Saturday, May 27, 2017

Into the Forest

This morning when I awoke and looked out the window I could see the fog was starting to burn off and shafts of light were breaking through. What a perfect day for a walk down our road into the forest. I found that the Douglas Iris were just starting to finish up and the Bracken Ferns up fully up and growing. It was really nice walking through the fog drip with a slight breeze barely moving the trees. What a delightful way to start the day. God's love and blessings to all, chris Both of these images were created with a handheld Canon 7D MkII and a Canon EF-S10-22mm lens.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Please Be Safe Out There

This was one that I did for fun last night. I found a bark beetle right next to our gas fire pit and it sparked my my creative juices flowing. But it actually has a serious message behind it. Fire season is almost upon us. The grasses and forests are already drying up. Please be safe with fire,power equipment or vehicles that could cause forest fires. Have a great week and God bless, chris Bark Beetle climbing out of a match box. This image was created with a Canon 7D MkII and a Tamron 18-200 mm lens. Lighting was provided by two Alien Bee Studio lights with large soft boxes. #TeamCanon, #withmytamron

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Potpourri of Pictures

Here is a mixture of images from the past few days in my backyard in Mendocino County, Northern California. All of these images were photographed from my photoblind on our back patio. The perch used was an old rotten and mossy corral board. There was a nice showing of birds that came to the bird feeder. There were Red Breasted Nuthatches, Steller's Jays, Band-tailed Pigeons and Chestnut Backed Chickadees. I had a separate feeder set up for the squirrels to use but one Western Gray Squirrel came for desert after it had finished eating the other food. God's love and blessings to everyone, chris All of these images were created with a Canon 7D MkII and a Canon 100-400IS v. 1 lens along with a Tamron 150-600mm lens. The camera was supported on a 190 XPROB Manfrotto Tripod with a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead. The camera was set in AV mode, ISO 800. Shutter speeds and F stops varied. A Canon 550EX was used for fill flash set at -2 stops.#TeamCanon #withmytamron

Friday, May 19, 2017

Elusive Mountain Quail

The most elusive, challenging and difficult bird to photograph in my backyard is the Mountain Quail. There is a very small covey nearby and they occasionally come into my backyard. When I'm in the photoblind I can hear them coming by their soft feeding calls. Yesterday morning was a textbook case. I could hear them coming up the ridge. Because I was photographing small birds I knew I would have to back off my zoom lens before they arrived or they wouldn't fit in the frame of the image. I slowly pulled back the zoom and waited quietly. Mountain Quail are extremely skittish and will flush at the merest sight or sound of motion. I waited and waited for about five minutes. One quail made an appearance and hopped up onto the perch I had set up. Ever so slowly I inched the camera over to focus on it. I realized I hadn't pulled the zoom back far enough and I was too tight. I made one image. Then I attempted to try and slowly back the lens off a little bit more. Instantaneously the quail jumped off the perch and ran into the forest! As I stated before they are very skittish. Better luck to me next time. God's blessings upon your weekend, chris This image was created with a Canon 7D MII and a Canon 100-400IS v.1 lens with a Canon 550 EX for fill flash.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Tiesel Toppers

Yesterday morning after I finished up with the rock perch images I switched over to using a dried Tiesel heads as a perches. Both the seed head and the stalks are full of prickly spikes. I'm always amazed to see birds using them as perches. They must have really tough feet! Here are a few more House Finch images. I hope that all of you are having a great week. God bless, chris All of the images above were created with a Canon 7D MkII DSLR camera with a Canon 100-400IS v.1 lens. The camera was supported on a Manfrotto 190 XPROB tripod with a Bogen Heavy duty ballhead. Fill flash was provided by a Canon 550 EX flash set to -2 stops. The camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 shutter speeds varied.#TeamCanon

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Rockin' It!

Yesterday afternoon I found a nice medium sized rock covered in moss and lichen down by the creek. I carried it up to my bird feeder and gently placed it on top of the bird feeder. This morning I cleared all of the seed off of the feeder except for the side facing my photo blind. That way the birds landing on the rock would be facing either sideways or looking down at the bird seed. Here are a couple of my favorite images from the morning.A male House Finch and a White Breasted Nuthatch. God bless, chris Both images were created with a Canon 7D MkII and a Canon 100-400 IS v.1 lens. Settings used were AV mode, ISO 800 at F 8.0. Shutter speeds varied.#TeamCanon

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mellow Yellow

Yesterday afternoon I went out to the Burris Ranch in the Little Lake Valley. I sat in my photo blind for a couple of hours and photographed House Finches. There were plenty of them and not too many other species. I was amazed when a young Raven stopped by at the bird feeder. It was far too close for photography so I sat and watched it feed. I had a really nice afternoon. God's blessings upon your day, chris

Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Little More Technology Comes to the Little Lake Valley

Yesterday afternoon I did a little bird photography out in the little Lake Valley. On my drive out I saw that they were working on the new cell tower on the North end of the valley. There was a big pile of branches lying near the base of the tower. I photographed for about two hours there were more than enough House Finches and very little of anything else. On my drive home the cell tower was bristling with branches. They attached all the branches to the tower in less than two hours. What an amazing transformation! Just as I got into the town limits of Willits I passed an Apple mapping van. They stopped for a little bit and the drove onward and turned down Bittenbender Ln . I in turn drove up Sherwood Road towards home. I wonder if they are going to map all of the streets? God's blessings upon your weekend, chris#TeamCanon

Friday, May 12, 2017

Island Time

This native Shoulderband Snail is enjoying the slow pace of island life before being safely released back in to the forest. I have been having a great time collecting creatures for the, "Island Series", of images. This one was created with a Canon 7D and a Canon EF-S17-85mm lens at 41mm. The camera settings used were Manual mode, ISO 100, F 13.0 at 1/160th of a sec. Lighting was provided by two Alien Bee studio lights outfitted with 2' x 4' soft boxes. God's blessings upon your weekend, chris #TeamCanon

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Drizzly Day

Winter has made a come back this morning. I had great plans for doing some bird photography. The thought of sitting in a wet blind doesn't appeal to me this morning for some reason. What to do on a rainy day? I haven't done any smoke photography for quite a long time. It took me about ten minutes to grab what I needed. After setting it up I created close to a hundred images. Afterwards I edited it down to my favorites. The last image reminds me of the movie the, Exorcist, (even though I didn't see it) because apparently the main character in a famous scene in the movie turns her head around facing backwards. On that strange note please have a heart filled blessed day, chris All of these images were created with a Canon 7D camera and a Canon EF -S17-85mm lens.The camera settings used were Manual mode, ISO 100, F 5.6 at 1/80th of a sec. Lighting was provided with a Canon 550 EX flash set to 1/16th power. A tutorial on smoke photography complete with a diagram of the set up can be found at http://diyphotocheapodepot.blogspot.com/2012/02/diy-smoke-photography.html Just copy and paste this url into your browser.#teamcanon

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Island Hopping

Here is one more from the island series. A millipede (Paeromopus angusticeps) from the woodpile. Millipedes are a fascinating creature. They are the slow moving garbagemen of the forest. They are detrivores eating decaying leaves and other dead plant matter of of the forest floor. They protect themselves by curling up into a spiral or a ball and emitting a foul smelling chemical. Watching all of their legs moving with such precision is quite fascinating. It's like little waves moving down the sides of their body. Pretty cool. God's love and blessings upon your day, chis This image was created with a Canon 7D and a Canon EF-S17-85mm lens at 41mm. The camera settings used were Manual mode,ISO 100, F 13.0 at 1/80th of a sec. Lighting was provided by two Alien Bee studio lights fitted with 2' x 4' softboxes.#TeamCanon

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

My Island

This morning I started cleaning up one of the remains of one of our woodpiles in preparation for bringing in some wood for next winter. Inevitably I found a couple of scorpions. I had a jar along with me for just the occasion. After I finished with the woodpile I took them inside and photographed them before I released them back into the forest away from the house. I hope and pray that your week has started off well, chris This image was created with a handheld Canon 7D with a Canon EF-S17-85mm lens at 30mm. The camera settings used were Manual mode, ISO 100, F 13.0 at 1/160th of a sec. Lighting was provided by two Alien Bee Studio lights both with 2' x 4' soft boxes. #TeamCanon

Monday, May 8, 2017

House Finch Friday

Friday morning I went out to the Little Lake Valley and made a very simple set up in the Burris Ranch garden for some bird photography. I used a Hawthorne branch in bloom for the perch and for a background I had a sheet of hand painted masonite. Considering that I only just put up the bird feeder earlier this week I was very impressed with how many birds were coming into the feeder. The majority of birds were House finches though a couple of White Breasted Nuthatches stopped by as well as some Lesser Goldfinches and one Scrub Jay. When I got home I edited them pretty thoroughly and this was my stand out favorite. God's love and blessings upon your week, chris #teamcanon, #tamron This image was created with a canon 7D MkII and a TAMRON | SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2lens at 450mm. The camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 at 1/200th of a sec. Fill flash was provided by a Canon 500 EX flash st to -2 stops.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Hot Off the Showroom I Mean Pharmacy Floor

Here are a few more images of model cars from Thursday night. I can see why people like to work with scale models. It really gets your creative juices going to create a scene for the model to fit into and then to ligh it properly. It's also very challenging to try and get them to look realistic. All images were created with a Canon 7D mkII and a Canon EF-S17-85mm lens. Lighting was provided by two Alien Bees with 2' x 4' soft boxes. the camera settings were Manual mode, ISO 100, F stops varied but I was using a shutter speed of 1/160th of a sec. God's love and blessings to all, chris #TeamCanon

Friday, May 5, 2017

Day in Paradise

I had a great time yesterday afternoon working with a little model pick up truck.I have a conceptual image in mind that I want to create. This is just part of the learning process of getting there. God's blessings upon your day, chris These images were created with a Canon 7D MkII and a Canon EF-S17-85mm lens. The camera settings used were Manual Mode, ISO 100, F13.0 at 1/160th of a sec. Lighting was provided by two alien Bee studio flashes were used with 2' x 4' soft boxes attached.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

All in a Mornings Work

The little Lake Valley was full of light fog yesterday morning as I got ready to head out to do some bird photography at the Burris Ranch. On Tuesday I went out to the ranch and did some weed eating and setting up of bird feeders and perches. On the drive out I a saw one lone cow elk all by herself beside highway 101. Further on in the North end of the valley I spotted a small herd of tule elk up on a hillside. Two of the bulls got into a morning tiff. When i arrived at the ranch my photo blind was literally dripping with condensation. Luckily I had a towel with me and I wiped it down before bringing my camera gear into it. Bird activity was low, mainly because I just set up the bird feeders the day before. I photographed one really nice male House Finch. God's precious love to all, chris all images were created with a Canon 7D MkII with a Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens in AV mode at a variety of settings. #TeamCanon,#withmytamron

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Surprise Visit

Yesterday morning I pulled out my photo blind from next to the house. I wanted to get it ready for some bird photography later this week. When I popped the blind open there were two Pacific Chorus Frogs and one good sized Northern Alligator Lizard inside. Because it was still a little chilly out it wasn't too hard to capture them. I photographed the lizard on a piece of mossy lichen lying on top of a piece of whit tagboard before letting them go out in the forest. I really like the end resulting image. God's precious love to all, chris This image was created with a hand held Canon 7D MkII and a Canon EF-S17-85mm lens at 41mm. The camera settings used were, manual mode, ISO 100 F13.0 at 1/160th of a sec. Lighting was provided by two Alien Bee studio lights. both were fitted with 2' x 4' soft boxes.#teamcanon

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Wyoming Spring Golf

One for fun! This is for my sister Shelley, her husband Steve and the Niobara Country Club. They have had some serious snow this last week. Though in Wyoming that can change to a sunny day with wind in an instant. God bless you all, chris

Monday, May 1, 2017

Country Life: Guest Photographer

Mendocino County in Northern California is a beautiful place to live. We have the ocean and its sandy beaches,tall Redwood groves, wild rivers and high mountains. Mixed in we have farms, ranches and wineries. You could do something different every weekend and not get bored. Living here we don't always take full advantage of what we have at our doorstep. Sometimes it's just nice to sit back on the deck and look up at the redwood trees. Saturday we went down to Hopland to Gaston Forge to look at having a gift made for a friend. They do incredibly beautiful metal artwork from signs to wall art and custom fire pits and more. Along the way we stopped and bought some delicious strawberries at Saechao Strawberries. Fresh picked out of the fields they are incredibly sweet! As we were leaving the strawberry stand we noticed all of the mailboxes lined up on the side of the road. We stopped and Lenore created some really nice images of them and this one was my favorite. I think it really captures the rural feel of where we live. She used a handheld Canon 7D and Tamron 18-200mm lens at 87mm. The camera settings were AV mode, ISO 100, F 5.6 at 1/320th of a second. God's love and blessings upon your week, chris #TeamCanon, #withmytamron