Monday, September 1, 2014

Parade of Chickadees

Every year there are at least one or two sorghum (milo) plants that pop up in my backyard from last years bird seed. I just let them grow for the birds. Last night I set up the bird feeder near one of them so that the birds would land on it before coming to the feeder. This morning when I went out to the photoblind there were already a steady procession of Chestnut Backed Chickadees using it to get to the bird feeder. The lighting got better and better as I sat in the blind. Here are a few select images from that parade of birds. The last image was my favorite. God's love and blessings to all, chris My new book "Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography" is soon to be released on Sept.11th. I'm excited! Please check it out on Amazon and other fine book sellers. It is perfect gift for an early Christmas present for birders or photographers wanting to learn how to photograph birds in their backyards or just get it for yourself as it is available as a preorder. These images were created with a Canon 7D and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens with a Manfotto 055XB tripod and a Bogen 3055 ballhead. Camera setting used AV mode, ISO, F stop and shutter speeds varied.

I Love those Jays

Some people find Steller's Jays to be obnoxious. To be perfectly honest there are times that I do too. They make up for it with their beauty. They have the most amazing blue plumage. In springtime it is even more radiant. Right now quite a few of them are molting and their plumage is just a little ratty. Even then it's still an amazing shade of blue. Saturday morning before the Mountain Quail showed up I had a really nice time photographing the Jays in my backyard. This image was one of my favorites. It really shows off the feather detail really well. Enjoy! My new book "Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography" is scheduled to be released on Sept.11th. Please check it out on Amazon and other fine book sellers. It is perfect gift for an early Christmas present for birders or photographers wanting to learn how to photograph birds in their backyards or just get it for yourself as it is available as a preorder. This image was created with a Canon 7D and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens at 210mm with a Manfotto 055XB tripod and a Bogen 3055 ballhead. Camera setting used AV mode, ISO 400, F5.6 and a shutter speed of 1/60th of a sec.. God's light and love to all, chris

Saturday, August 30, 2014

It Felt Like an Eternity

This morning I went out into the backyard photoblind to do some bird photography. My goal was to photograph some Steller's Jays. Before heading out my first objective is always to find the cat. My daughter's cat Papaya often times finds a way to disrupt my bird photography. Naturally she was nowhere to be found. After setting up I settled into the blind and the birds started coming. After I had been photographing for awhile a small covey of quail could be heard coming up the hill. I immediately stopped everything I was doing and froze. They are extremely nervous birds. Soon a little head could be seen over the edge of the patio. Hesitantly a Mountain Quail stepped out onto the flagstone. It stopped and looked around then boldly walked under the bird feeders and started feeding. The others soon followed. All the while I didn't move a muscle. One of the quail hopped up onto the feeder. It walked all over the board holding the feeder pecking at seed that the other birds had knocked down. I waited and waited for what seemed like an eternity. Round and round it walked. Finally after making some sort of decision it hopped up onto the perch by the feeder. It stayed there feeding for quite some time allowing me to create a nice selection of images. The spell was broken by the excited calls of the quail. Something was up! They all crowded up as a group and came towards the blind. Looking past the feeder I could see Papaya crawling on her belly towards the quail. Not wanting the cat to get the chance at the quail I slapped the side of the blind with my hand sending the quail into flight with a flurry of wings.I was happy the quail were safe and that I had gotten some really nice quail images. What a wonderful way to start off the day. Thank you Lord. My new book "Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography" is scheduled to be released on Sept.11th. Please check it out on Amazon and other fine book sellers. It is perfect gift for an early Christmas present for birders or photographers wanting to learn how to photograph birds in their backyards or just get it for yourself as it is available as a preorder. This image was created with a Canon 7D and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens at 210mm with a Manfotto 055XB tripod and a Bogen 3055 ballhead. Camera setting used AV mode ISO 400 F5.6 ,shutter speed of 1/80th of a sec.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Backyard Bird Photography

I spent several hours this morning photographing birds in my backyard. Using a simple set up I photographed Chestnut Backed Chickadees and Red Breasted Nuthatches. I wanted to photograph some Steller's Jays but they weren't being cooperative today. God bless and enjoy, chris My new book "Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography" is scheduled to be released on Sept.11th. Please check it out on Amazon and other fine book sellers. It is perfect gift for an early Christmas present for birders or photographers wanting to learn how to photograph birds in their backyards or just get it for yourself as it is available as a preorder. All images created with a Canon 7D and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens with a Manfotto 055XB tripod and a Bogen 3055 ballhead. Camera setting used AV mode ISO 400 F5.6 ,shutter speed varied.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Up the Slough (a continuation from yesterday)

After leaving the nesting colony of grebes on Clearlake I paddled up the slough. I couldn't go very far as it has dried up due to the extremely low water levels of the lake. Still there was a lot of wildlife to be seen. Right after I turned around I watched a doe come down to the lake for a drink. Soon afterwards a flock of geese made there obligatory pass by me. There were a lot of egrets though most of them took off as soon as I got anywhere close to them. This isn't Florida that's for sure. I got to see a nice Green Heron with a great mohawk. Later on I drifted behind some brush and I was able to get the closest I have ever been to a Kingfisher. While waiting on the Kingfisher I got watch a Green Heron capture a frog and eat it. The heron took awhile trying to get the frog lined up with its mouth so it could swallow it. I finished up by drifting with a breeze for a close up with a Great Egret in some beautiful light. I was off the water by ten. Thank you Lord for a spectacular day. Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens,Bogen 3055 Ballhead with a custom camera support. Camera Settings- AV mode, ISO 400,F stop and a shutter speed varied. All photography was done from a Ultimate 14.5 Native Watercraft Kayak If you are interested in building a custom camera support for a canoe or a kayak please check out my blog on it at http://diyphotocheapodepot.blogspot.com/2011/04/kayak-camera-support.html

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Decisions, Decisions

I've had a trip planned to kayak the Albion River for a couple of weeks now. My friend Joe called and told me he couldn't make it. Then I got a tip from the librarian that there were thousands of Western Grebes nesting over in Clearlake. Last night I debated back and forth . Still go to the Albion or risk it and go to Clearlake. The scenery and the seals of the Albion are always incredible. There was an incoming tide right at sunrise. The drive however is pretty twisty and windy. It's always a big deal to load and unload kayaks on the boat ramp there. The drive to Clearlake is about the same length but it's pretty smooth sailing. Then I checked the weather report online. Clearlake was going to be clear and the Albion was going to be cloudy in the morning and clearing in early afternoon. That settled it Clearlake it was. I got up at five had a quick breakfast and I was out the door. I got to the lake just a little before sunrise. By the time I launched my kayak the suns rays were just breaking the horizon. I had paddled only about fifty yards when a family of River Otters splashed into the water off of the bank. The lighting was pretty poor but I managed to get one useable documentary image. Paddling out to the entrance of the slough I was amazed by what I was seeing. There were hundreds of Western Grebe nests going off out of sight in both directions! It was unbelievable how many there were. Each nest was a mound of floating vegetation about three feet in diameter and about six inches high. Just incredible. I photographed a few nests and a few nesting parents and then I went back up the slough so as to not disturb them any further. God's love to all, chris Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens,Bogen 3055 Ballhead with a custom camera support. Camera Settings- AV mode, ISO 400,F stop and a shutter speed varied. All photography was done from a Ultimate 14.5 Native Watercraft Kayak If you are interested in building a custom camera support for a canoe or a kayak please check out my blog on it at http://diyphotocheapodepot.blogspot.com/2011/04/kayak-camera-support.html

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

You've Got Mail

This morning I had a bit of fun this morning with an extra mailbox we have. How do you end up with an extra mail box anyway? I set it up as a feeder in the backyard. I had a Western Gray Squirrel and a Chestnut Backed Chickadee come for a visit for the free food. The results are a bit whimsical and cute. God's love to all, chris
My new book "Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography" is scheduled to be released on Sept.11th. Please check it out on Amazon and other fine book sellers. It is perfect gift for an early Christmas present for birders or photographers wanting to learn how to photograph birds in their backyards or just get it for yourself as it is available as a preorder.