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on Oct 5, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

Going to Visit Cous’

Yep, it’s that time of year to make the annual family trip to see my northern cousins. Like any good family member, we’ve made this journey many times. Now you might think that by now I would have the one family portrait that says it all. Well, I don’t and that’s in part why I keep going back. What is that one photograph I’m looking for? To be honest with you, I’m not really sure. It’s gotta be a bull, it’s gotta be big, it’s gotta have attitude and the world in which it lives has to scream Alaska. After that, I’m not really sure. I am going with something new this year though, not just the D5 but the 800mm. Shooting big game with a big lens like this is not my normal style. I normally go after them with the 200-400VR2 or 400f2.8. I’m not sure if this is the winning ticket or not, but I’m sure going to give it my best shot. I’ll let you...

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on Oct 3, 2016 in Landscape Photography

Stary, Stary Skies

There is one aspect of the Sierra that stands out amongst all the rest and that’s its night skies. Right now with the new moon and cold temps, it is literally so bright you can walked around without the aid of a flashlight. With that overhead, it was only natural we held our Mono Lake Weekend Workshop and on Saturday, made it a Scott Kelby’s World Wide Photowalk. We had a hearty group that meet not just one but two mornings at 04:30 at South Tufa to bring home those skies to you, those who weren’t with us. We had the usual aircraft heading towards San Francisco every so often but we had the great fortune to have a meteor shower going both mornings. Many were real faint but some, well they lit up the night. It was just glorious! How where the pictures taken? I started by giving folks my usual formula for getting the photo. While it works great for me, it seems to confuse folks. One...

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on Sep 28, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

Butcherbird Background

Is a messy, distracting background an automatic bad thing? Do you need to strive to have only clean meld of color backgrounds in your wildlife photography? I guess it all depends on who you want to listen too. But if you cruise a number of magazines, you’ll find that quite often messy is exactly the background you’ll see. So how are you to know what is right when you see one thing, hear another and want to do a third? Personally when I ask myself this question I fall back on one simple answer, what’s the story? Photographing critters, using the angle of view of your lens is critical in this pursuit which is why I shoot so often with the 800mm. But how do you connect the dots? The Grey Butcherbird is a resident of the eucalyptus rainforest of Australia. It forages most often on the ecotone of the forest for larger prey that it impels on sharp twigs/branches/thorns and then with relish tares to shreds and consumes....

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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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