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on Oct 1, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

Big Day out the Window!

It started on Tuesday when Sharon called me into the office and pointed out the window at the bird bath. “What’s that bird at the bath?!” She was pointing at a big, dark bird and all we could see was its head, but that was enough. I said, “that’s a Lewis’s Woodpecker!!!” We’ve seen them in the Sierra before, rarely, they prefer the higher altitudes. We’ve seen them on the ridge above our home but never on our property. We watched it drink for a while, then it flew off behind Tree 1 and disappeared. Great bird and thought that would be the end of him as we’ve had a lot of birds come through for a quick sighting not to be seen again. But we were looking!!! Then today it reappeared! This time, in the front at Tree 3. Being that I’d only gotten a couple of clicks of one decades ago in Montana, I wanted to very much photograph him (it’s a male). So we stayed inside...

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on Sep 29, 2015 in Landscape Photography

Simply Overwhelming!

Yep, the amount, variety, intensity and quantity of fall color we experienced this last week in Cripple Creek, CO was simply … overwhelming! As I kept saying to Sharon the whole time, while we’ve got great fall color in the Eastern Sierra, we don’t have any of the grand vistas of slope after slope blazing yellow like we experienced in CO. It was truly hard at times to narrow your vision down to just the viewfinder because no matter the lens in use, you couldn’t take it all in. And you wanted to take in this blaze of color! But for us photographers, put our eyes to the viewfinder we must. These three photos along with a lot of what I shot this past week was with the Df / 80-400VR3 and for a very simple reason. The overwhelming vistas we experienced often didn’t translate perfectly into the viewfinder with a lens like the 24-70AFS. I did use that lens a lot, but not nearly as much as the...

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on Sep 25, 2015 in B&W Photography

Is There A Photo?

Cruising down the road, I’m sure you’ve asked yourself, is there a photo? There are most definitely times you ask yourself that and there is no reason to stop. But then there are times when you say this when in fact, there is a photo. How can you help yourself to learn to “see” that unobvious photo whether you’re walking or doing 60mph? We went through that basic concept this afternoon as we waited for the edge of the light to wear off. And these are just a couple of our results. You can teach yourself to see this, you need to read nothing or buy a thing. Shooting with any Nikon body with wireless capibility (I shot these with D750 / 14-24AFS) you can connect your iPhone/Andriod to the camera with the Mobile Wireless Utility. You take your photo with your camera, transfer it to your device, finish in Photoshop or Snapseed and instantly see on the device what the possibilities are and relate it to exactly what...

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on Sep 25, 2015 in Landscape Photography

Struck Colorado Gold

It’s just … gorgeous! We’re here in Cripple Creek, CO just a tad before peak fall color and it’s truly spectacular! The right combination of water and temperature has been right cause the landscape is celebrating the end of summer and the start of fall in grand fashion. So far we’ve been working almost within walking distance of of where we’re staying (the magnificent Carr Manor) there is just so much to see and work with. We have just begun our explorations for the week and we’ve struck gold! One of the truly fun things once you have found great fall color is then exploring it photographically. One of the key things I personally do is always include some element(s) in the frame. That’s because the mind’s eye sees that green and then by association makes the yellow much more vibrant. By doing a number of basic in camera basics like this, you have to depend on far fewer in post (like the saturation slider which I never use)...

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on Sep 18, 2015 in Landscape Photography

It’s Fall Time

This past weekend in the Eastern Sierra, the calendar turned a page and fall descended upon the region. There is now that chill in the air in the morning that lingers once the sun rises making one seek its light and warmth. Critters seem to take an extra minute to sleep in, rising only once they can take advantage of the mellow light to remove the nights chill. The Aspens in the meadow have just one or two yellow leaves. And the light itself, it’s turned the corner so even at noon, it wraps around all it touches so even the shadows seem inviting. This past weekend it all came together in one visual poem saying fall is in the works. If there is a time of the year I look forward to more than any other at home, it’s now, fall. It’s hard to stay focused, itching to get out and walk amongst the trees and watch the small critters as they go at panic speed to store...

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on Sep 8, 2015 in Landscape Photography

Where to Put The Sun?

The first morning of any adventure is special, in Africa on the Mara, it’s incredible! There is no doubt you’ve seen a photo of sunrise / sunset with an Umbrella Tree from Africa. Talk about a tried and true tired theme. But when you’ve not taken it, you just gotta do it. At least, that’s how I saw it. Gotta have that one image in the files. So the opportunity presented itself the first morning and click went the camera. But working the situation trying to make it different from what I’d seen was in the back of my mind. So at first, I went wide and centered everything. The clouds are what made the arrangement of elements rather simple. Centered it all. Center it, really, you ask? Hell ya. You’ve probably heard never do that. All I can suggest is look at a lot of photos. You will see some great stuff with the subject dead center. How’d I get the sun centered with the Umbrella Tree on...

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