Thursday, July 24, 2014

Anna's Hummingbird

This afternoon I was privileged to spend some quality time photographing one of the most common hummingbirds in the area where I live in Northern California. Anna's Humming birds are anything but common in appearance. The males have a brilliant red head and gorget that they can flash on and off at will. When they look at you and flash it the effect is dazzling. They are like a flying jewel! They aren't very big either with their body being slightly smaller than a ping pong ball and they weigh less than a five cent piece. This one male visited the feeder over and over today giving me ample opportunities to photograph it. If you are interested in learning how to photograph hummingbirds please check out my forthcoming book "Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography" on Amazon. There is a whole chapter dedicated on how to photograph hummingbirds. Here is my favorite image from today. It was really hard to choose a best. Even with Lenore helping me we kept changing our minds as to which image was our favorite. God's love and blessings to all, chris Equipment used Canon 7D Canon 100-400 IS (4) Canon 540 EZ flashes Camera exposure settings Manual mode ISO 100 F Stop 16.0 Shutter Speed 1/200th of a sec.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Mint is in Bloom Again

We started many years ago with a simple six pack starter of tiny mint plants.(See where this is heading?) I was skeptical and didn't want to plant it in the backyard. Now over twenty years later even after completely landscaping the backyard a patch of mint still grows. It battles both us and the Jasmine around the garden pond for space. Periodically we have to completely chop it all back or it will take over. Right now it is blooming and the nectar loving creatures and others love it. I plonked my self down in a chair next to it this afternoon and had a wonderful time photographing bees, butterflies and others. One black and yellow wasp landed upon the mint but it wasn't feeding on nectar. It sat waiting patiently until a honey bee landed next to it. In a flash it was on it stinging and biting it to the ground where it then finished the poor bee off and flew off with its prize. Wow, quite the backyard drama. Now for some great drama of another sort. I was very excited this afternoon to receive the advance copy of my book "Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography" from the publisher Rocky Nook. It really turned out fantastic. If you or someone you know wants to learn how to photograph birds in your backyard then this is an invaluable tool for instructing you step by step the process of how to go about it. Please take the time to check it out or buy a copy of it for yourself and a friend. The book is available for preorder on Amazon and other fine book sellers. God bless and enjoy the images, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens with a 36mm extension tube added for close focusing.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Easy Rider

Sometimes it is fun to push yourself out of your normal envelope. This morning was a good example of that. I'm not a motorcycle photographer but today I gave it a good try. My daughter Annika's friend Royce recently rebuilt a 1985 250cc Honda Rebel Motorcycle. The bike was pretty trashed and over many, many months he restored it into a pretty nice bike. Seeing him riding it around sparked an idea in me. This morning we got together as a group and went out and photographed Royce and his bike using my pick up as the camera truck. Annika and I took turns driving and photographing while Royce rode the bike. We ended up getting some pretty nice images that I think Royce will cherish. May God bless you and hold you, chris Images were created with a canon 50D and a Canon 28-105 lens. Camera was set to AV mode, ISO 200, F stops and shutter speeds varied.

Monday, July 21, 2014

In Velvet

This morning I was out the door well before the sun rose broke over the horizon. I was on my way to one of my favorite locations to photograph deer. The first deer I spotted was a confused fawn in the road. It was really curious about what I was up too as I pulled my camera and tripod out of the car and set it up. After creating a few images of it the little one scampered off to join its mother. Later on I found what I was looking for when I spotted a doe up on a hillside by herself. Up above her was a bachelor herd of eight bucks in various stages of velvet. Some had antlers not yet fully formed and a couple were close to final growth. I followed them for about a half an hour until they moved into field of wild oats that was just perfect for photography in the early morning sun. One really nice buck demanded most of my attention. He is going to have a beautiful set of antlers in the fall. What a great way to start the day. Thank you Lord. God's blessings to all, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens. Camera set in AV mode with an ISO of 400 mostly at F 5.6. Shutter speed varied.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Foggy Day at the Coast

The Mendocino Coast in Northern California offers a multitude of photographic opportunities from scenics to flowers and wildlife(Do bees count as wildlife?). Lenore and I celebrated our anniversary out on the coast last week and we spent some time wandering around the coastal towns of Ft. Bragg and Mendocino. We dabbled in a bit of photography along the way and tried a couple of new restaurants that we haven't dined in before and were quite pleased with the meals we were served. Some fantastic chowder down on the Noyo harbor and some incredible BBQ salmon by the bridge in Ft. Bragg.Just a wonderful couple of days. Here are some of the last of the images from our venture. God's love and guidance to all, chris All images photographed with a Canon 7D with either a Canon 1-22 wide angle lens or a 100mm macro lens

Saturday, July 19, 2014


As you can see I'm still in flower mode. This morning when I got up I noticed that the flowers Lenore had placed on the table had a beautiful red one mixed in amongst them. It didn't take me long to grab my camera,macro lens, black background, white reflector and a single studio light with a snoot on it. Within a few minutes I had it set up and I was working over that poor little flower. When processing the images just after midnight this one was my favorite of the bunch. May God love and bless you, chris Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D,100 mm macro Lens, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a Bogen 3055 Ballhead,Alien Bee 1600 Studio Flash with a snoot. Camera Settings- AV mode, ISO 400, F Stop F13.0.0, Shutter Speed of 1/200th of a second. "Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography" by J. Chris Hansen available on Amazon and other fine book sellers.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Dazzling Dahlias

The highlight of our trip to the Mendocino Coast in Northern California had to be the dahlias at the Mendocino Botanical Gardens. Though I must say that the performance of Bach at the Mendocino Music Festival wasn't far behind it. When we paid at the front entrance to go in to the gardens the young woman behind the counter noted, "Oh and you have got to see the dahlias they are a couple of weeks early and they are just dazzling!" I will say that she was absolutely correct. We spent a good part of our time there. Much of it just sitting on the bench looking at the blossoms and listening to the other guests exclaim at the beauty of the flowers as they came around the corner of the path into this part of the gardens. The admission price was well worth it. God's love and blessings to all, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and either a Canon 10-22mm lens or a 100mm macro lens.