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on Dec 3, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

Switch to Winter

Nature truly amazes me! Many times I ask, “What was the first individual who thought it would be a good idea too …” like in this instance, molt all my brown summer fur and turn all white for winter? It would be nice, really nice if I could say, molt all my grey hair and go back to brown hair but such is not the case. The Arctic Fox is just one of many small mammals that literally sheds one color coat for another twice a year. Some birds like Ptmarigan do this too and for them it’s a simple strategy to keep from being eaten but there is nothing that is out to eat an Arctic Fox. Why then do they switch? Living in an environment that is 24/7 dark for forty days and with temps well below zero, keeping a dark coat to absorb heat from the sun doesn’t work. You only get a hint of why they turn white and develop that thick coat when you...

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on Nov 30, 2015 in B&W Photography, Landscape Photography

Kodachrome Basin in B&W

Kodachrome Basin which is now a state park is a pretty cool unique little piece of Utah most never visit. That’s because it’s overshadowed almost literally by Bryce. You can seen Kodachrome Basin from Bryce and visa versa. While it’s not all red rock, it has some really cool shapes and forms that makes photography really fun. Kodachrome Basin requires a couple of things in finding the photographs, walking and imagination. It’s not a place where the photographs are real obvious, it takes a little of exploration. Kodachrome Basin exploration is a combination of feet and focal length. These photos were taken with the Df / 80-400, using longer to optically extract a select group of elements to tell the story. The top frame is a massive formation that against the bald sky is so striking, I tend to shoot lots of the same thing cause I’m so taken with it. The bottom shot is self evident, the moon sucked me in. Running back and forth to capture the...

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on Nov 27, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

7 Degrees and Loving It!

With winter in the Sierras comes cold temps and with a long lens, you can stay inside and warm while shooting the great outdoors. That’s what I did yesterday in my never ending quest to find the uncommmon in the common. Yesterday, Sharon called out that the “love doves” as we call our pair of Morning Doves were in tree 4. So I stopped making scratch waffles and headed to the D4s / 800mm to shoot out the window. Because of the cold temps, 7 degrees, the doves were perched trying to stay warm. The pattern in the wing of the one above really caught my attention, its near circular shape is pretty uncommon cause from it being puffed up. Not everyone loves the cold like I do, that I know. But when you can make these simple kinda clicks, I’m shooting in 7 degrees and loving...

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on Nov 25, 2015 in B&W Photography, WRP Ed Zone

JP’s Brilliant B&W!

John Paul spelled out the digital darkroom B&W options brilliantly here, wish I’d thought of doing it! Many including myself look for the best way to convert our images to B&W and as JP points out, there is no one way since B&W is such a romantic medium. We need to mix in the digital darkroom as per the heart! With that said, he’s compiled a comprehensive list and IMHO is spot on. And like JP, my preferred method for B&W conversion for some time now has been as he states: The only thing I add to this is at times is Nik’s Pro Contrast at the start of the process and then at the end of the process Levels. The key to the methodology described above is its Quality and Flexibility and Speed. And this is important when a clean Black and a clean White is essential along with the mixing of the heart in the final B&W image What you see above are some of the possibilities...

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on Nov 24, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

SJKF Buddies in Trouble

The San Joaquin Kit Fox, one of the first critters to be listed as endangered in the US has new troubles. Mange, a disease many pet owners are aware of started to appear in the SJKF back in 2013. About 110 have now been found but there is surely more as many succumb to this disease and die a miserable death alone in their den. I’m bringing this to your attention because you can help! Read his piece and if you see what you think might be a SJKF in trouble, make the call. And you can learn a lot more about this and our environment here. It might just save its life!...

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on Nov 6, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

The Blessing of Snow

We were blessed with snow earlier this week (and more coming this weekend), 7″ at the office and with the cold temps, it has actually stuck. That’s great for lots of reasons, the biggest is bird photography. Snow brings many opportunities starting with making our bird baths the place to be! With free water frozen, our heated bird baths get hit harder than our feeders. But our feeders are busy as well as the switch in characters continues with the change of the season. The best thing about snow as far as I’m concerned though is, it’s a natural reflector. The flashes are for the most part retired because the snow reflects light so nicely, the light is naturally filled in. It’s a beautiful thing! The Red-shafted Flicker (above) is a “kid” that is not even a year old yet. Its parents who have been coming to our feeders since they were kids brought him and he’s not left. So unlike even his parents, he is not shy and...

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