Saturday, October 31, 2015
Yesterday the fog was perfect around "Saint Francis Castle" when I looked down into the Little Lake Valley yesterday morning. "Saint Francis Castle" is what I call a really tall old Redwood tree that lost its top many years ago on the old Saint Francis Ranch. The fog and lighting were just right for what I wanted to do. I grabbed my 600 mm telephoto lens composed it on the castle and waited. I waited and waited. Every time I had the movement of a bird entering the frame I clicked the shutter. After a long wait and many single birds I had a flock of birds go across the frame. I clicked the shutter several times and I knew I had it. After processing the image I was really excited to see a beautiful simple image of fog, tree tops and birds. I love it. God's love and blessings to all, chris This image was created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens at 600 mm propped on my bedroom window sill. Camera settings used were AV mode,ISO 400,F 16.0 at 1/ 1250th of a sec.
Friday, October 30, 2015
Yesterday morning after putting Badger out to go for his morning pit stop I glanced to the east to see a brilliant light in the sky. Oh that's right I reminded myself. This week there was going to be a major convergence of Venus, Jupiter and Mars in the eastern sky just before dawn. Apparently I have already missed when the planets were at their closest last weekend. I crawled back under the warm covers only to realize that I should get up and take a few photographs of it. After all it was an important event. Some astronomers believe that a similar convergence around 2-3 A.D. was the star of Bethlehem that led the wisemen to find Jesus in Bethlehem. Pretty cool if it was. In any case here is the convergence of the planets over the Mendocino Mountain Range east of Willits, Ca.I couldn't decide which image I liked best. God's precious light and love to all, chris These images were created with a Canon 7D and a Canon EF- s17-85mm lens. Camera settings used were Manual Mode, ISO 800, F 4.5 for 15sec.The camera was supported on a Manfrotto 055 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Yesterday morning I alternated between the Douglas Tree Squirrel and the Steller's Jays. They were taking turns coming to the feeder. I just love the sharp contrast between the bright blue of the Steller's and the bold yellow, red and orange of the fall colors in the background. I think I have exhausted the use of this perch and will be onto something new. God's love and blessings to all, chris Today's image was created with a Canon 7D,Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens on a Manfrotto 190 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead. Camera settings used were, AV mode, ISO 800, F 5.6 at 1/125 th of a sec.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
There was about a half hour break in the weather this morning so I decided to hit the photoblind in the backyard for a few more Steller's Jay images. Not long after I arrived so did a Douglas Tree Squirrel. I could have chased her off but I decided that she looked really photogenic with the fall colors in the background behind her. Besides the fact that I really like Douglas Tree Squirrels. They are just so spunky and fun to watch. I put up this feeder last Friday so it didn't take the squirrels very long to find it. Especially when you consider that there is literally tons of acorns out in the forest right now. I got a lot of nice images of her and here is one of them. This image was created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens at 285mm. Camera settings used were, AV mode, ISO 800, F 5.6 at 1/640th of a sec. The camera was supported by a Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 Ballhead. God's precious light and love to all, chris
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Whoo Hoo! Today it rained. Not much but it was cloudy all day with scattered rain showers and we sure need it. I picked up my camera one time and attempted some photography but no birds were coming to the bird feeders at all. I took some time and looked over my images from last week and decided to post one of the Steller's Jays that I liked. Here is my rerun for you. May you have a blessed day tomorrow, chris. Image created with a canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens. #TeamCanon
Monday, October 26, 2015
Over the weekend we made a quick trip to Chico, California. It's always nice to make a drive across the Central Valley to see all the sights it has to offer. Chico has a great Farmer's Market that is always one of our obligatory stops when we go there. We also really love to walking downtown and the CSU campus with all of its old brick buildings. I naturally had my camera along to capture anything that caught my interest. Here are some random images from our little jaunt. May you have a blessd evening, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Canon EF-s 17-85mm lens. Exposures and settings varied
Friday, October 23, 2015
This morning I photographed Steller's Jays for awhile from my backyard photoblind. This was one of my favorites. I love the curious look on the Jay's face and the bold fall colors in the background. This image was created using a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens at 180mm. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 at 1/125th of a sec.The camera was supported on a Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead. God's blessing to all for a wonderful weekend, chris
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Late this morning I went out into the backyard to do some hummingbird photography. I decided to bring along Badger the Wonder Dog rather than leaving him alone in the house. After setting up my flashes and some flowers behind the feeder I settled into the photoblind. Badger did not. He kept moving around, trying to eat grass and wanting a lot of attention. It started by him putting his head into my lap. Next came his paws. I pet him for awhile and the he sat back down. A few minutes later he was at it again. This time he was much more insistent. Within a couple of seconds he was up into my into my lap. Being a good dog owner I reprimanded him and made him get down. Soon he was at it again. This time being a poor dog owner this time I let him stay on my lap just to keep the peace so I could do some photography. though admittedly it was a bit awkward to lean forward and focus. I created quite a few images but got one image I was really happy with. It's one I can add to the "Thrifty Fifty Challenge". God's love and blessings to all, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 50mm 1.8 lens on a Manfrotto tripod with a Bogen ballhead. Camera settings used were Manual Mode, ISO 200, F 22.0 at 1/160th of a sec. Lighting was provided by four Canon 540EZ flashes set to 1/16th power. Two flashes were on the hummingbird and two were on the background. #TeamCanon
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Recently I have been challenging myself and other photographers to create uncropped images of small birds using short or what is often called a normal or fifty millimeter lens. Other names for this lens depending upon the manufacturer are the thrifty fifty, nifty fifty and plastic fantastic. I am challenging myself and others because it places the emphasis of photography on the photographer's skills and techniques rather than their equipment. This afternoon I set up a perch next to the hummingbird feeder for the hummingbirds to land on. It takes a lot of patience to photograph a hummingbird from sooo close up. It's pretty cool as well because you can pick out individual feather details with the naked eye unaided by a telephoto lens or a pair of binoculars.After a long wait a male Anna's Hummingbird stayed perched long enough for me to get one frame. the biggest problem with photographing hummingbirds this close up is the sound of the shutter scares them into jerking or talking off into flight. This image was created using a Canon7D and a Canon 50mm 1.8. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 1600, F 5.6 at 1/100th of a sec. Please check out my book "Secrets of Backyard bird Photography" for more on techniques for photographing hummingbirds. It is available in both hardbound and as an ebook on Amazon and other fine book sellers. #TeamCanon
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Over the weekend I encountered yet another bug in my domicile. I heard some fluttering over my head as I walked into our sunroom. Looking up to surmise what was making the fluttering sound I spotted a Katydid throwing itself against the window trying to get out.What is up with all of the bugs in our house? must be the change in the weather. I walked to the kitchen and grabbed a plastic container to place the poor hapless little creature in. I nimbly (of course) plucked it up by the wings and plopped it into the container with a snap of the lid. Early the next morning I placed the Katydid on a slender stalk of a Gladiola plant and photographed it with my macro lens. Afterwards I tossed it up into the air off of our deck so I could watch it fly away to freedom at the forests edge. They have got the coolest eyes! God's light and love to all, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a 100mm macro lens on a Manfrotto Tripod with a Bogen ballhead. Camera settings used were, AV mode, ISO 800, F 3.5 at 1/30th of a sec.
Monday, October 19, 2015
I stepped into the bathroom the other night and as I clicked on the light a big red spider dangled down the wall on a thin strand of silken web. Quickly I ran downstairs and grabbed a canning jar. I darted back upstairs and scooped the spider up into the jar and snugged the lid tight. Hmmn... like it's really going to open the jar and escape? On Saturday morning I gently nudged the spider out of the jar onto a leaf from the garden. I photographed it in the early morning light before setting it free out in the forest where it belongs. May you have a blessed day, chris BTW: Check out how many eyes it has! Image created with a Canon 7D and a 100mm macro lens on a Manfrotto tripod with a Bogen ballhead. Camera settings used were, AV mode, ISO 400, F 16.0 at .3 sec.
Saturday, October 17, 2015
Today marks the completion of my shares of the images from my large water set up in my backyard. What better species to conclude it with than Hutton's Vireo. These sneaky little birds were both hard to photograph and to identify. They would literally dive into the water sometimes and then spring back into the air without pausing. Sometimes they would just hover above the water and then fly off again. I felt quite privileged to photograph them when they would settle down and bathe in the water for more than three seconds. After getting a sew images of them I then had to ID them. I narrowed it down to the Vireo family and then I really wasn't quite willing to commit to my ID. I put the question to the California Birders cgroup and they confirmed it was a Hutton's Vireo. Huttons's are found in a band running from Vancouver island down the length of California into Northern Baja. In the interior there is a group that runs from Southern Arizona and New Mexico Boarder down into Central Mexico. Here are a few of my favorites. Enjoy and God bless, chris All images were created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens on a Manfrotto tripod. Exposures varied. If you are interested in creating a water set up like this one please check out the book, Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography", where step by step directions are provided to show how to build a water set up. The book is available in both hardbound and as an ebook at Amazon and most anywhere fine books are sold.
Friday, October 16, 2015
The Chickadees that hang around my house are quite active and gregarious. They are like a friendly little gang that is mostly up to good with a little mischief thrown in now and then. The species that I get here are called Chestnut Backed Chickadees. They are here year round with a slight increase in population over the winter. They are a pretty bold for such a tiny little bird and live quite easily around people seemingly unafraid if you don't make any move to startle them. Chestnuts are a Coastal Range species found in the coastal mountains from southern Alaska southward to Central California. There is a branch of the population that extends inland along the Columbia River into the interior as far Alberta and the Snake River Region of Idaho. Here are some of my favorites at the water set up from last week. God's love and blessings to all, chris All images were created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens on a Manfrotto tripod. Exposures varied. If you are interested in creating a water set up like this one please check out the book, Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography", where step by step directions are provided to show how to build a water set up. The book is available in both hardbound and as an ebook at Amazon and most anywhere fine books are sold.
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Photographing warblers is a really special for me because being insect eaters they rarely will come to bird feeders. They do however like water so whenever I build a water set up there is a good chance one of them will come for water. On Wednesday last week I was really excited when a Townsend's Warbler came in for a drink and a bath. They are such a beautiful bird. Townsend's prefer the the Evergreen forests of the Pacific Northwest migrating in the fall down the California coast and then into central Mexico. What a real treat to photograph this bird. Here are three images from a series of images I photographed over about a five minute period of time. Enjoy your day with God's blessings upon you, chris All images were created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens on a Manfrotto tripod. Exposures varied. If you are interested in creating a water set up like this one please check out the book, Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography", where step by step directions are provided to show how to build a water set up. The book is available in both hardbound and as an ebook at Amazon and most anywhere fine books are sold.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
One of the more interesting birds in my backyard is the Hermit Thrush. They eat a mixed diet depending upon the season from insects to fruit. The only place I ever find them is at our small garden pond or if I create a water set up as is the case here. Their bright eyes and speckled breast really make them stand out when they appear at the waters edge. They also are a widespread North American species from coast to coast way up into Alaska and far down into Southern Mexico. It was really hard to narrow it down to only three images for today's photoblog because I have so many that I really liked. Enjoy the Thrushes and have a blessed day, chris All images were created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens on a Manfrotto tripod. Exposures varied. If you are interested in creating a water set up like this one please check out the book, Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography", where step by step directions are provided to show how to build one. The book is available in both hardbound and as an ebook at Amazon and most anywhere fine books are sold.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
God has created such an incredible diversity of birds for us to enjoy and I just get to see a small sampling of it where I live. Off and on for the last five days I have been photographing birds at a water set up my backyard. Needless to say I ended up photographing a lot of birds and it has taken quite some time to edit them. For the next few days I am going to share some of my favorites. I'm starting off today with the Dark Eyed Juncos. Where I live I get the Oregon Juncos and Slate Colored Juncos. This year has been rather strange as I didn't see very many Juncos all summer long which is a rarity for here because they are usually the most common bird around. It may have something to do with the drought. Luckily they have returned in the past few weeks and I am seeing more of them. Many people across North America are quite familiar with this species as their range covers most of the continent from Alaska all the way down to Mexico and from coast to coast. Here are three of my favorites. Enjoy the birds and God bless. All images were created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens on a Manfrotto tripod. Exposures varied. If you are interested in creating a water set up like this one please check out the book, Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography", where step by step directions are provided to show how to build one. The book is available in both hardbound and as an ebook at Amazon and most anywhere fine books are sold.
Monday, October 12, 2015
This morning both Lenore and I were up before sunrise. I must say that with the shortening days that is much easier to accomplish. We went for a walk and then I grabbed my camera and tripod and went and photographed a leaf in the pond in our backyard. I just loved the light coming through and the mirrored reflection on the water. My thanks to Karolina Fonseca Moreira for the image idea. If you want to see some beautiful bird photography from South America please check out her photography. God's love and blessings to all, chris Image created with a Canon 7D on a Manfrotto tripod using a 100mm macro lens. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800,F 8.0 at 1/25th of a sec.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
The Pyracantha Berries I put next to my water set up to add some color for photographing birds have been a hit. The birds and squirrels have been loving eating them. Here is my favorite from yesterday afternoon of a Vireo eating one of the berries. Have a great weekend. God's blessings to all, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens.
Friday, October 9, 2015
Today the squirrels found the water set up I created for my bird photography in the backyard. They loved the water and were particularly intrigued with the Pyracantha Berries I put along side of it to cast some color onto the water for my photography. One Western Gray Squirrel gave it the sniff test and then later decided they were pretty good to eat too. Considering the squirrels small range these are probably the first Pyracantha Berries these squirrels have ever seen. May you have a blessed weekend, chris If you are interested in building a small pond set up like this for photography please check out my book, Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography as there are step by step directions on how to build one. It is available at Amazon and many other fine book sellers as well.
Thursday, October 8, 2015
What is so compelling about sunrises and sunsets that people all over the globe get up early or stay and wait for the first or last glimpse of the sun? After all it happens twice daily at least in the middle latitudes of our planet. There are even famous places where people make special trips to watch it happen. Volcanoes in Hawaii and beaches on the west coasts of continents. I find myself caught up in it too, capturing images of sunrises and sunsets with my photography. The bright, rich colors contrasting with the shapes of the land are visually stimulating and beautiful to look at. Is it the red light that hits a special nerve in the pleasure center of our brains. Maybe it is a way of marking the beginning or end of a new chapter in our lives. Just maybe it is simply that we are in awe of God's handiwork in the heavens and we just find it to be beautiful. It's something to wonder about. May you have a wonderful day. God bless, chris These are a few sunrises from over the Mendocino Range and the Little Lake Valley earlier this week. They were captured with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens. Exposures varied.