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on Jan 9, 2018 in Wildlife Photography

Summer or Winter, They Need …

It’s the staple of life! Water, birds need water every day, multiple days a day. They need it for both drinking and for bathing, both essential survival needs. In the summer, free water is scarce in many regions because pools evaporate. In the winter time free water freezes. Both scenarios remove water from the system. That’s why we have so many bird baths on our property, five to be exact and they always see more activity than our feeders. In the winter time, they have a simple birdbath heater to keep them open. And all of this means a great photographic opportunity for you! The key is to have perches for the birds to land on coming to and leaving the bird bath. The Bullock’s Oriole above was coming into the bath and the 600mm isolated it against a great background. That was a planned perch, not luck. The bottom photo is a Red-breasted Nuthatch coming landing on a perch right on the bird bath up close with the...

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on Jan 3, 2018 in Landscape Photography


With no snow on the ground, I’ve been bouncing off the walls photographically. That’s because winter is all about snow and we live in the mountains, for the snow! I can only sit for so long! So with the New Year’s supermoon, I thought I’d head down the road to find something in the foreground to put with it to make it look super. Because otherwise, it’s just a full moon photo … right? Well, I struck out so came back home thinking I might do something with the pines on the property. Well, that blew chunks so I headed back in to put the 200-400VR when I noticed the clouds lit up by the moon. Then I thought about the corner tree all lit up that with the clouds in the background made it a complete photo. So I put the 24-70VR on the D850, headed over an made a couple of clicks. So while you can’t see the 14% larger moon in the frame, you can see...

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on Dec 22, 2017 in Wildlife Photography

Exposing for Winter, a Thought

> With the new snows of the season, I thought I’d answer a common question that floods in this time of year. “How do you (as in Moose) expose for snow?” Of course, living in snow, I have a number of off the cuff answers, but I’ll move past those and get to the heart of the question as I look at it. What color is snow? Unless a Moose or dog has passed by, it’s white, right? The common belief that if there is snow in the scene, automatically dial in +1. A recommendation that comes from the meters of the 1970s. We’re not in the ’70s. I honestly don’t think there are viewers of your snow photograph who wouldn’t recognize the white stuff on the ground as snow. With that being true, then seeing detail in every crystal of the snow (what +1 might does for you) is not mission critical to tell the viewer the white stuff they are looking at is indeed, snow. With that...

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on Dec 18, 2017 in Wildlife Photography

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a ….

I’m often asked how much lens do you need for bird photography? My response is a really old quote, “Go out with your longest lens or else you’ll comeback short!” And with that I always add, what’s the story you want to tell? Because for me after being so fortunate to photograph birds for four decades, the answer is real simple. Let me illustrate. My quick answer to the question is, 400mm as that’s the lens I started with. The long answer is 800mm but only us nutjobs spend that much on a lens. You really need to reach down and decide if you’re going to go with the herd and the easy route and simply stuff a frame with a bird and call it art, or the hard route and fill the frame with the birds word while making the bird the subject. Ya, it takes less lens for the latter, but a whole lot more skill and passion. And the complete bird photographer has both crafts in...

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on Dec 18, 2017 in Landscape Photography

Pie in the Sky?

Had a very interesting conversation over the weekend with someone wanting to be a photographer. What amazed me was this person’s only camera is an iPhone. Nothing wrong with that except this person wanted to make their livelihood as a landscape photographer. They didn’t know if I shot landscapes but asked my advice on the matter anyway. Since the podcast I recorded sounded way too much like a Moose rant, I decided to delete it and write a calmer post. The conversation sent my mind back to other conversations about the income side of photography, the expense, and the income. The one thing in those conversations that is essential as far as I’m concerned about photography, especially the business of photography is the passion! I guess I’m really old school or just old, but I have a hard time understanding how a photographer can make it down the long road, be it hobby or profession without that desire to be a visual storyteller that passion propels forward. I feel...

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on Dec 14, 2017 in Wildlife Photography

Whatta Morning!

Bosque is so good for the soul! And it doesn’t suck for photography either. But mornings like today make those statements pale by comparison! Timing is everything at Bosque, and that timing all centers around light. The light for the inflight of Geese to the pond and the outflight can make magic turn into a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the camera and soul. Here are two quick pics from this AM which barely scratch the experience but for me, will always remind me of the moment,...

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