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on Jan 4, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

Background DoF

The background in a photograph is so important! It can do so many things positive, and negative, and seeing and working the backgorund is important because of this. It sets the stage for our subject, gives it a place to stand out and tell its story. The relationship between the subject and the background is directly linked so we as storytellers must see and use this in our storytelling. In this case, a yearling Moose was simply browsing along in the fall willows. I was shooting with a D4s / 200-400VR2 / TC-14eIII, shooting wide open at f/5.6, using the lens and teleconverter combo to narrow my DoF to control the background. In one photo, the willows are just behind the calf and even at f/5.6, they are busy and distracting. In the other shot, the willows are now a substantial distance behind the calf and are softer, not so busy so the calf pops out more. But the man made structure even further away in the background while...

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on Dec 31, 2015 in Landscape Photography

Time to Reflect

It’s that time of year when we reflect on the year past. I’ve always found it a kinda funny tradition because for myself, I try everyday to reflect on what I learned the day before to improve on my photography of tomorrow. I’ve never really been one to rest on my laurels, always pushing forward to the next day, year, constantly incorporating lessons learned. In the creative world and the business world, the future is more important, more exciting than the past because improvement is just a heartbeat away. In this pursuit there is one question I like to ask photographers when they seek words of wisdom from my photography. “Where do you want your photography to take you in the next five years and where do you want to take your photography?” There is no doubt that our past directly and indirectly influences our craft. Our life experiences go into every click. But the spark of imagination and passion is what drives our photography into the future. So...

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on Dec 29, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

By A Hair!

I was a tad to slow! The White-headed Woodpecker had been frozen on the perch for nearly twenty minutes. All the feeders were empty and the Mountain Chickadees could be heard but not seen. There’s a predator on the prowl and all the critters were telling me that. Two days before, I’d seen a small flash chase a bird into tree three, but I didn’t see who it was. It was small and rusty colored so thought our No. Pygmy Owl was back. So with all the critters communicating a predator was around, I was looking for the owl. Smaller than a dollar bill, they can be very hard to find in the trees. So yesterday with all the signs, I was just turning away from looking at tree three for the owl when it dashed in and landed. It wasn’t a owl though but rather a small, male Sharpie! It was looking around so I grabbed my D4s / 300PF (left out just for this reason) and walked...

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on Dec 14, 2015 in Simple Click, Wildlife Photography

Trying to Get it for 20yrs

For a long time I’ve wanted my own, cool shot of a White-breasted Nuthatch and no matter how I’ve tried, no luck. I keep coming up short. This is in part because they just don’t hold still! You can’t bribe them to come to the same spot over and over again. You gotta watch them land at the top of a tree, work their way down the trunk to the food source, never taking the same path twice, and hope you get in a click. Only if there is an avian predator might they hold still for a moment. So, I’ve been on my deck since the first snow fall again trying to get the shot. I’m standing out there with my 300PF and using the snow as a reflector. And this this weekend, I finally got one photo good enough to post. It’s a start, but I’ll be back out there working on...

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on Dec 11, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

Learning from Our Past?

Been personally witnessing this for three decades, it’s not new. I don’t believe the warming of our planet is man caused but damn sure believe we’ve greatly intensified and sped it up bigtime, faster than Mother Nature can ever evolve for sure! Living “up high” and working on the edge a lot, we’ve seen with our own eyes so much of the change. There is a simple yet eloquent piece out in High Country News you might want to read. No matter the ills that befall us, the more we know, the more we can effect a positive change. Give it a gander and remember, you can change the world with your...

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on Dec 4, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

Int’l Cheetah Day

It’s International Cheetah Day, might be a celebration not on your calendar. It’s sad that the world’s fastest land mammal is also Africa’s most endangered cat. When we were in Africa, we were afforded a short time with this amazing critter but never got to see it first hand run and reach its legendary 65mph speed to bring down prey. And like so much of Africa’s, the world’s wildlife, the Cheetah is in trouble. You might want to find out a little more about this amazing adaptation to life on the plains. Here’s a good, simple page of neat trivia that might just reach out and grab you. If you have a basic “house cat” and you have the opportunity to watch a Cheetah in the wild, you will see a lot of similarities. In the photo above, this cub seemed quite mesmerized by its own tail for a short time. I was hard to shoot laughing to myself as it nearly went cross-eyed wondering where the tip of...

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