Apr 082014
 

My first shots with my new D4s.  I have had the camera for a couple of months but could not  shoot until today.  It’s an incredible machine.  WOW!!!

I played a little with this shot.  Ran through Silver Efex Pro2 – High Key then erased back the stretching Avocet in the center of the shot.

 Posted by at 9:29 PM
Apr 042014
 

Many mammals survive the harsh winters by putting on a new coat.  Thicker, warmer and at times lighter colored outerwear.  When spring arrives the same mammals shed their wither gear and often look disheveled. I ran across this Fox hunting for her meals to put some fat back on.  She has beautiful eyes but her attire is really casual friday at best.  What a beautiful animal to watch and admire.

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With great backlight she takes on an artsy look.

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Best of all spring often brings out the “little ones”.  It’s an event to witness these little characters.  It’s a laugh a minute.  I waited from 1-1/2 hours before sunrise until about 8:30 am before they stopped long enough to capture a couple of photo’s.  This is another one of the mornings when out enjoying photography that I will never forget!

 Posted by at 5:17 PM
Apr 012014
 


It’s officially Spring.  But it has snowed for the last couple of days.  I am not the only one that can’t wait for the GREEN!!!!!

 Posted by at 10:13 PM
Mar 312014
 

I can’t imagine what Deer go through every cycle of the seasons.  Spring has to be the toughest.  Why?  In our parts the winter is long.  They are short on food.  And lose a lot of weight.  Take this young lady for instance.  She looks pretty beat up.  A long winter and always on the run from those higher on the food chain.

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You can tell by the  size of the “rack” of this youngster that he is probably in his third or fourth winter?  Sure has that “I am in charge”  look about him.  But what a wimpy rack.

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As the green fields grow and the spring flowers spread the Deer take on a whole new look.  Another summer to eat, grow, mate and enjoy the season.

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Hopefully by end of the Fall season the bucks can look like this Giant.  Look at the size of his neck.  I took this photograph this last fall.  I still remember the exact spot I took this photograph.  Though I have posted this before, he still amazes me and I want to share him again.

 Posted by at 8:45 PM
Mar 302014
 

I know it’s a little gross.  The mouses’s last view……

I’ve posted this before but am having so much fun in post these days.  Broke some of my own rules with wildlife photo’s…..Oh well!

 Posted by at 3:56 PM
Mar 302014
 

For more than 1o years my short travels have been at the Farmington Bay Bird Refuge. Only once I have witnessed and photographed the American Bittern.

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 This winter day I saw my first.  The American Bittern has a very long migratory range.  This stop had to have been to dine.  To fuel up.  The first sighting of a fish he was off in a big hurray…

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Wikipedia states; “The American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) is protected under the United States Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.  It is also protected under the CanadianMigratory Birds Convention Act of 1994.”  To see the whole description of the Wikipedia page on the American Bittern check here.

This guy quickly attempted to grab the first fish he saw.

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This guy was pretty fast. Especially considering that the water was rushing by.  Caught by the tail!!

The idea is to get the whole fish in his mouth and swallow whole.  On several attempts he would drop then re-grab the fish.

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Eventually he got the fish in his mouth.  Holy Cow!  There was no way for this hungry Bittern to swallow this fish.  His eyes were much bigger than his mouth.  Maybe he thought he was part pelican!  It was hilarious!  He just sat there with the fish in his mouth.  Maybe two or three minutes.  I was laughing out load.  I know he was hungry but really?   Then he tried to adjust a little to get that oversized square peg in that tiny round hole.  And dropped the fish.  Guess who got away?
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A little embarrassed but undaunted he flew to another spot on the river.  My time with this Bittern was fun.  He did catch and ingest several fish.  He didn’t stay long.  He had a long trip ahead.  Probably somewhere in Canada.  Thanks for stopping by and letting me capture you.  Another great photographic experience!
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 Posted by at 3:24 PM
Mar 292014
 

Honestly I can’t remember what my first digital camera was.  It was a Nikon.  Maybe a D70.  Organizing all my digital photographs has given me an opportunity to compare improvements in cameras and technology.  It’s truly remarkable.  The noise in my first photographs almost gave them the look of a painting.

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The crazy part is that I have NOT taken any photographs of Big Horn with a D4 or D4s.  The most current camera was the D3s.  In addition to the noise, after time I started shooting in Raw.  Thus giving me more options in post.  With most of the photographs I post I crank up the exposure a little.  I do this to reduce the darkening that happens when posting on the NET.  Also the dynamic range is cut and the photos are more contrasty after posting.  Like this photo that has some burned out spots.  It stinks….

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The firing rate has dramatically increased over the years.  And the addition of vibration reduction on lenses has made it possible to shoot in lower light and still capture sharp photo’s.  These little guys were shot in the shadows of a cliff.  Amazing climbers!

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I have posted before about the following photo.  It was my first summer experience with a manual 600mm lens and a digital camera.  I hiked back about three miles near the north entrance of Yellowstone Park.  The rangers told me that there was a certain open area that several Big Horn sheep would gather and feed.  They mentioned that there were a couple of senior Big Horn with huge horns.  When I finally found them it was mid day.  Terrible lighting.  I waited for some time.  As I waited for that “perfect” composition, I was getting tired and hot.  I shot so many photo’s I was running out of space on my ONLY compact flash card.  Soon I was erasing photo’s.  More waiting, more shooting and even more erasing of photographs.  Then it happened.  Three huge Big Horn sheep struck a pose.  It looked wonderful in the eyepiece.  So good I almost forgot to fire.  I literally took one shot then they move away from their “pose”.  The photo seems to have glamour glow, and manual bokah.  But if you look close it has tons of noise.  It was shot at what at the time was a very high ISO to attempt a sharp photo.  In terms of sharpness it is great.  It terms of noise it’s out there!!  I have to say though that this photograph when displayed gets the most positive comments.

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Over the years I have really enjoyed hanging out with these wonderful animals.  They really amaze me.  I have found them out in fields and on crazy vertical cliffs.  Tons and tons of fond memories that I will not soon forget.

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 Posted by at 9:18 PM
Mar 272014
 

I rarely do anything in post with my wildlife photographs.  It’s kinda the sacred cow for me.  And it seems obvious when the photo’s are altered.  Still life, most scenery and artsy fartsy photo’s however are subject to all kinds of fun.  If i’m in the mood.  The most common post manipulations I find myself doing is converting to black and white then erasing back portions of the first layer.  Like in the this photograph it becomes my piece.  My art.  My fun little world of black and White touched with a little color!

 

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 Posted by at 9:28 PM
Mar 272014
 

The most difficult lesson I’ve learned in photography is getting the dynamic range covered in a difficult lighting situation.   And to this day I have to really think hard about each exposure.   Fortunately todays cameras and technology make it a lot easier.  With only a pass through Silver Efex Pro the following shot taken in Wyoming shows the range possible without compiling an HDR photograph.  It covers the white to black range.  There is still detail in the silos.  Back in the film days I don’t think U could have taken this shot with the same results.

 

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 Posted by at 8:09 PM