Thursday, April 30, 2015
Something simple for today because I'm home sick with a cold/flue or whatever it is. I have been home bound for the last three days. Reading, binging on TV shows and just lying in bed sleeping. This afternoon i ventured out of door with a bowl of soup. It felt just wonderful to be outside in the sun. Here is a dandelion seed head I discovered in the backyard. God's love and blessings to all, chris Image created with a handheld Canon 7D and a 100mm macro lens. AV mode, ISO 800,F 6.3 at 1/800th of a sec.
Monday, April 27, 2015
The hummingbirds that feed in my backyard have a favorite place that they like to perch. It is on top of our oak tree arch. To create an intimate hummingbird image it helps to be on the same level that they are. This poses a bit of a dilemma as the top of the arch is just over eight feet off of the ground. The easiest way is to photograph through our double pane window in the living room as that puts me at exactly the right height. But I'm too far away so I have to use an extender to magnify the image and I'm having to shoot through the window both of which degrade the quality of the image. It is also too far away. The other solution is to put a photoblind on a ladder and then move the ladder as close as I possibly can to the edge of our flagstone patio. It works really well though I wouldn't want to be up on the ladder if the wind came up.Enjoy the images and have a blessed day, chris #TeamCanon #Bringit
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Last night we had a a nice soft rain. This was welcomed as we are in a drought. This morning I grabbed my macro lens and photographed the rain drops on the rye grass in the backyard. May you have a blessed weekend, chris This image was created with a handheld Canon 7D and a 100mm macro lens. AV mode,ISO 400, F 8.0 at 1/320th of a sec.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
On Wednesday morning I was back out in the Little Lake Valley photographing birds from my photoblind. Looking down into the valley just before sunrise I could tell that it was going to be foggy day making for some great light for bird photography. After my arrival the first thing I did was to set up a separate bird feeder for the Acorn Woodpeckers about twenty feet away from the main bird feeder. They have made it almost impossible to photograph anything except woodpeckers. This helped a lot and I only had a couple of woodpeckers use the main feeder. There were a lot of House Finches I was hoping for some more American Gold Finches but sadly none of them made an appearance. This will be the last of the series using pink/red in the background for awhile. I'm getting a little tired of it especially while editing. Hmmmnnn... what color should I go for next? What color would you like to see? God's love and blessings to all, chris Finch images created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600 on a tripod with the VC off. Camera settings used. AV mode,ISO 800, F 8.0 shutter speeds varied. Landscape image was handheld with VC on.
The past four days have been really foggy in the morning which makes them perfect for doing portrait photography. Both people and birds photograph really well in this type of light. It's like having a giant light diffuser for the sun. Here are some portraits I made of of a Eurasian Collared Dove, Western Scrub Jay and a California Valley Quail. The quail was made when the fog was almost burned off and you can tell that by the harsher look of the light on its' plumage. All images were created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens on a tripod. Camera settings used were AV mode,ISO 800, F 8.0 at a variety of shutter speeds. God's love and blessings to all, chris
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Yesterday morning the conditions for bird photography were just perfect as there was a nice layer of fog overhead. The fog diffuses the sunlight and all of the birds colors really pop. When I got to the photoblind I set up two perches near the feeder and then I sat back and waited. Birdsong was in the air and I could hear the Canadian Geese honking out in the valley as well as the California Valley Quail down below me. There was also a new sound that I was looking forward to hearing. The Goldfinches had returned! Roughly ten minutes later eight male American Goldfinches descended upon the bird feeder. That is the most that I have ever observed at my feeder. It was just beautiful. After what seemed an interminable wait one of them jumped up onto one of the perches I had set up. Just perfect! Later on I also photographed a gorgeous House Finch and a comical Acorn Woodpecker.What a great way to spend the morning. Thank you Lord. All images created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens. Camera was set on AV mode, ISO 800 at F 8.0. Shutter speeds varied. I was using a Manfrotto 055 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 ballhead. #TeamCanon #Bringit
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Yesterday morning I headed out into the Little Lake Valley to my photoblind out at the Burris Ranch. When I arrived I restocked the bird feeders and then created a new set up with pink flowers in the background. Then I climbed into the photoblind for a long wait. After a wait of about half an hour a lone Steller's Jay came into feed and then it left. I waited another twenty minutes before the House finches showed up. From then on until I left the blind it alternated between House Finches and Acorn Woodpeckers. I was excited that I got some really beautiful images. May you have a blessed day, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens. Supported on a Manfrotto 055 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 ballhead. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0. Shutter speeds varied.
Monday, April 20, 2015
All of the trees are budding out and my California Lilacs are coming into bloom in the backyard. Spring time weather can be fickel. Early last week I had on wool gloves and a hat when I was sitting in my photoblind out in the Little Lake valley. This morning I was wearing a light sweater and shorts. With the warm weather and all of the blossoms the bees are out. Here are some images of bees taken with my Canon 7D and a 100mm macro lens. Camera was handheld. Exposures varied. God's love and blessings to all, chris
Sunday, April 19, 2015
For the past couple of weeks or so I have been glimpsing the passing of butterflies. At the photoblind twice now I have spied Western Swallowtails on determined flights headed north. In my own backyard this week I spotted a Swallowtail lazily floating around the Lilac bush before gliding off to parts unknown. I've also seen quite a few Duskywing Butterflies feeding on the daisies in my backyard. This morning however I got to photograph my first butterfly of the spring. It was one of my longtime favorites a California Sister Butterfly. It was hanging around the flower bed in the front yard. They are just so beautiful in an unpretentious way. I just love those orange spots! I crawled on my knees as close as I could focus to the butterfly. I braced the camera with my elbow on one knee. Image was created with a Canon 7D and a Canon EFS 17-85 mm lens at 85mm. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 200, F 5.6 at 1/25th of a sec. May God bless your week ahead, chris
Friday, April 17, 2015
Over the past week I've gone out to my photoblind in the Little Lake Valley a couple of times to photograph the birds. My plan was to set up a separate bird feeder for just the Acorn Woodpeckers but I have been having way too much fun photographing them. Eventually I will have to do it as they are pretty good at keeping most of the other birds away. Luckily the House Finches are brave enough to come in between visits by the woodpeckers. Here are a few images from this last week. All images created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens on a Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod. Exposures varied. #TeamCanon #Bringit
Thursday, April 16, 2015
One of the sure signs of spring growing up as a boy in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains was the call of the Western Meadowlark. On Saturday Lenore and I were serenaded by a Meadowlark from one of the refuge signs. There has to be a pun hidden in this somewhere? It was music to my ears and it brought back many memories of wandering through the neighborhood where I grew up imitating the Meadowlarks and having them call back to me. I can still do a pretty realistic call of one and surprisingly they still answer. God's light and love to all, chris Image created with a handheld Canon 7D in AV mode and a Tamron 150-600mm lens at309mm. ISO 800 F 5.6 at 1/6,400th of a sec.
I'm so glad that Lenore's car has a sunroof. Last weekend we drove through Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge in Northern California. We were photographing a Redtail Hawk from a little ways back when it hit me. Let's drive under it. We slowly crept forward and surprisingly the hawk stayed put. I whistled softly and no reaction from the hawk. Lenore started talking to it and got an immediate response as it lowered its head and looked straight down on us. I took a series of images but this one was one of my favorites. My only worry was that it would take off and poop all over us. Luckily that didn't happen. Image created with a handheld Canon 7D, Tamron 150-600 at 375mm. AV mode, spot metered, ISO 800, F 5.6 at 1/1,000th of a sec.God's love and blessings to all, chris
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
The mystery guest as many people on Facebook guessed is indeed a Jackrabbit.On the blog itself Traveler Literary Gnome nailed it! A Blacktailed Jackrabbit to be precise a member of the hare family. There are three species of hare found in North America. They are the Balcktailed, Whitetailed and Snowshoe Hare. This one was spotted on our drive through the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge last weekend. It was right next to the road and not wanting to give up its sunny spot beside the road for anything or anyone. All images were created with a handheld Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens with the VC on. AV mode, ISO 800, exposures varied. May you have a blessed day, chris
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
I am a mammal and a herbivore that can eat over a pound of plants in a day. I'm found from Baja California and Central Mexico northward into the west and west central United States. Usually I'm found in grasslands and deserts though I can be found in other habitats as well. Typically I weigh from 3 to 9 pounds and I am about 2 feet long. I make a shallow nest in the dirt to bear my young usually 2-4 of them and my babies are called leverets. If you want to see fast. Man I am really fast. I can run in bursts of speed close to 40 mph and can leap 10 feet horizontally when I am on the run! One of the coolest things about me is that I use my large ears to help me keep cool when it is hot by regulating my blood flow through them. One of my unusual habits is of eating my feces to get more nutrition out of my food. Do you know who I am? If you haven't guessed it the mystery guest will be revealed in tomorrow's photoblog. God's love and blessings to all, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens at 552mm. ISO 800, F 6.3 at 1/1,250th of a sec. handheld with the VC on.
Sunday, April 12, 2015
First and foremost I want to start off today's photoblog by thanking FOWL (Friends of the Willits Library) for hosting a book talk on this last Friday on my new book, Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography. FOWL's president Janey Mitchell did a great job of advertizing, setting up for the event and providing snacks and coffee for the people that came. Thanks everyone for coming out and being such an attentive audience. Saturday morning Lenore and I got up really early and were out and on the road by six ten in the morning. We headed over to the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge and took the auto tour. On the route we spotted a nice Redtail Hawk in a Cottonwood Tree. I couldn't get a very good camera angle on the hawk so I handed the camera to Lenore and I'm so glad that I did. She maneuvered the camera into a great position and came up with this superb image of the hawk. Nice work Lenore! Image was created with a handheld Canon 7D and a Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens at 256 mm. ISO 800 F 6.3 at 1/1,600th of a sec. God's love and blessings to all, chris
Friday, April 10, 2015
Books sell best by word of mouth and book reviews. My new book, Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography, Has been getting great reviews on Amazon. If you haven't yet taken a look please do as it is a fantastic book to learn how to photograph birds in your backyard. There are over a thousand followers of this photoblog and I rarely ask anything of you except to read, look and enjoy. Will you please help spread the word about my new book. Tell your friends and photographers abut it. It is available at all major on line book sellers in both hardbound and as an ebook. You can refer them to the Amazon link below using twitter, email, Snap Chat, Facebook,Google + etc. Thank you for any and all of your help. God bless, chris http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Backyard-Photography-Chris-Hansen/dp/1937538559
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Today the weather has gone from breaks of sunshine to wind, hail and snow. Here is a view over the Little Lake Valley to the cloud covered Mendocino Mountain Range. It is most definitely an inside day to sit by the fire and read a book which is what I'm going to do next. May you have a blessed day, chris. Image created with a Canon 7D and a Canon EF-S 17-85 mm lens. handheld. Camera settings used were. AV mode, ISO 200. F 7.1 at 1/400th of a sec.
Monday, April 6, 2015
Supposedly it is spring but you wouldn't know it by the thermometer outside my back door. It was twenty eight degrees out side when I woke up this morning. The first thing I did this morning was to stir up the coals and stoke the wood stove. It's a perfect day to sit insde by the fire and read a book. The skies are clouded and gray and there are 1-3 inches of snow in the forecast. Though it seems really unlikley to snow with the sun breaking through once in awhile to break up an otherwise gray day. With the drought upon us we welcome any bit of moisture the good Lord sends our way. Here is a view of the Little Lake Valley this morning. I love that view. God's light and love to all, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600 mm lens at 309mm. Camera settings used. AV mode, ISO 200. F 7.1 at 1/ 200th of a sec.
Saturday, April 4, 2015
Yes I'll admit it. I was one of the crazies up at five a.m. this morning to watch the Lunar Eclipse. I always find these events to be fascinating. Huge celestial objects moving through space blocking off the light of the sun. Here I am this little speck riding on the planet earth watching it slowly happen. Given the privilege to see mighty hands at work. chris
Friday, April 3, 2015
Today I photographed hummingbirds in the backyard for about half an hour. It was like a giant hummingbird battle going on outside the photoblind. Buzzing, chattering and wings clashing together. It was amazing with three or more hummingbirds vying for the feeder. In the end I had one image that I really liked of a male Rufous Hummingbird. He has the telltale little notch in his tail feather to help differentiate him from a male Allen's Hummingbird. God's love and blessings to all, chris Image created with a canon 7d and a Canon 100-400 IS lens at 400mm. Camera settings used were, Manual, ISO 200, f 13.0 at 1/160th of a sec. Camera was placed om a Manfrotto 055 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 ballhead. Four Canon 540 EZ flashes set to 1/16th power were used to illuminate the hummingbird.
Thursday, April 2, 2015
This morning I was back at it in the backyard photographing hummingbirds. I was having a heck of a time getting my exposures down. It looks like it is time to replace all of the batteries in the flashes. Fresh batteries always makes the flashes more consistent. There were a lot of Anna's Hummingbirds coming to the feeder and flowers with a few Rufous Hummingbirds thrown in. The Rufous definitely have a lot more attitiude. When the flashes go off some of them turn to the flashes and flash their gorget in defiance. One tough little bird. All the hummingbird images were created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens and four Canon 540 EZ flashes set to 1/16th power. Exposures varied. May you have a blessed day, chris
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
This morning drove down to the big city of Ukiah, California to drop my Mom off to do her taxes. While she was having taxes done I went for a drive in the country to see what I could see. Ukiah sits in a wide valley full of vineyards, orchards and is in a pretty pastoral setting. On the way out of town I passed the airport and caught a glimpse of "Reach" our emergency air ambulance. I swung a U turn and went back and photographed it. I thought it looked pretty cool sitting there ready to take on an emergency. Next I wandered out into the countryside taking in the vineyards and the hills. the vineyard are leafing out into swaths of green. Some of the meadows have patches of wildflowers. After picking up my Mom we had a great lunch of Super Burritos and Tacos and then I headed home, dropped her off and then went into my backyard and photographed hummingbirds both Rufous and Anna's hummingbirds. All in all just a wonderful day. May God bless you and keep you, chris All scenic images were creted with a Canon 7D and a Canon 17-85mm lens. The hummingbird images were made with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens and four Canon 540 EZ flashes set to 1/16th power.