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on May 21, 2020 in Landscape Photography

Do Clouds Set The Story?

“Dances with Clouds,” what my good friend Joe McNally called me once. That’s because I turn to the heavens every opportunity I can to get help telling my visual story. Clouds can set the stage, be the background that will make or break your photograph. That is if you take in all the other elements in the frame and incorporate them along with the clouds. Here is my favorite little church out on The Palouse. I visit it at least once every time I’m on The Palouse because it is never the same. When there are no clouds, it is a photographic challenge. When there are clouds, the challenge then becomes what I want to say. Look at these two photographs of the same church shot on two different trips. Do you see the one thing that made me change where I stood and the lens I selected? You might be fooled and think it was the clouds but actually, it was the trees! The trees not only changed...

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on May 20, 2020 in Landscape Photography

The Skies are Lighting Up!

The skies lit up last night here in Montana with some great lightning. It’s coming on summer and with them, afternoon thunderstorms which mean great light shows. When the skies start barking, I’m often running to the truck with a camera in hand to chase the storm. These days though, it’s a whole lot easier to work with lightning with Miops! This simple, small, and incredibly effective tool permits you to shoot lightning any time of day with any rig with ease. You can even update the firmware via the mobile app (Mobile App is the why to go!). Charged via a USB port, the Miops simply can’t get easier, well, at least the shooting part. I like to grab the Z7 / Z24-70f2.8 / Miops and sped down the road. The real challenge is finding a spot with a great 360 vista because lightning can be in all directions. To be completely honest with you, I saw much better lightning than I captured but I was having so...

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on May 19, 2020 in Wildlife Photography

Free Water is the Answer!

Backyard bird photography is a great past time and can be a real money maker. Some though have limitations such and money, mess, or unwelcomed pests. How can you attract the birds to your lens in your backyard and avoid these roadblocks? This video goes into that and a whole lot...

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on May 13, 2020 in Landscape Photography

Save Them Afternoons!

With summer heat comes summer afternoon thunderstorms. And with those come great photographic opportunities. Get yourself an app like Dark Skies and tap on the Map function to see how and where the afternoon thunderheads are forming (hit the Play button to see the convection). Then look at a map to find topography that brings the last little bit of drama to a photo and head out. Take a variety of focal lengths from Z14-30 to 180-400VR providing yourself lots of flexibility to work the potential storm. Situate yourself so you are looking either west or west by northwest so you can take advantage of the light. Watch your white balance shooting on Cloudy / 6000k or higher to capture all the subtle shades of red, pink, and orange and underexpose to give them colors punch. Then include something in the frame to give scale making those thunderheads look as powerful as they really are. It’s a great time to get a little wet, a little adventurous, and a...

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on May 12, 2020 in Wildlife Photography

Those Darn Squirrels?

One issue many have with feeding birds in their backyards are squirrels. Squirrels love the seed we put out for birds perhaps more than the birds themselves. For them, it’s real simple, easy calories. The problem for bird photographers though is that the squirrels tend to scare off the birds if not totally prevent them from feeding at the feeders. If you want to photograph birds, this makes them darn squirrels, pests! There are some measures you can take to deal with pesky squirrels. One is the anti-squirrel bird feeders which close off the feeding holes by the weight of the squirrel landing on the feeder. I got one of these for The Ranch to see how well they work. They do keep the squirrels out but the White-tailed Deer have figured out how to eat from it. Too funny! But I want to ask the question, those darn squirrels? I realize they can eat one out of house and home, making feeding birds expensive. They can scare off...

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on Apr 30, 2020 in Wildlife Photography

It’s Nesting Bird Time!

Spring has to be one of my favorite times of the year. It’s that time of year when birds are so active with nesting. Literally one of the first things I did when we got to The Ranch was put out our bird boxes and just six days later, one has a new owner! We were delighted today to see a pair of Red-breasted Nuthatches taking nesting material to it feverishly. I can’t wait until the kids pop and I can photograph them! Photographing nesting birds, no matter the species can be done by anyone. There are only a few rules (I hate rules, but these are important) you need to remember: No photograph is worth sacrificing the welfare of the subject! Never have the parents off the nest for more than twenty minutes! Have Fun! After that, it just takes a little homework, thought, planning and execution. Here is the abridged version to get you started! Finding the Nest – Pre-Field Homework When it comes to photographing a...

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