Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hot and Dry

I went for a short hike early this morning to beat out the heat. As I was walking my thoughts rambled back to last night. Because we haven't had any fog the forest floor is really dry and we can hear the local creatures at night on their forays as the leaves underfoot are rather noisy. Sometime during the night Lenore woke me up. "Did you hear that?", She asked of me. I mumbled an incoherent sleepy response in reply. Then she commented,"Something really big just ran by!". At that I was fully awake and listening and I didn't hear a thing. So as I was walking today my thoughts turned to the resident predators. It must be really hard to hunt your prey when the dry leaves give you away. It made me wonder if they still hunt and just wait for their prey to pass by and then leap out upon them. Just a curious passing thought.God's blessings upon you, chris Image created with a Canon 7D mkII and a 100mm macro lens. AV mode, ISO 400, F 13.0 for 1 sec. Camera was supported by a Manfrooot 055 XPROB tripod with a Bogen heavy duty ballhead.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dog Days

This morning it was 85 degrees Fahrenheit by ten o'clock. I managed to get a little vacuuming done before it started getting too hot. All the pets are lolling about in the coolest places they can find. Outside the mercury is starting the slow climb to somewhere over a 100. There is just a touch of a breeze coming n from the coast. I set Badger the Wonder Dog up on a white sweep to photograph him. He was glad to pose for a dog biscuit and then go lay down again under the living room fan. Stay Cool and God bless, chris Image created with a Canon 7D mkII and a EF-S 17-85mm lens handheld.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Aaargh Mosquitoes!

Yesterday morning I set out bright and early to do some hummingbird photography in our backyard. Our fuschia is blooming like crazy and I couldn't think of a better combination than fuschias and hummingbirds. The first sign of trouble became clear to me when I started setting up my first flash. Mosquitoes started swarming around me. They drove me to escape to a sunny patch in the backyard to escape them. Armed with this knowledge I put up the next three flashes by escaping after putting each one up to the sunny area to get away from them. My thought was I that once I was all set up I could hide in the photoblind and photograph away from the blood sucking little beasts. Oh how wrong I was! After climbing into the blind I made a few images before they found me. I beat a hasty retreat back into the house to look for some Skin so Soft or some mosquito repellent. Once inside I remembered that I had given it to Annika who was away on a camping trip. Oh rats! I went on a mad cupboard search enlisting Lenore to help me. Eventually I found some old spray under the sink. I sprayed some on the outside of the blind and some on my clothing and the little monsters left me in peace. I had a wonderful time photographing the hummingbirds and below is my favorite image. It is of an Anna's Hummingbird trying to scare off a Rufous Hummingbird from the fuschia blossoms. God's love and blessings upon your week, chris This image was created with a canon 7D mkII and a canon 100-400IS V! lens. Tripod used was a Manfrotto 190 XPROB woth a Bogen 3055 Heavy Duty ballhead. Camera was set to Manual mode, ISO 100, F 20.0 at 1/200th of a sec. Lighting was provided by (4) Canon 540 EZ flashes set to 1/16th power. #TeamCanon

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Summer's Day

There is nothing like eating lunch under the umbrella on a warm, beautiful summer's day. Yesterday we bought some sandwiches and some clam chowder for lunch. We didn't even bother with the table cloth, we just sat down for an enjoyable meal in the backyard. Afterwards when we were cleaning up I noticed the reflection of the umbrella in the spoon and thought it was worthy of a photograph. God's love and blessings upon your weekend, chris Image created with a handheld canon 7D mkII and a EF-S17-85mm lens at 68mm. AV mode, ISO 400, F 20.0 at 1/25th of a sec.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Couple of Hummingbirds From this Morning

I was at it with the hummingbirds again this morning. My exposures using flash with the eneloop batteries were all over the map. So if there is anyone out there using them for photographing hummingbirds with flash and they have a solution please let me know. The hummingbirds were really active this morning so I put up a lichen covered perch up above the feeder and quite a few of them used it. It's so much fun photographing from the photoblind and being up close and personal with the birds. Blessings upon your upcoming weekend, chris Both images were created with a Canon 7D mkII and a Tamron 150-600mm lens with an extension tube for close focusing.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Setting Out the Breakfast Buffet

This morning I was up early restocking the bird feeder on our back patio. It didn't take very long before the first gray squirrel arrived to start feeding on the black sunflower seeds and hen scratch that I had set out. I photographed the the squirrel and then went back outside and shooed it away because what I really wanted to photograph was a Steller's Jay giving me that over the shoulder look. I was quite surprised to see four other squirrels around the base of the feeder waiting their turn! Next to arrive were the Band-tailed Pigeons. None of them obliged me by landing on the perch I had set up so I went in for a portrait. After that I had a bit of a wait going back and forth scaring away the squirrels. Next time I really need to set them up their own feeder around the corner. Eventually the Steller's Jays arrived and I was able to create two very nice images. The last one was a great over the shoulder look from a young Jay. I really like how it shows off the birds plumage. You can tell it is a young bird from this year by the light, fleshy, almost pinkish coloring at the base of its bill. God's love and blessings upon your day, chris

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Pulling My Hair Out

i am currently pulling my hair out trying to solve the battery issues I am having with the flashes for my hummingbird photography. Which isn't very good because I don't have very much hair. I purchased some eneloop rechargeable batteries hoping I could save some money over the long term. So far what I have found is that the eneloop batteries initially put out too much power to the flash on the first burst and then drop too low and underexpose on the next discharge of the flash if I'm doing a sequence of images. Eventually as the batteries start to wear down it gets a little more consistent. So far I'm leaning towards going back to just paying for regular AA batteries even though it may be more expensive in the long run. Here are a few hummingbird images from the backyard this afternoon. God's love and blessings to all, chris All images created with a Canon 7D mkII and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens on a Manfrotto tripod with a Bogen ballhead. Manual mode, ISO 100, F 22.0 at 1/200th of a sec. Four Canon 540EZ flashes set to 1/14th power were used for lighting.