jim

Apr 122012
 

In Las Vegas tonight.  Thinking about my last trip to Antelope Island. The Island is an area with a wide array of wildlife.   Tonight my time was looking back at some of the new travelers coming through our beautiful state of Utah.

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Can’t wait to get back.  Hopefully this weekend.

 Posted by at 10:08 PM
Apr 102012
 

It is not uncommon for me to have to drop everything and tend to a critical issue at one of our working stores.  Though I am not directly involved in the maintenance of the stores there are times that my experience is needed.  This last weekend (Easter Weekend) was no exception.  Friday night I left for Cedar City and returned Sunday afternoon.  Not the greatest Easter observance ever.  I did however take a break mid day and drove the short disctance to Kolob Canyon.   Kolob is on the back side of Zions National Park and still within it’s boundaries.  Millions of people drive down I-15 in Utah and drive right past the exit to Kolob Canyon.  The crazy part is that the Canyon is a mere 4-5 miles from I-15.  And it is incredibly beautiful.  Some of the most beautiful scenery in the country.  This day I decided to walk/hike to the back of one of the canyons.  Because of  my failing back I was a little apprehensive.  As I progressed up the trail my pains got no worse.  In fact the strenuous nature of the trail and the beautiful surroundings gave me some relief from the pain.  As a side note the next morning was hell.  Felt like I had a wrecking ball dropped on my back.  It was worth it though.  The hike round trip took a little more than 4 hours.  I carried two cameras, a few lenses and some other gear.  About 30 lbs. worth of gear.  It was delightful.  The grandness of the rock features was overwhelming.  Several times I stopped and enjoyed the scenery.  When my trek stopped at the back of the canyon (too narrow to pass) I sat for a while and meditated.  The only sounds was the slight breeze, a woodpecker and the occasional rustling of last falls dried out leaves.  There is no way photographically or in words to describe what I experienced.

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The light reflecting off one wall to the other wall was surreal.  In seemed as though I was standing in the middle of a water color painting.

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The formations created by wind, water and the elements where so unique and individual.  Yet an art created just for me that day.

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Though I was spent physically, my spirits were lifted with the time alone, the peace and quiet and the accomplishment of getting to the top of the trail….

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 Posted by at 10:33 PM
Apr 052012
 

Tonight on the way home my desire heightened to capture with the new “gear” so I hit the neighborhood.  I love my community.  All makes and sizes, old and new homes.  Very large and very old homes and barns.  Makes for some fun captures with little time to do so.

Grabbed the D4, the 28-300 lens and took some 9 shot HDR captures.  At home in post tonight ran them through  photomatix pro and Silver EFEX pro to the black and white.  Fast simple and enjoyable.  I am blessed.  Just need a whole day with the cameras and the manuals. Stay-in-touch..

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 Posted by at 9:21 PM
Apr 042012
 

The pitch for the Nikon D800 is partially a better pixel/resolution camera for the studio and landscapes.  I’ll tell you what!  The D800 performs just as Nikon is claiming and even better in my opinion.  I am truly amazed with the resolution of this camera.   Just wish I could get out to use it and the incredible D4 more…..

 Posted by at 9:23 PM
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.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO SEE T FULL SIZE!

 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.

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 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…….

CLICK ON THE PHOTOGRAPH TO ENLARGE

 Posted by at 3:32 PM
2016