Program Meeting – Bird Photography

February 10, 2020 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
UM Gallagher Building, room 123
Susie Wall

Join us on February 10th at 7:00 PM to hear Neil Chaput de Saintonge, professional photographer and owner of Rocky Mountain School of Photography, speak to us about What’s New in Bird Photography? A lot!

For all of Neil’s 50 years of being a professional photographer, he wanted to photograph birds. But the cost of professional equipment (camera and lens) was always in the $10,000 to $15,000 range. In addition, a heavy-duty tripod was required. In just the last few years, so much has changed which makes photography of birds much less expensive and easier to do. Today you can buy professional gear for under $4,000, and very good amateur gear for under $1,000.  The new cameras make no noise, have great stabilization built into them and are so light you can hand-hold your camera and get tack-sharp photos.  You can easily use your camera out in the field instead of binoculars.

In his lecture, Neil will talk about the newest gear for getting great photos in three price ranges.  He will also show you how the exact same gear can be used for macro (close-up) photography for insects and flowers, while still hand-holding every photo. He will show examples of hand-held photos with equivalent 800mm and 600mm lenses, with shutter speeds as slow as 1/15th of a second. On a still bird you can get every feather sharp.

Neil will have handouts for us listing the cameras and lenses and also talk about zoom lenses vs. prime lenses (both very good) and why you may want one or the other. For many of you, this could open up a whole new hobby that is easy to learn.

Neil has taught photography for almost 50 years, to over 20,000 students. In that time, he has taught classes and workshops in the United States, Canada and New Zealand. He is well-known for his enthusiasm, technical knowledge and love of teaching. In 1973, Neil studied under Ansel Adams. Neil’s photography interests include birds, ballet, documentary, people, landscape and fine art. In 1979, Neil founded the Southeastern Center for the Arts in Atlanta, Georgia, a two-year school that trained students for careers in graphic arts and photography. After vacationing in Montana in 1988, Neil and his wife Jeanne moved to Missoula and started Rocky Mountain School of Photography. Neil has also been a licensed massage therapist for 30 years, is a Reiki Master and teaches healing work.

Our meeting will be held in Room 123 of the Gallagher Business Building on the University of Montana campus. 

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