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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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on Feb 24, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

Sky Pointing

Spring always brings one question to my mind. “Who thought way back when, this was the way to attract a mate?” When you watch the Great Egret perform their ritual, one surely must ask. Part of their ritual is what is called sky pointing. This is when the male Great Egret at the nest starts crouched down, bill down in the nest platform and then they rises quickly, completely stretches their bodies with their bills pointing into the sky. Briefly, they are as straight as a post. If you’re a female Great Egret or a wildlife photographer, this is pretty darn exciting! And catching the sky pointing in action takes skill for both the female and the photographer. There are a couple of factors to take into consideration. The first and most important to me is the background. I feel the longer the lens, the better you can select and control the background you like best. I was shooting with the 800mm and in both of these images, I...

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on Feb 17, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

Yep, I Have One

I knew that after posting on my Instagram account one of my favorite bird photos of 2015, I’d be asked if I have a favorite mammal, landscape and aircraft. Most equate favorite with best or perfect. Understand, I don’t. Favorite means just that, it’s my favorite, no more and no less. In this case, this photo of Cous’ has a lot of back story that I know and feel when looking at the photo. It’s no secret that photographing Moose, a favorite subject of mine, can be a challenge and that certainly plays into the favorite filing. And the photo has “issues” that will really drive some photogs nuts. But none of that really comes into play why I love the photo. Favorite for me encompasses all that went into making the photo, but more importantly the relationship between the subject and myself. That’s a very personal thing that there is no way for the viewer to know and most of the time, feel. So, this is one of...

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