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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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on Mar 21, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

Time With Bob!

It all began at New Years, a Bobcat was in the neighborhood and everyone was seeing him (I think it’s a young male). Then in January, I got my first glimpse of Bob. Over the last few months, we knew it was all over our property. Between Sadie’s nose and all the tracks, we knew when he’d been around and the path he was taking. But we never saw him, often missing him by just minutes (fresh tracks in new snow). And bobcats are just so cool so we were on a mission, especially Sharon. I was in the office packing just prior to going to England for The Photography Show (such a great event, thanks all!) and just zipped up the camera bag when I hear in that “I want your attention now voice” Sharon said, “the bobcat is here!” I come out to see him on the corner of our deck taking a bath. It was dark as sin out so I took a quick iPhone photo...

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on Mar 20, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

The Brilliant Walthamstow Wetlands

I was in great company Monday at the Walthamstow Wetlands! Along with my dear friend Michael Eleftheriades and the Nikon Owner gang, I got the privilege to explore the newly opened wetlands just north of London. This urban wildlife wonderland was simply spectacular that I so enjoyed. I had seen a European Robin in the past but never when I had a lens to capture it by. I was so hoping to have an opportunity this trip now that I was prepared and I wasn’t disappointed … and a lot more! Knowing I was going on this adventure and wanting to travel light, I brought the Nikkor 180-400VR / Nikkor TC-14eIII which turned out perfect. Using simple biology, the birds and the bees, I came across of pair of European Robins working on a nest. With sex in the air, getting close was easy. I just had to wait for the background I wanted. Another really cool bird (there were tons!) was the Great crested Grebe. It’s that time...

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