Archive for December, 2012

December 9, 2012
Trumpeter Swan © Nichole Beaulac

Trumpeter Swan © Nichole Beaulac

Professional Photographer and TTSS Photo-of-the-Month host Greg Smith says:

Niki’s close-up of the immature Trumpeter Swan shows how the use of flash provides an increase in depth of field and area in optimum focus.  As with some wildlife, when found in close proximity to people, they become accustomed to close approach and allow for a more intimate photograph.

Depth-of-field (DOF) is the area between nearest and farthest points in the photograph that are acceptably sharp.  Depending on your camera and lens, there is always only one precise focal point at a time.  There is a gradual decrease in sharpness from the focal point as you move towards the front and the back of the photograph, so that within the DOF, the decrease in sharpness is imperceptible in normal viewing.

Niki followed the golden rule in photography, if your subject’s eye is in the photograph, it has to be the focal point and also has to be tack sharp.  Follow the focus both forward and away from the eye and you will see where the sharpness falls away.

In her photograph, Niki chose a composition (she got her camera lower so the only areas behind the swan’s face were well out of the acceptable DOF) which provided a foreground that was mostly in focus.  She could have elevated her lens to get more of the far side of the bird in focus and then cropped out the unfocused foreground, but this a composition question that is always left to the photographer.

We have all visited parks or gone camping and found that wildlife living in those areas, are much more approachable and easier to photograph!  It is a surefire way to get close-ups that might only be otherwise available to those that have some of the bigger, faster lenses.

Featured Photographer for December, 2012 – Nichole Beaulac, State of California and Province of British Columbia

Niki’s  residence is her motorhome where she spends six months of the year in British Columbia and the remainder in Southern California

From Niki:

I have been very interested in nature photography for a few years and now that I am retired I seek out places to go to photograph birds and animals and all other types of creatures but mainly birds. I have photographed birds at the Esquimalt Lagoon a few times. The swans are easy to approach and so beautiful.

See and find out more about Niki’s photographs at  http://www.nicolebeaulac.com

We are pleased that Niki was willing to share this “keeper” shot in support of Trumpeter Swans and The Trumpeter Swan Society.

Advertisements

The Trumpeter Swan Society Urges Action: 200 Groups Object to Lead-poisoning Provision in Sportsmen’s Bill

December 3, 2012

https://i0.wp.com/www.trumpeterswansociety.org/images/swan-information.jpg

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/294/632/199/stop-lead-poisoning-legislation/

Every signature counts, please pass this on!

In late November, 2012, The Trumpeter Swan Society (TTSS) joined more than 200 citizen groups in objecting to a provision in the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 (Senate Bill 3525) that would create an exemption under federal toxics law to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from evaluating or regulating lead poisoning of wildlife and humans from hunting or fishing activities.

A wide array of public-interest organizations called on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to allow debate on the lead-poisoning exemption. Such debate has never occurred in Congress despite the serious environmental and public-health problems caused by spent lead ammunition and lost lead fishing weights and the availability of nontoxic alternatives to lead. The organizations support an amendment by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to block the exemption and study the human-health and environmental effects of lead poisoning from lead in ammunition and fishing sinkers.

“It’s outrageous that the Senate can’t find 10 minutes to allow any debate before voting to prevent our federal environmental agency from regulating, or even evaluating, a deadly toxic substance that we know is killing bald eagles and other wildlife — a toxin that causes neurological damage to humans and hinders mental development in children,” said William Snape, senior counsel with the Center for Biological Diversity. “There are good reasons we got toxic lead out of gasoline and home paints. The irony of this bill, preventing any regulation of lead used in hunting ammunition or fishing weights, is that it will harm hunters and anglers.”

The Sportsmen’s Act, which could be voted on as early as today, would create an exemption under the Toxic Substances Control Act to block the EPA from ever regulating toxic lead used in hunting ammunition and fishing sinkers or even evaluating the impacts of lead from these sources. The bill also contains an exemption that would allow imports of threatened polar bear parts from Canada despite the Endangered Species Act’s prohibition against such trade.

“Why would the Senate bow to the National Rifle Association’s anti-science views on lead poisoning and pass a special-interest legal exemption to promote further lead poisoning?” said Snape. “The amendment offered by Senator Boxer would actually establish a moratorium on any regulation of lead in ammunition or fishing sinkers until federal health and environment agencies prepare an objective study that all Americans could trust.”

Toxic lead entering the food chain from spent hunting ammunition and lost or discarded fishing sinkers poisons and kills bald eagles, endangered condors, loons, swans and more than 130 other species of wildlife. Hunters risk lead poisoning from ingesting lead fragments and residues in game shot with lead ammunition. Recent studies and scientific reports show elevated blood lead levels in hunters eating lead-infected meat, as well as dangerous lead contamination of venison donations to low-income food banks.

The Boxer amendment is reprinted below in its entirety.

Boxer Amendment to the Sportsmen’s Act:

SA 2902. Mrs. BOXER submitted an amendment intended to be proposed to amendment SA 2875 proposed by Mr. REID (for Mr. TESTER) to the bill S. 3525, to protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:

Strike section 121 and insert the following:

SEC. 121. NO REGULATION OF AMMUNITION OR FISHING TACKLE PENDING STUDY OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS.

(a) No Regulation of Ammunition or Fishing Tackle.–The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall not issue any proposed or final rule or guidance to regulate any chemical substance or mixture in ammunition or fishing tackle under the Toxic Substances Control Act (15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.) during the period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act and ending on the date of the publication of the study required by subsection (b).

(b) Study of Potential Human Health and Environmental Effects.—

(1) IN GENERAL.–Not later than December 31, 2014, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Secretary of the Interior shall jointly prepare and publish a study that describes the potential threats to human health (including to pregnant women, children, and other vulnerable populations) and to the environment from the use of—

(A) lead and toxic substances in ammunition and fishing tackle; and

(B) commercially available and less toxic alternatives to lead and toxic substances in ammunition and fishing tackle.

(2) USE.–The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall use, as appropriate, the findings of the report required by paragraph (1) when considering any potential future decision related to a chemical substance or mixture when the substance or mixture is used in ammunition or fishing tackle.

This text is from a public press release issued by the Center for Biological Diversity, a group coordinating the effort on this vital issue. The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 450,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places. For quick and immediate action, you can sign a petition online at

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/294/632/199/stop-lead-poisoning-legislation/

Every signature counts, please pass this on!