Typically, we would be in the middle of the “Biggest Week.” I am talking about the International Migratory Bird festival held each year in Ottawa County here in Northwest Ohio. Since these are not typical times, the festival has been cancelled and the Magee Marsh boardwalk and surrounding areas are closed due to COVID-19. Fortunately, the area Metroparks are still open and the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge is allowing people on site provided we are social distancing. In addition, the wildlife drive area at the refuge is still open allowing many of us to seek out the migratory birds and shoot from our cars. Cars do make a natural blind for photography as long as you don’t scare off the birds. I took an early morning cruise to the Refuge yesterday morning and found quite a few photo opportunities. Towards the back of the Refuge I came upon two Sand-hill Cranes foraging among the grassy areas near the water. I had my long lens in place and was able to spend several minutes photographing these large birds in their habitat. Since I was out early, there were not that many cars on the drive so I could take my time and not block the trail from other vehicles. Sand-hill cranes are some of my favorite subjects. You can find many of them in my Bosque del Apache gallery here on my web site. Check them out and share on your social media with friends and family, Enjoy!
As the warmer weather arrived for a brief period this past month, we were able to get out on the lake for a little fun and photography. Our lake has many shore birds and waterfowl. In addition to Sandhill Cranes, Great Blue Herons, and Osprey, we have our share of geese and ducks. I thought this basic Mallard was very attractive with the light just right. A simple click that yielded a striking image. Sometimes we look past the many birds that are normally seen in our area, always looking for the unusual. But in this case, a simple bird in great light makes for a dynamic image. Enjoy!
Another day of wintery mix here in Northwest Ohio. Working on updates to software as well as new additions to my website. Looking back over some of my images from the past. With new software bringing new and exciting ways to post process your RAW images, it gives me a chance to revisit some of my photographic trips to fun places and relive the events shared with many others. The above image is from an adventure i took with about ten of my friends to Silver Salmon Creek Lodge where you can get up close and personal with many Coastal Brown Bears (Grizzlies), Pacific Puffins, and many birds found along the Alaskan coast of the Cook Inlet. The lodge is located inside Lake Clark National Park. Many people in the past flew into the lodge to fish for salmon along the creek than comes in from the inlet and provides fun for many fishermen and Gulls looking for a great catch. Many years ago, one of those who came to fish was also a wildlife photographer. He suggested to David, the owner, that many photographers would love to come to his lodge just to photograph the many bears that inhabit the area. David decided to branch out and from about May to September he invites photographers from around the world to spend some time at the lodge and enjoy the great photo opportunities present there. You can check out their website at www.silversalmoncreek.com. I have made several trips there over the years and am looking for a return trip in the future. Enjoy!
According to the local Meteorologists, we are experiencing a winter mix here in northwest Ohio. What that means to those of you in our southern states is that the weather is constantly changing from snow to sleet to ice and rain. Not necessarily in that order. So, office time while waiting for the NFL playoffs this afternoon. Thinking back on the many times we ventured out in the cold snowy depths of our planet, I retreated to my files and found a few images that certainly have stood out as highlights of my arctic experience. The above image is of a Snowy Owl we found in the farmlands around Montreal, Quebec a while back. Now there have been reports and sightings of snowy owls right here in northwest Ohio. Recently there was one located out by Lake Erie near the Quilter Lodge. We are hoping for a repeat visit as snowy owls are territorial. They often return to the same location year after year. A few years ago we had a sighting near the Toledo Express airport as well. So birding photographers can find many special photo opportunities here in the mid west, even in the snow, and not too far from home. I keep my camera with me in my travels hoping to find that one moment where I can find images similar to this one. Hopefully, the winter mix won’t scare them away. Enjoy!
Here is an image from my last trip to south Florida. Shark Valley, along alligator alley, is a great place for bird photography. I captured this White Ibis along the trail through the valley. He spent a good time resting in the trees and gave me a great opportunity to capture some fantastic images. I’m taking advantage of some down time to work on my web site and sharpen my skills with the latest software that I use in post processing my images. As the software companies constantly upgrade their products it is becoming a challenge to learn the new dashboards and other integrated parts of the programs. Thankfully, there are many video tutorials to speed up the process as well as a large community of users throughout the internet always willing to answer questions and give feedback on what you are trying to accomplish. Back to the grind, Enjoy!
On a cold and windy December day in Northwest Ohio gives me a great opportunity to do some computer work. Update a few programs. Use some of the new software to revisit old images and see how the new technology can impact my work. Think about a change in my workflow, And, update my Blog. This image was captured last year on a visit to Shark Valley along Alligator Alley in South Florida. I use a long lens for this image as the birds were a bit of a distance from where I could walk in the park. I am trying a few new algorithms from some of my software vendors. As the digital photography world changes, its important to be aware of new aspects of digital workflow to bring your images to the internet and onto the big (or small) screen. Keeping your web site up to date is also a must and good for days like today where the outside is dark, dreary and a little soggy. Enjoy!
When you travel to the Grand Tetons, as I did last September, the Mormon Row barns should be on your must see list. There are several barns located in close proximity to one another and feature the Tetons in the background. Whether you are looking for a sunrise or sunset shoot, any of these barns qualify for a great photo opportunity. Arriving early in the morning or afternoon is essential to getting a great spot to capture these icons of the west. Many photographers will be standing with you and an early arrival will allow you to move around and find just the right composition. These barns have been around since the 1800s. Unfortunately there is always a lot of activity in the area and the foot traffic has taken its toll. As people get closer and closer to these barns the nice foreground of green grass is now just open areas where the grass has died off. This does make it a challenge to shoot around the wear and tear of the area, but allows your creative juices to flow as you strive to find the best angle for a compositions that is stunning and of course yours to claim for your portfolio. Enjoy!
For many months across this great land of ours local communities celebrate their heritage with festivals, parades, and crafts shows. My home here in Sylvania, Ohio is no different. We have a proud history dating back to the eighteen thirties including serving as a stop along the underground railroad providing a safe haven for those who were traveling north seeking freedom from slavery during a challenging time for our country. Our fall festival is one of those events that seems to draw many people from Northwest Ohio and South Eastern Michigan. These festivals are a great place for street photographers capturing the multitude of people and events gathered for the celebration. The above photograph is an image I captured of my friend Michael who serves as the Town Crier for the Sylvania Community. Michael has traveled the world participating in many events as Sylvania’s emissary of good will and friendship. There are many such criers around the world and Michael has distinguished himself among his peers. From store grand openings to local events, Michael is always ready to open the ceremonies with his cry of Oyez, Oyez, OOOOOOOyez! I hope this image captures the essence of my friend and salutes his efforts to bring the heritage of our great community to the world. Enjoy!
I recently updated my web site with a new gallery. I have been quite busy the past month photographing in and around my home base as well as a recent trip to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks. I have added a ‘Recent” gallery showing you some of my most recent images. This gallery is currently a featured gallery on the home page of my site and can be found at www.newdawnphotography.com. Just click on the site and you will be directed to my home page. While you are there, please take a look around as I have added images to my landscape gallery and updated my social media icons on my blog. These icons will take you to my social media pages including my Instagram account. You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Feel free to share with your friends and family. Enjoy!
I often get questions from people about which lens they should use in certain circumstances. Its a bit frustrating from my viewpoint as I don’t really know what they are looking for in their photography. But, lets not isolate ourselves to one or two specific lenses. I often times carry three or four depending on what interests I am pursuing in my own photography. The above image was captured with a long telephoto. Most people go right for their wide angle lenses when shooting the fall colors, but that may not give you the best results. I was looking at a vast hillside just covered with the many colors of fall when I captured this image. Using a wide angle lens would have given me a great wall of color. But I went for a long telephoto in hope of isolating smaller sections of the trees. I searched around until I found a small area of a tree that made for a better composition and a more interesting photograph. When shooting people, we often times grab that telephoto lens to get close. Try shooting with your wide angle. It gives you a greater depth of focus and allows you to get up close to your subject. Sometimes its just fun to leave the house with only one lens that you have not used in a while and explore the possibilities with just than one lens. The idea is to get out and shoot. Enjoy the fall colors as they will only be with us for a short period of time. See you in the field.