Monday, February 29, 2016
It seems like I'm stuck on the squirrels right now. Luckily I don't mind photographing squirrels once in awhile. Some photographers dismiss them as being too common and not worth their time. I find them to be very fascinating to watch and quite beautiful. Though I must admit that I sometimes have a love /hate relationship with them when they ruin my bird photography. Yesterday afternoon when I was photographing birds two Western Gray Squirrels took ver the bird feeder by the picket fence set up and I just went with it to see what I could get. I zoomed in fairly tight and i loved what I got. God's tender love and blessings upon your week, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens. AV mode, ISO 1600 (It was cloudy), F 8.0 at 1/640th of a sec.
Friday, February 26, 2016
Yesterday in the morning I was working on trying to get another squirrel image with its tail hanging down. I got a squirrel with its tail up and Steller's Jay image instead. Next I went down and repaired the lock on our back gate and then photographed the locks on the back gate to our property. Our driveway/road has a shared right away with five property owners or entities having rights of access. Unfortunately someone bypassed my lock and took it off. Had there been a fire or other dire circumstance it could have been pretty bad with me or my family being trapped with no way to get out. Needless to say I was not very happy with the person who did it as it tells something of their moral character. Hopefully they do some serious thinking about their actions as I will forgive them. After that I spent some time making and baking some cookies. I stopped in mid mix to photograph the eggs. I'm not a studio photographer but I do have fun trying to get better at it. The cookies were delicious! May you have a marvelous Friday. God's love and blessings to all, chris
Thursday, February 25, 2016
This morning arrived without fanfare as there wasn't a cloud in the sky. It was crystal clear and as such there wasn't any grand pink sunrise to photograph. I gave up all thoughts of photographing any sort of landscape until I noticed a thin layer of fog upon the valley floor. My eyes were instantly drawn to all the treetops of oaks, redwoods and firs sticking up from the fog. I ran downstairs and grabbed my cameraand a couple of telephoto lenses. I love to photograph landscapes with a telephoto lens. It just brings out things that you don't normally see with the naked eye. I started with a 400mm telephoto and then I switched to a 600. After editing the images this one taken with the 600 was my favorite. I especially like the oak trees in it. May you have a blessed day, chris
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
It's been awhile since we have awoken to seeing the valley below cleared of fog in the morning hours. Normally it doesn't burn off until after ten. I spent an hour or so trying to photograph a Western Gray Squirrel sitting on a branch with its tail hanging down. It's something they do when they are totally relaxed. This one could sense that I was there so it wouldn't relax. Finally after a long wait it let its hair er' tail down. They have such a beautiful tail. God's love and blessings to all, chris
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
It was a beautiful sunrise over the Mendocino Range and the fog filled Little Lake Vally this morning. After breakfast I set about photographing birds and squirrels coming to a new feeder that I put up yesterday to replace the old one that was destroyed by the squirrels. It's amazing what the squirrels can chew through! While photographing I heard the very distinctive sound of the wings of a Band-tailed Pigeon coming down from the trees. It landed on the ground below the bird feeder and began eating the loose seed that had been knocked off the feeder by the Steller's Jays. I froze then waited and waited. I knew that there couldn't be too much seed on the ground and it would come up to the mossy branch next to the feeder. After what seemed like forever it flew up to the branch. Very, very slowly I composed the camera. At the first click of the shutter it froze and looked around. Band-tailed Pigeons are quite nervous and can be fairly hard to photograph as they are quite alert to danger. This Band-tail is part of a small group of resident pigeons that spend the winter here rather than migrating southward. I often hear them in the trees but rarely manage to capture them at the bird feeder. This morning was one of those rare times. I carefully took as many images as I could before it got too nervous and took off back up to the trees over head. After editing the images this one was my favorite. God's love and blessings upon your day, chris Both images were created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens. For the pigeon the camera settings were AV mode, ISO 400, F 8.0 at 1/125th of a sec. The camera was supported by a ground pod and a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead on our bedroom window sill.
Saturday, February 20, 2016
This morning just after I let Papaya (The Blasted Cat) out I saw her sitting like a queen on one of the benches in our front yard. She was looking out over her domain to see if anything was amiss so she could command that it be corrected to meet her royal needs. I quickly walked back into the house and grabbed my camera and a telepphoto lens. I was prayed that she would stay there for awhile looking out over her kingdom. Luckily she was still there when I returned. I braced the camera against the door sill and made several images of her. This one was my favorite. Blessings upon your weekend, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD at 250mm, AV mode,ISO 1600, F 8.0 at 1/500th of a sec.
Friday, February 19, 2016
This morning when I woke up I could hear the patter of rain on the roof top. A steady rain that lasted most of the morning. I did some bird photography out the bedroom window to a constant stream of birds that were coming to the bird feeder. I only got a few usable images due to the slow shutter speeds that I was getting from the really low light. Afterwards I worked on editing images from photographing birds yesterday afternoon in the rain as well. Here is my favorite of a Dark Eyed Junco. God's love and blessings to all, chrisImage created with a canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens supported with a Bogen 3055 ballhead and a ground pod on our bedroom window sill. Camera settings used were, ISO 1600, F 8.0 at 1/80th of a sec.
Thursday, February 18, 2016
The rain and hail have been pounding down interspersed with rays of sunshine breaking through the gray leaden skies. During one of those breaks I moved my bird feeder and a mossy perch to a spot outside of one of our bedroom windows. From there I was able to capture some images of a Douglas Tree Squirrel taking advantage of the free bird seed. I'm not so sure the squirrel likes the rain but I sure do. God's love and blessings to all, chris Both images created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens. AV mode, ISO 800 F 8.0 shutter speeds were 1/125th and 1/100th of a sec. Camera was supported with a ground pod and a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead on our bedroom window sill.
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
This morning there are scattered showers with gray, cloudy skies and the wind is blowing. Wow, such a contrast to yesterday when I was over in the Sacramento Valley and it was sunny with temperatures well over 80 degrees. There was the heavenly scent of almond blossoms in the air. I spent this morning going through the rest of my images from the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. I picked out one unusual image to share today. A myriad of black branches criss - crossing the sunset sky. Everything is in chaos but there is beauty shining through. Hmmnnn... that sounds a lot like life. God's love shining through the darkness. May you have a great day, chris Image created with a Canon 7D anda Tamron 150-600mm lens at 600mm. Camera was braced on the cars window sill. AV mode, ISO 400, F 8.0 at 1/80th of a sec.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Yesterday evening Lenore and I were heading up I-5 and it was getting close to sunset. I asked Lenore if she wanted to take a detour from our route and take the auto tour through Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. She readily agreed as we sped northward. We could see a beautiful sunset in the making as we hurried along towards the refuge exit. After pulling it the refuge we literally ran to get the cameras out of the back of the car and onto the auto route. The lighting was really soft when we found our first subject a shore bird in one of the first ponds we passed. Further on we the captured some snow geese landing almost next to the tour route. By the time we made it to the observation deck on the east end of the refuge the sun was down and there was an incredible sunset in full swing. I caught a flock of Ibis flying by and the I was into capturing the sunset and whatever silhouettes I could grab. What a gorgeous way to end the day! God's love and blessings to all, chris
Saturday, February 13, 2016
Yesterday morning I made another attempt at photographing small birds on my little mossy stump. Needless to say I was "stumped" and didn't manage to create any bird images that were worth sharing. I did however create one Douglas Tree Squirrel portrait that was very, very nice so here it is. God's love and blessings to all, chris This portrait was created in morning light using a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens at 600mm. Camera settings used were ISO 1600, F 8.0 at 1/320th of a sec. The camera was supported by a Mamnfrotto 055XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 Heavy duty ballhead. #TeamCanon
Friday, February 12, 2016
Yesterday morning I created a new set up with the top of a small mossy stump. I was going to photograph chickadees so I zoomed in tight. As it turned out the Chickadees ignored the little stump preferring to try and feed from where the old feeders had been located. The Steller's Jays and Western Gray Squirrels however had no problem in finding the new feeder spot immediately. The problem was though that they were tall enough to feed from it with out actually perching on it. Because I was zoomed so tight I settled on getting some portraits. A good decision as I didn't get and chickadee images at all. It's Friday so have a wonderful weekend and God bless, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens. Camera was in AV mode, ISO 800, F8.0. Shutter speeds varied.
Thursday, February 11, 2016
I used the same mossy Redwood perch yesterday morning for photographing a variety of subjects. I photographed Steller's Jays, Douglas Tree Squirrels, Red Breasted Nuthatches and Western Gray Squirrels. Afterwards as I was heading back into the house I noticed the fog filtering through the trees in the valley down below and I photographed that as well.I had quite the morning. God's love and blessings upon your day, chrisAll images photographed with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600 mm lens. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 shutter speeds varied. #TeamCanon
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Yesterday morning I worked on creating a new bird photography set up. For a perch I used an old broken off section of a Redwood snag that used to be on our property. When they were doing a controlled burn for fire protection the snag was accidentally knocked over and destroyed. Just counting the rings on the small broken section shows that little piece to be over seventy-five years old. I can't imagine how old that snag must have been! The birds started using the new perch this afternoon. I spent a little bit of time photographing them from my photoblind. This Dark Eyed Junco was the best of the image I created. The composition is good using the rule of thirds with the eye being right on one of the so called power points. The head angle of the bird is great with the bird looking back making eye contact with the viewer with a highlight in the eye. The background is out of focus and non distracting and it is of a complimentary color to the perch which by itself is interesting with the moss. Image created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens at 500mm. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 at 1/160th of a sec. Camera was supported with a Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod with a Bogen ballhead.
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Most people just love a great chocolate chip cookie. I must say that I'm no exception to that! Last night I whipped a delicious batch of chocolate chip cookies and I piled them high up on the rack to cool. This morning I went out into the backyard and worked on a new bird photography set up. As I was working it dawned on me that it was going to take awhile for the birds to find and start using the new feeder location and I wondered what I should photograph instead. Immediately that pile of cookies came to mind. When I came in to the house I grabbed the rack of cookies and placed them on a white sweep. Next I grabbed four lights, two for the background and two for the cookies. After a bit of maneuvering of the lights and changing the camera position a few times I had exactly what I wanted and they looked delish. God's tender love and blessings to all, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 28-105 lens at 65mm. Camera settings used. AV mode, ISO 200, F 16.0 at 1/30th of a sec. The camera was supported by a Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod with a Bogen ballhead.
Monday, February 8, 2016
The first thing that caught my attention this morning when I was coming down the stairs were the Paper Whites blooming on the window ledge. They just started to open up yesterday and this morning they were in full bloom. My mind went into creation mode and I was thinking of how I could capture that bright glow of the white blossoms in the morning light. I grabbed a piece of white paper and taped it to the window behind it. Immediately the flower went into the shadow of the paper. I moved the flower further out onto the widow ledge back in the light. Now that was better, the flower was well lit but the paper was still in shadow. I ran back upstairs and grabbed a big gold reflector. Bouncing some light onto the paper worked really great.Next I spritzed the flower with some water to add some interest. Now I was ready to photograph it. I grabbed my Canon 7D and a 100 mm macro lens put it on a tripod. I composed it and I was set. After a few attempts I remembered to overexpose the flower by one stop and I had the image that I had in my mind. May God bless you and keep you, chris Canon 7D on a Manfrotto tripod. Camera settings used. AV mode, ISO 200 F 16.0 at 1/125th of a sec.
Sunday, February 7, 2016
I have named one of the trees down below where I live, "St. Francis Castle". It is a tall, chopped top Redwood located on the old St. Francis Ranch. The tree stands far and above all the trees around it. Over the years I have photographed it hundreds of times sticking it's lofty branches above the fog. It was that way again this morning just after I got up. Here once again is the St. Francis Castle. God's tender love to all, chris
Saturday, February 6, 2016
I love photographing landscapes with a telephoto lens. It's fun to be able to pick out details that normally aren't observed in such a close up detailed way. In a way they are like tiny landscapes unto themselves. This morning started off with a thin layer of clouds covering the sky. These were erfect conditions for photographing the fog down below in the Little Lake Valley below where I live. With my telephoto lens I was able to pick out the point of "Red Hill" sticking out into the fog on the valley floor. God's light and love to all, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600 at 600mm. AV mode, ISO 200, F 13.0 at 1/25th of a sec. Camera was braced against a pole for support.
Friday, February 5, 2016
Off and on over the past couple of days I have been photographing birds feeding at my new knothole bird feeder in the backyard. The birds have been coming in virtually non stop. There have been Dark Eyed Juncos, Red Breasted Nuthatches and Chestnut Backed Chickadees with a few stray Steller's Jays, squirrels and chipmunks. I have been photographing out of our back bedroom window which faces the backyard. This has made photographing the birds very convenient as I don't even have to go out to the backyard. Here are a few of my favorite images. It's Friday so may you have a blessed weekend, chris All images were created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di VC USD,The camera was supported on a ground pod with a Bogen ballhead placed on our bedroom window. Camera was settings used were AV mode, ISO 1600 for the dark conditions, F stops and shutter speeds varied.
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Since putting up the new knothole feeder the birds have been coming almost non stop. The squirrels have been coming by too, but the opening is far too small for them to fit. As a result of this they have been working on enlarging the opening size by chewing away on the bark that surrounds it. The tiny chipmunks on the other hand have had no such problems and have been squeezing there way in to get at the bird food with impunity. I will just keep watching and photographing as the drama unfolds. God's love and blessings to all, chris Images created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150- 600mm lens. Camera was supported on a ground pod on our bedroom window ledge.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
This morning after dropping the car off for repairs and working out I came home and created a quick set up. I placed a lichen covered branch right next to the bird feeder for the birds to land on. Within a about twenty minutes or so the birds were landing on the branch before diving to the bird feeder. I photographed birds for about a half an hour and this Red Breasted Nuthatch was my favorite. God's blessings upon your day, chris This image was created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di VC USD at 375mm,The camera was supported on a ground pod with a Bogen ballhead placed on our bedroom window. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 1600, F 8.0 at 1/5o0th of a sec. Conditions were cloudy.
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
This morning after grocery shopping and running errands I photographed the birds in my backyard with my new knothole bird feeder. The birds absolutely love it and the squirrels aren't small enough to fit into it. Give them some time though and they will eventually chew their way in. After sitting down and editing the images this one of a Chestnut Backed Chickadee stood out as my favorite. May you have a blessed day, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di VC USD at 483mm,The camera was supported on a ground pod with a Bogen ballhead placed on our bedroom window. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 1600, F 11.0 at 1/80th of a sec.
Monday, February 1, 2016
I spent part of Friday creating a new knothole bird feeder to replace the one taken by the bear. It's going to be for small birds as the knothole opening is rather small. I set the feeder out this morning to let the birds find it. Already a Douglas Tree Squirrel did a preliminary investigation by poking its head into the opening. I'm guessing it might barely fit. The remainder of Friday and a short time Saturday were spent photographing Dark Eyed Juncos, Chestnut Backed Chickadees and Red Breasted Nuthatches. They were coming to the bird feeder in a procession of birds one after the other. I set up an old branch covered in Turkey Tail Fungi for them to land on that was quite colorful in contrast to the dark forest background. I really love how the final images turned out. May you have a blessed week, chris All images were created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di VC USD,The camera was supported on a ground pod with a Bogen ballhead placed on our bedroom window. Camera was settings used were AV mode, ISO 1600 for the dark conditions, F 8.0 shutter speeds varied.