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on Sep 29, 2020 in Wildlife Photography

Saving Species Together

One of the first species to be listed when the Endangered Species Act was signed by President Nixon, the San Joaquin Kit Fox still fights for a place on this earth. It has been a dear, long-term project of ours and we were thrilled to be a small part in telling its story in the new Saving Species Together program! The CDFG Saving Species Together program is all about education through images and words and in keeping with how folks received their information today, it’s all video. Many don’t realize that video has been a big part of your visual storytelling with our footage here starting back in...

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on Sep 22, 2020 in Wildlife Photography

First Day of Fall!

Snow Geesecaptured by D5 / 800mm Yep, as of 07:31 MDT today, it’s officially fall. Fall for many means spectacular color draping our forests. And while I relish that aspect of fall, it’s not all this day brings. There is the light as the sun rides the equator bringing a low angle and mellowness to its rays. And I love that but fall for me signals the change in our critters, especially birds. Now is when heading south hits the panic button and the skies become filled with our summer friends! What science and technology bring to this seasonal magic blows my mind! Head to Live Bird Migration Maps and you will see how the wave of birds move south across North America. At times, you can tell what species of birds other, it’s simply sheer numbers which even with the disasters that have hit our wild heritage is still staggering. For us, this fall is especially exciting as it’s all new. New, because we’ve moved up the globe...

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on Sep 18, 2020 in Wildlife Photography

All Grown Up

Red-breasted Nuthatchcaptured by D6 / 800mm When we first arrived at The Ranch, its trees were rather quiet. It concerned us as we are so used to and love hearing and seeing our birds. Then miraculously a pair of Red-breasted Nuthatches took up residency in one of our newly hung nesting boxes and raised a brood. Ever since then, the funny, squeaky call of the family of Nuthatches can be heard all around The Ranch much to our delight. They are a very busy species busily moving about the property feeding, socializing, and luckily for me, constantly visiting the water feature we installed on the property. Nuthatches’ unique place in the bird world is flying to the top of a tree and then working its way down looking in the bark for a tidbit. They like to hang under branches doing the same thing. And when they head for water, yep, they keep up the same habit. The perch you see it hanging from is itself in a light...

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on Aug 26, 2020 in Wildlife Photography

Going to Their Level

Red Squirrel captured by Z6 / Z24-200 It sounds so simple but in application, it just isn’t! Photographing critters at their level brings on a whole new feel to the photo but often can put the critter on alert or worse, scare them off. That’s because they are looking for predators at their level which is why moving our feet has to be done with care. Taking the time to get down flat with a critter watching is something few will tolerate. That’s why I love the flip out monitor! This was a real simple click taken at the Big Hole Nat’l Battlefield of a Red Squirrel finishing off a mushroom it had found. I slowly bent over looking at the monitor to frame up the shot. I moved sideways a tad to get the grass the way I wanted it and then when click. Bending over put me at it’s level so I could see eye to...

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on Aug 18, 2020 in Wildlife Photography

It’s a Matter of Inches

Pine Siskincaptured by D6 / 800f5.6 w/TC-1.25 When you think about the story you want to tell with your photograph, how much weight do you give the background? It is actually something I think about all the time when I stop and put the camera up to my eye. No matter the subject, no matter its size in the frame, that background is everything. So much so that it directly influences the lens I’m going to shoot with every time I shoot. The subject size is often controlled my zooming with my feet, the background is controlled by the angle of view of the lens. Case in point. Here’s a Pine Siskin, a small bird a tad smaller than your thumb. They’re waiting in line for the water feature we’ve created at The Ranch. They are so friendly, seriously, they land on me and my iPhone while I’m cleaning the water feature! So a long lens is not needed for image size, but it sure it for controlling the...

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on Aug 13, 2020 in Wildlife Photography

Twilight Blues

White-tailed Deer fawn captured by D6 / 180-400VR There is a special time when critters like to come out, just before sunrise and right after sunset. This light is incredibly soft, non-directional, and nearly shadowless. It is also mostly blue. That color cast, cold color cast can either be a plus or a minus depending on the story you want to tell about your subject. In this case, it’s a minus. There is one odd thing about my vision, I see that blue color cast when I’m out shooting. Real old training from the days of film and using CC filters. When I see this, I tend to change my White Balance in camera to get the photo right with that click (In this case setting it to 8200k). That’s because when the image comes up in PhotoMechanic, I want to see the correct image, not the image before it need to be corrected. If you move the slider back and forth above, imagine if all you saw the...

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