One in a series of profiles on our good customers here at Camera West who are passionate about photography.
Jim Kardos comes up with the most amazing bird photos. He works hard at it and his results show. Read below some of the challenges wildlife photographers like JIm face to catch their prey.
1. What got you started shooting?
I have always admired people who could take good pictures. Then in 1979 I got an SLR as a gift. That was the beginning for me. I tried to capture the beauty I saw all around me but wasn’t very good at it. I had a lot to learn.
2. How long have you been shooting?
A little over 30 years now.
3. Why do you shoot?
I love nature and the time I spend creating beautiful wildlife photos. It is a form of meditation.
4. What do you do with your photos?
Mostly I post my photos on Flickr for people to enjoy but I have sold my work on occasion. My work has appeared in Gary Bogue’s column in the Contra Costa Times and I have had it shown at the Layafette Reservoir visitor’s center.
5. Who is your favorite photographer and why?
I have many favorite photographers. They are people I have come in contact with on Flickr. It is amazing how many talented photographers are out there. I guess if I had to choose one, It would be Howard Brodsky.
6. What’s in your bag?
Nikon D300 and D300s
16-85 3.5-4.5, 70-200 2.8, 200-400 f4, 600 f4, 80-400 4.5-5.6, 1.7 Teleconverter, Various filters
SB 600 with a Better Beamer extender
Induro CT214 with BHL2 ball head
Induro CT414 with Gimbal Head
7. What challenges does your shooting/style present?
Wildlife photography has many challenges. Geting my subjects to pose for me is the biggest one. Then there is the expense of the big lenses you need to get close to your subject without disturbing it. Finding new places and new subjects to shoot. Getting your heavy equipment to the location. These are all challenges but well worth it.
8. What’s on your bucket list of places, people or things to shoot?
It is my dream to get real close to a Bald Eagle as he takes dinner from a river. So close that you can see the detail in every feather. It would be really cool to get that shot in Alaska.
9. What’s the best shot you didn’t get?
As a wildlife photographer I have tons of best shots I didn’t get. One that comes to mind was last summer. I was at the local park walking around the lagoon when I noticed two beautifully colored dragonflies mating on a leaf. I had never seen this kind before and didn’t know what they were. I stopped dead in my tracks and had to step back in order to focus on them. I was just about to release the shutter when someone wizzed by me on a bicycle at a high rate of speed. The dragonflies were gone and I was pissed. The person on the bike had no idea what they just cost me.
10. What advice do you have for other photographers?
My advise is for budding photographers, as seasoned photogs don’t need my advise. Take lots of photos, The more you shoot, the better you get. Read magazines and online articles. Talk to other photographers. We love to talk photography and help people new to the field. Join Flickr, it is a great way to become part of the photographic community. I have made a lot of friends and learned a lot by viewing the EXIF data of a photo.
Jim’s Flickr site : http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimages1/