Interviews - Arne Ader

Wildlife Specialists Talking about Their Area of Expertise
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Interviews - Arne Ader

Post by Jo UK » December 8th, 2008, 10:24 pm

Arne Ader

Born in Tartu, Estonia 18.08.1963

Studied ecology-zoology at Tartu University in 1981–1986

1986–1987 worked as a biology teacher at Jõgeva

1987–1992 did research about dynamics of birds migration and ecophysiology of diving at the Institute of Botanics and Zoology

1993–1997 worked as IT specialist of the Nigula Nature Reserve

Since 1997 Arne Ader has worked as freelance wildlife photographer, he has written articles about nature, published several books and multimedia programs

He has been tutoring wildlife photography at different courses at Tartu Art College

In 2000 he founded his own agency Loodusemees with stock of about 25,000 pictures. Natureman`s photobank = Loodusemehe pildipank
http://www.loodusemees.ee/imagebank.asp ... ekst=G_1_2

He has published more than 300 articles about nature.

AWARDS
1997 winner of „ Bloodless Hunt”
1999 winner of „ Bloodless Hunt”
2000 finalist at BG Wildlife Photographer of the Year, in category „Composition and Form”
2004 winner of „ Estonian Nature Photo”


Translated by Kuremari from http://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arne_Ader
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Post by NancyM » December 8th, 2008, 10:42 pm

Your pictures of birds seem to capture something special about each one. Do you feel a special affinity for birds, or other species of wildlife?

Arne Ader(A.A.):

I have had a special relationship with birds from a very early age. They showed me very early that man is not the nave and center of the world, different kinds of living beings are different in different ways!
Yes, there was this real miracle with the larches and curlews in the meadows at home – they could fly! I wanted to fly too – but never mind, my bird neighbours couldn’t build brick towers, and they could even less make strings of words with the letters on the bricks ...


How long have you been a photographer (i.e., how many years, when did you start). Is this a hobby or your profession?


I bought my first camera probably around 1975, it was a Smena 8M, that looked like a soap box. Nothing was automatic, you had to think out everything to do with exposure in your own head. It was a bit awkward, but very instructive at the same time.
And now, when I think of the 33 years after that, nature photography has really become my profession. I photograph, I write about nature, and I make multimedia programmes.


Do you spend a lot of your time taking photographs?


My time is divided between being outdoors and at the computer. In spring and summer outdoors gets more time, in autumn and winter the computer sometimes gets the largest share.


What is your purpose in photographing wildlife and landscapes?


Nothing to beat around the bush about – being in nature makes me truly happy. It is as simple as that.
And photographing adds the opportunity to share this pleasure. The photos in my photo bank have no watermarks – I don’t want to spoil the beauty that I have discovered just because the copyright of the photos is sometimes violated.


What kind of camera and lens do you use?


The camera is a Canon EOS 1 Ds Mark II with full-frame sensor, and my camera kit bag takes up to 20 kilos of extra equipment, that allow me to photograph with focal distances of 17mm up to 1000 mm. On important expeditions I also bring sound recording equipment and a parabolic microphone.


Do you have any special training?


I haven’t much taste for attending courses, the biology studies at the University were a pleasant exception to this. I learn from nature, Internet and friends.

Do you shoot film digital or both?


I use a digital camera. Because I have a great number of slides in my old stock I also always have a ready-to-use film scanner on my working table.


Do you post-process your photos?


With nature photos we want to bring back with us from our excursions the things that captivated us in the places where we were. Because no film and no digital sensor whatever can ever reproduce a person’s perception exactly, the editing of photos is a necessity. But at the same time we must not go outside the rules of the game for nature photos.

What is the most challenging photo that you have taken? (and why)
What is your favorite photo that you have taken? (and why)



Well, which of your children do you love most? I don’t know. They are all favourites, each in its own way. I have never yet tried to line up my pictures ... But I do try, always, to get ever better photos, better than that – as yet unseen – perfect achievement.

Martin

Post by Martin » December 8th, 2008, 10:44 pm

What kind of camera do you use?

A.A.:
Canon EOS 1 Ds Mark II has been my companion on my rambles for four years now. It is a good working tool. You have to keep on your toes to keep up with the possibilities of that camera.

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su in california
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Post by su in california » December 8th, 2008, 10:56 pm

I would just like to thank Mr Ader for his wonderful photographs.
Also for having them available in english.
I have learned so much about european birds and have fallen in love with Estonia through his beautiful pictures.


A.A.:
Thank you!

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Post by Kuremari » December 8th, 2008, 11:19 pm

1.from your biography i read that you did the research on ecophysiology of diving , can you please explain what it is?
sukeldumise ökofüsioloogia - maybe my translation is not correct


A.A.:
One of the fascinating mysteries of nature are the hidden rhythms in everything around us. Many have been thoroughly studied – the year cycle, the circadian cycle, hearbeat...

But there are other fascinating cycles. One of them is for instance the rhythm of diving, that consists of the regular succession of diving periods and pauses. In this area science has had remarkable contributions from several bird species who go for food at the bottom of water bodies, and whose feeding rhythm can be very exactly observed with regard to time periods.

We can’t interpret these cycles without physiological background research, and plenty of that has been done in the world. So it turns out that one of the governing factors in shaping the diving rhythm is the amount of erythrocytes in the diver’s blood, and the diving rhythm itself in turn controls the heart rythm of the diver.
It is a large and fascinating subject, and in Estonia the ornithologist Sven Onno initiated scientific research in the area.



2.I remember reading from some article that you are old acquaintances with Santa Fisherman - Urmas Sellis, if so, can you tell us more? Both of you are so closely connected with wildlife.


Oh yes, we are friends nearly since the beginning of time with Urmas.The time spent together with him and our mutual friend Einar Tammur has been a great gift. Besides nature excursions there was much joking and music. So much, that there wasn’t even time for looking at beautiful girls...
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Post by edziks111 » December 8th, 2008, 11:35 pm

Do you lern somewere to take pictures?!

A.A.:
I teach sometimes at various photo courses and in doing that I myself learn too.

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Post by Olga » December 9th, 2008, 12:05 am

Mr Arne Ader,

'on dream-pfotographs'
I would like to ask do you have some 'dream'-photograph of some special 'animal' (bird or mammal...) in Estonia you wish you could take the photograph of life one day if only you had luck enough? There are in your collection so many so amazing shots, so much great special photos.. Is there something 'missing', something you have seen only in your dreams, but not yet throught the lence of camera? What animal (or/and situation)?


A.A.:
Dreams are beautiful and necessary, but they too should maybe be free to come by themselves, in one way or another. I am not really a photo portrait hunter, rather I am interested in the stories of those in the photo. Most of all, the behaviour of animals fascinates me. Through their behaviour the various species open up those treasure boxes of nature, that we by ourselves would not even have thought of glancing at...

I remember the summer reeds at Sutlepa, that were rattling, unexplainably, on a day without wind. After a couple of hours spent waiting, cormorants finally appeared and showed why nature was clattering here. They dived down just in the reeds, and fetched up golden carp, one after another...


http://www.loodusemees.ee/imagebank.asp ... 80414aa201


In the context of the stories themselves, the ever better photographic realisation of a recurring basic idea follows me through life. This approach is probably characteristic of many nature photographers.

And how does it work in practice? Very simple – you take a photo of a shining glowworm in a northern night, and then you see that the photo is very nice indeed, but there is no glowworm in it. Next time you use the flashlight, and get the glowworm – without the magic glow...

The third time you must combine these two things, somehow. There is nothing else to do but that you, in a dark summer night, lie down beside the glowworm, and try not to breathe. The longest half-hour of your life may pass, during which the photomodel’s interest in you finally disappears, and it stays on the straw, unmoving, glowing brightly. Now is the moment to catch the brightest glowing moment of the glowworm’s life in a photo. A LED lamp has been used for background lighting in the photo below

Vt.

http://www.loodusemees.ee/imagebank.asp ... 70623aa019

Arne Ader´s pictures from the links:

1. The glowworm´s(Lampyris)light
2. Cormorant(Phalacrocorax carbo) swallows a fish
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Post by Jo UK » December 9th, 2008, 1:22 am

Mr Ader - The Wikipedia article says you researched the dynamics of bird migration. Can you give us some idea of how young birds migrate - why do they go to their winter places? What tells them how to get there, where to go?

A.A.:
If something is lacking in this world, then it is staying in place. All animals migrate, to a greater or smaller extent. Birds however are special in the sense that thanks to their well-developed wings they can embark on long journeys if need be.

If something can be done reasonably simply, then as a rule it is also done when necessary. When there is little food in the north in wintertime, but again, too many nestrobbers in the warm south, for instance, then that is sufficient as a moving force for seasonal migrations. If such reasons disappear, then there may quickly be changes in migrations patterns. It has for instance been noted in Estonia that mute swans are no longer eager to leave in the autumn if people feed them.

Of juvenile migrants this much can be said: most of them go to the winter grounds with their parents. Cranes for instance keep together by families during the migration, ducklings mostly go with Mother Duck.

But true, one part of the young birds do travel alone, and mostly they manage that too. Exactly how they do it is really difficult for us to imagine. Our senses and those of the birds are very different and so we also perceive the world around us differently. Well – the raven is not black because it is black – but because we humans are colour-blind to the light that is reflected from its plumage!

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Post by NancyM » December 9th, 2008, 5:56 am

several of your pictures are listed as having won prizes: will you show us these pictures ? (thank you!)

A.A.:
I am not really much of a competition man. But from time to time I have submitted some pictures to the juries, and true, sometimes they have won awards too.

But there is one important thing more that photographers get from competitions besides the awards – the knowledge that the award is often won by those photos that we ourselves actually would not rate highest!

So, consequently, we have even more good photos than we ourselves know!
Below are two photos shot on good old photographic film, they have had success in competitions and they have somehow not lost their original brilliance! I have tried to retake these motives with new and better technical equipment now and again, but it seems quite impossible!



http://www.loodusemees.ee/imagebank.asp ... 90826aa004


http://www.loodusemees.ee/imagebank.asp ... 51030aa050
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Post by yarko » December 9th, 2008, 10:52 pm

You have been been tutoring wildlife photography at different courses at Tartu Art College.
Can you please name few (most important) suggestions or 'keywords' that you give your students during the courses?
In other words - what makes a person a good wildlife photographer?
Attitude? Technology? Something else?


A.A.:
It is important to focus on the goal. When we know exactly what we want to have in the picture we will succeed in concentrating into the frame just what is tied to our idea, and leave out all unimportant.

The simpler the photo, the greater chance of success. There must never be anything superfluous in a photo!

A simple photo is here for instance:


http://www.loodusemees.ee/imagebank.asp ... 60317aa069

The caption to the photo is „A gift“. We see a bluetit and a peanut, and the plain snow background brings the focus on them. The text might make us notice one more actor, who is left out of the frame, the photographer himself. For the bluetit is most of all a gift to us, and our offered peanut is at the same time a gift to the bluetit. This is the circle of receiving and giving that is one of the foundations of all being.

When all is clear about the content of the photos, then it is time to start thinking of technical improvements.
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Post by juta » December 13th, 2008, 11:08 pm

What do you think. Have digital cameras won? Or have old fashioned cameras something what digital ones could never replace? Are old good nature pictures more value because it was much harder to get them?

A.A.:
Digital cameras have turned good old film cameras into objects of luxury, and their use becomes more and more a pleasure for the chosen. At least if you have a darkroom at home everything is possible as before.

With the digicameras came the possibility of multiple takes, and photographing of rapidly moving objects has developed lately. The latest advances in producing new sensors have at the same time made clear that digicameras make it possible to get better results even in poor light conditions compared to traditional photographic film.
But at least nostalgia keeps film rolls too in the picture, and of course it would be great to have an opportunity to develop black-white photos, even in the darkroom of some art museum if needs be...

In the same way as sometimes a swishing sound is added to digital music recordings, so filters that add graininess to a photo belong to photo editing of today ... But that this approach would replace a photo-film camera doesn’t seem very probable. One of the great values of the age of film rolls was, after all, the long concentration before pressing the shutter – film was expensive!

Old landscape photos, photos of our loved ones, and all successful photos in general will probably grow in value with time. In contrast, mediocre photos will be forgotten more quickly, the faster new ones are added.
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Post by yarko » December 14th, 2008, 10:27 am

What is the weight that you have to carry when you go to the ‚mission’:)?
(camera, lenses, food, clothes etc)
Does weight depend from the time of year?


A.A.:
My photo bag weighs somewhere about 16 kg. Sometimes a little more, all depends on the trip and purpose. I have never weighed my clothes and food. In the car I certainly have some special equipment – camouflage nets, shelter, rubber boots...

One specific question – what about keeping hands warm in wintertime? Do you use some special handwear?

I really do have many kinds of gloves for the cold. It is worth asking about such things in fishermen’s and hunters’ shops. I don’t think much of the neoprene gloves that have become so popular lately – but neoprene is very good for covering the camera lens, it provides both camouflage colour and some shock protection.
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Post by yarko » December 14th, 2008, 10:29 am

Do you prefere to work alone or is it OK to take someone with you - friend, some other photographer etc.?

A.A.:
The best way is to photograph alone, and then go to the sauna in the evening in company with the other photographers.
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Post by NancyM » December 14th, 2008, 7:01 pm

Do you spend hours waiting for the perfect shot? Do you construct a "hide" to sit in so the animals will not see you?

A.A.:
You always have to be prepared to wait long for a good chance – as the old saying goes – each thing in its own time, sooner or later...
In the photo bag I usually have a small sack shelter for unexpected occasions, it weighs about one kilo. For more serious stalking I use a dome tent.

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Post by juta » January 17th, 2009, 9:09 am

Thank you to Arne Ader for such interesting answers!
Thank you to Kaija Eistrat for the translation!
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Post by Jo UK » January 18th, 2009, 12:19 pm

What a very interesting interview!
Many thanks to everyone for the questions, and to Arne for the answers and comments.

Please feel free to comment here. This topic was locked, thinking that the interview had finished, but then we realised that many of us would want to comment. Now that Arne is a member here, he may be willing to expand on any of our comments, too!

Rhythms - cycles - of course!

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Post by leonia » January 21st, 2009, 10:26 pm

We too appreciate the wonderful pictures in Arne Ader's pildipangi! We fell in love with the estonian landscape and dream about making holidays there sometimes in the future. So you, dear Arne Ader, infected us (hope it's the right word for it) longing to go there! Eric just sayed that he never before has looked via Google Earth and in magazines for a country like during the last week we searched for information about Estona. :thumbs:
But the best at all are your pictures of birds and other animals (landscape is more patient been banned in a picture). We want to thank you for all those beautiful sights!!! :2thumbsup:
Leonia & Eric :wave:

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