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on Nov 27, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

7 Degrees and Loving It!

With winter in the Sierras comes cold temps and with a long lens, you can stay inside and warm while shooting the great outdoors. That’s what I did yesterday in my never ending quest to find the uncommmon in the common. Yesterday, Sharon called out that the “love doves” as we call our pair of Morning Doves were in tree 4. So I stopped making scratch waffles and headed to the D4s / 800mm to shoot out the window. Because of the cold temps, 7 degrees, the doves were perched trying to stay warm. The pattern in the wing of the one above really caught my attention, its near circular shape is pretty uncommon cause from it being puffed up. Not everyone loves the cold like I do, that I know. But when you can make these simple kinda clicks, I’m shooting in 7 degrees and loving...

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on Nov 24, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

SJKF Buddies in Trouble

The San Joaquin Kit Fox, one of the first critters to be listed as endangered in the US has new troubles. Mange, a disease many pet owners are aware of started to appear in the SJKF back in 2013. About 110 have now been found but there is surely more as many succumb to this disease and die a miserable death alone in their den. I’m bringing this to your attention because you can help! Read his piece and if you see what you think might be a SJKF in trouble, make the call. And you can learn a lot more about this and our environment here. It might just save its life!...

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on Nov 6, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

The Blessing of Snow

We were blessed with snow earlier this week (and more coming this weekend), 7″ at the office and with the cold temps, it has actually stuck. That’s great for lots of reasons, the biggest is bird photography. Snow brings many opportunities starting with making our bird baths the place to be! With free water frozen, our heated bird baths get hit harder than our feeders. But our feeders are busy as well as the switch in characters continues with the change of the season. The best thing about snow as far as I’m concerned though is, it’s a natural reflector. The flashes are for the most part retired because the snow reflects light so nicely, the light is naturally filled in. It’s a beautiful thing! The Red-shafted Flicker (above) is a “kid” that is not even a year old yet. Its parents who have been coming to our feeders since they were kids brought him and he’s not left. So unlike even his parents, he is not shy and...

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on Nov 5, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

Size Isn’t Everything

Size isn’t everything! Size of your lens for example, this photo was taken with 1000mm. Size of your effort to get the photo, we just had to walk a mile for this photo. Size of your subject, that bull Moose couldn’t be any smaller in the frame. The size of your heart that drives the size of your imagination, now we’re in a conversation where size matters. When you put your eye to the viewfinder, be sure you’re concern on size is the right size. Then and only then will the subject reach out and touch the viewer and the story...

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on Oct 29, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

Showing That Giant Rack

Those racks, it’s what fall is all about when you’re a wildlife photographer! Just as trophy hunters look for the biggest set, so do wildlife photographers. But how do you make them look as big if not bigger in your photo than they are in the wild? This 50-52″ rack isn’t a huge one but it is respectable. The first thing in making the rack appear large in the frame is to shoot UP on the subject. Not eye level, not down, but an upward angle is a must in making the antlers appear large. This is just a basic human response to shooting up. It appears more masculine, more majestic and for a bull Moose, bigger! Next is the lens you shoot with. Longer is not always the best choice. In this case, I’m shooting with the 200-400VR2 (with D4s) because I love how 400mm communicates the strength of the animal. My preferred focal length is 300mm but getting that opportunity is a challenge. Lastly, it’s the pose...

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on Oct 21, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

Play With Me

Moose are a funny critter (you can associate that with the 2 & 4 legged ones). I’ve always found their biology quite fascinating. For example, them long legs, they’re for getting through the deep brush and snow they live in. They have an amazing high step but when running from a predator, it turns into this fast yet funny shuffle. Then there are those big racks, the antlers that us photographers love to photograph. As you can see in these 2-3yr olds, they ain’t got them yet but that doesn’t prevent them from playing with them. They do serve a purpose but it’s not exactly what you might think. At this stage of life, they are just getting use to them being there. They do shed them in January after just a couple of months of wearing them and a short period of really putting them to use. At this age, these bulls will just have pushing fun, not real battles because they are not ready to become part...

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