Thursday, July 31, 2014

Milky Way Rising Above the Redwoods

Last night just before midnight I hatched a plan in my mind to photograph a dandelion in front of the Milky Way. The plan wasn't successful though after a bit of thought I figured out what I need to do to correct the error of my ways. Now that is almost an impossible with out divine intervention. Thank you Lord for providing it. Now back to where I was. I didn't succeed in photographing the dandelion but I did get a nice image of the Milky Way rising up over the redwoods. God's light and love to all, chris Image Created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 10-22mm wide angle lens at 10mm on a Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a Bogen 3055 Ballhead. Camera Settings used- Manual Mode, ISO 3200, F4.5 at 30 seconds, 2 second timer delay.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Best Camera Is...

There is an old saying that the best camera is the one you have in your hand. This was true this morning when I hopped out of bed and looked at my favorite view over the Mendocino Range to the east of us. A beautiful sunrise was taking place. I grabbed the nearest camera which was my daughter Annikas Rebel. I braced the camera against the window sill and created the image. The adage holds to be true. God's love and blessings to all, chris Image created with a Canon Rebel T3i with a Canon 28-105 lens at 93mm. Camera settings used- AV mode, ISO 400,F4.5 at 1/160th of a sec.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Just Hummers

Here are a couple of Anna's Hummingbird images from this morning. There was one male Anna's that was extremely skittish. Which is usually not the norm. Many will even come to the feeders while I'm refilling them. This little guy would be off at any kind of movement from the blind or my camera. I ended up photographing him without any flowers in the images because he was so nervous. God bless, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens, (4) Canon 540 EZ flashes set to 1/16th power. Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a Bogen 3055 Ballhead. Camera exposure settings Manual mode, ISO 100, F Stop 13.0, Shutter Speed 1/200th of a sec. For more information on hummingbird photography check out my book "Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography" on Amazon and other fine book sellers.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Gates of Hell or a Walk in an Oak Woodland

This last weekend we traveled down to Antioch, CA to visit out friend Nick and his family. We had a great time playing basketball, eating and talking. On Sunday I arose with the sun and I could tell that it was going to be a fantastic sunrise. I could also see that I wasn't going to make it to a location where I could see it in time. Oh well, no rush just enjoy what you can see I thought to myself as I drove to the trailhead of the Empire Mine Road. The road is locally famous among young people because it is supposedly haunted. There is an old abandoned ranch house, feed lot and possible slaughterhouse along with the "gates of hell" that lead to an old insane asylum.It is rumored that if you step through the gates you will die within a year. I only spotted the abandoned ranch house. Maybe the other things have been torn down. In any case the city of Antioch closed off vehicular access to the road in 2005 and it has become a really nice hiking trail through some beautiful rolling hills covered in oaks and grassland. There were ground squirrels in abundance that gave me plenty of warning when a scrawny coyote ran by in the distance. A beautiful rainbow and some cool cell towers disguised as trees! A few cows and steers and one pretty hefty Angus bull that I was glad to have a fence line between me and it. It was well worth the walk and I'd like to do it again when when we visit Nick next time. God's precious light and love to all, chris Images created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens or a Canon 10-22 wide angle lens.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


I went out chasing the Blacktail Deer this morning. I went to my favored spot and there were no deer to be seen so I hit some of my other spots. I was really surprised to see a deer with an ear tag. First Blacktail that I have ever photographed with an ear tag. I was even more surprised to read the tag when I got home and uploaded it to the computer. Fish and wildlife is really working to save money. It was a bear tag! Nice work. God's tender love and blessings to all, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Butterflies and Hummingbirds

I spent a good chunk of this morning processing images of butterflies and hummingbirds from yesterday afternoon. Mylitta Crescent Butterflies in the last stages of their flight were visiting my flowers. Later on I was photographing Anna's and Allen's Hummingbirds in the corner of the yard. Those darn hummingbirds are addictive! I really enjoy photographing birds and other creatures in my backyard. It's amazing what you can find there. God's love and blessings to all, chris Butterfly images created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens with a 36mm extension tube added for close focusing. Av mode, ISO 400,F5.0,shutter speed varied. Hummingbird images created with a 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.

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.