Mar 292012

I received my new Nikon D800 on Tuesday.  Could not use it until tonight.  I am  in Las Vegas and running all over the place. As my meetings dragged on all that was really on my mind was getting a capture with the D800, getting back to the hotel and seeing 36 megapixels at work.  Turns out I had a very short window to run up to Red Rock Canyon.  Took a few shots. Was favored with a short burst of sun for about 6 minutes or so.  Holy resolution.  The detail is incredible.  I really look forward to spending some time with both cameras.  And pushing the limits of both!   Here is the capture I got tonight. Shot with the D800, 24-70 f/2.8 lens, ISO 100.


 Posted by at 10:36 PM
Mar 242012

It’s getting real WILD at the FBWR!

The male geese are being really protective of their females right now.  And boy is it fun to capture!

All photo’s shot with Nikon D4, 600mm lens w/2x teleconverter, Gitzo tripod, and Gimbal head.  All captures on new Sony XQD card.





 Posted by at 7:33 PM
Mar 222012

All the best equipment in the world can’t make you a good photographer.  As an example.   See the photo below of the Coyote.  I captured it and cut the tail of the coyote off.  A big no no.  I never said I was perfect.  When photographing wildlife always leave room in the frame for the animal to move into.  AND GET ALL THE ANIMAL IN THE FRAME!!!!!!!

 Posted by at 10:16 PM
Mar 182012

A lot of people live with pain!

A lot of people live with disabilities.

Yesterday while photographing a beautiful Egret at the Great Salt Lake I was very touched.  I know of an individual that lives with a considerable amount of pain.  He may have to endure it for some time.  Maybe a good Doctor can get to the bottom of the pain.  Maybe.  Life goes on.  People have expectations.  Employers and superiors want production….regardless.  No excuses. Some days it affects his self esteem.   As humans we are consumed by our self esteem.   And not as concerned about our self worth.  Our self worth is what we bring to this earth with us.  Even in pain an individual should know his or her self worth.  Our self esteem seems to be dependent on what others think of us.   Friday I was reminded of a very good friend of my Daughters.  Becka.  She has been in a wheel chair since she was just a little tike.  Paralyzed.  Becka is beautiful.  Really Beautiful.  She has never let her disability slow her down.  A succesful violinist, a wheel chair athlete and a wife.  She knows of her self worth and incredible self esteem.  What an example.

Meet my friend I found by the Great Salt Lake on Friday…..

They just don’t get any more beautiful than the Egret.  A beautiful bird in it’s own right.  This one in particular made me cry.  A little.

Though he was having great success at fishing.  Something was out of sorts.  I watched and studied this one.  He seemed to be off balance when moving.  The photo above shows how one wing is extended more than the other.  He did this often when moving.  Not just while fishing.  He was great at getting his fish…..

What first caught my eye was like in the photo above he seemed to be off balance.  Leaning more to one side.  Notice in the photo above how much lower in the water his left leg is.  This great fisher was either born deformed or lost part of his left leg during his life.

No left foot.  Was he attacked and lost his foot but got away?  Was he born this way?  There is no question this disability was getting to me a lot more than it was getting to this beautiful Egret!  In short order he was catching fish left and right.  Like Beka he did not even acknowledge his disability.  He is a survivor.  I am not a biologist but this guy looks healthy.  Is he in pain?  Is he depressed about his condition?    Birds don’t get depressed.  I think.  He didn’t stay long.  I was blessed to run across this special bird.  He reminded me that I need to focus more on what I need to do to survive.  What started as another day wanting to maximize my new camera turned into a lesson of self examination.  Maybe with some effort I can be as good at my specialty as he is at fishing!!!!!!

All – Nikon D4, 600mm lens, 1.7 teleconverter used in two photos.

 Posted by at 11:04 PM
Mar 182012

Friday I got “the” call.

My Nikon D4 was in!

As you would guess Friday was turning into the day from heck.  More than anything I wanted to get out and start testing all the new features of the D4.  But NO!!!!!!  At 5:40 I dashed out to FBBR.  At the very least I had to test the advertised increased focus in low light, i.e. shooting through a 2x teleconverter.  When placed on the 600mm lens (f/4) the aperture then becomes f/8.  Somewhat of a nightmare for focusing.  Then add low light.  Shooting after sunset, etc.  When I finally made it to FBBR they had been closed for nearly an hour.  Dang it!   My only option was to go to the end of the road where there is a very large pond.  I have shot there many times.  The sun was just going behind the clouds and very soon would be set for the day.  As I turned at the end of the road my eyes about came out of my head.  Way out on the pond was a Great Blue Heron fishing.  Not a typical place for them to fish.  To much car and foot traffic.  I think I set a new record for getting out my window mount, the 600mm lens, the 2x teleconverter and of course my brand new unused Nikon D4.

Heron’s are shy.

I was still in my car and stopped well short of the pond when I saw the Heron.   With everything mounted I creeped slowly in my car to the pond edge.  Still about 60 to 70 yards away the Heron was getting nervous.  I stopped.  Put the Heron in the D4 cross hairs and watched.  And waited.  Had a few minutes to set the ISO and check the settings.  At least the ones I knew.  A new camera you know!  And right on que the Heron stabbed a huge fish.  I was amazed at how fast the camera focused.  At about 11 frames a second not much of the Heron fishing didn’t get captured.  With the 2x converter the net optical length was 1200mm.  The wind was shaking the camera.  But to my surprise at about 70 yards, f/8, and a high ISO I got this beautiful capture…….


 Posted by at 3:32 PM
Mar 142012

When I saw this bird standing on top of a rock today I about crashed.   It was off the road quite far.  But even at A distance I knew I had never seen this guy before.


A first for ME!!!!!!

The breeding season is summer. Males perform tidbitting displays, a form of courtship feeding where the male pecks at food and a female may visit to peck in response. The males may chase females with head lowered, wing lowered and neck fluffed. The male may also performs a high step stiff walk while making a special call. The female may then crouch in acceptance and the male mounts to copulate, while grasping the nape of the female. Males are monogynous. The nest is a scantily lined ground scrape, though occasionally a compact pad is created with a depression in the center. Generally, the nests are sheltered by ferns and small bushes, or placed in a dip or rocky hillside under a overhanging rock. About 7 to 14 eggs are laid. n The eggs hatch in about 23–25 days. In captivity they can lay an egg each day during the breeding season if eggs are collected daily.  Chicks join their parents in foraging and will soon join the chicks of other members of the covey.  Chukar will take a wide variety of seeds and some insects as food. It also ingests grit.







 Posted by at 10:41 PM
Mar 142012

I captured something I did not know was possible.   Or ever happened today.

A porcupine in a tree!!!!  Up about 50′ in the tree!

 Posted by at 10:31 PM
Mar 112012

Yesterday I blew into SLC and captured a few places of Worship.

Today is a special day for a friend that is stepping up and making a religious commitment.  Kind of declaring them-self  a Christian.  A big day and a happy day for this individual.  Made me think about all the religions on the earth today.  Here in Utah there is a prominent religion.  But also many, many other beliefs.  We are pretty diversified.  We seem to get along and respect each other for our own beliefs.  I may be naive.  But I don’t think so.  My friendships are not determined by an individuals religious faith.  Rather it is their conviction towards their own personal beliefs.   The individual that took that giant leap has conviction.  Conviction toward their family, friends, career and now their religion.  I am proud and excited.

How does this relate to photography?  I spent less than an hour and within 1 mile of each other photographed these Places of Worship.  They are all 5-9 shot HDR images.  Ran through a grunge topaz filter to create a little bit of artsy fartsy feel to each one.  I know they are a little over the top!  But hey!  I had fun tonight in post!!!!!!






 Posted by at 8:36 PM
Mar 102012

I had a great urge to capture this shot.  Then played with it a little too much.  Ran it through Topaz then Silver Efex Pro2 and copied back some color.  Must be a little bored today….

 Posted by at 9:19 PM