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on Jan 18, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

It Just Takes One!

I don’t know if the storm blew him in or he just returned, but man was I happy to see him! At the height of our storm Thursday on my constant vigil of looking, I spotted this Steller’s Jay perched. Now why it wasn’t taking cover I don’t know but truth be told, I didn’t care. I had a bird to photograph!!!! Now, to make a photograph. Shooting from the warmth of our office out an open window, I pointed the Z7 / 800mm and watched the blowing snow. And I mean blowing snow! There were a couple of tasks at hand, show the blowing snow, show off the blue and get a “clear” shot of it all. That translated into a fast shutter speed, 1/50, and shooting on Continuous High Extended and ripping off about 100 frames in a heartbeat. I took that many because as the snow blew by, at times it would create a fog and then there would be a clear window between the lens...

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on Jan 15, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

100% Gone Squirrelly!

My neighbors probably think I’ve gone nuts; I probably have! With no birds and with my addiction to taking photographs every day, I’ve gone to playing cat and mouse around our property for the only game in town right now. Douglas Tree Squirrels! We have three that have decided that now’s the time to make new squirrels. To those ends, they are redefining, “squirrelly!” So having a severe case of cabin fever, I decided to race around the property in the hopes of making a click or two of their antics. And in the process, I found a brilliant combo I’m lovin for the chase! One thing about these squirrels, they don’t hold still jumping from tree to tree so I needed a non-tripod, quick moving rig. I went with the Z6 / 300PF and so glad I did! This small rig permits me to just push the lens out the window or around the corner and get them squirrels in the viewfinder before they skedaddle. And at f/4,...

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on Jan 10, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

Where They’d Go?

It’s that time of year when our bird baths (heated of course) and feeders are stuffed with a dozen or more species of birds. Normally I’m somewhere else in the country and not able to photograph at my favorite local, my backyard. Well, this year I changed my schedule up so I would be home to photograph all the great birds in the snow. For the last 50 days, ever since the first real snow of the season, we’ve had NO birds! Now I say no, we’ve had 3 Dark-eyed Juncos, 1 Flicker and a couple of doves. Last winter there was no way of counting all the birds and getting just one bird in the viewfinder was near impossible as there were so many. So what’s a frustrated wildlife photographer to do? I started by talking with my neighbor, the forest biologist to see if our property was experiencing some fluke or if it was the norm. He relayed to me that there are no birds anywhere right...

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on Jan 7, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

1/5sec Tack Sharp?

It’s been a snowy weekend and that always has me looking out for photographic opportunities. My first thought is always the birds and they’re coping with the falling snow. So with that in mind, I grabbed the Z7 / 800mm and pointed it at a Red-shafted Flicker perched on tree four. Now to say it’s snowing in a photograph, you gotta see the snow. To see the snow falling, you need a slow shutter speed. How slow? The all depends on the size of the snow and how fast it’s falling. Birds in big snows tend to take to cover which means they are out of the snow and wind. This means slow snow and slow snow means a slow shutter speed. Trying to get the limited snow to streak required 1/5 shutter speed which often scares most. Using proper long lens technique and in this case, the Z7 with its gimbal made it simple. The variable in the sharp photo was the Flicker holding still. With that in...

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on Dec 27, 2018 in Wildlife Photography

Subject in Snow, An Exposure Thought

With the new snows of the season, I thought I’d answer a common question that floods in this time of year. “How do you (Moose) expose for snow?” Of course, living in snow, I have a number of off the cuff answers, but I’ll move past those and get to the heart of the question as I look at it. What color is snow? Unless a Moose (4 legged) or dog has passed by, it’s white, right? The common belief that if there is snow in the scene, automatically dial in +1 exposure compensation. A recommendation that comes from the meters of the 1960s. We’re not in the ’60s. I honestly don’t think there are viewers of your snow photograph who wouldn’t recognize the white stuff on the ground as snow. With that being true, then seeing detail in every crystal of the snow (what +1 might do for you) is not mission critical to tell the viewer the white stuff they are looking at is indeed, snow. With...

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on Dec 11, 2018 in Wildlife Photography

Rejuvenates the Soul

There’s one place that always rejuvenates the soul, and that’s Bosque del Apache. The birds, cold air, the silence broken by their calls, the skies filled with their flights and so much more bring life and awe to all that witness it. I’m down at Bosque with my dear friends for a few days of R&R. I’m shooting with the Z6 / 500PF and having a great time not carrying all that weight around. While I’m still getting used to the EVF for action, as you can see it does an excellent job. I’m shooting in Auto-Area AF and Continuous-High Extended. The other thing I’m having to get used to is not using my ears to determine how much I’m shooting. I came back from the morning shoot think I’d not shot much to find I have over 1500 images! Thank goodness, I like them or I’d be really...

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