Sep 282012

I hate traffic jams.

Especially in Yellowstone!

In the old days traffic jams were mostly caused by Bear sightings.  They still are.  But fewer bears means fewer bear jams.  With the Buffalo being everywhere, form Madison, to Lamar Valley, to Hayden Valley and even at the top of Dunraven pass you’d thing they weren’t such rock stars.  But yes I sat for 15 minutes in a buffalo traffic jam until I chose to go around the cars in front of me, drive the wrong way down a narrow two lane road, and push my way through the buffalo.  Yea! me.  I had enough guts to instead of sitting and waiting for the giant, behemoth and stupid as Donkey buffalo to move I plowed through them.  Yes they are afraid of cars.  May favorite thing is as I am passing close by them in my vehicle I grab a tuft of hair.  They jump every time.  It’s hilarious.

Photographically speaking they are somewhat boring to photograph. Ok a lot boring.   Unless they have brand new calves, are rolling in the dirt or fighting they are just huge hairy numbskulls.  Kinda how I looked to my Father-in-Law the first time I picked up my then girlfriend now wife for our first date.  Explains why he shut the door.


I visualized this photograph slightly different.  As they approached me they came up from a low area with the sun behind them.  Their lighter colored fur on their backs glowed.  I knew right off this was a very difficult shot.  Black faces and highlighted fur.  Lots of contrast.  And off course all backlit.  Then it hit me.  This may look good in black and white.  The buffalo will still have silhouetted faces.  But with their large humped backs and huge muscular shapes as the subject I went for it.  Took a few frames to the exposure just right.  Never to my memory took buffalo in black and white.  I like it.

 Posted by at 8:01 PM
Sep 282012

It’s late and I am hoping to get up very early. So just posting a couple of my favorite photographs from today.

This trips passing way too fast!!!!!

I never pass an opportunity to capture a Blue Heron.  Especially in Yellowstone.

Just skimming above the water!!!!!


Today I had some time with a Golden Eagle.  Don’t see many.  Especially this close.  What a huge and beautiful bird.


Eventually he took off.

He flew right at ME!!!!!  gave me the willy’s for a second or two!

Thought maybe he wanted to chat or something.  Our company jet can’t almost get me off the ground.  What did this guy think he was going to do?

 Posted by at 12:43 AM
Sep 262012

Today I met a very nice couple (newlyweds) from the Spokane area.  We only talked for maybe twenty minutes.  Two people who have helped others most their lives.  One a retired Pastor and the other works at the VA Hospital.  Delightful people!  One of the joys of my trip to Yellowstone.

Today though I saw quit a bit of wildlife it felt like a Scenic Day shooting day.  A real test for my NOT-so-good abilities at scenic beauties offered here in Yellowstone.  Water was my draw.  Starting with Gibbon Falls.


Then on to Hayden Valley.  Mid-day.  Not the best time to shoot.  Had lunch in the shade along the river.  Watched the “folks” going crazy around the Buffalo.  Those foreigners are amazing.  Real stupid.  Yes some were getting almost close enough to pet the buffalo!  Simply amazing.


After lunch I hiked back a mile or so from the road in Hayden Valley.  Peace and quiet.  My next stop was the falls near Nez Pierce.  A popular place to shoot.


At the falls the reflections in the water were incredible.  I ran into a wonderful friend and famous photographer Laurie Excel.  She had a photo excursion group with her.  It was fun to catch up quickly with her.


Of course I need to add to my elk collection.  Especially when the light was PERFECT!!!!



Just before the sun went behind the mountain I rushed back up the Madison and had took get this Black and White.   Beautiful!!!  All the elements where is place for just a minute or two!

 Posted by at 11:03 PM
Sep 252012



Worked until noon today then made my way to heaven on earth.  I love Yellowstone.  It’s not just the wildlife photography.  It’s the peace and quiet.  The constant meeting of new friends that experience God’s wonders with me.  And a slower heart rate, no teeth grinding, little or no phone calls, green apples, lunchables, low temps, and The Ten Tenors softly serenading.  Checked in the Hotel.  Then made my way into the Park at about 4:30pm.  A couple of hours to enjoy.  The Madison is a good place to start my adventure with the Elk during their Rut!   With rain making it’s daily mark I found my first Bull and his group of cows.  The usual bugling and herding taking place.  Fun, Fun, Fun to watch and capture.

The bull rarely eats.  And is constantly moving/herding his cows.  When bringing a cow back to the group the bull throws his head back and charges the elk that is wondering too from his control.

I stayed until the rain was really coming down and the light was diminished.   Heading back down the Madison A Bald Eagle caught my attention.  When perched along the Madison the Eagles are usually fishing.

To my surprise the Eagle flew across the Madison and landed full talons out on a small animal.  I could not tell what animal it was.  If you look close at the eagles talons you can see the little critter.

 Posted by at 9:24 PM
Sep 192012

At Photoshop World Expo I bought a metal photo wall hanging.  The photos are a mosaic of 12″ square pieces of metal pics.  Each a portion of the full photo.  Now I find myself going back through my photo’s looking for the perfect photo.  i have about 8 terabytes of photographs.  As I have purused some photo’s I realize I have more favorites then I expected.  That’s not to say they are perfect photo’s.  Just ones I like.  This is going to be tough.

This photograph taken last year on the Oregon Coast.  The actual photograph has less contrast.  When posting to the blog all my photographs increase in Contrast.

 Posted by at 9:05 PM
Sep 182012


Time to think about nothing.

I found myself about 15 miles from the job site.  Lake Tahoe.  Just a short drive over the mountain from work.  This trip I carried a ton of baggage.  All in my head.  It’s been crazy stressful.  For a while I have been living moment to moment.  Looking in all directions for something to look forward to.  In actuality there is lots to look forward to. Stress is blinders to a positive look at life.  At Tahoe I found a Lifeguard chair.  What a wonderful hour or so.  I just sat and watched the water, trees, and my natural surroundings.  Everything slowed down.  From my heart rate to my stress.  Wonderful!

I could not decide if I liked the color post or black and white.


 Posted by at 11:08 PM
Aug 242012

I drive a lot.  I fly a lot.

New areas that I cover in the car is like eye candy.  As a photographer my eyes are on the road about 10% of the time.  The balance of time is enjoying new views.  A few things always tugs on me and cause me to brake and check out.  One is old churches and the other is cemeteries.  As always big game and critters are show stoppers.  Work can even wait if I catch a view of a critter.  Driving from Spokane, Washington to Lewiston, Idaho a cemetery drew me in.  Often cemeteries are situated high on hilltops. Easy to see and find.  At this cemetery was a crucifix at the top.  It was a headstone for a prominent local religious leader.  Never seen anything like this before.

Shot with a Nikon D800, 20-200 f/2.8 lens.  I processed in post through NIK Silver Efex pro2.


 Posted by at 12:37 PM
Aug 142012

Last week my travels in Nevada I saw tons of photo opportunities.  Carrying my D-800 and two lenses I watched for those fun shots.  I am always drawn to old vehicles.







I mentioned in a previous post my fire ant experience at the dunes near Winnemucca, .  This photograph is what I sacrificed a nights sleep for.  Not sure it was worth it.

 Posted by at 10:21 PM
Aug 102012

Today I flew into Reno Nevada then drove up to Winnemucca, Nevada.  Just west of town is some sand dunes that I knew would be ready for me to get some PIC’s.  Today I wanted to test the D-800 more.  Get the details if you will.  I am thrilled with the resolution of the D-800.  It’s been a while since I have had a crazy story to tell while photographing.  With the dunes covered with wind created designs I thought of a great idea.  Take my shoes off and walk across the dunes and photograph bare footprints in the sand.  It turned out ok.  I put my shoes back on without  socks.  I figured no big deal.  Almost immediately something started to sting my right foot.  I looked down and noticed a ton of fire ants all over the place.  Ripping my shoe off I found ants all over my right foot.  My foot has been in quite a bit of pain all night.  Oh well.  It was fun getting the shot!



 Posted by at 12:27 AM