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on Jun 23, 2009 in Biological Tips

Maine Moose

Traveling through a glowing tunnel of yellow even though the sun was still below the horizon, the fall color of Maine lit the way as we came to the trailhead parking. We set up our cameras and started up the trail. The weather report promised ideal Moose photography weather, slight overcast and cool temps, which turned out to be off only a tad. We reached the pond and a cow Moose greeted us along with wind driven snow that stung our cheeks. The wind gusts that blew off my hat didn’t slow down the shutters because as the little sunlight that was breaching the clouds appeared so did five Maine Moose! This might sound a little strange, but I’ve got Moose fever! One image that still eludes me after all the thousands upon thousands I’ve captured, is that of a giant bull Moose with its head slightly cocked like that of my logo. I made two big pushes in 2001 to capture that image; both times I came close...

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on Jun 23, 2009 in Biological Tips

Gray Ghost of the Forest

Reprinted from the BT Journal , Vol.3 Issue 3, August 1998 We’ve just rounded a curve in the road while heading into Canyon, Yellowstone Nat’l Park when out of the corner of my eye, I see this tall, gray form perched on a fallen pine limb on the edge of a clearing. I speed ahead, turn around and drive back, parking at the first pull out. I get out and assemble my F4 and 800f5.6, putting it atop my trusty Gitzo and hustle back to where I’d seen the gray form. It’s late in the day, the last rays of light casting their warm glow on the region. I walk back to the clearing in time to see the Great Gray Owl as it stares back at me. I hurriedly set down my tripod and pointed my lens at the magnificent creature eyeing me when a big, smelly tourist bus stops right behind me, opening its doors for someone to yell out, “what d’ya see?” At that very moment...

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on Jun 23, 2009 in Biological Tips

The Art of Sitting

Reprinted from the BT Journal, Vol.1 Issue 4, August 1996 Getting close physically, that’s a motto I’ve advocated since I first started writing about wildlife photography. Just after my last safari to Yellowstone, a participant made the comment after hearing what I photographed after all had gone home, “You save all the good stuff for after we all leave.” Giving me a bad time as he always does, he brings up a good point. What I had told him about was a photo op I had with a bull Moose. It started at sun up when I saw the Moose in the company of two others. It was too dark so I couldn’t shoot. In fact, I didn’t take any photos of the Moose until four and a half hours later! What many call patience, I refer to as a sheer love of just being out in the wild. What I do when I’m all alone going after an image is not a methodology I talk much about and...

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on Jun 23, 2009 in Biological Tips

Photographing Hovering Birds

Capturing hovering birds on film is one of the funniest pastimes in wildlife photography. On my recent trip to Churchill, Canada, I had the opportunities of a lifetime to practice and capture incredible images while having loads of fun. Every time I ventured out with my camera, I learned new, better and more creative ways to shoot. A big part of this learning came from shooting with my good friend, Arthur Morris, truly a master of photographing birds. I want to share with you what I learned so you might also learn and better enjoy capturing hovering birds. Focusing Those who have read my previous writings know I’m a manual focus kind of guy. At Churchill, I used three different setups for photographing flying birds, two manual and one autofocus. The setups were the F4e and 75-300 AF, F4e and 800f5.6 and Canon A2 and 400f5.6 Ultrasonic (head for Moose’s Camera Bag to see and understand what equipment he used today). I was able to get the same number...

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on Jun 23, 2009 in Biological Tips

Safely & Successfully Photographing Birds at the Nest

Reprinted from the BT Journal, Vol.1 Issue 2, May 1996 Spring is in the Air! Spring has to be one of my favorite times of the year (but my nose hates it!). After I get through sneezing and my eyes stop watering, I take off for the shrubs and trees. I don’t set out to do any macro work, but to find nesting birds. Nothing charges my rockets like photographing nesting birds. I like the images I take and all that rot, but what I really enjoy the most is the opportunity to spend “quality” time with a wild creature. Photographing nesting birds, no matter the species, can be done by anyone. There are only a few rules (I hate rules, but these are important) you need to remember: No photograph is worth sacrificing the welfare of the subject! Never have the parents off the nest for more than twenty minutes! Have Fun! To get you thinking about nesting season, or better yet, get you out and doing it,...

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on Jun 23, 2009 in Biological Tips

Safely & Successfully Photographing Birds at the Nest

Reprinted from the BT Journal, Vol.1 Issue 2, May 1996 Spring is in the Air! Spring has to be one of my favorite times of the year (but my nose hates it!). After I get through sneezing and my eyes stop watering, I take off for the shrubs and trees. I don’t set out to do any macro work, but to find nesting birds. Nothing charges my rockets like photographing nesting birds. I like the images I take and all that rot, but what I really enjoy the most is the opportunity to spend “quality” time with a wild creature. Photographing nesting birds, no matter the species, can be done by anyone. There are only a few rules (I hate rules, but these are important) you need to remember: No photograph is worth sacrificing the welfare of the subject! Never have the parents off the nest for more than twenty minutes! Have Fun! To get you thinking about nesting season, or better yet, get you out and doing it,...

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