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on May 4, 2016 in Landscape Photography

Can’t it Be Alone?

The sun and the moon suck photographers in like moths to a flame. There are lots of reasons for this, all very valid. Often though, that memorizing glowing ball tends to fog the mind and the final image, well, just isn’t as memorizing as the real McCoy. Has that ever happened to you? It happens to many and they wonder why. The answer might be simpler than you might think. It could be simply you included items in the scene that were not needed. Now this might not be the case all the time, but here’s an example from a shoot on top of Mt Scott to illustrate my point. Shooting long (D5 / 300PF) the subject was pretty clear cut, the sun. But often we’re told we need to have something else in the frame. This might be true if the photo of the sun sucks. Why might it suck? Often it’s because the way the light and color are distributed in the frame. When you’re shooting over...

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on Apr 29, 2016 in Landscape Photography

Day 4 Storm Chasin – The Cloud

You’re not looking at a tornado in either photo. Simply put, it was too cold to produce the needed rotation for a funnel to drop down. We went the bed last night full of hope, the models were looking good for at least one tornado in the area. We had spend the day yesterday driving to stage for today and we were in the best spot, mother nature just decided not to play. The top flow certainly looks like it might be a funnel, but it had no rotation. It was moisture simply getting out of Dodge. It was taken about two hours before the bottom photo. The size of this supercell was really pretty staggering! Finding a place where we could get a clean shot was a challenge and when we finally did, there was nothing to include for scale. But it took us nearly 30min of driving to get out to this vantage point, it was that big! The light colored mass in the lower left is...

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on Apr 27, 2016 in Landscape Photography

Day 2 Storm Chasin – The Chase

This is coming to you from the very bumpy back seat of the van as we scream across KS & OK on our way to TX. Day 2 ended with 428 more miles on the speedometer but no twisters in the can. While the day started with the promise of storms, there were no promises of twisters. In storm chasing terms, the storms were messy. That’s to say that while they had energy, they weren’t organized, no rotation to create the twister. We had no problem though finding wx, big wx! While we tried to get out to shoot, we would only have a five minute window before the rain would catch us. Not being a very workable solution, we turned to shooting from the van as we chased cell to sell to sell. Shooting with the D5 / 24-70VR, the trick was to hold it close to the window to avoid reflections, look ahead for subjects / obstacles and then fire off at least five frames to get...

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on Apr 26, 2016 in Landscape Photography

Day 1 Storm Chasing – Ames, OK

It’s been a few years since I was storm chasing but it took very little time for me to remember one of the things I love best about it. That’s seeing parts of our amazing country I didn’t know existed. We stopped in Ames, OK for an hour waiting for the wx to commit. It was right at the Ames War Memorial and Ames Astrobleme. The war memorial was pretty self explanatory and very well done. It represented some of our best young men who gave their lives for the freedoms we enjoy today. Amazing to me how this very small, rural town can do so much to say thanks when much larger don’t. Well done Ames! The other cool thing was the Astrobleme. What’s that? It a meteor crater found during the exploration of oil that was some 900 feet under ground, covered up my thousands of years of erosion. Never knew there was this meteor crater here and if I hadn’t been storm chasing and stopped here,...

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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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