Posts from the ‘DVD’ Category

Holiday Gift Ideas for Wildlife Photographers (under $40)

Not all wildlife photography is done while roaming the hinterlands…In fact, many of my favorite shots were taken right from the driver’s seat of my car! The Kirk Fat Bag is literally a fat bag that straddles your car door so you can rest your telephoto lens on it to dampen vibrations and get sharper photos. I filled mine with split peas…It takes EIGHT POUNDS! But you won’t starve if you get stranded!
BUY IT HERE FROM KIRK ($39.95 empty)

thermos-stainless-kingI just received the 40-ounce Thermos as an early Christmas present (Thanks Mom and Dad!). And I love it! I tested it with nearly boiling water…24 hours later it was still nearly too hot to drink! Even 36 hours later, the water was still very warm. There is nothing more comforting on a cold winter day in the field than knowing you have a thermos of hot coffee or cocoa within arms reach. You could also bring extremely hot water into the field on an extremely cold day (minus 20 F or lower) to create instant vaporization photos like I did in this video
Stainless steel, Thermax double-wall construction, twist pour spout so you don’t need to remove stopper, cap doubles as insulated mug.

Get Close DVD and case photo IMG_0064812 copyWARNING! Shameless product promotion ahead: Yes, this is my video. It was a blast to make and I think you’ll really enjoy it. The DVD is 90 minutes of non-stop wildlife photography tips and tricks on getting close to wildlife. We go Moose calling, learn about pop-up blinds, create a backyard bird pool, make a blind out of snow and even go out in a floating blind (with details on how to make your own!) Available as a download too.
OR email me at thesparkygroup@gmail for download info ($29.95)

lens-coatProtect those expensive telephoto lenses with a LensCoat neoprene wrap. I love mine…I got one for my 400mm f5.6 lens. They not only protect your lens from dings and scratches, but they also camouflage your black or white lens and keep them quieter. Choose from several camouflage patterns.
BUY IT HERE FROM B&H PHOTO (price varies with lens…$20-$100)

portfolio-22-1000Need some photographic inspiration? Just flip through the pages of the gorgeous hardcover books from the Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. This is the most prestigious wildlife photography competition in the world…and the resulting photos prove it! I’d stick with the last five portfolios…#s 18-22.
BUY IT FROM AMAZON HERE ($39.95 for portfolio 22)

canon-ef-lens-mug-20100319-122844Drink your coffee out of a Canon 70-200mm lens? At least that’s what your friends will think! Convincing replica of the actual Canon 70-200mm lens.

Just a few ideas! Coming up next…Gift Ideas for Birders

Special Offer & Backyard Bird Pools

It’s spring! …well, kind of…an inch of snow on the ground yesterday (11 inches an hour north!) and high temps in the low 40s…But time to start thinking about some warm-season wildlife photography…and Getting Close!

(Isn’t that what all the infomercials say?)
I’m offering a free copy of my North Woods Journal to anyone who purchases the Get Close and Get the Shot DVD AND posts a review on a photography website, blog or forum by May 15th Then just send me a link to your review. (Remember…Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are right around the corner!)

More details and video clips from the Get Close DVD here

I’m including a short 3-minute clip from the Get Close & Get the Shot DVD on building a small backyard pool to attract birds…and how to photograph them. It’s easy and fun…and could be especially productive during late May migration or during the heat of summer.

Images like this Purple Finch are possible with a tiny backyard pool…and a large dose of patience!
Just dig a shallow hole, line it with something waterproof like poly, fill with small rocks, then add either a small waterfall with a hose and some rocks, or a drip. Birds find the sound of running or dripping water enticing. Now set up your blind and wait. Oh yeah, add some attractive perches if you want some nice bird portraits. Try it out! More details on setting up perches in the DVD.

North Woods Journal is a perpetual weekly calendar for keeping track of your nature sightings…and step 1 in becoming a great nature photographer. If you know, for example, that the Sharp-tailed Grouse are normally dancing on their leks in mid April, then you can plan to make a photo blind reservation for that time period.

The book is a 8×8 hardcover book normally retailing for $24.95. It features seasonal photos from yours truly and my photo buddy Ryan Marshik. A sidebar on each generic week highlights what’s happening in the woods on average during that part of the year. This is based on my 25 years of nature notes.

AND it is meant to be written in! Jot down dates, sketch your finds, staple in photos…I don’t care, just so you use it. This way you can compare the phenology of your location from year to year. It’s a fun and fascinating hobby.

If you are interested in purchasing either my Get Close & Get the Shot DVD or the North Woods Journal, go to my online store—

Happy Spring Shooting!

Hot off the Press! Sparky’s new DVD: Get Close & Get the Shot

Eight months in the making…and now it’s finally done…just in time for Christmas! Christmas 2012 anyway. Wouldn’t this make the perfect Groundhog’s Day gift? Wait, we missed Groundhog’s Day (or is it Groundhogs Day??) Okay, how about Father’s Day?

If you’ve ever wondered how wildlife photographers get those amazing shots you see in magazines, calendars, books and on the web, then this is the DVD for you. And we have alot of fun doing it. Check out the two clips below.

Click HERE or on sidebar icon to Purchase OR Download this 90-minute DVD (same price for each)

Want to see how these mini-adventures end? You can go to my online store: to purchase.

Crammed and jam-packed with helpful wildlife photography tips on getting closer to birds, mammals, reptiles and insects. In this 90-minute DVD you’ll learn tips and tricks of the pros, including…

Number 1 secret to great wildlife photography revealed!

Why you DON’T need a 500mm f4
Teleconverters get a bad rap
“Leica” syndrome

I once used a Blind and Now I see
Hunting Blind=Photo Blind
Grouse Blinds at Leks
The Perfect Perch: Place it and they will Come
Camouflage Clothing: Do you need it?
Camouflaging Your Equipment
The Floating Blind: Getting Mucky for Duckies
“Snow Blind”: Using Ancient Technology to get close in Winter
Canoes & Kayaks to Get Close
Floating Blind/Floating Hide
How to make your own inexpensive floating blind

Hummingbird Feeders
Backyard Bounty: Feeding our Feathered Friends
Christmas Tree Trick
Drips & Pools: Build it and they will Come
Attracting with Sound: iPod, MP3, FoxPro and your Mouth
Moose Calling
Plastic Owls: Hawk’s Worst Enemy, Photographers Best Friend

Thinking Like a Predator
Crawling for Shorebirds: Sandy Knees equals Success
Ice-out Ducks and Otters
Get Wet to Get Close
The Stealthy Subaru: Using your car to find…and as a Blind
Bean Bags
The “Fruit Loop”: Find Fruit Trees for Fine Photos
Fence Post Friends: Roadside Routes with Fences

Wildlife that isn’t so Wild
Tolerant Species
Tame Individuals
Home Sweet Home: Nest Burrow and Den Photography

It’s Working When You’re Not
Trail Cameras