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on May 17, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

Small, with Dash of Color

When you have nothing but green in the viewfinder, anything, no matter how big or small that’s a different color, can’t help but be incredibly visible and smack the viewer. This male Yellow Warbler this morning had to catch its breath which is why I was able to make the shot. Its nest had just been attacked by Blackbirds trying to rob it of its nesting material. It and its mate drove off the intruder successfully but it took quite some effort. It just happened to take rest in the perfect alleyway of leaves that provided the out of focus shapes and color so it’s bright yellow just sings. The saturated light from the overcast skies was perfect last element to finish it all off. Standing on a platform so shooting through the canopy with the D5 / 800mm and putting in the time was all that was required to capture small, with a dash of...

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on May 15, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

I Love Small!

My style in wildlife photography is no doubt, “different” in that I love small! Critters are small and take up a small space and I like to talk about both as small as special. I rely on light in my formula to move the eye around the frame to find that critter then gets attached to it. I’m at the marvelous Magee Marsh looking for those two things, small critters and light and found a bunch. When this Red-eyed Vireo started to squirt towards the end of the branch through the D5 / 800mm, I knew I’d found my shot. As long as I got it sharp, I knew I’d love it. That’s cause, I love...

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on May 9, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

Only Took 20 Years!

Oh, I’ve seen them many, many times. I’ve even photographed the Painted Buntin on many occasions. But those photos were all, “I saw this” when the photo needs to say “You need to see this!” so I have kept the pursuit going. A bird not much bigger than your thumb is on the secretive side of life so you often see them coming into a seed feeder or bird bath. This time of year, you look for the female because typically there is a male close behind. That was the case this week in Texas. We had seen and photographed lots of females. When I saw this male in the viewfinder of the D5 / 800mm, I hit the back button focus and shutter release and finally got the photo I desired. Now, it’s on to improve on this...

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on Apr 24, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

It’s Really Your Call

There are lots of rules in life, photography, and following them is totally up to you! I had the opportunity to shoot with the 500PF for our 1st afternoon at La Jolla Cove. Since I’ve not used the 500PF in this kind of opportunity, I went for it. I was sucked into that “shooting with a cool new lens” rather than thinking through what lens I should have shot with. As such, while the Z6 / 500PF is a killer combo, it was way too much lens (all you need is 200mm). That brings up this post’s topic. The photo of the gorgeous male Brown Pelican is really tight, so tight I cut off the wing tips. Most of the time, that’s a bad thing. In this case, you gotta ask, do you have light, color, gesture and if you do, are the wing tips needed? It’s really your...

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on Apr 11, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

And Years Later …

There are lots of shots I would love, love to add to my files. The only reason, they are ones that have eluded me forever. They are ones I have hints of from other photos. Those hints led my imagination to wonder what would the real, final photo be like? Would the reality be as good as I imagine? This is just one example. Here you have your average male, Sharp-tailed Grouse on the lek displaying. I’m watching him through the D5 / 800mm using back-button focus to lock on and then not hitting it when I take the photo. I do this because I know that when he jumps up, the plane of focus for the eye almost never changes when he jumps. What I don’t know is just how high he will jump. It changes every time. I have him at the very bottom of the frame, sometimes cutting his feet off so when he jumps, he’s all in the frame. What you see is the closest...

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on Apr 4, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

The White-breasted Portrait

One of the unique adaptations of the bird world are the Nuthatches. They’re the bird that walks DOWN the tree trunk, head first looking for a meal. When you think about it, it’s really smart ’cause all the rest of the bird species go UP the trunk looking for a meal. Those species miss the majority of the time stuff stuck in the top of the bark, but not the nuthatches. While I love all three North American species, it’s the White-breasted I work the hardest at getting that single, clean portrait. What makes up that portrait? Well, there are a number of elements, two of the more important ones are the bird and the tree. In the spring the breast is its whitest. It starts to get dirty once nesting season begins and they are drilling out their cavity. So you wanna catch them early and on a trunk with character. Then, you need to be able to get close to them ’cause they are small! Lastly, you...

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