Did you know flash photography has that UP connection? | WJMN

ALGIERS COUNTY, Michigan (WJMN) – When you’re at the UP200 this weekend, you might see lots of people taking pictures with their camera’s flash. Does the person who is assigned the flash photography at night have a UP connection?

“George Shiras, his family actually had a camp that still exists along the Laughing Whitefish River right there and they would come to that camp and he started getting into photography,” said restoration associate Chris Cantway. from The Nature Conservancy. “I don’t know all the details of George Shiras III but there is actually a book about it but I know he was the first person to take pictures of wildlife at night and that happened passed right there in the Laughing White Fish Lake Preserve.. He took pictures of whitetail deer, beavers, bobcats, frogs, whatever he could find.

Shiras is considered the father of wildlife photography. In 1906 National Geographic published 74 of Shiras’ photographs, then in 1928 2,400 glass plate negatives were donated to the Society and they are still in the archives today.

“He needed flash photography and it was also a fairly new thing to use flash photography so you could actually see at night, but he got his shots in different ways, which I thought was very interesting,” Cantway said. “One way was he would set up camera traps with bait so the creature would walk and nibble the bait and the flash would go off and it would take a picture and it didn’t have to be there. The other way was for him to sit quietly in his canoe at night and have a camera mounted in the front of the canoe. He waited until he heard a noise or heard a movement and when he heard that movement or heard that noise, he pointed the camera in that direction. Take a photo, then the flash will go off and it would get a photo of that animal.

The Nature Conservancy will host a heated tent at UP200. The tent will be located at the corner of Washington St. and Front St. There will be hot drinks such as hot chocolate and coffee as well as cowbells and hats.

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