Mar 282010


It really can be more about the technology and equipment than just talent.  That’s the case for me, especially now…..

About a year ago my left eye went “wacko”.  A big white blob took over a portion of my sight area. The Doc said I would get used to it.  I guess he never had a big white blob in his eye.  I shoot through my camera with my left eye.  The world was coming to an end!  Have you ever photographed with the wrong eye?  It’s like writing left handed.  A new method of shooting had to be obtained and conquered.


I found myself dancing with my camera.  Changing eye to eye.  Every shot seemed blurry.  Luck and odds helped produce a couple of keepers.


Then all heck broke loose this last Friday.  My right eye went really “wacko”.  I was seeing spider webs, streaks, blobs, bugs, kitchen sink, etc.   The eye doctor agreed to see me at 11:00 p.m. Friday night.

“I’m concerned about your eye” the Doc said.  Really?  If your concerned, pass the Xanax please!!!!!!   Like an idiot I was not worried about work, or reading, or driving.  I was worried about photography!  Kinda shows how shallow I am.   I had been asked by some dear friends to photograph their daughter the next morning (yesterday)at a dance competition.   They have done tons for me!  There is just about no way to pay them back for their efforts in my behalf.  I couldn’t let them down.  Especially their daughter.  It was her day.

Camera in hand, looking through milk, spider webs and the such with my eyes I was depending on the technology I was carrying.  A digital camera with auto white balance, auto focus, and almost auto everything.   Just point and shoot…at 3200 ISO and 9 frames a second.


About a minute and a half dance program.  174 frames later the camera (Nikon D3) and the lens (Nikon 70-200 2.8) saved the day!  Yes I pointed and shot.  The subject-a beautiful young lady fell in the frame of my camera.  Her talent and beauty captured by new technology and sheer luck.   Her talent and beauty…from her mother.  The caring and concern…..her father.

 Posted by at 9:03 PM
Mar 212010

American Goldfinch

Sitting on the TV room floor photographing through an open window in the back door.  Yes I am desperate for more shooting.  My back porch is a buffet for birds.  Multiple hangers with a large variety of food choices.  This morning was my first attempt at capturing a few good shots.   It’s more difficult than I expected.  Loaded with my flash extender my hope was to get that perfect rim light.  I have a lot of work to do.  A lot to learn.

BAck Finch

  • Size & Shape

    A small finch with a short, conical bill and a small, head, long wings, and short, notched tail.

  • Color Pattern

    Adult males in spring and early summer are bright yellow with black forehead, black wings with white markings, and white patches both above and beneath the tail. Adult females are duller yellow beneath, olive above. Winter birds are drab, unstreaked brown, with blackish wings and two pale wingbars.

  • Behavior

    These are active and acrobatic little finches that cling to weeds and seed socks, and sometimes mill about in large numbers at feeders or on the ground beneath them. Goldfinches fly with a bouncy, undulating pattern and often call in flight, drawing attention to themselves.

  • Habitat

    The goldfinch’s main natural habitats are weedy fields and floodplains, where plants such as thistles and asters are common. They’re also found in cultivated areas, roadsides, orchards, and backyards. American Goldfinches can be found at feeders any time of year, but most abundantly during winter.

 Posted by at 12:06 PM
Mar 202010


One of my favorites!   The Killdeer.  What a character.  This bird is one that can be watched for a long period.  They offer a lot of humor especially if you stumble upon one near their nest.  Acting as if it has a broken wing to draw the oncoming predator to it rather than it’s eggs or young.  A very quick bird in flight.  Almost impossible to photograph during flight.  And it’s beautiful markings make it easy to identify.



  • Size & Shape

    Killdeer have the characteristic large, round head, large eye, and short bill of all plovers. They are especially slender and lanky, with a long, pointed tail and long wings.

  • Color Pattern

    Brownish-tan on top and white below. The white chest is barred with two black bands, and the brown face is marked with black and white patches. The bright orange-buff rump is conspicuous in flight.

  • Behavior

    Killdeer spend their time walking along the ground or running ahead a few steps, stopping to look around, and running on again. When disturbed they break into flight and circle overhead, calling repeatedly. Their flight is rapid, with stiff, intermittent wingbeats.

  • Habitat

    Look for Killdeer on open ground with low vegetation (or no vegetation at all), including lawns, golf courses, driveways, parking lots, and gravel-covered roofs, as well as pastures, fields, sandbars and mudflats. This species is one of the least water-associated of all shorebirds.

 Posted by at 7:56 PM
Mar 052010

White Crowned Sparrow

A real common bird.  The white crowned sparrow I assume is very common around here.  If not they have a close relative that looks a lot like them.  A little camera shy.  But a beautiful bird.

Agelaius phoeniceus red winged blackbird

Not often if at all seen around our homes but very common amongst the cattails.  The red winged blackbird sees a lot of the front of my long lenses.   They are incredibly animated and high strung.  A blast to watch and even more fun to photograph.

blackbird spread

 Posted by at 9:35 PM
Mar 032010

Kestral Dinner

These American Kestrals are a kick to watch.  Like mentioned on an earlier blog they are tough little birds.  Not much fighting back from the dinner this guy is enjoying.

Geese Gang

The geese are dropping in in groves!  Can’t wait for all the shore birds to return to FBBR this year.

 Posted by at 8:47 PM
Mar 022010

Upclose bear

A couple of years ago my travels took me on the back loop from Teton National Park to Jackson.  A narrow road with vegetation to both edges.  The last place that I expected to run into a black bear.  There she was eating berries like there was no tomorrow.  Very little traffic made it possible for me to get out and shoot from the hood of my car.  (please note that the car was between me and the car.  And a window shot was not possible) I had one of my longer lenses on the camera.  Other than when I was charged by a Grizzly I have never been so close to a bear in the wild.   Not a good thing to see how close I can get to a bear.  That’s why I pay the big bucks for extra long lenses, i.e. 600mm, and 200-400mm.  To keep a lot of air and grass between me and those teeth.

 Posted by at 8:42 PM