Tuesday, March 31, 2015
This morning it felt a lot more like winter than it did spring. Cold and foggy with a spatter of rain. I headed out to the Burris Ranch for a little bit of photography from my blind. I haven't been out there for a few days so I had to restock the bird feeders before settling into the photoblind. After a short wait I could hear waaka, waaka, waaka the call of the Acorn Woodpeckers coming from the trees down below the pasture. Sook they could be heard above the garden where my photoblind is. After that it was one woodpecker after another coming in to feed until a Red Shouldered Hawk swooped through scared them away for awhile. It made for some great images of Acorn Woodpeckers. It looks like I'm going to have to treat them like squirrels and set them up there own feeder away from the photoblind. That way I'll have a better chance of photographing some other subjects other than woodpeckers for awhile. God's love and blessings to all, chris Please take some time to check out my new book on Amazon, Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Backyard-Photography-Chris-Hansen/dp/1937538559
Monday, March 30, 2015
Most of the Rufous Hummingbirds have passed through in the last couple of weeks though there are a few of them humming around. Last night I worked on my set up for photographing hummingbirds. This morning I went out and gave it a go. It took me a while to get all of my flashes and settings right. All the while I was continuing my love hate relationship with Papaya the blasted cat. She kept going in and out of the photoblind while I was photographing the hummingbirds. Luckily for me the hummingbirds just ignore her. After a bit she freaked me out by jumping up into my lap when I was focusing on a young Anna's. I sat back after the hummingbird left and Papaya proceeded to stretch out on my leg and fall asleep. It turns out that Anna's ended up being my favorite image of the whole morning.I just loved the emerald green back. God's love and blessings to you all, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens at 235 mm. Camera was supported with a Manfrotto 190 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 ballhead. Four Canon 540 EZ flashes were used set to 1/16th power. Camera settings used were manual mode, ISO 200,F11.0 at 1/200th of a second. If you are interested in learning how to photograph hummingbirds please check out chapter 6 of my new book, Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography available at most online book sellers in hardbound and e book. http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Backyard-Photography-Chris-Hansen/dp/1937538559 #Bringit #TeamCanon
Saturday, March 28, 2015
If you have been following my photoblog for any length of time you probably have noticed that I like to use alliterations in the titles. Of course that has nothing to do with today's photoblog but I felt like mentioning it. Right now the Acorn Woodpeckers have taken over my bird feeders out in the Little Lake Valley. Because they are a communal species they protect their food sources from many other birds. When they come into feed everyone else takes off or keeps a respectful distance. Surprisingly smaller birds don't seem to rile them up much. If a Steller's Jay or a Western Scrub Jay come into feed they are right on it dive bombing it and pursuing it away from the feeders. When the woodpeckers are away the jays will come in but they will keep a low profile often feeding on the ground below the feeders. Deciding which woodpecker images to share is difficult because I have been taking quite a few. Here is a selection from Thursday. God's love and blessings to all, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens on a Manfrotto 055 XPROB tripod. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 the shutter speed varied. #Bringit #TeamCanon Spring is a great time to get started learning to photograph birds as they are in breeding colors making for some beautiful image. If you are interested in learning how to photograph birds in your backyard please check out my new book, Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography. It is available from most major online book sellers and it is available in both hardbound and E book editions. http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Backyard-Photography-Chris-Hansen/dp/1937538559
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Yesterday I had a great time photographing birds. For those of you that regularly follow my photoblog you know that only a few of birds used the new bird feeder after I put it up. One was an Acorn Woodpecker and the other was this gorgeous male House Finch. The House Finch stayed in one spot and modeled for me for a couple of minutes. Wow, they hardly ever do that! It was really hard to decide which image to use for today's blog. So here it is. Enjoy and God bless, chris This image was created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600 lens at 600mm. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 at 1/800th of a sec. The camera was supported with a Manfrotto 055 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 ballhead. Please check out my new book, Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography on Amazon and other online book sellers. http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Backyard-Photography-Chris-Hansen/dp/1937538559 #Bringit #TeamCanon
Today was the perfect day for bird photography. The fog in the Little Lake Valley didn't clear until almost eleven. I'm not fond of sunny mornings for bird photography as it gets bright way too fast. This morning was just right. After I arrived I put up a new bird feeder and moved one of the older ones. Before I could even get back into the photoblind a White Breasted Nuthatch was already using the new feeder. This really surprised me as most of the time it takes the birds little while to use a new feeder. As it turned out it was just one smart nuthatch because only two other birds used that feeder for the rest of the morning. There were plenty of Acorn Woodpeckers though and now my collection of images of them is growing by leaps and bounds. Here are a couple of White Breasted Nuthatch images that I'm really happy with. May God bless you with his tender mercies and love, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600. Camera settings used. AV mode,ISO 800, F8.0 shutter speeds of 1/640th and 1/800th of a sec. Camera was supported by a Manfrotto 190 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 Ballhead. Spring is a great time for bird photography. If you haven't already done so please check out my new book, Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography. It's available in both hardbound and as an e book at most major on line book sellers. http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Backyard-Photography-Chris-Hansen/dp/1937538559
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
A few years back I started occasionally seeing Eurasion Collared Doves in the Little Lake Valley where I live. Now I see them on a daily basis and this year was the very first time I have photographed them from my photoblind. Right now there is a pair of them and from the sounds of it they have taken up residence and are going to be nesting. Collared doves were released in the Bahamas in the mid 1970s. They made made landfall in Florida in the 1980s. Since then they have spread westward and northward and can now be found as far north as Southeast Alaska. That's incredibly fast for an exotic species. Look for a Collared dove near you. If you haven't already done so please check out my new book, Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography. It is available in both hardbound and as an e book from most online book sellers. The book is a excellent source for learning about photographing birds and has been getting great reviews. Spring time is an excellent time to photograph birds! Have a blessed day, chris Images created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens. #Bring it #TeamCanon
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
I had a great time photographing birds in the rain today from my photoblind in the Little Lake Valley of Northern California. The bird photography started off very slowly as I haven't been out to restock the bird feeders for a couple of days. All the while the rain came down in a steadily drizzle though it did let up a couple of times. Here is a female House Finch captured with a Tamron 150-600 at 483mm. VC off on a tripod and a Canon 7D set at ISO 800, F 8.0 at 1/400th of a sec. Please take some time to check out my new book, Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography. It is available in hardbound and as an Ebook from Amazon and most major online book sellers. Have a blessed evening, chris #Bringit #TeamCanon
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Yesterday afternoon I went out to the Burris Ranch in the little Lake Valley for about an hour of photography. When I arrived there were only a couple of birds in the garden where my photoblind is located and all of the feeders were cleaned out. Because I only had an hour I quickly restocked the feeders and put up a Teisel perch next to the bird feeders. I ended up photographing a lot of Dark Eyed Juncos until the very end when I had a male House Finch land on the Teisel. I held the shutter made a few images. I looked at the resulting image and quickly recomposed it and made a few more. I checked the screen and I knew I had my image. This image is the perfect partner to the female House Finch on Teisel that I posted last week. Another great "Teisel Topper". God's light and love to all, chris Image created with a Canon 7D on a Manfrotto 190 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 ballhead. The lens used was a Tamron 150-600 at 428 mm. Camera settings used were ISO 800, F 8.0 at 1/500th of a sec.
One of the most common birds in the area where I live are the cute little Dark Eyed Juncos. No matter that I probably have hundreds of images of them I still enjoy creating more. They are just a fun little bird to photograph. Part of it is because they are very approachable. They are also almost always the first birds to check out a new feeder when I put it up. A consequence of this is that I'm always photographing them to check out my composition and exposure. Luckily for me they are a pretty photogenic bird with quite a few types. At present all the types of juncos are lumped as one species called Dark Eyed Juncos. In the west where I'm located the main type found here is called the Oregon Junco. Alaska east down the Rockies and the eastern part of North America is the main domain of the Slate Colored Junco. The North central Rockies is where the Pink Sided Junco can be found and the White Winged Junco nests in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The Gray Headed Junco nest in the central Rockies and the mountains of the Great Basin of the west. Last but not least the Red Backed Junco can be found as a year round resident in Northern Arizona and New Mexico. I think it would be cool to photograph all of the types. This afternoon I spent about an hour in the photoblind at the Burris Ranch and here is one of my favorite junco images for today. God's love and blessings to all, chris Image created with a Canon 7D on a Manfrotto 190 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 ballhead. The lens used was a Tamron 150-600 at 500mm. Camera settings used were ISO 800, F 8.0 at 1/500th of a sec. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.' Hebrews 13:8.
Friday, March 20, 2015
This afternoon I went out into the backyard and photographed hummingbirds. I positioned my photoblind next to the oak garden arch where several of them were landing. I had to move the blind four times to get a great looking background. I waited for quite awhile until one of them landed on a branch that was out in the open with no distracting branches. I loved the final image of an immature Rufous Hummingbird. God's light and love to all, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600 mm lens at 600mm. Camera settings used were ISO 800,f 6.3 at 1/50th of a sec.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
I set up a perch of teisel beside the bird feeder out at the Burris Ranch in the Little Lake Valley. I prefocused my camera on the top most portion of the teisel and waited. Then I waited and waited some more. Soon the House Finches started using the feeder but none of them landed on the teisel. Patience was the main ingredient needed here and eventually one female alighted on the teisel. She left and then came back. I was able to create some really nice images of her. This one was my favorite. God's love and blessings to all, chris This image was created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens at 400mm. ISO 800,F 5.6 at 1/500th of a sec.
I'm slowly getting caught up on editing images from last Saturday and picking out my favorites. One really nice image I processed was of a Northern Flicker. I have been hearing the Flickers off and on for several weeks now but they very seldom come close to the photoblind. On Saturday a pair of them landed in front of the blind and began probing the garden for grubs and worms. I never did see them find any but it sure made for some nice photography. God's love and blessings to all,chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 150-600mm lens at 400mm. ISO 800, F5.6 at 1/1,600th of a sec.
Monday, March 16, 2015
Right now we are at the start of the annual hummingbird migration. Where I live in Northern California we getting migrating Anna's, Allen's and Rufous Hummingbirds. This week in my backyard there have been plenty of Rufous and Anna's stopping in for sips of nectar from my feeders. The Rufous Hummingbirds are amazing. They migrate from as far as Southern Mexico coming up the coastal ranges all the way up to Southeastern Alaska to breed. After breeding they migrate back down to Mexico via the Cascades and Sierra Nevada Mountain Ranges or the Rocky Mountains. That's an incredible journey for such a small bird that weighs less than a penny and a half. Today's photographs were taken from a photoblind in my backyard. Because hummingbirds many times will perch in the same spot after feeding I set my photoblind close to a tree branch where one hummingbird was consistently landing. I waited until the hummingbird flew to the feeder and then quietly and quickly went out to the photblind and I climbed in. A short wait later the hummingbird returned and started using the branch again. After taking a series of images I knew I had my Rufous Hummingbird images for today. Images created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600 mm lens at 600mm. Camera was set in AV mode, ISO 800, F stops and shutter speeds varied. Camera was placed on a Manfrotto 190 XPROB Tripod with a Bogen 3055 Ballhead. Isn't it amazing the brilliant colors that can come off of that gorget? God's tender love and blessings to all, chris God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.”Genesis 1:20
Sunday, March 15, 2015
On Saturday the birds were slowly started coming into the bird feeders very slowly at first and then they gradually they picked up the pace. The lighting was superb for bird photography as it was overcast with a a layer of clouds. I was getting a lot of images of Wood Peckers, House Finches and a few Dark Eyed Juncos. But because the lighting was so nice I really wanted to get an image of a Steller's Jay. I prefocused on the perch that they were using before going to the bird feeder but they were always too fast. Eventually one stopped long enough for me to take several images of it before it dove off of the perch onto the bird feeder. This was my favorite image. I just love the rich, blue plumage. God's love and blessings to all, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di Vc Usd Lens at 256 mm. Camera settings used were AV mode,ISO 800,F 5.6 at 1/800th of a sec. The camera was supported by a Manfrotto 055 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 Bogen ballhead.
Overcast days are perfect for photography. They allow for photographing without harsh shadows and you can photograph all day long without worrying about any. This morning we arose to a muted sunrise and a layer of clouds that has stayed with us all day. Around noon I drove to my Mom's house to pick somethig up. On the return drive I slowed to a stop next to a group of deer feeding beside the road. I zoomed in on one of their faces for a nice tight portrait. I love that wide eyed look. This image would have been very difficult to make at noon on a sunny day. Blessings upon your day, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di VC USD The sunrise image was braced on the window sill and the deer image was handheld. AV Mode, ISO 800 exposures varied.
Saturday, March 14, 2015
This afternoon I went out to my photoblind in the Little Lake valley to restock the bird feeders and put in a little bit of bird photography. I haven't been out there in close to two weeks! On the drive out there I was really surprised to see a whole "kettle" of Turkey Vultures all lined up down a fence line going out into the valley. There were a bakers dozen of them just sitting there. I squeezed slowly onto the almost non existent shoulder. I checked my mirrors for approaching traffic and made a couple of images of the closest one hand held out the passenger window. Such a nice image of one of natures clean up crew. Turkey Vultures are natures way of disposing of all of the dead animals. They are a much needed species. God's light and love to all, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600 lens at 428mm handheld. AV Mode,ISO 800,F6.3 at 1/200th of a sec.
Friday, March 13, 2015
we awoke to a gorgeous lavender and pink sunrise. A light cloud cover perfect for some photography. After a series of minor delays I was in the photblind by eight. My first visitor was a Dark Eyed Junco.Then nothing. Where was the blasted cat? I looked for her when I came out but I couldn't find her. My question was answered when about five minutes later she popped into the blind wanting to be petted. Eventually she fell asleep on my lap. I carried her into the house and settled into the blind again. Shortly thereafter a western Gray Squirrel came for a snack. He didn't stay long because my cell phone rang interrupting us. Duty calls. May you have a blessed weekend, chris Images created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens supported by a Manfrotto 190 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 305 ballhead. Camera settings varied.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
The sun rose bright and shining this morning with not a cloud in the sky. I knew this meant a very short time for bird photography because it gets way to bright for decent images rather quickly. I skipped breakfast and headed out to the photoblind. The only creatures that visited the bird feeder were jays and squirrels. When God gives you jays and squirrels that's what you photograph. Here is a Steller's Jay from my photoblind in Mendocino County, Northern California. Enjoy and God bless, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens at 150mm. Camera settings used. AV mode, ISO 800,F 5.0 at 1/25th of a sec. It was still pretty dark as shown by the low shutter speed. Camera was supported by a Manfrotto 055 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 Ballhead. Matthew 6:26 New International Version (NIV) 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
I had an idea for an image with pink orchids and a Steller's Jay. This afternoon I squeezed in a little time between domestic duties to give it a try. The lighting wasn't perfect but with a little tweaking believe I can create a pretty sensational image next time I give it a try. God's love and tender mercies to all, chris. This image was created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600 lens at 165mm. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800, F 7.1 at 1/125th of a sec. Camera was supported on a Manfrotto 055 XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Bogen ballhead.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
This morning I was out the door and in the photoblind by seven forty five. I had great great visions an image of a Steller's Jay surrounded by flowers. I waited and waited. It was really, really quiet except for the sound of a stiff breeze blowing through the trees. Not a bird or squirrel to be heard. Even the frogs in the backyard pond were silent. After about an hour and a half my hopes were raised when I could hear Jays down the ridge from me. They got closer and closer then went dead. A Dark Eyed Junco flew by with a quick flutter of wings and was gone. I sat and sat as it was quiet once again. There was not a bird to be seen or heard. I sat for a total two hours and fifteen minutes. I had to give up because I had an appointment down town. I was expecting a great image of a Steller's Jay with flowers. Instead here is a macro image of a close up of some aluminum cable wire from a couple of days ago. Not every day goes as planned. God's love and blessings to all, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a 100mm macro lens and extension tubes for added magnification. The camera settings used were ISO 800, F 22.0 at .6 seconds. The camera was secured on a Manfrotto 055 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 Ballhead.
Monday, March 9, 2015
I was waiting for a phone call this morning so I had to stick close to the house. I decided to do some bird photography in the yard with some orchids for a perch. As I was setting up I could hear the squirrels down the ridge from our house giving an alarm call. This was a premonition of things to come. There was some kind of predator in the area and they were letting everyone know. Sure enough once I was set up in the photoblind it was quiet except for the squirrels giving out their staccato warnings. I sat and sat. Eventually a Steller's Jay made its way down to the feeder only to fly off screeching as a hawk swooped in to try and grab it. It was way too fast for me to follow but the Jay escaped. That was pretty cool! After that it stayed slow and and I waited patiently with Badger asleep at my feet. Suddenly the bottom of the blind shook and there was Papaya the blasted cat wanting to be petted. Now it was quite cozy in the blind with the dog at my feet and the cat in my lap! After a little bit more of a wait I managed to photograph a Steller's Jay and a Dark Eyed Junco. It was a great morning to be out. God's love and blessings to all, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600 lens. Camera was supported with a Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod and a Bogen 3055 ballhead. Camera settings used AV mode, ISO 800 shutter speeds and F stops varied.
Saturday, March 7, 2015
Yesterday I posted an image of a Male House Finch. This afternoon I spent quite a bit of time editing images and I came across a female House Finch taken during the same time period. I felt I should show off the female finch as well. She was sitting there in beautiful light and she looks gorgeous! I hope you are having an enjoyable weekend. God's love and blessings to all, chrisImage created using a Canon 7D and a Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD lens at 450mm on a Manfrotto 190 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 ballhead. Camera settings used. AV mode, ISO 400,F 8.0 at 1/1,250th of a sec.
Friday, March 6, 2015
This morning I rose early and left the house after a really quick breakfast. I wanted to get in as much photography as I could for the morning. When I arrived at the photoblind it was covered completely in thick frost both inside and out. This time I was prepared with my wool socks. It was a good thing too because I had a long wait before any birds showed up. I haven't been out there for several days and the birds had cleaned out the bird feeders and moved on so it took them awhile to figure out more food was available after I refilled them. Once the birds did show up however the action was non stop. There were a lot of Acorn Woodpeckers, Dark Eyed Juncos and House Finches with a few Steller's Jays thrown in for good measure. They just love those black sunflower seeds. Just in case you are wondering the B.O.A.S. stands for Bird On A Stick. Below was my best bird on a stick for the day. Image created with a canon 7d and a tamron 150-600 at 450mm. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 400 F 8.0 at 1 /3,200th of a sec. The camera was supported by a Manfrotto 190XPROB tipod with Bogen 3055 ballhead.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
I spent about ten minutes in the photoblind this morning. This lovely Steller's Jay is the end result.Have a great day day. God bless, chris This image was created using a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens at 182mm. Camera settings were AV mode,ISO 800,F 8.0 at 1/50th of a sec.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Much of the eastern US and other parts of the world are stuck in the midst of winter. One way of bringing a little spring into your step and into the house is to go to the grocery store or florist and buy some flowers. Besides adding to the decor they can be fun to photograph as well. Here I took some carnations and put them in three vases all in a row on some kitchen chairs. At the end of the row I propped up a dark grayish brown piece of foam core on a chair to use as a backdrop. I bounced some light onto the flowers using a reflector. I focused my camera on one of the flowers in the first vase allowing all the ones behind it to go out of focus. I really liked the end result. A beautiful and quick cure for the winter time blues! Though I will say it is pretty nice outside here in Northern California. God's love and blessings to all, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a 100mm macro lens. Camera settings used AV mode, ISO 100, F22.0 at 1.3 sec. A Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 ballhead were used to support the camera. Natural light with a gold reflector used to lighten up the flowers.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Today was not a photography day. I was much too busy to pick up my camera until it was almost sunset. Then I grabbed my camera and tripod and walked down the ridge looking for something interesting to put in front of my lens. After a short walk I could see that there weren't enough clouds to make a grand sunset with clouds I was going to have to try something different. It was then that I noticed two Redwood Trees growing side by side. "Hmmmnnnn..." I thought. That would make for a nice composition. I worked the Redwoods over pretty good trying different angles and focal lengths. This image ended up being my favorite. I should have titled today's photoblog sisters. For some reason the redwoods reminded me of two sisters growing up side by side through thick and thin always there for each other. God's love and blessings upon you, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600 at 200mm set on a Manfrotto 190 XPROB tripod with a 3055 Bogen Ballhead. Camera settings used were ISO 100, F 13.0 at 1/30th of a sec.
Monday, March 2, 2015
Ah the best laid plans of mice and men. On Saturday Lenore was meeting old high school mates from high school down in Novato, Ca at five p.m. The sun doesn't go down until six. That would make it perfect for me to have an hour before the sun went down to do some photography. Such was the plan I had in my mind until we got lost and couldn't find the place where we were meeting them. By Lenore's dead reckoning we finally found the house at about five minutes until six. I jumped out of the car and braced my camera on a wood chipper that was parked near the house and photographed an oak tree silhouetted by the sunset.Wait a minute.. a wood chipper what the? Then it hit me. Who keeps a wood chipper parked on the street a nice upscale residential area? To give you some reference I was just in the middle of reading a murder mystery where all of the victims are thrown into a wood chipper before the bodies are disposed of. Just plain creepy to see one sitting there in such a nice neighborhood. Pushing those thoughts from my mind I drove westward hoping to find a ridge top to photograph from. I found a couple but there was no room on the narrow road to pull off. I then drove south past the Cheese Factory and around Lake Nicasio. A stiff breeze was up making reflections off of the lake all but impossible. I turned toward San Rafael and when I hit the freeway I went further south and turned off in Tiburon. I was hoping for a good view of San Francisco. The views of the city from there weren't all that noteworthy. I tried a few but I wasn't happy with them. I drove north and then on a random chance took the exit for the San Rafael Bridge. I took the last and only exit before the bridge at San Quentin Prison. Surprisingly there was a sign with a small parking lot that said "Scenic View". I created some images of views of the bridge but only one of them came out because there was too much vibration on the camera from the wind off of the bay. After that I packed it in and went back to pick up Lenore. Lucky for me she had a piece of chocolate truffle cake for me to nibble on. Love and God's blessings to all, chris