Aug 032010

Sanford. A unique man.  He has as many miles on a Harley as any biker out there. Maybe more.   One of his lines is “ten thousand miles and a ten thousand dollar bike doesn’t make you a biker”.  My favorite line of his is “let me say this about that”.  Sanford is a project superintendent for a very large construction company.  A construction know-it-all.  In a good way.  He builds stores for me (Maverik).  Thought it would be good to recognize this man.  He gets few “kudos”.  He is one of the very best in his field.


This store is in Buffalo Wyoming.  Maverik’s newest.  Should be opened by NOON tomorrow.



 Posted by at 11:36 PM
Jul 302010

Since I was ten years old horses freak me out.  Scare me to death.  Though I have always wanted to photograph them.  Just need a fence between me and them.  Today for the first time I stood in a stadium with horses .  And a NINE year old rider.  Couldn’t make to big a deal when a nine year old was going to barrel race.  Erika, a beautiful young lady ( takes after her mother – gorgeous) was the boss when on each horse.  As she controlled the animal ten times her size I was humbled.

I really enjoyed the time tonight.  Great people and fun photography.  And a little less afraid of horses.  Don’t expect to see me ON one ever…..




 Posted by at 1:03 AM
Jul 182010

I love the Oregon Coast!  When I get to see it.

The drive from Sunnyside, Washington to Portland is about three hours.  The drive to the coast is about an hour and a half.  A portion of the drive to portland includes the Columbia River Gorge.  Multnomah Falls on the way.  A long list of photo opportunities.  This trip was to extend through the weekend photographing on the coast.  Nothing but sun-up to sun-down photographic fun!   Have to eat as part of the journey.  A quick stop at the burger place next to the “Bridge of the Gods”.  The pier supporting the south section is right in the parking lot of the burger place.  Great art painted on the pier…………….

bridgeofthe gods

All was going well until the traffic jamb in downtown Portland.  A wreck on the bridge.  I thought my anxiety was churning.  Nope.  It was my stomach.  A little nausea.  More nausea.  Stuck in traffic.  Before long I was leaning out the door refunding my lunch back to Oregon.  The people in the cars behind me witnessed my nightmare to their own distaste.  Without going into much detail my drive to Tillamook Oregon was the longest in my life.  and the smelliest.

That afternoon and night was spent in bed.  And the next day…in bed.  Not photographing, hiking, or enjoying the incredible scenery of the Oregon Coast.  Me, a 27″ TV, a toilet and the stomach cramps.  No food for two days.  I paid for this?  Maybe next trip I can go back to the burger place and get a CASH refund!!!!!!!!

 Posted by at 4:43 PM
Jul 112010

I love my Sunday schedule….

Again this morning the camera gear and I traveled.  To my favorite spot ten minutes from my home.  Farmington Bay.  Year round goodies!  Winter summer, spring or fall the photographic elements are always waiting.  Unlike heaven on earth (Yellowstone)that requires six hours at the wheel, Farmington bay is next door.  Sunday mornings are extra special there. The churches are full, snoring is still happening or just laziness allows me a guaranteed front row.   And like today- exclusivity.

How about some stretching and yawning Pellicans…….


Dragonfly’s are plentiful and easily photographed.  This little one would fly off and return to the same spot several times.


Then there was this guy. Thought he was hiding.  Camouflaged.   Pretty dang ugly fella if you ask me.    At first I could not approach them.  Then I figured it out.  Move very slow and shoot fast!


 Posted by at 8:52 PM
Jul 072010

The question – “How do I photograph a 5″ bird that swoops, dives, and turns at hyper speed?”  The Cliff Swallow is the ADHD poster child in the bird kingdom.  The little guys are always seen at culverts diving in and often flying through the culverts.  Seem like real playful critters.  In reality they are hard workers.  Homes are made of little mouths full of mud and twigs?  How they are held together is a mystery to me that I am investigating.  So back to the original question – how to photograph them.  Find the place where they will always return.  To rest, sleep, and raise their young – HOME!  I had a blast photographing the Swallows.  They are so animated.  The nests were at the finishing stages.  To my bewilderment there did not seem to be any “ownership” of a nest.  They were fighting (or maybe play fighting) to get access to each nest. It seemed as though there were half as many nests as birds.  Here is a prime example.  The two birds in the nest are NOT youngsters.  They are NOT looking for food from the approaching swallow.  They are fighting for their own space.  It was incredible and entertaining to watch and record.

swallowsatnestoneflySometimes one would simply wait for another to leave the nest to take it over.


Rejection stinks!


Again….I could not resist the artsy look to one of the photo’s…Topaz, Buzim Filter!


 Posted by at 10:02 PM
Jul 062010

Yellowstone National Park.  One Day.  With my wife and camera.  For years now I have had the incredible opportunity to witness Osprey in the wild.    Always returning home with marvelous stories to tell her.  And wishing she was there to witness.  Saturday, together we saw the Osprey at work.  Tree to tree the Osprey would fly along the Firehole River in Yellowstone.  Hunting for a meal.  Looking down from the tree tops to the river below. Head bobbing back and forth while searching.  Then he would squat a little head bobbing more and ever so focused.  Then the dive.  In goes the wings like a stealth fighter.  Cutting into the water instantly wings upward to climb up – back up in the air……..this time a miss.  No fish.  I was screaming “honey watch he’s getting ready to dive. Watch! Watch!”  My camera and lens ready.  She glanced up from the book just in time to see the dive and SPLASH.  Right behind the tree for me.  No shot!!!!!  The good – my wife saw the dive and recovery.  Pretty Cool.  After the Osprey missed the catch he flew right above the tree where we were.  The stare at me from the Osprey was intense.  More instense was my excitement to witness the dive, with my wife and to get this shot.  The mighty Osprey still with wet feathers and moisture in the eyes.  For me?  To be close enough for this portrait……………………..


 Posted by at 10:24 PM
Jul 052010

What an incredible week!  With my bride at my side Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and Utah was covered.  Mostly work.  If you know me I will get in some photography somehow.  My heaven on earth – Yellowstone National Park.  A wildlife mecca.  In one day we saw, deer, elk, grizzly, squirrels, chipmunks, rainbow trout, pelicans, bald eagles, mountain swallows, geese, marmots, and others.  WOW!  So much to so little time to shoot.

Here is the pronouncement – Never, ever leave your second camera body, extra batteries, battery charger, flashes, and flash extenders at home when going on a photo excursion.  Kinda spoils things a little.  Thank goodness I was there for one day only.  A small record for me.

So here is the first of many fun shots I was lucky to get.  Most all may have been better with my flash and flash extender.  A little weird  because I always carry the gear and use it a little.  But on the this trip almost every shot could be better with some fill flash………

rainbowjumpAt the falls near Nez Pierce I was testing my water fall photography.  It was more like cascades not falls.  While setting up I noticed a fish jump a big rapid.  (directly behind me was a sign describing the fact that in June and July the fish travel up stream) Then I noticed another jumper.  Both in a similar area in the rapids.  After a long wait and tons of patience this one shot was made.

 Posted by at 9:38 PM
Jul 012010

A very long drive today.  SLC , Utah area to Buffalo, Wyoming.  At least 9 hours in front of the wheel.  I was lucky today for two reasons.  My wife is with me on this trip.  And I found this cool barn…..


 Posted by at 10:43 PM
Jun 242010


Arrived home late tonight from Colorado.  A long drive and a turn out to photograph some little Coots!

 Posted by at 9:37 PM
Jun 202010

I shoot mostly in Aperture Priority.  Many times I have asked – “why waste the incredible technology we have by shooting in Manual Mode”?    Really!  These days the cameras ability to get accurate exposure is unbelievable.  BUT THERE IS LIMITS.  Every exposure should be thought out before shooting.  A great example was this morning.  I found another White Egret.  A wonderful subject!  Early morning direct light…no problems?  When you fill the frame and the majority of the photo is a pure white bird.  The cameras limit is now surpassed.  An exercise of this fell into my hands (or the cameras sensor) this morning.  Heading into FBBR I was photographing with all subjects BACK LIT from the sun.   The exposure was such that the shadow side of the bird would be close to correct but the highlights were “burned” out.  I dropped the exposure by -.7 compensation.  Here is the result:  I played with the photo slightly by adding a little Glamour Glow and a white vignette.    The exposure out of the camera is unchanged and there is no added saturation or digital darkroom work other than what I just mentioned.


Driving out of FBBR the sun is now coming over my shoulder and hitting the Egret dead on.  By the way.  What’s the chance of having the same Egret crossing the road so I could shoot both angles?  Unbelievable!  It was my lucky day!!!!!!  So here is the same Egret with the sun straight on.  No dimension to speak of.  Pretty darn flat.  And notice the exposure.  The Egret is right on and the water around him is at least 1 full stop under.  I had to fool the camera again.  Made it think the Egret wasn’t really that white.  Doing so forced the exposure of the water down.


Now the really fun STUFF!!!!!!

I have always wanted to capture a citizen of the wildlife catching or about to catch prey.  Just within the jaws or this case beak.  It starts with the big splash.


Then the pull back……………….


Then the assurance that it’s in the beak…….


Then the throw back.  The Egret jerks it’s head back, opens it’s mouth at the same time, and as the little snack flies towards the through the bird jerks it’s head forward.   For a very short instance the morsel is in free flight.  Just in the wrong direction for a long and prosperous life.   It’s there eternal purpose- to give me opportunity’s to shorten my bucket list and provide snacks for Egrets!

My Luck DAY!  Happy Fathers Day


 Posted by at 9:19 PM