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on Apr 10, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

Hope Rewarded

Then, the magic happens … the years of paying dues, the desire of not just seeing by sharing the spectacle fills the viewfinder and you can go … click! It’s what wildlife photography is all about! And while of course we’re hoping for the “best,” there is no “best.” There is only the best we’ve experienced and captured up to that point and that’s what we experienced. At 06:45 the shutters started to fire as enough light permitted photography. Still shooting with the D4s / 800mm, I scanned the cranes in front of the blind. At first, the cranes seemed to be shaking of the morning. Then, in one sudden wave the dancing began and deciding where to point the lens became the biggest challenge. When the wind is from the North, the cranes spend another day. When it’s from the South, they take to skies and head to the nesting grounds. When there is no wind like this morning, I wonder what they think. With the incredible wave...

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on Apr 9, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

Hope Awakened

The alarm went off at 06:00, 90min before sunrise. It was still dark outside but the bright full moon gave some hint of who was still on the river. Around 02:30 there was a lift off from the river. Didn’t see it, heard it! More than likely a predator like a coyote made an stab at a free meal which set the flock into the skies. Since I didn’t hear them come back, I was wondering if we’d wake to an empty river. It’s happened before, it’s part of the gamble of spending the night in the blind. At least this night, got some sleep since we didn’t have to deal with a leaky blind in a rain storm. With as much stealth as we could muster, we crawled out of our sleeping bags, got everything packed back up so we have space to set up camera gear and get ready to work. Oh, what a cup of hot coffee would do right now. Wait, no, been locked in...

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on Apr 8, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

Hope Renewed

When I tell folks I’m going to Nebraska, they screw up their face in a tight wad and ask, “WHY?” I can tell they’ve not heard about the magic that is Nebraska (you should check out Bill Frakes Nebraska Project!). I have so not tapped that magic that is Nebraska but that one little bit I have, keeps bringing me back again and again and when you realize it’s to be locked in a 4×8 box with another photographer and all our gear for a minimum of 16 hours, you gotta think there is something special. The Hope … With a crash, at 16:30 our driver with what seem some glee, slammed the door to our blind saying, “I’m locking your in now.” (There is an emergency number inside the blind for the locksmith, no kidding!) Where the day before we had solid gray skies and the rain storm that night of biblical proportions, today was the total opposite … bald skies! I hate bald skies. So there we...

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on Apr 7, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

The Hope

Many, many years ago at one of our old Photo Marketing weekends, we had a participant, kinda quiet with his arm in a cast. Come to find out he’s a pastor and that he had crashed his motorcycle. Didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out Mark is unique to say the least. One of the last things he said to me that weekend was, “Ever want to come out to the Platt Rive for the Sandhill Cranes, I’ve got a blind.” We’ve been doing it ever since. I’ve spent April Fools for many years now in Nebraska, waiting to be locked in a box for 16+ hours in hopes of capturing that one image I’ve always wanted. At the beginning of the season there are as many as 100k Sandhill Cranes on the Platt, most are Lessers. They arrive near Kearny, NE on Valentines Day, peak around St Patricks day and are all gone my Tax Day. It’s a brief window and looking for the behavior I want...

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on Mar 31, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

Africa – Did You Hear?

Did you hear that our Africa Safari Adventure is now out for you to watch? The love notes are flying in and we’re very grateful. But some are saying there weren’t aware it was out, so here’s the news. Being invited to Africa with Images in Africa, my bud and very talented Adam from Kelby Training made an epic class from our safari. Did we have fun … check this out … and how did I pack for this adventure? Here ya go … And the best part … we’re going back 2015 and in 2016! And if that’s not enough Africa for you (and it really isn’t), there is our January 2015 issue of the BT Journal devoted to this safari. So, here’s some fun, learning, photography, biology just for...

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on Mar 30, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

Callaway Bird Show

During our Georgia Nature Photographers Association day workshops, we were at the Callaway Gardens Birds of Prey Show. They did a marvelous 90min presentation for just us. They had flights and birds on the glove for folks to photograph. The whole time, they explained just a ton of biology while they worked the birds. From the photographic side, it was a great learning opportunity to learn how to combine biology with technology. The two main things were panning and flash. The panning seemed obvious, photographing the birds in flight from perch to glove and back again. The problem though is when birds fly, they don’t fly in a straight line but rather, dip down in their flight path and then wing up the last moment to the perch. So in this situation this meant the birds would dip down so the folks heads and a hideous background came into play. So the conventional flight shot using panning while would result in a sharp image, the rest of the elements...

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