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on Jan 17, 2018 in Landscape Photography

D850 Winter Skies Time Lapse

I wanted a sunset to sunrise time lapse of our winter skies, 16 hours of shooting time. Picking a night with no moon and moving clouds, I set out for what really is a simple process now. The D850 takes heavenly lights time-lapse to a whole new level of easy! At the same time, it produces some pretty darn clean results. I started with the D850 with the 18f2.8AF attached to a tripod. Using what I call the “too tired to think” settings, the camera set to Auto ISO with max of 6400 and shutter speed of 25sec, New Auto Natural WB, Aperture Priority at f/2.8, I went into the Time-lapse menu and dialed in the settings. I set the duration to 7hrs 59min, frequency to 1 every 30sec, Exposure Smoothing and Silent Shutter (which freakin rocks!). I shot one with the EH-5c/EP-5B AC adapter providing constant power to the D850. I got up during the night right at the 7hrs 59min mark to restart the camera to create...

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on Jan 11, 2018 in Landscape Photography

Pixel Depth of Focus

Depth of focus, it’s how Depth of Field was termed back in the day when I started photography. Depth of focus is how I was taught to think about how the change of aperture changes my storytelling. My incredible teacher in high school would talk about the focus in a photograph, the reality and the perceived amount that was in focus. Those basic lessons which he taught us I still use today because focus and point of focus are so bloody important in visual storytelling. The mind’s eye goes to light and bright first, focus second. Being winter I’m spending office time printing up 24×30 images with the Epson P7000 that I took during the fall, many of those taken with the D850 and I’m seeing (as in visually noticing) that with my narrow DoF I’m seeing more in focus. Huh?! Depth of Focus (or Depth of Field) is an actual, physical element in our photograph affected by the focal length, f/stop, subject and background distance. That is the...

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on Jan 9, 2018 in Wildlife Photography

Summer or Winter, They Need …

It’s the staple of life! Water, birds need water every day, multiple days a day. They need it for both drinking and for bathing, both essential survival needs. In the summer, free water is scarce in many regions because pools evaporate. In the winter time free water freezes. Both scenarios remove water from the system. That’s why we have so many bird baths on our property, five to be exact and they always see more activity than our feeders. In the winter time, they have a simple birdbath heater to keep them open. And all of this means a great photographic opportunity for you! The key is to have perches for the birds to land on coming to and leaving the bird bath. The Bullock’s Oriole above was coming into the bath and the 600mm isolated it against a great background. That was a planned perch, not luck. The bottom photo is a Red-breasted Nuthatch coming landing on a perch right on the bird bath up close with the...

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on Jan 3, 2018 in Landscape Photography


With no snow on the ground, I’ve been bouncing off the walls photographically. That’s because winter is all about snow and we live in the mountains, for the snow! I can only sit for so long! So with the New Year’s supermoon, I thought I’d head down the road to find something in the foreground to put with it to make it look super. Because otherwise, it’s just a full moon photo … right? Well, I struck out so came back home thinking I might do something with the pines on the property. Well, that blew chunks so I headed back in to put the 200-400VR when I noticed the clouds lit up by the moon. Then I thought about the corner tree all lit up that with the clouds in the background made it a complete photo. So I put the 24-70VR on the D850, headed over an made a couple of clicks. So while you can’t see the 14% larger moon in the frame, you can see...

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on Dec 22, 2017 in Wildlife Photography

Exposing for Winter, a Thought

> With the new snows of the season, I thought I’d answer a common question that floods in this time of year. “How do you (as in Moose) expose for snow?” Of course, living in snow, I have a number of off the cuff answers, but I’ll move past those and get to the heart of the question as I look at it. What color is snow? Unless a Moose or dog has passed by, it’s white, right? The common belief that if there is snow in the scene, automatically dial in +1. A recommendation that comes from the meters of the 1970s. We’re not in the ’70s. I honestly don’t think there are viewers of your snow photograph who wouldn’t recognize the white stuff on the ground as snow. With that being true, then seeing detail in every crystal of the snow (what +1 might does for you) is not mission critical to tell the viewer the white stuff they are looking at is indeed, snow. With that...

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on Dec 18, 2017 in Wildlife Photography

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a ….

I’m often asked how much lens do you need for bird photography? My response is a really old quote, “Go out with your longest lens or else you’ll comeback short!” And with that I always add, what’s the story you want to tell? Because for me after being so fortunate to photograph birds for four decades, the answer is real simple. Let me illustrate. My quick answer to the question is, 400mm as that’s the lens I started with. The long answer is 800mm but only us nutjobs spend that much on a lens. You really need to reach down and decide if you’re going to go with the herd and the easy route and simply stuff a frame with a bird and call it art, or the hard route and fill the frame with the birds word while making the bird the subject. Ya, it takes less lens for the latter, but a whole lot more skill and passion. And the complete bird photographer has both crafts in...

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