instagram:

Chasing #realraysfordays with @maurensparrow

For more perfectly captured rays of light, follow @maurensparrow on Instagram and browse the #realraysfordays hashtag.

Little Rock Instagrammer Mauren Sparrow Kennedy (@maurensparrow) is the creative brain behind #realraysfordays. Though sunbeams are commonly enhanced in digital post-processing, Mauren spends her time both photographing and curating photographs that feature “the most beautiful, interesting, unique—and totally real—sunrays that Instagrammers could catch on their phones.” Looking at the ever-growing gallery, Mauren is excited by how the community has picked up #realraysfordays. To help create more light chasing images, she shares her top tips for capturing sunrays:

  1. Always be on the lookout. “The sun behind certain clouds or the way it can shine through the trees gives you completely natural, absolutely real rays that are incredible.”
  2. Be aware of your light source and the objects around it. “Shooting directly into the light with your light source slightly obscured by either a thing or person will give you some awesome sun glare.”
  3. Practice. “Once you figure out how to shoot the rays you like, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot! See what shot works best for showing off the awesome rays you’re trying to capture. Shoot from different angles and with different exposures to make sure you’re getting your rays in the best light possible (pun intended).”

instagram:

Staring Into the Eyes of a Hawk with @floatingfeather

To see more fiercely beautiful raptors, follow @floatingfeather on Instagram.

“You can disappear into the fire and magic of the eyes of a hawk,” says Mike Shaw of HawkWatch International (@floatingfeather). He would know: The non-profit organization leads regular wildlife trips in Nevada, where visitors can come face-to-face with apex predators. Recently, Mike took a high school class to a hawk migration site located on a steep, windswept bridge. “The students got to the top, some close to tears, and immediately wanted to go home—until hawks started zipping past their heads,” he says. “Suddenly, they never wanted to leave.”

HawkWatch’s Instagram features piercing, up-close-and-personal photos of hawks and other birds of prey, with one goal in mind: inspiration. “It would be great if a picture prompts someone to turn their eyes to the sky for a couple of minutes a day, to put up a nest box, to volunteer somewhere,” he says. “Or to just realize how fiercely beautiful raptors are.”

HBD แม่จ๋า ขอให้อายุยืนหมื่นๆ ปี อยู่กะลูกจนลูกแก่เฒ่าน๊าาา  (at Sukyoo-U’s Place)

HBD แม่จ๋า ขอให้อายุยืนหมื่นๆ ปี อยู่กะลูกจนลูกแก่เฒ่าน๊าาา (at Sukyoo-U’s Place)

instagram:

Portraying Pit Bulls with @sophiegamand

To see more flower-power pups, follow @sophiegamand on Instagram and check out some of Sophie’s favorite rescue accounts: @nyanimalrescue, @secondchancerescuenyc, @animalhaven, @tohanimalshelter.

New York photographer Sophie Gamand (@sophiegamand) first started the Pit Bull Flower Power series to show the breed in a new, softer light. She teamed up with several rescue groups to photograph pit bulls that were up for adoption with a new perspective to open hearts. Sophie creates headpieces for every photo shoot, patiently gluing fake flowers together in different shapes and sizes then matching the color and styles to the dog. “People are afraid of them, but the fact I was able to put flower crowns on their heads and photograph them like this says a lot about their temperament! They were all sweet and loving.”

When it comes to working with canine models, Sophie explains her process: “I make little noises behind the camera to catch their attention when I photograph the dogs, and very often they would come over to check on me and kiss me.”

On set, Sophie has a handler to help distract the dogs from the crowns delicately balanced on their heads. She views the shoot as a mini-training session for the dogs. “Usually after the shoot they are ready to go to bed.”

Cute