Saturday, May 31, 2014
Some days don't turn out as planned. My goal was to photograph some Band-tailed Pigeons on a mossy perch. The pigeons were having none of it and they weren't even coming down out of the trees. I still managed to photograph a few Steller's Jay and some Western Gray Squirrels. After waiting and waiting for the pigeons to come down from the trees I was ready to pack it in. Right about then a Mountain Quail hopped up onto the feeder which made for a perfect portrait. God has better plans than we do. God bless, chris Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a Bogen 3055 Ballhead. Camera Settings- AV mode, ISO 400,F 5.6, shutter speed 1/200th of a sec. http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Backyard-Photography-Chris-Hansen/dp/1937538559
Friday, May 30, 2014
I love learning new things. This morning I was cleaning out the mailbox on my computer by responding to emails and deleting spam when I came across the Shutterbug eNewsletter. I clicked on it and quickly scanned it for items of interest. A tutorial by Jim Zuckerman caught my eye. "Soap in a Frame". Hmnn... that sounds interesting. Anything macro and I'm usually down for it. I quickly read through it and decided to give it a try. It involves photographing soap film stretched across a frame made of wire though you could probably use something else. The soap is illuminated by a flash or a bright light diffused by some white diffusion material. I used a large soft box which seemed to work pretty well. It was pretty challenging to get the reflection of the softbox onto the soap film for each image and get the focus sharp. After many failed attempts I figured it out. I love the results. Thank you Jim for a fine tutorial. http://www.shutterbug.com/content/soap-frame-color-light-and-surface God's light and love to all, chris Camera equipment used- Canon 7D with a Canon 100-400 IS lens and a 36mm extension tube for close focusing. For Lighting I used an Alien Bees 1600 with a 30 x 60 Soft box mounted to it. Camera Settings- Manual, ISO 200, F16,0 at 1/200th of a sec.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
After sitting with the wild turkey yesterday I had a great time photographing the hummingbirds in the backyard. I took down all of the hummingbird feeders except for one. I then placed some flowers loaded up with sugar water surrounding the remaining feeder. The humming birds were quite happy with the selection as they kept alternating between the feeders and the flowers. This gave me plenty of opportunities for photographing them. Hummingbirds are like flying jewels! Such amazing birds. What a great way to start off my day. God's precious love to all, chris Equipment used- Canon 7D Canon 100-400 IS, (5)Canon 540 EZ flashes set to 1/16th power Camera settings- Manual mode ISO 200, F Stop varied, Shutter Speed 1/200th of a sec. "Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography" by J. Chris Hansen http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Backyard-Photography-Chris-Hansen/dp/1937538559
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
This morning I was up and around early. I wanted to set up for photographing some hummingbirds and the earlier the better as they like to fuel up on sugar and nectar after a long night. While I was setting up I heard a Wild Turkey gobble fairly close just down the ridge. A little later I heard it right out in front of the house. I grabbed my camera and some seed and ran out front. When I got there I discovered that it was right in front of my photoblind. Keeping the blind between myself and the turkey I was able to get fairly close. When I moved slightly out into the open it saw me and took off down the ridge. I went out to the bird feeder and tossed out some seed and the turkey turned cautiously. I went back behind the blind and it ambled back up the hill. The turkeys up here aren't too bright! I sat down next to the blind and I was able to photograph it off and on for about fifteen minutes or so. It's plumage was in breeding colors and it just shone copper and brassy colors in the early morning light. It was just beautiful. God's love and mercies to all, chris
Monday, May 26, 2014
Being made in the image of God we all have the desire to create. Painters,quilters,sculptors, authors and poets the list goes on and on. Some people just like to doodle. For me my most creative outlet is my photography. I love to visualize an image in my mind and then push myself and my equipment to create it. Sometimes I can just draw on my experience and the images come easily. On others it can be a learning process where it seems like everything goes wrong or I have to try, try again maybe using a different approach or educate myself or learn from others. The end result though is an image. It's hard for the viewer to understand what went into the creation of an image for all they see is the final image on the screen or in the pages of a magazine. Many times it's just an image they gloss over and move on. The image has fulfilled its role. Today's image of a Band-tailed Pigeon was an image that normally isn't too difficult to create. I visualized a pigeon on a lichen covered branch with a dark background to make the pigeon really stand out. The set up wasn't a problem. But once I was in the photoblind I was beset by all kinds of interruptions from squirrels,cats,dogs and even my own family. It took just under nine hours of total time over three days the photoblind to create this one image of a pigeon on a perch. I must say it was well worth it. God's light and love to all, chris
Sunday, May 25, 2014
Yesterday afternoon I set up a small yellow flower in a drinking glass. Then I carefully placed several drops of sugar water onto the blossom. I set up my camera and tripod close by and I prefocused my camera onto the flower head. Within minutes I had butterflies sipping nectar from the flower.This image of a Mylitta Crescent was my favorite. What a great way to spend the afternoon. God's blessings to all, chris Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens,with an extension tube, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a Bogen 3055 Ballhead. Camera Settings- AV mode, ISO 400,F 9.0, shutter speed1/400th of a sec.
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Last night I went out to watch for the Camelopardalids (who thought of that name?) meteor shower. I stayed out only for the first part from ten thirty until about one thirty. There were few meteors to be seen and most of those were rather faint. In the image below you can see one in the upper right corner. This morning I slept in and missed the best mornings light for any bird photography. When I went out to check my bird feeders there was a Bark Beetle meandering across the flagstone. Here are some images of it on black and white backgrounds. It's fun to challenge yourself and try to learn something new. I see plenty of room for improvement but that's what always makes photography so interesting and fun to do. God bless, chris Camera Equipment Used- For the night sky Canon 7D, Canon 10-22mm lens at 10mm. Camera setting- Manual mode, ISO 6,400, F 3.5 at 30 seconds. For the beetle, Canon 7D and a 100mm macro lens. (2) Alien Bee studio lights with large softboxes. F 18.0 at 1/200th of a sec.
Friday, May 23, 2014
This morning was one of those days I just couldn't figure out where the birds were. I got into the backyard photoblind early and sat and waited for birds to come. I sat there for about three hours. I could hear birds in the trees around me calling; Jays, juncos and the deep throated hoots of the Band-tailed pigeons. But they stayed high up in the trees not making a move to come down to the feeders. Towards the end of my time one lone Steller's Jay flitted nervously around the feeder before taking off. All I photographed were female Western Gray Squirrels sitting on the feeder. It was a great day for squirrel portraits. God's light and love, chris Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a Bogen 3055 Ballhead. Camera Settings- AV mode, ISO 400,F stop and a shutter speed varied. http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Backyard-Photography-Chris-Hansen/dp/1937538559
Thursday, May 22, 2014
With summer getting ever closer I'm starting to see more and more butterflies. Yesterday afternoon I parked a chair next to a small patch of daisies and I watched the butterflies and other insects come and go for about a half an hour. What a beautiful way to spend some time. God's light and love to all, chris Mylitta Crescent Butterfly (orange), Duskywing Butterfly (dark), Unknown wasp Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens,36mm extension tube, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a Bogen 3055 Ballhead. Camera Settings- AV mode, ISO 400,F 8.0, shutter speed varied.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
I had great plans for photographing some Band-tailed Pigeons this morning. But before I could do any photography I had to take Jay to work by seven. On our way out the door Papaya Annika's cat slipped past me and bolted towards the backyard. Upon my return from town I eagerly set my self up in the photoblind my camera at the ready. I immediately heard some skittering sounds off to my left. Papaya bounded into view and ran right under the bird feeder. My battle with the cat had begun! First I tried to sweet talk her and make the grab. She would have none of that. She ran to just out of my reach and sat down. I threw some dirt clods next to her and drove her off off into the forest. I settled into the blind again. The pigeons started to come down lower only to be spooked back into the upper branches by Papaya chasing after a Junco that landed by the feeder. This time I was able to walk out and scoop her up. She squirmed all the way to the house where I deposited her into the sunroom. I went back to the blind and settled in. After a long wait a lone Steller's Jay came to feed. After it left the light which was already getting harsh got even brighter. The blasted cat won again. God's bright and shining love to all, chris
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
By the time I got set up to photograph birds this morning the sun was way too bright for good photography. Then it took a long, long time before any birds would come down to the bird feeder. I photographed one Band-tailed Pigeon portrait and then called it quits. Before leaving the blind I watched a caterpillar climbing up the inside of it. I grabbed it up and started up the steps to the house. I hadn't gone more than a few steps before spying some Mylitta Crescent Butterflies feeding on the daisies. They were a lot more fun to photograph than the birds this morning! God's love and blessings to all, chris Camera Equipment and settings- Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a Bogen 3055 Ballhead. For the caterpillar- Canon 7D and a 100 mm Macro lens. AV mode ISO 400, F4.0 Shutter speed 1/200th of a sec. Two Alien Bee 1600 studio flashes with 30 x 60 inch softboxes. For the Bandtailed-Pigeon and butterflies- Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400,Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens.
Monday, May 19, 2014
This morning I was up and around before seven. I was on a mission to get my computer repaired in the big city. Living in the country has on big disadvantage. It's hard to buy certain things or get them repaired. In this case I had to journey down to the Santa Rosa area to get my Mac dropped off for repairs. The bad news is that it is going to most likely cost more to get my computer repaired than it would cost me to build a brand new PC from scratch! Are you listening Apple? I ended up going shopping afterwards and didn't get home until late in the afternoon. Here is a Yellow Spotted Centipede I picked up from the front driveway. God's love and blessings to all, chris
Sunday, May 18, 2014
On Friday I made a quick one day trip up to Arcata to pick up Jay from college. Upon arrival I found out that Jay had one paper left to finish up for his last final. By then it was mid morning so the lighting for photography was pretty bright and flat. With some time on my hands I headed first to the Arcata Marsh. The sparrows there were in the topmost branches of the tallest plants singing their hearts out. After a short tour of the marsh I pointed the nose of the car northward up highway 101 to Trinidad. The normally sleepy little town of Trinidad was full of people! I've never seen so many people there before. I talked to a ranger and found out they were dedicating the lighthouse in a big ceremony. Not one for crowds I didn't stay long and instead headed a short distance up the coast to College Cove. Once there I hit the trails and found a profusion of wildflowers, flying gulls and seals basking on the rocks. It was a great hike before heading back down to Arcata to help Jay clear out his apartment and the drive home through the redwoods. God bless, chris All photography was done with a Canon 7D at a variety of settings and exposures.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
This morning I had no definite plan. I was puttering about the backyard photographing flowers and bees before the mosquitoes drove me indoors. Just a little bit later Lenore asked me about cutting some wood for an art project she had planned. While I was digging the wood out I found a scorpion. Always a fun subject. After cutting the wood I brought the scorpion into the studio and photographed it on a white sweep. I liked powerful sterile look of pure scorpion. Afterwards I took it out to the forest and set it free. I'm still working on the family computer until at least next week when I can take my computer to the big city to be repaired. It takes a bit longer for me to do things on this computer as I'm not always sure where things are. Working with Photoshop Elements is a big change too compared to Photoshop CC as well. God's precious love to all, chris Camera Equipment and settings- Canon 7D and a 100 mm Macro lens. Flowers and bee AV mode ISO 400, F8.0 Shutter speed varied. Scorpion Two Alien Bee 1600 studio flashes with 30 x 60 inch softboxes. 1/2 power, Camera on manual mode, 1/200th of a sec at f22.0
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Having a backyard to photograph in is a gift from God. There is always something to photograph from flowers and plants to insects, squirrels and birds. Here are just a few images from yesterday afternoon and this morning. I was able to photograph an Anna's Hummingbird, an immature Rufous Humming bird and a couple of Duskywing Butterflies. Except for the mosquitoes this morning it was a lot of fun. God's love and blessings to all, chris Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a Bogen 3055 Ballhead, For the hummingbirds (4)Canon 540EZ flashes set to 1/16th power with Isniper wireless remote flash triggers. Camera Settings- Manual mode, ISO 400,F 18.0 and a shutter speed of 1/200th of a sec. http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Backyard-Photography-Chris-Hansen/dp/1937538559 For the Duskywing Butterflies I used the Canon 100-400 with a 36mm extension tube and the exposure varied in AV mode.