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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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on Mar 3, 2020 in Landscape Photography, B&W Photography

The Missed Moment

Like most shooters, I have locales across the globe I’d like to shoot at someday. One of those is Thor’s Well. Totally on a fluke, I found myself there one evening when Sharon & I were traveling with dear friends. Serious photography was not even on our minds, there was zero planning involved when we found ourselves at Thor’s Well. We didn’t even know it was in the neighborhood. It just so happened our timing was good for the tides and the sky were OK. And while we had a great time, great time, the photo is at most just a quick click of all that fun. But when it comes to the photographic moment, I missed it. This photo is just OK, it could have been so much better and does that knowledge bother me? Na, because it was not a photographic journey, it was a happy moment. And that’s OK! What this photo does do is not only remind me of that evening but put a fire...

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on Feb 27, 2020 in Wildlife Photography

Light Time With a Critter

It was on our last morning at Zax-sim Bog, it was the ninth time in a week we had checked the Admiral Feeders looking for it, not finding it the first eight attempts. The ninth time, literally driving to the airport, we stopped one last time and we finally saw the magical Boreal Owl. The feeders are literally on the side of the road, behind them is the boreal forest of Minnesota. In theory, you literally wouldn’t have to get out of your car to see or photograph the Owl, if he’s there. We drove down the road to see a group they’re doing exactly as we desired, taking in the Boreal Owl. And that was the greatest gift the Boreal Owl gave us, time! I stood there hand-holding the D5 / 180-400VR (with its 1.4x engaged) and TC-14eIII attached at this little gem in the viewfinder looking at the boreal forest thinking, “How am I going to smack you, the viewer right between the eyes with this little...

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on Feb 11, 2020 in Landscape Photography

Yellowstone’s Winter Colors

When you conjure up winter, white is predominant the color that flashes to mind. It takes only a short microsecond traveling through Yellowstone in winter to come to know that white has a run for its money when it comes to color. The one color you see a lot of is gray, as in, gray skies. That color too might make you think that there isn’t much color in Yellowstone in winter. Traveling about even under gray skies you find colors of nearly every shade around every corner of Yellowstone. Heck, its name tells you that even its rocks have color, yellow! When Old Faithful erupts into those gray skies, even the steam stands out from that gray. The colors can be that subtle yet powerful visually. Going from the size and grandeur of Old Faithful to the edge of a small pool in the Mudpots, the colors are unearthly. The yellow of the algae (or is that yellow stone?) against that amazing blue of the hot, deep pool,...

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