‘Focus on Nature: Beaks and Peaks’ exhibit at MTRP features two nature photographers

1
48
WEBphotography.jpg

Photography by Scott Streit and Gerald Tietje are featured in this month’s exhibit, “Focus on Nature: Beaks and Peaks” at Mission Trails Regional Park in the Visitor’s Center. The beauty of the photographs in this exhibit proves that photography is indeed art.

Favorite subjects of both Streit and Tietje are birds. Streit said that bird photography is so much more than pointing a camera and shooting.

Photography by Scott Streit and Gerald Tietje are featured in this month’s exhibit, “Focus on Nature: Beaks and Peaks” at Mission Trails Regional Park in the Visitor’s Center. The beauty of the photographs in this exhibit proves that photography is indeed art.

Favorite subjects of both Streit and Tietje are birds. Streit said that bird photography is so much more than pointing a camera and shooting.

“It’s a matter of background, foreground, area of focus, color, composition, expression from the bird or birds and lighting,” he said.

Just as an artist works, Streit said that when he goes out to photograph, he typically heads out looking for a bird with a specific photo and composition in mind.

“But sometimes the bird has other ideas that are better than mine. The bird and I work together to create art,” he said.

Streit started his photography right in his back yard, which is Lake Murray. A Black Phoebe would always land on his porch and look in at Streit.

“I found him quite striking in his black and white, and I wanted to photograph him,” he said.

While hummingbirds are currently Streit’s favorite subjects for birds, with their colorful feathers, flying mastery and territorial habits, other birds that Streit looks for are songbirds. Within Mission Trails Park, he will photograph a myriad of them including Spotted Towhees, California Thrashers and Ash-throated Flycatchers.

As Streit most often photographs birds in San Diego, he enjoys Lake Murray and Mission Trails. He also photographs at other lakes, the San Diego River Channel, lagoons, bays, beaches, and the slough. Sometimes he goes to the local mountains and Borrego to look for specific birds.

“When I go out of San Diego, I always plan to photograph birds.  My camera comes before other packable items,” he said.

One of the most interesting bird encounters Streit has had occurred at Mission Trails Park. He was walking along the river near the bridge by the dam, and when he looked up, he saw some movement. It was a Lazuli Bunting, a bird with beautiful sky blue feathers.

“What a treat!” he said.

As a result of the nature and bird walks with his camera, Streit has learned several facts about birds, such as hawks being very territorial. For instance, one time in Point Loma, a hawk chased after Streit because he had unknowingly wandered too close to the hawk’s nest.

“I had to leave my camera gear and run for the car,” Streit said.

His knowledge and love of bird photography grew to such levels that nearly two decades ago, he started a website to educate others about the birds of Lake Murray and San Diego.

Like Streit, Gerald Tietje takes bird and landscape photography to the level of art. Tietje’s interest in photography began with birds and then expanded to wildflowers and landscapes. For his bird subjects, Tietje shoots at San Diego locales, many of them in East County such as Santee Lakes, MTRP, and Lake Murray.

To this day, one of his favorite bird photos was taken at Lake Murray shortly after he purchased his first telephoto lens. The photo is of a flying Forster’s Tern with a strand of dodder or seaweed in its beak.

When Tietje is on the hunt for wildflowers, MTRP is his go-to place. 

He explained that photographing birds, wildflowers and landscapes has unique challenges. 

“Approaching birds and getting close enough to photograph them before they fly away is perhaps the greatest challenge in bird photography. Photographing a flying bird is the most challenging of all, especially a fast bird like the Peregrine Falcon,” he said.

When Tietje photographs wildflowers, the slightest wind can cause the blossom to move and result in a blurry image. Some wildflowers are deep-throated and require adequate depth of field to capture the entire blossom in focus. Other considerations are the brightness of the sun.

The biggest challenge for landscape photography is the weather, according to Tietje.

“If it’s overcast, it’s great for photographing waterfalls, for example, but not for a landscape that includes the sky. Bright blue skies are better for landscapes but fluffy clouds in the sky are better still,” he said.

All these factors come into consideration for a well-composed photograph.

“I don’t see how anyone can say that a good photograph by Ansel Adams, or today, Tom Mangelsen, is not fine art,” Tietje said. “I think the photographer’s sensitivity to the subject, eye for what pleases, and ability to capture the image and to edit it properly require as many skills as producing a painting with watercolor or paint.”

For people who want to begin photographing nature and birds with the same passion as these two artists, Streit recommends being patient and doing their best with the equipment they already have.

Most importantly, however—and this is something with which Tietje agrees—enjoy the time outdoors really looking at the subject.

“Getting to know your subject is rewarding, and knowing how it moves and behaves can help in your ability to take a nice photograph of it,” Streit said.

1 COMMENT

  1. I feel that is one of the
    I feel that is one of the such a lot significant info for me.
    Annd i’m satisfied studying your article. However want to remark on some common issues,
    The website tasre is wonderful, the articles
    is truly great : D. Juust right process, cheers

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here