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on Jun 18, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

Their Level

There is nothin more common in the Northern Latitudes then the Columbian Ground Squirrel! And when it comes to the basic challenge of making the uncommon of the common, you can easily find hours of fun in chasing the Columbian with your lens. In early spring as the snow is still melting away, they are coming our of hibernation and they have two things on their mind, food and sex. That means photographers who are patient meld into the background. This gives you the opportunity to shoot them at their level making the uncommon out of the common. With food and sex on their minds, getting close physically is rather simple. All it really takes is a little time and observation. They will telegraph where they like to sit and spy on each other and that’s where you need to get. Shooting with the D4s & 80-400VR3, the top image was taken while I was down on one knee. Shooting at 400mm, the CGS went about lookin about, groomin...

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on Jun 17, 2015 in Landscape Photography

Wire Be Gone

Feeling and Seeing the final photo when the camera is pressed against your eye is important. One thing we talk about a lot when we’re out shooting on our workshops is “How will you finish the photo.” There are times that part of that conversation is removing the “touch of man” and a very common removal are wires. This morning at a favorite pond of mine, we were shooting sunrise. Shooting with the D4s / 18-35AFS at 20mm, the two wires stretching across the pond were very obvious. These are actually incredibly easy to remove! To remove the wire, you need your Spot Healing Brush tool. Make sure its Soft Edge and that you’re Sampling All layers. I prefer doing this in a Empty Layer. Click on one end of the wire you want to remove. Then move down to the other end of the wire. Hold down the Shift Key and click again. You’ll see Photoshop draw a line between the two click and the wire disappear. That...

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on Jun 15, 2015 in Landscape Photography

Touch of Man

When I started, it was film days and there was no Photoshop. In those days, we did everything we could to never include the “touch of man.” This is a prime example of what I’m talking about. Up at Many Glacier in Glacier Nat’l Park is this amazing waterfall at the outflow of the lake. I can stand there for hours watching it. This morning, wanted to use my new technique (this shot was taken handheld with NO filters) to capture the flow. In the process, this building was incorporated in the shot with is kinda abynormal for me. That old school thing. I’ve been changing slowly to include more when the “touch of man” brings something to the story. Now if this building were pink, it would not be in the frame. But in the Nat’l Park browns and where it’s located, I decide to include it. Shot with D4s & 18-35AFS, I very carefully included the building and not the van parked in front. I’m still pondering...

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on Jun 12, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

Pop Goes the Weasel!

Put simply, it kicked my ass and I enjoyed every moment of it! The Long-tailed Weasel is not a critter you see everyday. While very common, they are very illusive, secretive and simply put, greased lightning! They do nothing slowly but what always seems like panic in motion. The photo above in all honesty really visually describes the life and times of a Long-tailed Weasel. And it’s cool! Finding one is only part of the HUGE challenge of photographing them. We were at our very special location when looking at a Mountain Cottontail, I saw this weasel pop out of nowhere behind it. We were just scouting for the moment so had no cameras, having just literally gotten out of our vehicles. Sharon and I both saw it at the same time and in jaw dropping stance, watched as the weasel went ballistic running over this fallen log. We watched for a few minutes and then it occurred to me that it wasn’t going anywhere. So we sent back...

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on Jun 11, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

Quail Post

Photographing ground birds can be a challenge at times. The reason being, they are on the ground. The natural debris can hide them to make the photo incredibly busy. And in the case of this California Quail, foraging around in a freshly mowed lawn just isn’t the best of worlds for the subject. This is when understanding basic biology can keep you waiting around to capture the better photograph. What you can’t see in these frames is the female. The pair came walking down the lawn and we moved into place so if everything worked out, they would walk into the lens. This is because “stalking” ground birds tends to push them back into the cover where they find safety. In this case, the pair kept walking right down to us and but doing it on their terms, all was good and we didn’t matter. Now with the female in tow, the male was looking for other males that might challenge him for his mate. That sex thing which...

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on Jun 10, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

House Wren Morning

This past weekend during our Sierra Bird weekend, we took a little field trip to a very special location of ours. It has always produced, but you just never know what. We’ve been heading here for over 30yrs and like usual, we had a new and difference subject occupying a bunch of our time this trip. Sharon discovered a nesting pair of House Wrens that were just finishing their nest and seemed to have laid their first egg. The post your see in the photos is where the male would come over and over again to sing, broadcasting his territory and keep his better half interested. We spent over an hour with the male and it was just killer. You will notice a change in nearly every photograph and that’s from both the behavior and the light. There were thunder clouds forming and as they came and went, I would move around the perch to get the better light on both the subject and the background. How close were...

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