We’re really pleased to announce that Popular Photography Magazine has featured MYN contributing photographer Paul Marcellini‘s beautiful Portuguese Man-of-War image on the April edition’s subscription cover. In addition, the issue includes a nice interview with Paul about how the image was made and background on the MYN project. The magazine is on stands now.
A recent series of images from talented French MYN contributor Stéphane Hette has really captured the imagination of fans around the world. We’ve received many questions about his set-up so here you go! It is amazing what can be done in the field-studio! Thank you for sharing Stéphane!
by Clay Bolt:
For some time now, Niall and I have been discussing how we might develop a children’s program for Meet Your Neighbours. We’ve had several requests from organizations who have recognized that our message “Biodiversity Begins at Home” is a valuable one for young people. Well, today I’m very proud to announce that on March 19th, 2012 Backyard Naturalists will be born. Our first 8-week program will be launched in Highlands, North Carolina thanks to a partnership between the Highlands Biological Foundation, MYN and through the support of a generous grant by the Eckerd Family Foundation. In the months to come we will also begin to roll the program out in other locations around the world, building off of our network of Meet Your Neighbours photographers.
The mission of Backyard Naturalists is to inspire a lifelong appreciation of the natural world in children through educational programming that integrates science, art, and technology. The program will draw from the considerable educational resources of the Highlands Nature Center, where staff has provided hands-on science-learning opportunities to help educate the community and promote conservation for over 60 years. Backyard Naturalists will utilize the images produced by MYN to capture the attention of a generation of children fully integrated in technology.
by Paul Harcourt Davies:
For the past few years I have largely utilized two photographic approaches in my close-up work employing lenses at the extreme ends of the focal length range.
The ultra-wide approach demands good stalking technique on the part of the photographer to approach within few cm of a large active insect such as the Two-tailed Pasha (Charaxes jasius)
On the one hand there is the capacity of a long-focus macro (the trusty Sigma 150mm f/2.8) to isolate subjects with biting sharpness against a soft-focus background. And, on the other, I move to the realm of the ultra-wide, favouring a 15mm f/2.8 Sigma diagonal fisheye to get close-ups with slightly distorted subject perspective set in the context of a background. I can never decide quite what I want at the time and thus tend to use both.
In this last year, a third option has arisen – the back-lit white panel approach of the MYN project. To my surprise and, I confess, great delight it has definitely done something for my view of natural subjects.
In short, it has made me look again at the ‘familiar’ – a bit like coming around a corner and suddenly seeing my reflection removed from any fantasies. Aaaagh
by Niall Benvie:
Here I’ve used work mostly shot on assignment for Wild Wonders of Europe (and under contract until December 2012!) in the French Alps a couple of years ago. This panel will find its way into Meet Your Neighbours when the material is released.
On a technical note, I find the easiest way to work is to drawn a very loose selection around the subject – well away from its edges – to get rid of most of the excess background, duplicate that background layer and convert that selection to a Smart Object. This is then dragged onto the composite page and scaled (cmd/ctrl T) to taste.