Filtering by Category: nature photography

Eric Greenhalgh's "Twisted": MeFOTO Instagram Weekly Winner

  by Colleen Carlisle-Nicholas       Category Giveaway, nature photography, Macro Photography       Tags MeFOTO Giveaway, Instagram giveaway, sidekick360, extension tube

Eric Greenhalgh, last week's SideKick360 winner, shares with us this macro image made possible by the use of an extension tube. Extension tubes are a affordable way to use the lenses you already have to experiment with macro photography.

An extension tube is a hollow, light-tight tube that goes between your lens and camera body. It basically moves the lens further away from the focal plane. This means your minimum focusing distance gets smaller, so you can get closer to your subject and still achieve focus. The closer you can focus, the more magnification you get.

There are 2 types of extension tubes: manual versions that do not maintain the electrical connection between the lens and body and auto versions that do. The manual version is by far the least expensive option. A set of 3 can be had for as little as $20. The trade off is if your lens does not have manual aperture rings, it will stay locked open at the widest aperture. (Giving you a very narrow depth of field.)

The auto version has electrical contacts that allow communication between the lens and camera body. Thus, the camera can still control the aperture settings, and you can still use autofocus and any automatic exposure mode. Auto extension tubes are a bit more pricey. A set of 3 will run you approximately $60 - $200 for third party brands. Still far less than a dedicated macro lens.

"This image is a squash plant flower taken in my mother's garden in Payson, AZ. 
Shot on a Canon 5D Mark III with a 24-70 2.8L and an extension tube. Of course
the camera was mounted on a MeFOTO tripod!!" - Eric

Alexis Behilo's "Stompers' Eye": MeFOTO Instagram Weekly Winner

  by Colleen Carlisle-Nicholas       Category Bird Photography, Macro Photography, nature photography, Giveaway       Tags MeFOTO Giveaway, Instagram giveaway, chicken eye, close up eye, eye

Feel like you're stuck in a photography rut? Like all your photos are starting to look the same? It happens to us all occasionally, when we reach a certain level of comfort in our craft. Instead of feeling discouraged, shake things up! Try a different point of view. Get up high on a ladder or down low on your belly. If you usually shoot with a wide angle, try a long lens. Prefer color? Challenge yourself to create some black & white images you really love.

This week's SideKick360 winner, Alexis Behilo, provides us with a great example of a familiar subject shot from a fresh perspective. Alexis used a macro lens to zoom in for this unusual image of her pet chicken, Stompers.

Derek Cress's "Day Break": MeFOTO Instagram Weekly Winner

  by Colleen Carlisle-Nicholas       Category Giveaway, Landscape photography, nature photography, Travel Photography       Tags MeFOTO Giveaway, Instagram giveaway, sidekick360, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Photography is all about balancing light. Usually, controlling the aperture and shutter speed is enough to balance the light and give us good exposures. At times, when there is not enough light, we can raise the ISO to increase the sensitivity of our sensor and capture images at low light levels. But what about those times when we want to reduce the amount of incoming light while keeping a wide aperture or a slower shutter speed?

The answer is Neutral Density Filters (ND Filters). ND filters are semi-transparent pieces of glass designed to reduce the amount of light reaching the camera sensor in order to increase exposure times, without affecting the color of the image. They are chosen by their light-reducing ability and measured in f-stops, where stronger filters appear as darker shades of gray. These filters are ideal for motion blurring moving water such as seascapes or producing soft, blurry clouds.

Derek Cress, last week's SideKick360 winner, made good use of an adjustable ND filter to capture his winning image:


"This photo was taken at Springmaid Beach Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC. The organization I work for, Billy Wayne Ministries, was hosting a week-long teen youth conference called Beach Week Blast. At 6:00 in the morning, I set up my Nikon D90 with my new MeFoto RoadTrip and started shooting. It was a beautiful morning, not a whole lot of people on the beach, light breeze, and beautiful scenery." - Derek

Eric Greenhalgh's "Thistle": MeFOTO Instagram Weekly Winner

  by Colleen Carlisle-Nicholas       Category Landscape photography, nature photography, Travel Photography       Tags MeFOTO Giveaway, sidekick360, Strawberry, Arizona, Pine-Strawberry Arts & Crafts Guild

Strawberry, AZ is a tiny little town located along Arizona’s Mogollon Rim who's claim to fame other than some impressive scenery, seems to be the local Pine-Strawberry Arts & Crafts Guild Craft Festival. Held 3 times a year for the last 30 years, this local favorite has become a shopping institution. If you happen to be exploring the Arizona High Country this 4th of July, the festival takes place at the Pine Community Center July 3 and 4 and features 85 artisans who sell furniture, pottery, jewelry, fountains and more.

Eric Greenhalgh, last week's SideKick360 winner was checking out the local hiking trails when he found his winner:

"I was camping near Strawberry, AZ, and I brought along my Canon 5D Mark III, and Mefoto RoadTrip Tripod. Went out on a hike with no intention of photographing anything in particular when I noticed this Thistle flower just getting ready to bloom. I photographed the buds from about every angle possible and I just happened to like this one the best.!" - Eric

In the Field with the MeFOTO RoadTrip

  by Seth Andrew       Category Review, Landscape photography, nature photography       Tags mefoto roadtrip, MeFOTO RoadTrip Review, Scenic California

Being a landscape photographer is far from easy, but the payoff can be great. It has been my experience that exposure to the elements is the number one killer of equipment. Far away in the great outdoors where if gear fails, it can mean absolute disaster, and ultimately a waste of a trip.  

There are two things that matter the most to me in regards to my gear: reliability and weight. There is only one piece of equipment that covers both perfectly and that is my Mefoto RoadTrip. Weighing in at under 4lbs, it’s hardly noticeable when paired with the rest of my gear. After a lot of heavy abuse being submerged in saltwater, the extreme cold of the Sierra Nevada or the dry Mojave desert in 117 degree heat, it has yet to fail me. I now understand why Mefoto offers a 5 year warranty… because you will never need to use it. With a price point below $200, nothing else on the market can touch this value for the money. It has held up better and longer than a few of my other brand tripods that cost at least twice as much and now are collecting dust.

Additionally, it’s nice to have gear that is versatile and can play more than one part. With height extension options that can be just inches off the ground for that perfect low-level foreground depth all the way up to an eye level, expansive feeling shot (and with me standing at 6'1 that’s not easy for a tripod), it covers all the bases. The collapsible leg extensions hold firm and the hook on the base plate cap allows me to hang my bag while adding stability if needed.  Another great feature is the monopod leg option, which is a great tool to have on the ready when hiking through the backcountry.

It's not often that I find a product that I will stand behind proudly as I am generally not "brand loyal", but this thing redefines the word reliable. As they say, "the proof is in the pudding"… and I have found my favorite flavor. When packing for a shoot or scouting a new location I have the peace of mind that my Roadtrip will hold up to what ever I throw at it next.

To see more shots that were taken using this gear, head over to

Thanks MeFOTO, I can't wait for the next adventure to begin!