I recently updated my Eagles Gallery on my website and made it one of the featured galleries for the month of March. The images in this gallery were taken on a trip to the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. Many of these flight photos were taken from a moving boat. The challenge was hand holding a large camera since a tripod was useless while the boat rocked on the water. Thankfully, our guides got us close enough to the Eagles that I could use a standard telephoto lens and not my big 600mm. Making my gear a little more lighter really allowed me to use good hand holding technique and capture these birds in flight using a fast shutter speed. Shutter speeds basically have two functions. Slowing the speed can be used to illustrate action as the subject would be blurred. Great for shooting waterfalls in getting that smooth look on the falls. The other function is illustrated with these flight photos and that is to freeze the action with a fast shutter speed. This function is also useful if you have children in sports. Whether it be soccer, football, basketball, or even volleyball, speeding up your camera’s shutter speed is necessary to capture all the action on the field or on the court. Use the warm up time for your team to practice your hand holding technique so when the action starts you can be ready. A great lesson on good technique in order to reduce blurred photos is on line at the Photography Life website and you can find it right here.
As the weather starts to get warmer, now would be a good time to get your gear in shape. Make sure your firmware is up to date. Clean your lenses and don’t forget to vacuum out your gear bag as they have a tendency to gather a lot of dust which always seems to gravitate to your digital sensors. Practice a few of these hand holding techniques and be ready. I will see you in the field. Enjoy!
Here is another image from our recent trip to the Lake House. Our trees were populated with many cardinals and blue jays. I was able to conceal myself behind one of our large trees and watch the activity in the woods next to our property. The Male Cardinals were quite active and provided me with many opportunities to photograph their behaviors. Often times the Blue Jays would arrive and scatter the cardinals. Within minutes they would return to our feeders. If I moved even a slight bit, the Blue Jays would scatter and frighten off the rest of the birds. I needed to be patient and over time the birds would return to within my range of focus. The weather was a bit chilly, but with the proper clothing and hand warmers I was able to maintain my position and capture some great photos of these colorful birds.
Took a little time off this weekend to check in at the lake house. In spite of the cold weather we did have a little bit of a warming spell and I had an opportunity to observe some bird activity on the property adjacent to ours. I watched as this Northern Woodpecker was feasting away on a large tree stump high above the brush line. The challenge for me was trying to get into position where the brush and tree branches were not blocking my field of view. It took a lot of patience and finding the right spot as the bird climbed more towards the top of the tree. I wasn’t after a quick snap but to capture the bird doing something interesting as he chopped away looking for his meal. After several clicks I could see him turn towards me and give me a nice profile shot. When I looked at the image on my computer, I could see the white spot in his eye. A great eye catch from the sun. When photographing wildlife, the eyes have it. They must be sharp and a glint from the sun is usually the icing on the cake. For more of my bird photographs, click on the galleries menu and go to my Avian Gallery. As always, comments are welcomed. Enjoy!
It is still cold and rainy here in Northwest Ohio. We have been experiencing temperatures in the 50s but another cold snap is on the way. I have a few choices of things to do today. Shooting in the rain is not one of them. I do have rain gear and have photographed in the rain when I needed to, but today is an office day. Tuning up the printer and updating another gallery in my website. Today is Avian Gallery update day. I have added a few images from my recent trip to south Florida as well as past excursions to Alaska and some of my images from right here in Northwest Ohio. One might think that northern Ohio is not much of a mecca for bird photography but they would be wrong. All you have to do is Google the “Biggest Week in Birding” on the web and you will see that the bird migration in the spring attracts thousands of birders and photographers to the shores of lake Erie. It is only a 45 minute drive for me and the photo opportunities during the last weeks of April and into May provide the best birding photographs in the area. People come from all over the world to watch, photograph, and share the experience of the “Biggest Week.” The image that I have posted today is one of my favorites from recent years out by the lake. It is a rare sighting of a Cedar Waxwing. The only one I saw all season, but one that stayed long enough for a few clicks of my shutter. Enjoy!
I continue to work on the new layout for my web site at New Dawn Photography. I appreciate all the comments and help that I have received along the way. Especially from my friend Rod Barbee. Take a look at Rod’s web site at www.rodbarbee.com and check out Rod’s photography or maybe even sign up for one of Rod’s workshops. Rod is a great photographer as well as workshop leader and instructor. I most recently updated my waterfall gallery on my site and I encourage you to check out the images in this gallery. The image I included in this post is of Stanley Falls. Stanley Falls can be found along the Ice Fields Parkway on the way to Jasper, Alberta in the Canadian Rockies. Its an easy hike of the main road. Parking is close by and the walk is not that difficult. If your up that way traveling from Banff to Jasper, make a stop and photograph this great Waterfall in the Canadian Rockies. You can see this image and more in my Waterfall Gallery which you can find right here. Enjoy!
We decided on an early departure from Florida as it was cold and raining for the remainder of our stay. I woke up Saturday to go to the Corkscrew Wildlife Refuge in South Florida only to find it a breezy 45 degrees and a major rain storm. Staying in a hotel for 5 days and watch the rain was an option, but we decided a return trip home was in order. Here in Northwest Ohio it is now -9 degrees with a wind chill of – 35. So today is an office day and I am making some progress in updating my web site. I was able to capture of few images of Birds while on my shortened trip. This one is of a Snowy Egret. Although I did not catch him fishing along the creek bed, I was surprised when I looked at this image on my computer to see the fish in the Egrets mouth. Sometimes its better to be lucky than good. Enjoy!
This is another image from my recent trip to Shark Valley here in South Florida. It was only one of a few birds that were active near the Visitor’s Center. However, it stayed quite a while on the trunk of this tree. I was hoping for a fishing expedition, but the heron found an area behind the shrubs to fish and was well out of my viewfinder. There were other birds there for me to see similar to my last post of a green heron. I will continue to search for more photo opportunities while here in Florida since beach time is limited do to colder weather than expected. I listed this as a Tricolored Heron. I believe that is the case but if one of my Birding friends would tell me otherwise, I would appreciate your comments. Enjoy!
This morning, as expected, the rains came to South Florida. The weather Dudes predicted it beginning in early morning and clearing in the afternoon. I checked the path of the band of rain showers and saw that the area in the Everglades which is great for bird photography, would not see the rain until the afternoon. I was out into the rain early and arrived at Shark Valley just as they were opening the visitor center. I was able to shoot for a couple of hours until the sun was too high in the sky to one side, and the rain clouds were growing on the other. I found limited activity but was able to photograph several species of birds and their activity along the water line next to the main drive. I watched this Green Heron for quite sometime hoping to see him go fishing. He seemed ever vigilant but never seemed to get anything to eat. He was quite beautiful to see and interesting to watch. The rains started to spit and I dashed to the car and made it to the main road before the skies opened up. My estimate of the rain took a rainy day in Naples, Florida and turned it into a great photography opportunity in Shark Valley. Enjoy!
A cold and windy day here in South Florida. It was rainy and windy this morning so no beach time today. We took a quick drive out to Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. January, February, and March are the best months for Bird photography in South Florida. One of my favorite places is Ding Darling. I took a chance and drove through the refuge. The wind seemed to keep most of the birds away from the water’s edge in the refuge, but a few birds were working the trees along the 4+ mile drive through the park. This Egret was searching for food along the roadway. We stopped for a few minutes and saw him get a small bite to eat. I broke out my gear and waited for the right moment. I watched his behavior for a little while to see if I could anticipate his habits when he found food. Patience paid off and a few great captures of an Egret eating his lunch were accomplished. Enjoy!
Sunsets usually provide great photo opportunities. Not only can you catch the sun as it sets on the horizon, but before and after shots are very colorful as well. While a lot of photographers are packing up their gear after the sun has set, I’m still tripping my shutter and making some great images. The above image was a one shot capture using the pier as a an anchor while keeping the setting sun along the horizon. These type of photos are fun, however working around the people on the pier is always a challenge. Enjoy!