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on Apr 4, 2016 in Landscape Photography

The Clouds Kept On Rolling

Ok, those chores can wait even longer! We decided to head down the flats, the skies were just getting prettier. My thought was showing a before and after, the same basic landscape of the mountains shot up close with the 18-35AFS at 18mm and then down a few miles and shoot the same thing with the 70-200f4 at 70mm. I made the first stop and I saw the clouds along the Sierra Crest and said, hell with that idea, and raced out to the last stop to shoot a pano. At 70mm with the D5, it was a slam dunk to shoot and with the Panorama feature in ACR, a slam dunk to assemble. A few moments latter, the whole crest had changed, the pano had come and gone. That happens a lot with clouds which is why when you seem, them you gotta shoot them. Cause the clouds kept on...

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on Apr 4, 2016 in Landscape Photography

Time Rolls By

There are times when the camera just sits there staring at me and in my guilt, I see it saying, “What, you forgot me?” It was one of those weekends when photography just took back seat. That’s until the last hours of Sunday when we snuck out and headed to the lakes. The clouds were floating by, the light kissing this and that peak, it was just to inviting not to make some clicks. So with Sadie leading the way, off we walked. In my mind’s eye, I was shooting B&W. The blue sky background with the great clouds, the dark granite behind the snow, even the dark water with the bright highlights, all said B&W to me. While everything in the camera is the same, the way that I arrange the elements in the frame is often slightly different. So I put the D5 up to my eye, zoom the 18-35AFS to 18mm and what I had in my mind went from B&W to color. Using Dehaze in...

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on Mar 31, 2016 in Landscape Photography

Befriending Wildflowers

The glory of spring is celebrated in the wildflowers that carpet our landscape. While I love looking at them, I’m just not into getting down on the ground, in the breeze, arse in the air photographing them. Yet, I can’t just pass them up. So over the years I’ve come up with strategies permitting to capture their beauty while minimizing the the aspects of wildflower photography I detest the most. Here are two examples of the techniques I use to give you an idea of what I’m talking about. The top photo was taken with a 300PF and the bottom with the 18-35AFS. The two techniques are kinda focal length dependent. Both techniques are blossom quantity dependent, that is, there are more then one blossom in the photo. This is because not every single blossom as to be tack sharp for the photograph to work. So if there is a breeze, it won’t ruin the moment or cause me to stand around for hours waiting for them to stop....

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on Mar 11, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

The Uncomfortable Crop

A great question that constantly winds up in my inbox is, “Where do you crop critters?” Unfortunately this great question has NO good answer. There is no guide, no book, no rule so in helping folks, I try my best with simply saying, “Try to avoid the uncomfortable crop.” That answer barely describes itself so with the latest askers request, I’ve posted four images here which demonstrate what I consider as uncomfortable crops. As you can see, I have these images which in itself means I saw some redeeming value if only to demonstrate, uncomfortable crop. Cropping or cutting into a critter so body parts are missing is the issue. How much can you not include and still cause it to seem, uncomfortable? The first thing I try to avoid is a crop which makes it appear I took a head down from a wall, hung it outside and took its photo. The Pronghorn and Bison are good examples of this. Too far back or too far front is...

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on Mar 9, 2016 in Landscape Photography

Last Days of Winter

Next fall I’ll look through my files of the images I took this winter looking for inspiration and I know I’ll say, “Why didn’t I get out and shoot more?!” I know already I didn’t shoot enough of the birds at the office this winter and I’ll regret that. My gut tells me I didn’t get out and brave the wx enough and shoot the magnificent landscape right out my front door. So all I want to do is enlighten to the mistakes I know I’ve made this winter so in these last days, you might not make the same. I was fortunate enough to spend a grand week in Yellowstone in January and was able to scratch one off the bucket list, shoot at West Thumb in winter. That hint of color in the white landscape is something I love to do. Shooting the 18-35AFS, in the cold to capture the steam, in the overcast to create a monochromatic landscape, with a sweeping view, is one winter scene...

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on Mar 2, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

The Roseatte Wing

The Roseatte Spoonbill is such a gorgeous bird, especially in the spring. It’s then their pink becomes almost neon as they dawn their best for attracting the opposite sex. The beauty of them is the subtle shades of pink that sculpt their form. Then there is their bill that gives them their name. A resident of our southern Gulf states the majority of the time, they take on the allure of being a tropical bird making them even more mysterious as beautiful. In the search for photographing these magnificent creatures going beyond the basic portrait seems like it might be a challenge. But the only challenge is finding them early in the morning, the rest is pretty simple. It’s when the sun first kisses them that they tend to get cleaned up for the day. Better known as prenning, they are putting all their feathers in order while water proofing them once again. Of course, we could say the males are grooming themselves to look good for the ladies...

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