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on Mar 24, 2020 in Wildlife Photography

Starting Backyard Bird Photography

It’s no real surprise, photographing birds in backyards is really big right now! I’ve been flooded with emails asking for help getting feeders up and birds coming to them so they can be photographed. This is great, I couldn’t be happier. Understand that the “Field of Dreams” doesn’t instantly apply to birds. Just because you put out feeders doesn’t mean birds will instantly appear. It sure can but more realistic is it taking a week or more. I have lots of posts here on the website about backyard photography, got a book or two on the topic as well. The best resource I have to offer up is my KelbyOne Backyard Bird class. If you have specific questions, you too can email via the link on the website. Happy to help any way I can. On a side note, the perfect lens for backyard bird photography I think is the 500PF. Right now, Bedford Camera has a couple and if you order from them, mention the Moose Discount for...

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on Mar 24, 2020 in Landscape Photography

Emotion a Subject?

Every time you put your camera up to your eye, you gotta ask yourself, “What’s the subject?” Without that key element in the photograph, it is really, really, really hard to then arrange the rest of the elements to tell your story. With a photo like this of this lonely church on The Palouse, deciding what’s the subject can be a challenge. You might think it’s the church itself. But then you see the clouds and then you’re vision is brought down around again to the church. What is the subject? Is it possible the subject isn’t a specific element but all them wrapped up together to express an emotion? If you think an emotion you are invoking can be the subject, then how can you tell its story? Can shooting in color or B&W be a way to arrange the elements to instill that emotion that is the subject of your photograph? I think so, I do that all the time as I think emotion can be a...

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on Mar 20, 2020 in Landscape Photography

Little House on, The Palouse

The Palouse has an incredibly rich history that you can see in its people, land, and buildings. They are all very independent, strong and very much part of the fabric of the region. There are hundreds of old barns and homes that dot the vast landscape and I think I’ve stopped and marveled at least at half of them. I continually return to ones I’ve photographed before, check out ones that I would love to photograph but didn’t before and search for new ones. No matter what, every trip to The Palouse is always filled with old treasures. This trip to The Palouse, I had for the first time the Z and its very fun #17 Charcoal setting in my arsenal. Not B&W, not Sepia, #17 I think of as a “tintype” kind of look. While perhaps a tad older than the structures themselves, this look I think brings a little something extra to the story I want to tell about this part of The Palouse history. You might...

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on Mar 19, 2020 in Wildlife Photography

Sheep Are Comfortable with Low

Bighorn Sheep are much more comfortable when we are below them so their escape route UP a slope is not cut off. This very basic piece of their biology, once you use it you can get incredibly close to sheep. These Rocky Mtn Bighorn are no different. This basic knowledge not only gets you close physically but in the frame, gives sheep a prominence. It’s a win-win for wildlife photographers. But like everything in photography, you can take this knowledge one step further. My primary rig is the D5 / 180-400VR which works great for big game. This group of ewes though didn’t wanna stay off in the distance, they came right down to us which sheep do. I didn’t want to shoot down on them though, not a pleasing angle. So I flipped out the monitor the Z6 / Z24-70f2.8 and slowly, ever so slowly, bent over and shot. You can see the difference between the two photos. Next time then when you’re working with bighorn, remember getting...

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on Mar 10, 2020 in Wildlife Photography

Where’s Waldo?

Filling the frame with our critter subjects, it’s a quest for most wildlife photographers. We buy long glass, we go on long trips, we spend long periods of time in the field, all with the quest of filling the frame with eyeballs. But critters actually have gone to great pain to blend into their world, to not be seen. It’s the mystery that in large part grabs our imagination and starts our quest to photograph them in the first place. But once you have that close up photo, do you ever take a step back and take in the critter, and its world? If you have not, it’s disappearing! The Barred Owl is a big bird, bigger than a football. And like most of its feathered friends, it can completely disappear into its world. Both photos were taken with the spectacular Nikkor 180-400VR of the same individual, the top one was at 180mm fifty feet away and the bottom photo, 400mm at twenty feet away. While the bottom photo...

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on Mar 5, 2020 in Landscape Photography, B&W Photography

Floatin Snow

I’m up in WY working with Rocky Mtn Bighorn Sheep, so why am I posting snow clouds? There are 1200 heads of sheep in these hills but with the tremendous winds that have been blowing for the past week, most are hunkered down and we’ve only had a band of thirty to work with (which has been great!). With their routine of coming down and going back up during the morning hours and the light on the slope, the late afternoon we tend to turn our lenses to the landscape. It’s gorgeous so the challange is not the landscape photograph, but which landscape to focus in on. There are a ton of options. This afternoon, we decided to point our lenses towards the floatin snow … them clouds that were racing by. The clouds would go by at great speed and as they floated by, they were simple, gorgeous puffies. As they came up to the mountain tops, they pilled up and that’s when they began to release their...

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