Over 30 people were in attendance for a Salon ARC (Art Reconnecting Community) featuring local award-winning photographer Anca Gaston at the Glenhyrst Art Gallery on Friday, March 24, 2023.
Gaston presented an introduction to nature photography covering a variety of topics with tips and tricks to set yourself up for success when it comes to getting the perfect shot.
She touched on experimenting with pictures of common backyard wildlife like squirrels, racoons and butterflies, as well as some of her favourite places to photograph wildlife in the Brantford area. Areas located by the Grand River are often hotspots for different birds such as eagles, herons and other smaller birds.
“One of the wonderful things about photography and the camera lens, is that does bring us close up and personal with subject that are really hard to see with the naked eye,” she said.
Gaston shared that she often uses a 300mm lens for her camera as it can shoot a fair distance, while also not weighing her down on hikes or walks and she discussed the three camera setting basics known as ISO (how sensitive the camera sensor is to light), f-stop (how much light is let in) and shutter speed (how fast the shutter closes) and how they all effect a photo.
She spoke about the best time of day for wildlife photography being early in the morning when life is active, or in the late afternoon as animals are starting to wind down and the sun is softer.
When it comes to photographing subjects like a bird’s nest, Gaston spoke about ethics and how it’s better when her presence isn’t disturbing the wildlife around her. For this, Gaston typically uses a tripod stand and a remote shutter release as this allows her to sit off in the distance with binoculars and still capture the perfect shot without being up close.
Attendees listened and laughed along with Gaston and she shared stories of certain shots and how she ended up with some of her favourite photos.
Besides wildlife, Gaston also likes to shoot Astrophotography (photographing the night sky) and shared her tips to succeed like using a tripod and a wide-angle lens, shooting when there is a dark and clear sky during a new moon cycle and scouting locations ahead of time to account for light pollution.
Attendees had a chance to ask questions and speak to Gaston after the presentation, as well as a chance to purchase some of her prints, greeting cards and calendars.The Salon ARC takes place every fourth Friday of the month and is presented by ViBrant Arc and supported by both Belonging Brant and Glenhyrst Art Gallery. The Salon is a gathering of curious people and exploring artful ideas while nurturing culture and engaging community.
“We are trying to invite and engage the community, spread the word and look for ideas,” said Birgitta Pavic, one of the ViBrant ARC members.