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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 8, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

The Mid Morning Nap

The ride over was a bit on the bumpy side, but Carl once again worked his magic and put us in a calm bay with a raft of Alaskan Sea Otters. These amazing creatures make their life seem so good as they just float about on the surface, sleeping the day away. But it’s a hard life and they work very hard to maintain their body heat through lots of food and that gorgeous, thick coat. Shooting off the back of Carl’s boat, with the D5 / 180-400VR, he would ever so slowly back us into the raft and give them time to get used to us in order to get the shot. It was once again, an amazing experience with these clowns of the...

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on Aug 6, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

A Detail That Makes Me Smile

I have spent a lot of time on Alaska’s coastal waters. They are always new, different and gorgeous each and every trip! Went out to a favorite locale this morning, Gull Island to spend some time with all the nesting birds. The predominant species is the Black-legged Kittiwake. I’ve shot there a lot over the decades so spent most of my time with the Z7 / Z24-70f2.8 shooting. But then we rounded the point and I saw this so had to pull out the D5 / 180-400VR. Now the fact I have to point out this detail tells you that in general, it’s weak. If it were strong, you would see it without my pointing it out but such is not the case. But under the adult in the top left corner is a chick staring back out. And if you look right next to it, an egg. It’s a detail that makes me...

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on Jul 31, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

Hummer 2019 BTS – a Vid

Hummers (my affectionate term for hummingbirds) have been part of my life since I could walk. I would go to my aunt’s house and watch their nests in her yard for weeks on end. That fascination with them hasn’t stopped and greatly influences how I prefer to photograph them today. This short video goes BTS to discuss why I shoot the style I do and then how am I bring that style to my photos. I hope it not only answers your questions but gets you into the amazing world of hummers! Gear pictured in the video Nikon Z6 Nikkor 180-400VR Nikon SB-5000 Nikon WR-R10 Nikon SD-9 PU200 Bracket w/cold shoes Arca Swiss B2 head Robus RC-8860...

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on Jul 24, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

The Goal is Slow Going

I’m down in SE Arizona once again in Hummer Heaven, and it’s marvelous! While I love birding, just sitting and watching the comings and goings of the hummers, getting their story told visually is really my goal. If you listened to this weeks podcast, you know I came down prepper and two main goals for my photography. The first, the lightening of my images was pretty simple, the second though, that photo still eludes me after four sessions. These flying jewels are just that, so bringing that to life is paramount. Meeting my first goal of brighter images was easy with the gear I’ve gone with for the week. The Z6 / 180-400VR / SB-5000 permits me to meld the ambient light and two flashes (used to take these photos) seamlessly so you don’t see the flash. The second part of my goal though, now that’s been much more of a challenge. So far, I have only one click and both the birds are a blur. Yeah, these photos...

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on Jun 27, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

The Long Days of Summer

While we mammals tend to love the warm days of summer, those who grow long, thick, winter coats to not! Most big game falls into this category and you can tell this time of year who they are. That’s because they are molting. Really, they look like they’ve run into a hungry flight of moths! While I don’t say it out loud in their presence, they’re ugly. What do you do when you have a shot like this of an Mtn Goat nanny & kid and moth is molting? You take the picture of course! But you try to minimize the “molt” however you can. In this case, the kid’s gesture of “You want me to go where?” as he looks down the cliff was the best that could be done at this moment. Are there other options? It really depends on the situation but shadows, body positioning, size in frame, action, and gesture are all tools you can use when they fit. But until all the hair molts...

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