Welcome! Capture Wild Alaska is now in the blogging world. I'm Todd Whetstine, also known as Hot Toddy, Crocodile Todd Lee, Sweet T, Special T, Sugar Britches and T-Sizzle. Starving artist? There were many times I wished I could've done that well.
If you want to hear about my trials and tribulations? Over time I'll be breaking bits of my story right here little by little. I'll share a few good tips, photos, and videos along the way. If you read between the lines you'll learn quite a bit about what not to do also.
This blog will be about my photo outings, me and Tina's road trips and our dogs. (Copper, Daisey and Jack). My main practice subjects.
Photography is my passion. Shooting birds in flight, wildlife, rodeos, football and other fast action is what I live for. I try to always have my camera close by but that doesn't mean I capture everything. Remember this...
BEING THERE IS ALWAYS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE CAPTURE! The capture is just the icing on the cake. Grab the camera you have and get out there!!
Is photography an expensive hobby? It doesn't have to be. I buy used gear and eat lots of pbnj's. My current camera is about seven years older than most pros. If you don't mind periods of homelessness, a little danger, and living out of a tent? Take notes! I'll tell you how I did it.
Danger? Yes! Professional photography is very dangerous!! I almost starve to death at least twice a year. Plus... in the last ten months I've been attacked by gigantic grizzly, stalked by a big bad black wolf and accidently ended up being the main event as a bullfighter in a rodeo I was shooting. No lie!!
It's been a rough road, I've paid high dues, I worked my ass off, few believed in me. It didn't matter. Once the ball started rolling there was no stopping it. I hit little league and high school football games, spent countless hours in blinds, studied, studied, studied! I would hope for at least one good shot as I constantly changed speeds or settings to learn the effects.
After all the miles I put in nowadays I expect to get good shots. I also hope to keep improving.
Many people think I had to come to Alaska to get good at shooting eagles in flight. The truth is I got good at shooting birds in flight by photographing my dogs in my own backyard. I shoot crows and sparrows if they get close enough. You don't need an exotic far away place to practice. Use what you have! Kids and pets work great! Practice every day at home... take your A-game on the road.
To get these shots of the dogs I traveled to one of my favorite local hiking spots. The pack loves it too. This gives them space to run. I could've got shots of them running at home. Those would've been great for practicing. I wanted these to hang on the wall. At home there would've likely been a house, shed, power lines or trash barrels in the background.
ALWAYS THINK ABOUT THE BACKGROUND!!
Getting a clear, sharp, crisp shot is about camera settings. Only the eyes have to be sharp! To me that's the easy part. Just dial in the settings. A good background will take your photos to the next level. Composition and knowing what looks pretty on paper seems to come easier for women.
I've taught over ten thousand people about photography. Men and women shoot different. If you take a man and a woman, send them to a wedding and tell them to capture the kiss? The woman will stand in a spot so when the kiss happens the rosses will be in the background. A man will hang his photo on the wall and look at it for years never noticing the trash can overflowing in the background. I swear to god!!
I think what helped me the most when I first got started, I took a weekend workshop with a pro. After having a few of the basics explained to me I was able to piece bit by bit together over the years. That workshop got me off to a running start. Money very well spent!
I started Capture Wild alaska to be that running start for others. It was always my dream to make a living doing nature photography. I thought it couldn't get any better than making a living taking photos. I was wrong. Teaching photography and igniting passion about nature is a positive life-changing event. I get to be a part of that. It truly gets no better than that!!
Thank you for your interest in Capture Wild Alaska! Whether you have questions about my week long photography tours in and around the beautiful state of Alaska (still in design mode). or want to explore the magical Northern Lights that starts September 15th 2023. You can also check out our awesome merchandise, drop us a line below. (Merchandise will be added mid month 8/23.)