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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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on Jun 13, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

Yeah, That’s Too Small

There is one overwhelming temptation in wildlife photography that almost no photographer can pass up. And that’s the minute detail that you see and miraculously captured and so you want to share that photo with the world saying, “Look what I captured.” The problem is, the detail is so small, only you see it cause it’s your photo. I learned this a long time ago at the merciless hands of a photo editor who asked if I was going to supply all their readers with a magnifying glass so they could see what I saw. Yeah, that comment left a mark but it was an important lesson I’ve never forgotten. Case in point … I was at the marvelous Magee Marsh a couple of weeks ago. Such a brilliant locale for great bird photography. I was shooting with the Z6 / 800mm cause my subjects are already really small, about the size of your thumb. This Blackpoll Warbler like many of the warblers were fueling up for the trip...

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on May 30, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

Years Later … No Smarter

We’ve been seeing their tracks a lot but not them, then today, two decided to say hello at the ‘ol homestead. Our Black Bears (brown phase) can be pistols, raising havoc with our bird feeders. So when they show up, I had two things in hand, Sadie and my camera! I have both at hand almost all the time, in this case I had the Z6 / Z24-70f2.8. With both in hand, I walked out onto the deck to say hello. This bear knew me, it was instantly not happy to see me emerge from the door (it could be Sadie too). I instantly recognized the bear from a few years back. Then, mom was below and had sent the kid up to try to raid my bird feeders. It didn’t go well then for the cub and it did not go any better today. After I got my photos (cause a photographer does have to have priorities), I politely told the bear to get the $#*(@# off my...

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on May 28, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

Horror or Sci-Fi Movie Character?

The noise was totally foreign to my ears! I bird as much by sound as sight and when you’re sitting in a blind, the sound is everything so this really had me intrigued. It kept coming from behind some bushes, at the base of which were some Bronzed Cowbirds. Not being a cowbird fan, I ignored them as I looked for the source of the noise. Then I saw a cowbird launch in the sky 4-5 feet and do an aerial display that left me totally dumbfounded. Critters, they are simply bloody amazing and teach me something new all the time. And like usual, brought on a new challenge in visual storytelling! The actual aerial display lasts perhaps 10 seconds and it seemed, always a bit secluded. I saw it happen a few more times before I started to figure out the pattern. It was only then once I figured that out did I have a prayer of capturing it because it was so brief and hidden. It’s that...

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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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