Stunning Nature Photography with Alan Shadduck! [IP111]

Darin sits down with a stunning Landscape & Wildlife Photographer, Alan Shadduck, who shoots with Sony SLT Cameras.  – Not it is not a mirrorless system!  Alan & Darin dive into the world of Sony's A99 & A77 MKII SLT Cameras to discover more about this rarely discussed camera system.

What's in this episode:

  • A look into Sony's other offerings besides their Mirroreless E-Mount offerings.
  • What is a translucent mirror & what purpose does it serve?
  • The benefits & drawbacks of using Sony's SLT (Single Lens Translucent) system & lens offerings.
  • Alan's approach to photographing skittish or aggressive animals.
  • We have another Photography MacGyver! – Tips for shooting wildlife from the safety & comfort of your vehicle.
  • Why being in the right place at the right time really comes down to luck & preparation.
  • Seeing an image unfold in front of your eyes using Sony's Electronic Viewfinder & why it is beneficial.
  • Thoughts on the Tamron 150-600mm's sharpness after testing it.
  • Predictions of where the camera market is going form the stance of a Sony shooter.
  • The difference between the A77 MKII & the A99.

Resources mentioned:



For iPhone/iPad/iPod listeners – Open the “podcasts” app on your device (it’s one of the pre-installed apps from Apple) and search for the Improve Photography Podcast from within that app.  Every time I produce a new episode, you’ll get it downloaded right on your iDevice.  You can also use this link to the show in the iTunes store (free).

For Android listeners – Download the Stitcher Radio app (free) and search for “Improve Photography Podcast.”  Or, if you have already downloaded a podcasting client, follow the directions in the next sentence.

For podcast enthusiasts – If you already listen to podcasts and have a podcatcher that you prefer, the feed you’ll need to add is https://improvephotography.com/feed/podcast

For those who don’t have a mobile device – You can always listen to the show by clicking the audio file at the top of this episode.

9 thoughts on “Stunning Nature Photography with Alan Shadduck! [IP111]”

  1. I visited Alan’s website before listening to the podcast and could not tear myself away from it until I had taken in every single one of the photos. I’ve seen lots of beautiful photos, but his are exceptional and really spoke to me. His composition is perfect and the sharpness is AMAZING! I love doing nature photography and have been truly inspired by Alan’s photos. “Stunning” is an understatement! Thanks so much, Darin, for this podcast and Alan for your wonderful photos!!

  2. I enjoyed the podcast and I also went a looked at Alan’s website. I loved many of the photos! I liked the landscape photos the best. The Improve Photography podcast is the best! Thanks.

  3. Darin,
    Thank you for FINALLY breaking the ice, and examining the Sony Alpha camera system. No, not all Sony cameras are mirrorless, and that comes to light in this podcast.
    I have listened to every one of the Improve Photography podcasts, and listened to the consistent, incessant mockery of the different Sony camera systems (with the biggest criticism being soft focus and lack of sharpness in the images) Mr. Shadduck’s amazing images confirm what Sony Alpha shooters find most of the time when they hit the shutter. These cameras have nothing to be ashamed of, and can absolutely hold their own against the “Old Guard” (Nikon & Canon). I also believe that Sony Alpha camera systems lead the way in “bang for the buck” packing far more features (many innovative) into their products, thereby creating value in a very competitive marketplace.
    My biggest gripe with Sony is their limited inventory of lenses. I would absolutely LOVE to have an affordable choice in an A mount lens longer than 400mm. I’ve seen Internet interviews with Sony executives that state they recognize their shortcomings in their glass lineup, so hopefully, help is on the way.
    Thank you for exploring the Sony Alpha camera system.
    Jim and Darin, I recognize that neither of you shoot Sony Alpha. Hopefully there is room on the podcasts for the new kid on the block given Mr. Shadduck’s body of work as examples.

    1. Hey Dennis,
      Thanks for the comments on my work! … just wanted to touch on the long lens for wildlife need that you mentioned (for Sony A-mount). I’ve been looking at that too; I have the Sony 70-400G mk2, which produces outstanding sharpness at the long end, even wide open, but always “need” more reach for wildlife. Adding a teleconverter to that lens results in MF only, so I’ve eliminated that option. But there are a few options available in longer primes:
      – Sony 500/4.0 @ $13k (ouch!)
      – Sigma 500/4.5 @ $5k
      – Minolta 600/4 @ $5-6k on the used market (amazing how it’s held its value!)
      After trying and returning (2 copies of) the Tamron 150-600, I’ve recently opted for a 4th option in a prime: a Minolta 400/4.5 + Sony 1.4x TC. The Minolta sells on the used market for $2200-2500 & the TC is $550, which provides 560mm/6.3 for < $3k, and retains full AF function. It's a compromise (as is just about every decision in photography), and I have only had it for a week, but so far am extremely pleased with it's performance. Spending that much on a used lens is risky, but I used KEH and they provide a 6-month warranty + offer 2-yr extended for very reasonable price.

      I agree, I'd like to see more options from Sony, but thought I toss out what is available out there. Thanks again for the kind words regarding my work. I've traveled a long road with the A-mount, from Minolta, to Konica-Minolta, and Sony, but my main loyalty is not with a brand, but with image quality. I've researched the options many times prior to major equipment upgrades and have always decide to stay where I'm at! 🙂

  4. Very glad we can hear more about the Sony SLT system here. I am shoot with an A99, that replaced my A77 when it got out. I’ve been shooting Sony for years now, and I love the innovations they put into those bodies. And the Zeiss lenses are just a blast.
    Thanks Darin to extend the scope of the podcast that truly had the tendency to only consider the Nikon/Cannon duet. They are professional photographers that use the Sony system. Let’s not forget them.

    And bravo Alan for your photos, they are stunning.

  5. I was so thrilled to hear that there are other photographers out there like me. I shoot a Sony A77 and also have a Bos strap adapter attached to one of the side strap mounts which lets me attach my Black Rapid strap to it without getting in the way of my tripod mount. It also lets my camera hang sideways at my hip instead of upside down.
    Alan, your work is fantastic. Way to represent us Sony users. 🙂

  6. This is actually the first podcast I’ve listened to from you folks and enjoyed it very much. I started shooting Sony a few years ago and have found them very capable with bald eagle photography here on the river. Still using some old G lenses from 20 years ago but I can’t find much fault in them. I agree though that the 70-400 is terrific!

    Thanks for sharing so much and I look forward to listening to more episodes soon!

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top