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on Apr 18, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

The Grassland Drummers

This morning was twenty years in the making and it DID NOT disappoint! The Sharp-tailed Grouse was a species I sooooo wanted to photograph on their lek. I have tried over the years many times to get on a Sharp-tailed Grouse but with no success but finally two weeks ago, it came true. Why were they so important to me? This vanishing member of our great central grasslands was the inspiration for many cultures and its performance one I’d seen in photographs since I was a kid. Seeing it in person let alone photographing it has always been on my top five list of wild heritage experiences. To look through the window and see them thirty feet away at the Calamus Outfitter blind was for me, a dream come true! Smaller than the Prairie Chicken, even though they share the same habitat, they are very different. You can see how they look differently. They utilize the same habitat but evolution has changed the way they attract a mate. Where...

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on Apr 15, 2016 in Landscape Photography

Sign or Cross?

Photography, so much more than f/stop and shutter speeds! Imagination which is the fuel for passion takes your photography beyond the everyday, inviting others into the world you’re so fortunate to explore. In Santa Fe, one thing I like to do is walk the town with just one lens, forcing me to look at the very familiar in a unfamiliar way. Last time, it was with the 35f1.8, before that the 24f1.4. This time I wanted to go the other direction so went with the 300PF on the D5. We started out long before the sun was up and to me, I instantly struck gold (which is a good and bad thing). Looking up at this sign straight one, the very subtle shadow created by the glow way off on the horizon brought life to what was otherwise, an ordinary store sign. And that’s what photography is all about. Taking the sign and using it to tell a story. Take your photography less seriously and let your imagination fuel...

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on Apr 11, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

The Prairie Chicken

From inside their covered wagons, western bound immigrants heard the haunting sounds coming from the landscape before the sun rose and thought the world around them was haunted. It was spring and the Prairie Chickens in the thousands would be on their lek doing what chickens do. When the sun shined light on their “ghosts,” the pioneers realized breakfast had been provided them. The Prairie Chickens has been in trouble ever since. There are few refuges left for the chickens and we were so fortunate to spend time at one of them this past week. The amazing folks at Calamus Outfitters are conserving their habitat on their ranch and have created for us photographers an incredible opportunity to see, witness and photograph this very unique piece of our wildlife heritage. These are Greater Prairie Chickens and the calm you see in the top photo, it’s hard to imagine all that goes on for this male to find a mate and their less than 30sec moment with that female. They...

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on Apr 6, 2016 in Landscape Photography

Nebraska Skies

Yesterday afternoon, the skies over Nebraska were really performing. The winds started to come up keeping the birds down and big game away so we went off exploring the countryside and were not disappointed. Shots lots and lots, here are a couple of my first finished. The image above was taken as we were driving down Hwy 96. That little white cloud grabbed my attention so made the click as fast as I could. It was gone by the time I was done. Shot at 50mph with D5 / 24-70VR finished in PS using the simple B&W technique. Now if that little white cloud hadn’t been there, I would have not even though about taking the photo. Not quite as little, but this white cloud, again was the center of my attention. Way off in the distance, this was a D5 / 70-200f4 AFS shot with HSC. Where the top photo, the cloud is way off by itself in the corner, the elements in the frame suggested to me...

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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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