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on Sep 18, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

The Little Black Turnstone

Back in the ’80s after I had bought the 800f5.6 EDIF, I was haunting the rocky shores of Monterey a lot. Being on the edge of Monterey Bay, there are small little pockets of birds, not particularly rare, just rarely seen and even more rarely photographed. They grabbed my imagination, especially the little Black Turnstone. A tad smaller than your fist, I got a photograph of one way back when that I’ve always truly enjoyed. And for decades that one image satisfied me, until about a year ago. I had never gone back and looked for or photographed the Black Turnstone since them early days. Last year, I got the hankering to go and improve on my old photo. I’m glad I did! Living at the splash zone on the rocky shore, those rocks and splash are very much a part of the Black Turnstone. The three elements I need to tell the story are already dictated, I just had to combine those elements to tell its story. Shooting...

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on Sep 17, 2019 in Landscape Photography

The Four Hour Accident

The wind was howling through Nevada yesterday with 40mph gusts. It whipped the snow-laden clouds about in gorgeous forms (first Sierra snow fell yesterday). It also did a number of vehicles, flinging a 16 wheeler off the highway and stopping all traffic in both directions for four hours. We came upon the scene just after the incident so we were stuck. We were entertained with great conversation and scenery outside our windows. The light was gorgeous light so I braved the elements and made some clicks. How windy was it? It took my rear lens came out of my hand and flung out of sight in a heartbeat! Braving the sensor dust I knew was coating my Z6 in the wind, I attached the FTZ / 105f1.4 and spent an hour with the ever-changing landscape. With the fierce wind, the apertures in the clouds came and went and with them, new light on the same scene. If I wasn’t stuck on a two-lane highway at an accident scene with...

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on Sep 3, 2019 in Landscape Photography

Fire … Good?!

When we caught up with our dear friend Richard the other morning, he was so excited to go off to work. And he’s retired! He’s a biologist and he was asked to work the Spring Fire. A naturally caused fire from a lightning strike a month back, it’s burning in an area that just recently burned and has never burned in the largest stand of Jeffrey Pine in the US. We think of fire as a bad thing but it’s is a natural part of the system, when the system is not broken. In the remote area where the Spring Fire is burning, it’s pretty natural so for scientists, is a burning laboratory where they are discovering all sorts of new things about the system. I was very pleased this morning I could take this photo for Richard which I know he’ll love after he shakes off the dust and washed off the ash from the fire. Oh, the body of water is Mono Lake. And the photo, a...

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on Aug 28, 2019 in Landscape Photography

Journey Never Ending

I’ve not met a single photographer who didn’t travel for his art. Some definitely travel further than others and some, travel a whole lot more often than others. But photographers seem to be natural travelers, explorers, and wanderers taking the camera along to record their memories. The good photographers are happy with their finds and keep searching. The great photographers are never totally happy and cannot stop searching. Searching not for that great photograph, but for the adventure at the end of the road and the memories that search brings to their lives. Why, perhaps they love telling stories?! I honestly don’t know how many times I’ve traveled to the end of the road in Denali. I do know that the journey or search has never been the same twice, not even close. That’s why I keep going back with my camera with eyes wide open for whatever appears. Critters are the obvious attraction and we did see a lot of Moose. But the light brought life to the...

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on Aug 16, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

Gotcha In My Spell!

These two, three-year-old cubs are doing what cubs do so well, mess around! What many interpret as “fighting” is no more than working off lots of energy and boredom. Coastal Grizzly Bears are an amazing critter with such a complex yet simple biology. They are the perfect couch potato, just eating and sleeping. That’s true for all except the cubs who don’t really have to work hard to gather food as mom does it all. And like any kid with idle hands, they get into trouble. It’s really easy to place human emotions and reactions to their movements when there is nothing more complex than play at hand. We were all alone on the Inlet beach with this family of four for nearly five hours. They really could care less about our presence and went about their daily routine which at this time of year, goes with the tide and the Pink Salmon run that had just started. I truly enjoyed hearing all the sounds of the family as...

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on Aug 15, 2019 in Landscape Photography

The Lonely Rocks

It still amazes me how life clings to the smallest things and manages to survive, even flourish! I was reminded of this when we were working with Alaskan Sea Otters in Kachemak Bay last week. A favorite locale of mine to shoot is Duck Island. You can see it from Homer looking across the bay, it’s a small island about the size of a football field. It is a major nesting colony for Black-legged Kittiwakes along with Pelagic Cormorants, Horned & Tufted Puffins, and some other seabirds. It’s a symphony of sounds and a nostril full of smells of new life. Typically, I go with a long lens and focus in on just the nesting birds but this time, I wanted to tell about the celebration of life on the lonely rocks in the middle of the sea. How do you say lonely and celebration of life in the same click? I thought going long but then remembering I was in a boat, I went wide and used the...

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