Spending time at the lake takes a little pressure off the confines of quarantine from CoVid-19. In addition to all of the deer, muskrats, and ground hogs walking through our property, there are many shore birds calling the area around the lake their home. The Sand hill Cranes seem to arrive on the lake about the same time every evening while the Great Blue Herons can bee seen throughout the day and on into the night. Photographing from a floating pontoon boat on the lake is often a challenge for focusing on your subject. As the sun goes down it becomes even more difficult so we try to get out on the lake during the late afternoon in hopes of capturing these birds in the golden light of evening time. Since we share the lake with so many other people, the boat traffic often times send the birds off in various directions. We try to be as quiet as possible to get close and a long lens on my camera helps to isolate the bird in my viewfinder. I can’t use a tripod so good hand holding techniques are essential to capture these images in a sharp focus. all of these factors lend themselves to challenging photo opportunities, the proof is in the results. More to come I am sure, Enjoy!
I seem to be captivated by Sand Hill Cranes recently. We have several pairs near our home in Michigan. Usually early morning and late afternoon to the evening is when they return to the lake for respite. Previously I posted some images of the cranes as they nested near the shore. We did not see the young one after they left the nest, so we thought they might have lost it. But two nights ago, while trans-versing the lake, we saw the three cranes along the shore line. The first night I was without my camera so we went back last evening and found them in the same place. This images shows the male and the juvenile together in the weeds. Capturing the mother along with them was difficult as she was a bit farther away. Since the virus keeps us closer to home, I am glad to be fortunate to have the wildlife come knocking on my door. Some of you best photographs can be taken right outside your door, or near your neighborhood. So grab your camera, go for a walk, and see what you can find in your area of the world. Enjoy!
I woke up early yesterday morning and noticed a visitor outside the house feeding on the vegetation along the side of our property. I grabbed my camera and went out the opposite side of the house. I moved slowly along the front approaching the corner thinking I was in stealth mode. I raised my camera to my eye and moved past the corner only to find the deer was now watching me. A few quick clicks and she was gone into the bush. She paid us a visit again last night after the sun went down. I was able to watch her slowly snack on our grass as she moved across the front lawn and then slid quietly into the trees. The wild life in the area has been very active this week. We had a small fawn last week and were able to get a glimpse of her recently to see that she is growing up quite fast. Our cranes arrive about the same time each evening, and the swans are still on the lake. Enjoy!
Spending time at the lake this week and were surprised with the arrival of two swans. It was late yesterday morning and the sun was high in the sky. Photographing these beauties would definitely be a challenge. But patience ruled the day. A late afternoon pontoon ride located the swans on the western side of the lake. It was still too bright to capture any images. After our evening meal I looked out the window to see the swans swimming toward our dock. The light was much better as the sun was coming down. I did not need to move the pontoon out on the lake as I was close enough with my long lens to capture quite a few great images of these magnificent birds. In addition, in the last two days we have seen Deer as well as Great Blue Herons and Sand Hill Cranes. Great to be lakeside Enjoy!
Although its been a while since my last post, getting out and photographing during a pandemic can be quite a challenge. I really enjoy photographing Sand Hill Cranes. I have been to New Mexico several times working in and around Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Refuge where the Cranes migrate during the colder months. Recently, most of my images have come from an hour away from my home in Northwest Ohio. This image is from our lake property in south east Michigan. I captured a few images of nesting cranes over the past month or so, but last night two cranes found their way into my front yard near the lake. Since I always have my photo gear handy, I was able to capture a few images before the sun went down. Shooting in the evening light just enhances the images of these cranes. There were two nesting in the area and I think this is the pair that hatched a couple small ones recently. It realy is interesting when some of your best birding opportunities occur right in your own backyard. Enjoy!
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!