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on Sep 20, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

The History in Our Files

It was a long time ago, 1989, when I dragged the family up the California coast to a lighthouse. We’d not been there before, it had taken a bit of leg work to even gain access and as we drove up in the station wagon, I had no clue what I was photographically getting into. The biologist walked up, opened the door to the base of the lighthouse and inside were the last remaining Morro Bay Kangaroo Rats in the world. Just eight at the time, just eight. They were living in manmade plywood box arenas in the hope they would breed and make more. At the time, there were none known in the wild. Today, there are none and the search for a small pocket in the wild that might have survived is underway. I so regret my lack of skills then and the quality of this photograph today. It was taken in the crudest of ways. It was my first, very first small critter shoot and I...

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on Sep 19, 2016 in Landscape Photography

Scary Weekend Continues!

Living in paradise comes with a price and wildfire is one of those. Saturday around 16:00 we looked outside to the northeast to see our skies black! We knew instantly it was a wildfire. I grabbed the Airport Security with all me gear, jumped in the truck to see if we needed to evacuate from our home right now in the Sierra. Having been on the fire line in my younger days, I know the speed and ferocity a wildfire can bring and the devastation it can leave behind. It scares the crap out of me! It wasn’t hard to find a safe place to park and watch the fire to see if it was heading for the house. I could also see the brave men and women (thank you!) who were there on the line. I could easily see all those pilots in the tankers (thank you!) who put their lives on the line to battle these blazes (you look closely, you can see small specs which are...

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on Sep 7, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

Even A Photograph is Not Enough

It was on the top of my list. I was very fortunate when growing up to be surrounded by the wild world of creatures being exposed to vastly more species than can be found in North America. I have no doubt that is why I have such a lust to travel and see firsthand our amazing wild heritage. I don’t remember when but the Tawny Frogmouth has been on my wish list to see and photograph from the very beginning of my career. On our last K&M Adventure to Australia, we were in the world of the Frogmouth but that’s not enough to see them. On our second to the last day, one of the guides said they knew where a pair had been hanging out. Being a nocturnal creature, we headed out just prior to sunset to find them. We all piled into the van and off to “The Bluff” we went. We’re in a rainforest at Lamington Nat’l Park and on this particular evening, the clouds had...

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on Aug 31, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

Smooth as Satin

The Satin Bowerbird is one of the quirkiest birds you’re going to find on the planet! Lets start with its name. Satin is pretty obvious, their plumage color radically changes as light strikes it going from black, black to the most amazing brilliant blue. Now “Bower” might be throwing you and that refers to its crazy love shack that it creates. The male Satin Bowerbird creates this crazy stick, two wall structure and maintains it for nearly nine months of the year. Part of that structure is the “front porch” which is a collection of more sticks along with anything blue it can find. Before man showed up, it would be blue feathers from other birds. But with man came plastic so now you can find any kind of blue plastic you can imagine. Now if you want to drive a bowerbird nuts, place a piece of his blue inside the actual bower structure. He can’t get it our fast enough! Now all of this is for one purpose,...

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on Aug 24, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

It Hooked Me the 1st Day!

The very first morning I caught just a couple of frames and that was it. They were those kind of frames which give you a taste but leave you wanting more. And in this case, the frames were in mixed light of an unique individual so I couldn’t instantly key out the bird. And it wasn’t one we’d seen on our previous trip to O’Reilly’s. A day went by before we saw another individual and this time, had a long look and photographed a typical individual and I knew in the viewfinder was a Grey Shrike-thrush. It’s actually a common species, not that hard to see nor photograph if you know where it hangs out. But I was already hooked so I went into my normal mode, making the common, uncommon. The quest for the uncommon photo that told its story started with knowing the stage I wanted to set for my star. I wanted to speak to its living in a dark rainforest. With this idea, I started...

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on Aug 22, 2016 in Landscape Photography

Pano to Tell Stories

I’ve been shooting panoramas or “panos” since I first picked up a camera. Back in the old days, to share the panoramic views I was so fortunate to witness, I had three Kodak slide projectors aligned so when projecting, the three images of the pano would come together on the screen into one photo. Sharing the wonders our vision brings to us with others is the heart and soul of photography! But carrying around three projectors to share the pano was never practical. Then came digital and the internet making sharing the pano much, much easier. But the taking and assembly of panos up until a year ago was still a challenge. Now, it’s literally a snap but many don’t seem to realize this, at least that’s what the emails I’ve received in the last week indicate. In more than one email came the question, “What gear did you leave at home to take all the gear to shoot your panos?” Actually, I own no pano gear any longer,...

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