Saturday, December 31, 2016

Last Post of 2016

I have been away from my photoblog for quite some time galavanting around on a three city tour of Scandinavia. We visited Copenhagen, Denmark, Vaxjo and Stocholm, Sweden. It was Christmas time so there was an incredible amount of decorations up to light our way. I did a lot of night and long term exposure photography. At that latitude in December the sun rises at about ten a.m. and goes down around four p.m. and it doesn't rise very high in the sky. This will be my last posting of 2016. Here isn image of Nyhavn, Copenhagen. There will be many more images and details to follow over the next month as I slowly get around to processing all of our images from the trip. God's love and blessings upon a New Year, chris Many thanks to Jenny Senter of Celtic Heritage Destinations for organizing such a fantastic trip.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Looking Back in Time

Once again while looking for a piece of camera equipment I ran across another old camera. This time it was Lenore's brother Rich's Kodak pocket 20 camera in the original packaging. It is in fantastic shape and looks like it was only used a few times due to the fact that only two of the flash cubes are missing from the box. These cameras were made in the 1970s and used 110 cartridge film. We sure come a long way since then! God's love and blessings to all, Merry Christmas, chris This image was created with a black sweep and two LED light panels. It was photographed with a Canon 7D mkII and a Tamron 18-200mm lens at 66mm. AV mode, ISO 800, F 11.0 at 1/125th of a sec.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Rhymes With Orange

As a photographer I am always on the lookout for images that catch my attention. Which can keep my mind pretty busy because there is always something interesting passing me by. Yesterday when I dropped off Lenore at work there was this bright orange little car next to where I parked in the rain. It wasn't the car that caught my attention so much as the repeating pattern of the water droplets beaded up onto the nicely waxed finish of the vehicle. I grabbed my camera and made a variety of images of the droplets but this one is the one that worked best. God's light and love to everyone, chris Photographed with a Canon 7D mkII and a Tamron 18-200mm lens handheld.

Friday, December 9, 2016

A Few More from the Knothole Feeder

I set up the knothole feeder with fall colors in the background. Then I loaded up the feeder with black sunflower seeds and went inside and waited. While I was waiting I worked on editing some images. I was very surprised to see that my first visitors were the Yellow Cheeked Chipmunks soon to be followed by some Chestnut Backed Chickadees and Dark Eyed Juncos. Then everyone scattered when the Western Gray Squirrels showed up. They are the backyard bosses and when they show up everyone else moves out of the way. All except the hawks of course and I didn't see any today. God's light and love to all, chris All images were created with a Canon 7D mkII a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens. AV mode, ISO 800, Exposures varied #TeamCanon,

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Two Views of Three Chop Ridge

Over the years the trees on the neighboring property have grown significantly blocking my view of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Now all I'm left with is a little slot between the trees if I walk down our road a little bit. Earlier this week Lenore told me to come out that the sunset was pretty nice. I'm glad I did because it was beautiful. I created two views one horizontal and one vertical. which is always a good idea because magazine and web articles tend to use vertical images. Both images were created with a handheld Canon 7D mkII camera with a Tamron 18-200mm lens.Have a blessed day, chris

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Fencing It

First off thanks to John Hamil for the inspiration to do a few more on the fence images of birds and squirrels. He recently posted an image of a spotted Towhee on a fence that I really liked.Check out his bird photography when you get a chance he is very good. Also thanks to Nick Luo and Scott Ackerman for the fence tops that I used as a prop for these images. To create these images I took the fence tops and nailed the together onto a longer board to resemble a fence top. The fence top wood was brand new redwood so I painted it with a mixture of steel wool soaked in vinegar to age it and make it look more gray. The first images I created with the brand new wood just didn't look right. After painting I mounted it next to the bird feeder for the birds to land on. I ended up really liking the final results. God light and love to all, chrisAll images were created with a Canon 7DmkII and a Canon 100-400IS v.1 AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 at a variety of exposures.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Fall is beginning to head out and winter is just around the corner. It has been cold in the morning lately. All of the Montanans, Siberians, Alaskans and North Dakotans etc. will be laughing at this but here in Northern California on the coast it has been in the high twenties the past few mornings. Frozen puddles and frost. Time to get that wood stove stoked up and going. Below are some frosty Oak leaves that I photographed before going to work out at the gym this morning. I hope you are having a great week. God bless, Chris All images were created with a handheld Canon 7D mkII and a Tamron 18-200mm lens. Exposures varied.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Splish Splash

Last week when I was photographing squirrels I heard a Robin up in the trees to my right. I ignored it. Then I caught some movement down in front of me. It was creeping around on the ground on the far side of our little garden pond. It was watching and waiting to see if it was safe to come down for a drink and a bath. Birds are extremely vulnerable to attack when they are drinking or bathing because their head is down. A sparrow jumped in ahead of it got a drink. Feeling it was safe the Robin warily came down the slope to the pond. Very carefully I moved my lens down to focus on the pond. I spooked it. Oh rats! The Robin ran up the slope away from the pond. I froze not daring to move an inch. The Robin turned and warily made its way back down to the pond. It would get a drink and then back off away from the edge. This went on for a couple of minutes before it tentatively got into the water. Very slowly it lowered itself down into the water to bath. It splashed around just a little bit and then it would stop and look around. Eventually it decided it was safe and it went at it full bore in a blur of water and feathers. I was clicking away when suddenly it launched it self up out of the water and was gone in a blur. May you have a blessed week, chris All images were created with a Canon 7D MkII and a Canon 100-400IS v.1 lens. #TeamCanon

Saturday, December 3, 2016

From Out of Chaos

Straightening up the living room earlier this week I ran across Lenore's yarn box. While moving it the lid slipped off and I was gifted with seeing a riot of colors and textures hidden within. Hmmnn... I thought to myself that might make an interesting image. I grabbed my camera and a sturdy tripod and set to work. It took a few images to get what I wanted but I was happy with the result. It always amazes me that Lenore can create beautiful things from such a chaotic mess of yarn. Just the other night she crocheted a really cool hat. She told me that a woman complimented her on it when she was walking across the grocery store parking lot. It really makes me wonder how did human beings figure out to get wool from a sheep make it into yarn and then use funny looking stick like things to fashion clothing? From out of chaos to a thing of beauty. I think the Lord's hand is at work here. Have a great day and God bless, chris This image was created with a Canon 7D mkII and a Tamron 18-200mm lens.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Stare Down

My favorite squirrel hands down has to be the Douglas Tree Squirrel also sometimes called Chickarees. They are very similar in appearance to the Red Squirrels found in other parts of North America. They are quite gregarious and are pretty feisty when it comes to claiming the feeder for themselves. I have watched them fend off the much, much bigger western Gray Squirrels many, many times. In my backyard they are the only squirrels that have sort of adapted to having humans around. Which makes them a little easier to photograph because they don't always take off when I look out the window like the other squirrels and chipmunks do. Here is one that was giving me the stare down earlier this week from the top of the knot hole feeder. This image was created using my Canon 7D mkII from our back bedroom from behind a hide/blind placed in the window. I was using a canon 100-400 IS v.1 lens at 365mm. The camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 at 1/40th of a sec. God's light and love to everyone, chris

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Another Image of the Brick

About a year and a half ago I had a blog entry about my first serious camera an Argus C3 which had the nickname of the "Brick". The moniker suites it really well due to its shape and weight. Yesterday morning I was looking for some steel wool and I was sure I had some in one of my photo cabinets. I didn't but I ran across my old friend the Argus and I decided to rephotograph it with some new LED lighting I purchased awhile back. I photographed it on a black sweep using three lights. Two on the sides and one slightly off center in the front. I must say that I was very pleased with the result. This Argus has a lot of sentimental value as it was given to me by my Dad and it's the camera that I learned the basics of photography on. Surprisingly the camera is still in working condition. The Argus C3 was mass-produced from 1939 to 1966 by Argus in Ann Arbor, Michigan. There were over 2 million of them made making it one of the most popular cameras in history. God's precious love to all, chris Photographed with a Canon 7D mkII and a Tamron 18-200 at 200mm. The camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 200, F 16.0 at 1/13th of a sec. The camera was supported on a Manfrotto 190 XPROB tripod with a heavy duty Bogen ballhead.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Cheeky Lttle Fellows

I have never been certain about what species of chipmunk lived in my backyard. Consulting field guides left me confused. There were just too many species and to my untrained eye they they all looked alike. So earlier this week I dug in and did some research. I found out that there are thirteen species of chipmunk in California. The best way to tell them apart is by size,field markings, call and most important of all region. Armed with this knowledge I narrowed it down to two species. Then after consulting the map numerous times and listening to their call I determined that the chipmunk in my area is the Yellow Cheeked Chipmunk. Locally they are often called the Redwood Chipmunks. Yellow Cheeked Chipmunks are endemic to a narrow band of the North Coast. The band is about 25 miles wide from the ocean inland. The band runs from about a mile north of Bodega Bay and Freestone in Sonoma County north to the Eel River in Humboldt County. Within this area it can be found in the humid coastal strip of coniferous forests. I dug out one of my knothole feeders and set it up in the backyard to photograph them. Mystery of the cheeky little guys solved. Have a wonderful day, chris All images were created with my Canon 7D mkII and a Canon 100-400 IS v. 1 lens #TeamCanon

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

One From the Perch

I have been photographing birds and squirrels with the new perch I put up. Naturally the first birds to use it were the ever curious Chestnut Backed Chickadees. They are always checking out everything. I made a lot of images but after editing them all the one below is my favorite. It was made with my usual set up. A Canon 7D mkII and a Canon 100-400 IS v.1 at 400mm. I was photographing from our back bedroom window behind a window hide/blind. The camera was supported on a ground pod with a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead. For my camera settings I was in AV mode so I could control the depth of field. I was using a fairly high ISO of 800 because it was cloudy out. I chose an F stop of F 8.0 to help keep the bird in focus and yet it was wide open enough to blur out the background. the shutter speed was 1/125th of a sec. I hope you week is going well. God bless, chris P. S. If you haven't already done so please check out my book, Secrets of Backyard bird Photography, at your local book store or on Amazon.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Looking Back

On Saturday afternoon I went out into the rain and put up a new perch for the squirrels and birds to use. Yesterday morning I put it to use photographing a few Steller's Jays that came to our backyard in search of a snack. They were a little bit nervous and wouldn't stay on the perch for very long. I think there may have been a hawk in the trees nearby making them jumpy. After editing the images last night the image below ended up being my favorite. I love that pose with the Jay looking back. It accentuates their plumage and makes their eye stand out. This image was created with a Canon 7D mkII and a ground pod on our back bedroom window sill. I was using my Canon 100-400 IS v.1 lens at 253mm. The camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 at 1/200th of a sec. I like to use F8.0 because more of the bird tends to be in focus and it is still wide open enough to blur the background out. God's love and blessings upon your week, chris

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Old School Word Processor

Today was the perfect day to sit beside the fire and read a book or watch a movie. It was just pouring rain. Thank you Lord! At one point in the afternoon I went out into the backyard and worked on a set up for photographing squirrels and I got completely soaked. This evening I was looking for something to do and I ran across my old typewriter from my college days. It's hard to believe that I used to have to type up papers on that thing. When I met Lenore I was amazed that she had an electric typewriter! It was so cool and really fast. We have come so so very far since then! Below is a photograph of my old typewriter placed on a black sweep and lit with two banks of LED lights. I photographed it with my Canon 7D mkII and a Tamron 18-200 mm lens at 63 mm. The camera was supported by my Manfrotto tripod with a Bogen ballhead. The camera settings were AV mode, ISO 100, F 14.0 at .4 seconds. God's love and blessings to everyone, chris

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving for the Squirrels

Thanksgiving morning I went out and set up a feeder just for the squirrels. The squirrels were happy and the birds were happy because now they both had some thing to eat. Later in the morning I set up my camera and photographed a few western Gray Squirrels from our back window using my window hide/blind. May you have a great weekend and God bless, chris These images were created with a Canon 7D mkII and a Canon 100-400 IS v.1 lens. The camera was supported on our back bedroom window sill with a ground pod and a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Thanksgiving is a time to look back and reflect on all that God has given us and be thankful for it. This morning as I drove into town I was really thinking about how I am truly blessed to live in a small town. Thank you Lord for the little town of Willits where I live. God's precious love and blessings on all who live here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Trying to Look Cute

The "Blasted Cat" is given supervised visits into the house to be petted and sit on the couch or at nighttime in our bedroom with the door shut. Her only other option is her little cat bed in our sunroom. At all other times she is allowed out during the daytime and we bring her in at night so that she doesn't meet the fate of two of our previous pets as Cougar food. Today during her daily visit she decided the couch wasn't comfortable enough and she bolted up to our bedroom. By the time I caught up with her she had made herself quite comfortable on our bed and she was trying to look as cute as possible so she could stay there. I grabbed my camera to document this behavior before I brought her back downstairs where she belonged. May you have a blessed Thanksgiving, chris Image created with a Canon 7D mkII and a Tamron 18-200mm lens. Handheld. The camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800, f 5.0 at 1/320th of a sec.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Old School Camera Flash

Ages ago Lenore's Great Uncle Tony was the family photographer. He captured family images that are still treasured by family members far and wide of portraits,family gatherings, parties and get togethers. For some reason unknown to us we got one his Kodak flasholders long after he had passed away. The flash holder was attached to the bottom of a cameras bottom and stood along side the camera in use. When the camera's shutter was pressed they used two "C" batteries to send an electrical charge to a single use bulb that was filled with oxygen and zirconium strips which would then expldode in a bright flash of light which was contained by the glass bulb and the light from the explosion bounced outward from the silver reflector surrounding it. They put out quite a bit of light! Tony's shown below was from the 1960s. They can be found on Ebay for less than 20 dollars as there are a lot of them still out there. I can remember as a very young boy being fascinated by the popping sound they made and how the bulbs were pretty warm to the touch after they had gone off. God's precious love and blessings to all, chris This image was created with a Canon 7D mkII and Tamron 18-200mm lens. Lighting was provided by two LED light banks. The camera was supported by a Manfrotto 190 XPROB tripod with a Bogen Ballhead. The camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 100, F 8.0 at 1/13th of a sec.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Heading into Thanksgiving

There have been a lot of Wild Turkeys showing up on my trail cam this last week. I realize the image quality isn't that great but it is just so much fun to see what shows up on the computer screen when I down load the images. Below is a wild turkey from this morning that was part of a flock of about a dozen or so. If I was him I would hide out for the next month or so! God's love and blessings to all, chris

Saturday, November 19, 2016

One From the Archives

I'm feeling under the weather today. I ended up up sleeping away most of the afternoon and the evening. I guess I need to be on a beach in Costa Rica. I hope you are having a lovely weekend God bless, chris

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Out and About

This morning I was up with the sunrise as I had an eight o'clock appointment in the big city of Ukiah. There was a pretty nice sunrise. After my appointment I stopped and photographed some of the vineyards along the way. Most of the leaves have fallen off and the blackbirds are picking off the grapes that were left behind and not harvested. I made it a point to drive by Centennial Reservoir to photograph the snag on the edge of the dam. I was hoping that there would be a Bald Eagle there today but I was out of luck. I then photographed some water droplets on the fence and headed home. God's light and precious love to all, chris All images were created with a Canon 7D mkII and a Tamron 18-200mm lens handheld. Exposures varied.