The most important photo is of the front exterior shot. It is the photo that will be seen the most and usually the first one a prospective buyer sees. It should be a great shot as this is the photo used to entice the buyer to look further into the property. Shots taken at an elevated height of 10 to 20 feet above street level can enhance the look of the front of the building.

 

3. Interiors require a wide-angle lens to tell the best story by increasing the feeling of space in a room. For interiors, the lens should have a 33mm equivalent focal length between 14 and 24mm. Usually point-and-shoot cameras don't have this wide an angle lens.

 

4. Clutter must be removed, and the interior staged for best results. It's a fact that staged homes are worth the effort whether the home owner hires a home-staging company or does it themselves. Homes sell faster and for a higher price when this is done.

 

5. Interiors should be light and bright to make a positive impression on the prospective buyer, so make sure there are no dark corners or underexposed areas in your photos. Special lighting equipment including off-camera flash and photo-editing programs and techniques must be used to enhance the images, bringing out the best exposures possible.

 

6. Vertical lines such as walls and cabinets must appear perfectly vertical and be parallel to the edges of the photo. When photos don’t look this way it becomes a major visual distraction to the buyer.

 

7. Vertical and horizontal lines must be straight. Wide-angle lenses cause lines near the edges of photos to curve (called barrel distortion) so special photo editing software must be used to remove this lens distortion. If a wide-angle is available on a point-and-shoot or camera phone, editing software is a must to correct this phenomenon.

 

8. There are techniques used to not let bright windows overexpose an image. Unless special lighting and/or photo editing software is used these interior windows will tend to look overly bright, even blurry, so the view out the window is not visible. If the view out the window is important, make sure your exposures are correct and/or you have editing software to improve the look.

 

9. Colour casts (typically too yellow or orange, from incandescent light bulbs) can distract the viewer and make the interiors look unrealistic.

 

10. The way photos are presented online has a huge impact on the overall effectiveness of marketing a property. Photos have the most impact when presented large (800 x 600 pixels or larger) and are in landscape format. Shooting the bathroom in portrait format jars the viewer when looking at images one at a time or in a slideshow. Consider a slideshow to maximize the impact of marketing photos.

Terrill Bodner, MPA is an Accredited Professional Photographer living in Prince George, BC, specializing in Real Estate, Contemporary, and Fine Art photography. Terrill is a member of Professional Photographers of Canada, accredited in Fine Art/Photo Decor, Animals, Wildlife, Nature, Ornithology/Bird, Botanical, Pictorial/Scenic, and Travel Illustration photography and holds the designation of Master of Photographic Arts from Professional Photographers of Canada.
 She shoots in studio and on location. Come on in and snoop around!

 
Friday, April 07, 2017
By Terrill Bodner Photography

Trumpeter swans returned to Vanderhoof, BC over the last few weeks of March. The location is on their migratory path north each year in the spring. It's always a thrill to see these huge birds flock to the river and fields. And the more the merrier, as their trumpeting sounds fill the air.

Early in the morning we find a few swans resting on the Stoney Creek river along the Kenney Dam Rd near the Stoney Creek Reserve. It's peaceful and a little overcast, giving a softness to the wings of the swans as they propel themselves into the wind and fly over our heads. The closer they come to us the louder their wings sound. To me it sounds like the churning hum of a windmill.

Canada geese migrate to the Nechako River Migratory Bird Sanctuary this time of year. Their black, brown and white colours mingle with the surroundings but when a eagle flies overhead, we witnessed a flurry of them scatter from the ice into the air.

To view more of my wildlife photography, please go to my website.

Terrill Bodner, MPA is an Accredited Professional Photographer living in Prince George, BC, specializing in Real Estate, Contemporary, and Fine Art photography. Terrill is a member of Professional Photographers of Canada, accredited in Fine Art/Photo Decor, Animals, Wildlife, Nature, Ornithology/Bird, Botanical, Pictorial/Scenic, and Travel Illustration photography and holds the designation of Master of Photographic Arts from Professional Photographers of Canada.
 She shoots in studio and on location. Come on in and snoop around!

 
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