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on Oct 11, 2016 in Landscape Photography

Alaska Handheld Blurred Creek

You can’t help but be swept up in the landscape that is Alaska! While we were up here to photograph specifically Moose, the search for them took us to gorgeous locales. That’s why the 18-35AFS was packed in along with the rest of the gear. So in the lull in the action, off we went to photograph the wonders around us. The skies were perfect to tell the story of how cold it was where we were shooting. Using the very simple Multi Exposure technique, capturing the flowing creek handheld and bringing that story home was easy. This is important because the Gitzo had the 800mm with the Zenelli head. That’s why this technique is so cool, you can do it even without a...

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on Oct 8, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

Gettin Close In Every Sense of the Word

My approach to photographing Moose during the rut is different from most. Bulls expand an inordinate amount of energy to be a bull and photographers who push them to get “the” shot just stress them further. For that and just because I want the best photograph, I wait, hours and hours, for the moment when they approach me on their own terms. Where we’re shooting, we can see for over a mile. Watching the cows, you can get an idea of what the bulls will do. In this case, this bull which we had seen first thing in the morning was pushed up slope with a cow into the trees. Hours later he came back down as we where there to get the shot. Real simple, just had to wait. Getting closer, much closer to the photo I want. Photographically, this photo is getting closer to what I want. Not the biggest bull on the field, he’s still a big boy. He’s on a bit of rise and the...

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on Oct 7, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

Cous at 800

Our first day with family in Alaska was pretty darn cool. Thirty cousins showed up for the reunion so it’s easy to say, we had a good time. You might remember I said I was changing things up by shoot with the big glass, 800mm, this trip. I found very quickly that’s too much glass for our shooting yesterday. Why? Working in a dense forest, there is not always room to either backup or find an alley way through trees to get the shot I want. In this example, I’m just too tight and had no options to improve. Today is a new day and simply requires me to think through the biology and apply the technology better. It’s a good challenge....

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on Oct 5, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

Going to Visit Cous’

Yep, it’s that time of year to make the annual family trip to see my northern cousins. Like any good family member, we’ve made this journey many times. Now you might think that by now I would have the one family portrait that says it all. Well, I don’t and that’s in part why I keep going back. What is that one photograph I’m looking for? To be honest with you, I’m not really sure. It’s gotta be a bull, it’s gotta be big, it’s gotta have attitude and the world in which it lives has to scream Alaska. After that, I’m not really sure. I am going with something new this year though, not just the D5 but the 800mm. Shooting big game with a big lens like this is not my normal style. I normally go after them with the 200-400VR2 or 400f2.8. I’m not sure if this is the winning ticket or not, but I’m sure going to give it my best shot. I’ll let you...

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on Oct 3, 2016 in Landscape Photography

Stary, Stary Skies

There is one aspect of the Sierra that stands out amongst all the rest and that’s its night skies. Right now with the new moon and cold temps, it is literally so bright you can walked around without the aid of a flashlight. With that overhead, it was only natural we held our Mono Lake Weekend Workshop and on Saturday, made it a Scott Kelby’s World Wide Photowalk. We had a hearty group that meet not just one but two mornings at 04:30 at South Tufa to bring home those skies to you, those who weren’t with us. We had the usual aircraft heading towards San Francisco every so often but we had the great fortune to have a meteor shower going both mornings. Many were real faint but some, well they lit up the night. It was just glorious! How where the pictures taken? I started by giving folks my usual formula for getting the photo. While it works great for me, it seems to confuse folks. One...

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on Sep 28, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

Butcherbird Background

Is a messy, distracting background an automatic bad thing? Do you need to strive to have only clean meld of color backgrounds in your wildlife photography? I guess it all depends on who you want to listen too. But if you cruise a number of magazines, you’ll find that quite often messy is exactly the background you’ll see. So how are you to know what is right when you see one thing, hear another and want to do a third? Personally when I ask myself this question I fall back on one simple answer, what’s the story? Photographing critters, using the angle of view of your lens is critical in this pursuit which is why I shoot so often with the 800mm. But how do you connect the dots? The Grey Butcherbird is a resident of the eucalyptus rainforest of Australia. It forages most often on the ecotone of the forest for larger prey that it impels on sharp twigs/branches/thorns and then with relish tares to shreds and consumes....

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