Your images assessed by our expert panel
Currently I shoot with a Nikon D7100, though some of these images were taken with a D5100. My two favourite lenses are the Nikon 55mm-300mm DX zoom and the 105mm macro lens.
I love to shoot wildlife. I’m fascinated by tiny life that looks alien or monstrous when magnified. It’s amazing how much there is to photograph so close to home. I take my camera when I travel, and use the opportunity to photograph animals at aquariums and zoos.
With my wildlife shots, I would like to be able to take more dynamic photographs, such as birds in flight, rather than slow or stationary creatures. For my macro work I would love to learn how to better light my subjects to look natural (right now I use an LED flashlight and an SB-700 flash) and to venture into extreme macro at greater than 1:1 magnifications. However, the shallow depth of field in macro work is limiting me.
I hope that as I continue to shoot I will improve as a wildlife photographer. The world is so interesting – it’s nice to capture a little bit of it.
We’re impressed with your images, Gina. You’ve got a fantastic range of shots, covering macro and action, and an excellent handle on the controls of your camera. The main ways for you to improve your photography are to upgrade your kit, and try some creative techniques.
As macro and wildlife photography require very different techniques we’ll address them separately. Your wildlife shots show dynamic framing, but you could benefit from opting for a brighter lens, such as a 70-200mm f/2.8 VR, and allowing the VR to compensate for any handshake.
In one image your shutter speed is 1/1250 sec, which is perfect for freezing the action, but can remove some of the drama from the shot. Using a slower shutter speed will give you dynamic blur for dramatic shots. By reducing your focal point to only the centre spot you can also make framing, and focusing, easier.
If the animal is static, try getting down to eye level. It creates a unique perspective, and can give you the opportunity for some eye contact. Researching the habits of the animals will give you a better chance of creating these images, and of pre-visualising your shots.
Your macro images are great, but another light source may be needed. A ring flash allows for the light to be directed towards to the subject, and provides a more diffused source than the normal flash. Alternatively, your existing flash can be used off-camera with a wireless Phottix Strato TTL Trigger (£129/$130). You can then attach a Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce OM700 (£12/$10), which will diffuse the light. This will allow you to work with slightly slower shutter speeds for more depth of field, as it should afford you a few stops.
profi le ■ Gina Rohekar is based in London, Ontario, in Canada. She’s surrounded by the kind of wildlife most of us only dream of, and is eager to take advantage of it.