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on Apr 11, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

And Years Later …

There are lots of shots I would love, love to add to my files. The only reason, they are ones that have eluded me forever. They are ones I have hints of from other photos. Those hints led my imagination to wonder what would the real, final photo be like? Would the reality be as good as I imagine? This is just one example. Here you have your average male, Sharp-tailed Grouse on the lek displaying. I’m watching him through the D5 / 800mm using back-button focus to lock on and then not hitting it when I take the photo. I do this because I know that when he jumps up, the plane of focus for the eye almost never changes when he jumps. What I don’t know is just how high he will jump. It changes every time. I have him at the very bottom of the frame, sometimes cutting his feet off so when he jumps, he’s all in the frame. What you see is the closest...

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on Apr 4, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

The White-breasted Portrait

One of the unique adaptations of the bird world are the Nuthatches. They’re the bird that walks DOWN the tree trunk, head first looking for a meal. When you think about it, it’s really smart ’cause all the rest of the bird species go UP the trunk looking for a meal. Those species miss the majority of the time stuff stuck in the top of the bark, but not the nuthatches. While I love all three North American species, it’s the White-breasted I work the hardest at getting that single, clean portrait. What makes up that portrait? Well, there are a number of elements, two of the more important ones are the bird and the tree. In the spring the breast is its whitest. It starts to get dirty once nesting season begins and they are drilling out their cavity. So you wanna catch them early and on a trunk with character. Then, you need to be able to get close to them ’cause they are small! Lastly, you...

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on Mar 21, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

Time With Bob!

It all began at New Years, a Bobcat was in the neighborhood and everyone was seeing him (I think it’s a young male). Then in January, I got my first glimpse of Bob. Over the last few months, we knew it was all over our property. Between Sadie’s nose and all the tracks, we knew when he’d been around and the path he was taking. But we never saw him, often missing him by just minutes (fresh tracks in new snow). And bobcats are just so cool so we were on a mission, especially Sharon. I was in the office packing just prior to going to England for The Photography Show (such a great event, thanks all!) and just zipped up the camera bag when I hear in that “I want your attention now voice” Sharon said, “the bobcat is here!” I come out to see him on the corner of our deck taking a bath. It was dark as sin out so I took a quick iPhone photo...

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on Mar 20, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

The Brilliant Walthamstow Wetlands

I was in great company Monday at the Walthamstow Wetlands! Along with my dear friend Michael Eleftheriades and the Nikon Owner gang, I got the privilege to explore the newly opened wetlands just north of London. This urban wildlife wonderland was simply spectacular that I so enjoyed. I had seen a European Robin in the past but never when I had a lens to capture it by. I was so hoping to have an opportunity this trip now that I was prepared and I wasn’t disappointed … and a lot more! Knowing I was going on this adventure and wanting to travel light, I brought the Nikkor 180-400VR / Nikkor TC-14eIII which turned out perfect. Using simple biology, the birds and the bees, I came across of pair of European Robins working on a nest. With sex in the air, getting close was easy. I just had to wait for the background I wanted. Another really cool bird (there were tons!) was the Great crested Grebe. It’s that time...

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on Mar 18, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

Light’s Warmth

This is a real simple blog post, light and its emotional quality (warmth) has to be captured! This example shows what happens when lieing on the sand with a Sanderling when a cloud goes in front of the sun. The quality of light, both its quantity and its warmth disappears. The “blue” or cold tone brought by the cloud cover stops the photo from going out and grabbing heartstrings. With the sun out, that warmth opens the door letting the viewer quickly in to engage with the Sanderling. This is something that won’t improve with changing the WB in the camera or in post. It only comes from the sun and you must look for and embrace it when it...

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on Mar 8, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

Glass Balancing Act

Balancing image size between physically moving (be it feet or hands) or not is the balancing act we need to dance every time we’re shooting critters. Understand I have to critical precepts to my photography, the first is, NO photograph is worth sacrificing the welfare of the subject. None! Second, I get it right, right in the camera. I don’t crop in post. Right or wrong, that is just my SOP, has been forever. With that in mind, working or “hiding” behind our big glass is essential in getting close physically, isolating with our optics while not altering the behavior of the critter to get the images size we desire. It is, a glass balancing act! In this case, we have three, Rocky Mtn Bighorn Sheep rams coming down the slope to check out the ewes and see where they are going. I’m standing totally out in the open, they can see Moose with no strain. My moving though would have stopped their forward motion which not only is...

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