Sunday, May 13, 2018

Historic William Schwerin Photo Collection

I've really got my work cut out for me. Here is just a small sample of the prolific collection of my Grandfather William Schwerin's photos. My long term goal is to eventually digitize and post his whole collection of images. I'm starting with copying his photographs and eventually I'll move onto scanning his negatives. It's a pretty amazing collection. The pick up in the top center of this photo shows the shop truck of the Schwerin Brake Service which is still in business today in San Francisco on Bush St. This image was created with a Canon 7D MkII camera and a Canon EF-S 17-85mm lens. #TeamCanon

Sunday, May 6, 2018

City Boy

In my college years I spent some time living in the city of Sacramento. Luckily I lived in an apartment right next to the levee of the American River. I spent a lot of time kayaking, fishing and swimming in the river. It was my saving grace as it helped my sanity by having nature just over the top of the levee. Over the weekend I visited relatives in the Sacramento area. I made it a point to visit where I used to live. I found that the apartments had been converted to high end senior condos for 55 and up. Just down the street in Campus Commons I found some Wild Turkeys strutting in front of an office complex. Judging by how fat this on was they weren't lacking for food! This image was created with a Canon 7D mkII camera and a Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Fill flash was provided by a Canon 550 EX flash, #TeamCanon, #WithMyTamron

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Poppin' Out All Over

There has been a wonderful California Poppy bloom this spring. I went out a couple of times to photograph them this last week. Both in Ukiah and Willits. As beautiful as they are it takes some work to get a beautiful image of them. Part of the reason for that the grasses have grown up faster than the poppies pretty much burying them in the grass. You have to look for poppies that stand out or are isolated from the grasses in some way. I created a lot of images but here are three of my favorites. All of these images were created with a Canon T1i camera and a variety of different lenses. #TeamCanon

Monday, April 23, 2018

Wee One From the Woodpile

Spring is the perfect time for me to find salamanders in the woodpile. I'm usually getting down to the bottom of the pile and salamanders are getting active because it is still moist and getting warm. Yesterday I uncovered this slender salamander under one of the last logs in the pile. At first glance I thought it was a worm until I noticed the tiny little legs sprouting out from the body. I carefully placed it in a glass container. This morning I photographed it before setting it free. Compare the salamander to some of the fir needles in the images and you can get an idea of how small they are. God's blessings upon your week, chris All of these images were created with a Canon 7D MkII camera and a Canon EF-S 60mm USM macro lens on a tripod. #TeamCanon

Saturday, April 21, 2018


Earlier this week while getting some wood from the woodpile I discovered this cool little salamander between the layers of the tarp covering the pile. It was awesome in appearance being black with gold flecking. Size wise it was very small only being about two inches long. It was also difficult to capture because it was really fast and active for a salamander. This afternoon I photographed it before releasing it back into the woodpile where I had captured it. I'm sure it has some pretty wild stories to tell to its buddies. God's blessings upon your weekend, chris Both of these images were created with a Canon T1i camera and a Canon EF-S 60mm macro USM lens. #TeamCanon

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Night of the Newt

The other night we made a late night grocery run. It was pouring rain on the drive downtown and very, very foggy on the return trip home. When we were unloading the car we had made several trips back and forth carrying in groceries when Lenore noticed something slowly crawling across our walkway. She called me over and pointed it out for me to see. I bent down and picked up an orange and black Rough Skinned Newt. We were really lucky that we hadn't stepped on it while going back and forth to the house. I brought it inside and popped it into a jar. This morning I grabbed a mossy limb from a knocked down oak tree and I used it to photograph the newt before setting it free outside. Here are three of my favorite images.God's love and blessings upon your week, chris All of these images were created with a Canon 7D MkII camera and a Canon EF-S60mm F/2.8 macro USM lens. #TeamCanon

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Watching and Waiting for the Long Distance Voyager

I have been watching and waiting for the Rufous Hummingbirds to appear. I always have a few resident Anna's Hummingbirds that hang around all winter. But the Rufous Hummingbirds are special because they travel so far. Rufous hummingbirds are known for having the longest migration, as measured by body length, of any bird in the world! They travel close to four thousand miles making the one way trip from Mexico to Alaska. That is pretty amazing for a three inch long hummer that weighs about the same as a copper penny. The Rufous breeds farther north than any other hummingbird in North America, traveling all the way up to Alaska in the summer breeding season. Truly an amazing migration. This afternoon I watched them for about five minutes before I grabbed my tripod camera and flash. I watched them to figure out the best possible perches they were using before I photographed them. I was looking for perches that were clutter free and had a pleasing background behind them. I photographed them for about half an hour. They were happy and so was I. Here are three of my favorite images. God's love and blessings to all, chris #TeamCanon, #WithMyTamron

Monday, March 19, 2018

It Pays to Follow Directions

Yesterday I spotted the first Rufous Hummingbird coming to our hummingbird feeders. It was a good reminder to clean up my hummingbird feeders and get them out for the deluge of migrants that are going to be coming through. Normally I hand wash all of the feeders in mild soap and water. My brother suggested throwing them in the dishwasher. I've never done that because I was too worried of them melting and I was concerned about the harsh soap. I put the dishwasher setting to rinse only with no soap and gave it a try. After the washer ran I checked them and they were not very clean. I then tried it with no soap and put the diishwasher on the delicate cycle. Major OOOOOPS! After it ran when I checked it all of the bottle portions of the feeders had melted. All of them were distorted on the tops and about half of them had warped threads on the bottom so they couldn't attach to the feeder part on the very bottom. I managed to salvage four feeders using some tape. In putting them together I noticed the fairly bold label "NOT DISWASHER SAFE". They will hopefully hold together until my order of new feeders from First Nature comes in. I like their feeders because the wide opening makes them easier to clean. It pays to follow directions. This can be applied to everything in our lives. chris

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Rainy Day Gray

I'll admit it. I'm a softy when it comes to photographing small mammals. I really like to photograph prairie dogs, pikas, rabbits, chipmunks and squirrels. Such is the case this last week when I photographed the Western Gray Squirrels coming to my bird feeder in the backyard. Often times I set up a second feeder to keep them away from where I'm photographing birds. This time I didn't care because I was enjoying photographing the squirrels. Enjoy the squirrel images. God's love and blessings upon your week, chris All of these images were created with a Canon 7D MkII camera and a Tamron 150-600mm lens.The camera was supported on a ground pod on our bedroom widow sill.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Spring is on the Way

It is starting to feel as if Spring is just around the corner with migrating birds starting to return. I spotted some Western Bluebirds checking out nest boxes last week. Ducks are starting to take on their breeding colors. The Ruddy Duck males bills are starting to turn a shade of bright blue. Spring is still being held at bay as we had six inches of snow last weekend. Here are some of my favorite snowy images from Saturday as well as one of my favorite bird images from last week. God's love and blessings upon your week, chris All images were created with a Canon 7D MkII camera and a Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. #TeamCanon, #WithMyTamron

Monday, February 26, 2018

Split Rail Fence or What's Up There?

This image was my favorite image from a series of images that I did this last week. I found a mossy covered section of split rail fence to use as a perch. I set it up right next to the bird feeder for the birds to land on. Right now there is very little variety of birds coming to my feeder though that will change soon. Right now there are pretty much only two species of birds visiting the feeder on a regular basis. Chestnut Backed Chickadees and Red Breasted Nuthatches. This was my favorite Nuthatch image. God's tender love and blessings upon your week, chris This image was created with a Canon 7D MkII camera and a Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. The camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 at 1/200th of a sec. #TeamCanon, #WithMyTamron

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Simple Lichen Perch

I'm always searching for new perches to use for my bird photography. The best ones are usually found when I'm either driving or walking to our gate and back after a windy night. Saturday I found a really nice lichen covered one on a walk with Lenore and Badger to the gate. After our walk I set it aside for future use. I ended up using it yesterday afternoon and early this morning by clamping it up next to the bird feeder for the birds to land on when they came to feed. There was a mix of Chestnut Backed Chickadees and Red Breasted Nuthatches coming in with the stray Gray Squirrel or two that I yelled at to go away whenever they tried to climb up to the bird feeder. Here are three of my favorite images after editing this morning. God's blessings upon you, chris All of the images were created with a Canon 7D MkII camera and a Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. #TeamCanon, #WithMyTamron

Monday, February 12, 2018

Battle Worn Beautiful Warrior

This last weekend Lenore and I trimmed the roses and cleaned up a few flower beds. We were amazed to see an Iris blooming in the front yard. This is the first flower bloom we have had this year. You could tell it was tough by how it looked. A bit rumpled, tattered and torn. It managed to pop up close to the wall where it is the warmest. Many, many years ago my dad was splitting up some Iris in his yard and he gave me a bunch to plant in my mine. He left this earth long ago but every time I see one of these Iris in bloom I'm reminded of what an incredible gardener he was. Every place he ever lived he always found places to put in beautiful flowers and a large vegetable garden. Thank you for the wonderful memories, Dad. God's love and blessings to all, chris This image was created with a Canon 7D MkII camera and a Canon EFs 17-85mm lens at 85mm. #TeamCanon

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Batchelor Group of Tule Elk

Nature works to return to a natural state. Highways and bridges crumble. Grasses grow up in the cracks of sidewalks pushing and pushing to make them wider. Native species work at repopulating areas where they once were found. Sometimes it is done with the help of man. Such as it is with the Tule Elk. Prior to the Gold Rush in California they were widespread in many parts of the state. During the Gold Rush they were market hunted to near extinction for their meat and hides. Luckily there was a small remnant population found in the Central Valley on one of the many, many ranches of Henry Miller in 1874. He felt the herd should be saved. From that small herd there are now over 5,700 elk found in herds in many parts of California. There are even limited hunts by special permit. Elk have been slowly returning to around Willits where I live as well. At the end of last week when I was driving to the north end of the Little Lake Valley I watched a small batchelor herd trot out of the brush. Once they got out into the open they stopped and began milling about. A closer look through my telephoto lens revealed that some were foaming at the mouth. My guess is that they had been being chased either by dogs or coyotes. As they made their way closer to the road I got some nice images of them before I drove off and left them be. God's love and blessings upon your week, chris All images were created with a Canon 7D MkII camera and a Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 shutter speeds varied. #TeamCanon, #TakenWithMyTamron

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Blue Super Moon to Blood Moon

Here is a compilation of images from last nights Super Blue Moon Eclipse. All photographed with a Canon 7D MkII camera and a Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. God's love and blessings upon your day, chris #TeamCanon, #TakenWithMyTamron

Friday, January 26, 2018

Crazy Weather

Yesterday I felt like I was living in Colorado and not California. I awoke to the low rumble of thunder. It hailed for about twenty minutes covering the driveway in almost half an inch of pea sized hail. Not done yet it poured big rain drops really hard off and on for the next couple of hours. Then it totally surprised me by snowing in fits and starts for the rest of the afternoon. There were some really big snowflakes too. Some were close to an inch across. It was just crazy. This morning we awoke to a pink pastel sunrise and it was was overcast for most of the day with a few patches of blue sneaking in. The overcast made for some good photography and I photographed some Red Breasted Nuthatches in the backyard. Have a blessed weekend,chris All of the images were created with Canon cameras. The snowy Redwoods were created with a Canon 7D MkII camera with a Canon EFS 17-85mm lens. Fill flash was provided by a Canon 550 EX flash. The sunrise was captured with a Canon T1i camera and a Canon 50mm f 1.8 lens. All of the bird images were captured with a Canon 7D MkII camera and a Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Fill flash was provided by a Canon 550 EX flash set to minus 1-1/3rd stops. #TeamCanon, #TakenWithMyTamron

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Zhongyyi 20mm Macro

About a week ago I was looking through some photo websites and I ran across a really odd looking macro lens. A short search led me to find it was the ZYoptics Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2.0 4.5X Super Macro Lens. It is a fully manual lens that has an f stop range from f 2.0 to f 16.0. Where this lens really shines is that it produces images that are from 4 to 4.5 times life sized on a full frame camera. I decided to order one and it arrived yesterday. After mounting it on my camera and focusing on some sugar crystals I immediately discovered that it is not something that you can hand hold and photograph with. It was time to pull out the tripod and a macro focusing rail. At such high magnification I needed to focus first at f 2.0 and then stop down to take the image. This is because being a manual lens it is too difficult to see the subject at about F8.0 or smaller due to the lack of light being let into the camera. Every tiny movement made could or would shift the images composition or focus. Definitely not a lens that you would want a beginning photographer to start with. After photographing the sugar crystals I moved on to photographing the keys on an old Royal typewriter that I have kept for sentimental reasons. This is going to be a fun lens to keep around for photographing tiny things in the macro realm. God's love and blessing to you, chris All images were created with a Canon 7D MkII camera. The macro lens was photographed with a Canon EF 28-80mm lens and the macro images were photographed with the ZYoptics Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2.0 4.5X Super Macro Lens. The camera was supported with a Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod and a macro focusing rail was used for the macro images. Lighting was provided by two L.E.D. light panels.#TeamCanon

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Save It for a Rainy Day

Luckily after another long dry spell we are starting to get some rain again. My photography went through a dry spell as well. With all of the self imposed pressures of some big projects I'm hoping to complete in both my personal and professional life I'm going to knock my photoblog back to only one blog a week. Today it is raining once again. Thank you Lord! Here is a puzzle left over from Christmas. It's missing a few pieces as you can see. A good comparison to how I was feeling.Now there is a better road ahead. The other image is of a mountain top sticking up from the fog and clouds. God's love and blessings to all, chris #TeamCanon

Thursday, January 4, 2018

What is This Thing?

I find some strange things when I'm sorting and cleaning things up. I'm not the neatest of people and periodically I have to clean up and purge all of the detritus that surrounds me from my creative efforts. In cleaning out the cubbies in the closet I found a roll Kodak 35mm print film still in the box. It was a roll of 24 exposure Kodak Gold. I was really surprised to find that you can still buy it on Amazon though in the comments someone noted that the film was outdated. For the younger crowd out there this is what we used to have to put into cameras to create photographs. You had to load it into the camera take your pictures and then drop it off at the drug store or supermarket and they would send it out to a lab to be developed and then send your pictures and negatives back to you.In some places they had a lab in the store and they would develop it right there for you to pick up later. There are places actually still have these! I'm guessing that the box I found was most likely Lenores because I usually photographed with 35mm transparency or slide film. Although I sometimes would use a slide duplicator to make print using print film. On the box it was dated to develop by June of 2001 so that ship has long sailed. Amazing how much photography has changed since that time. Many people wouldn't have a clue as to how to even load a camera with print film today. We are too accustomed to the ease of photographing with our cell phones! God's precious light and love to all, chris This image was photographed on a white sweep with two L.E.D light panels using a Canon 7D MkII camera and a Canon EF-S60mm macro USM lens. The camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 125, F 20.0 at 1/6th of a sec. #TeamCanon

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Closer Look

Here is a much closer look at my pocket watch photographed with my Canon 7D MkII camera and a Canon Ef-S60mm macro lens.It's so much fun to see things close up. It's a whole new world in minature! The camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 125, F 16.0 at 4/10ths of a sec. God's love and blessings upon your day, chris #TeamCanon

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Time Is Passing By

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up". Galations 6:9 NIV Wow where has all of the time gone? It is so hard for me to fathom that it is 2018. While cleaning out the cubbies in my closet I came across my pocket watch which I rarely wear. It was a gift to me from Lenore on our wedding day. I always try to keep it in my top cubby so that I don't lose track of it. It seemed a fitting subject for today on this second day of the new year. I placed it on an old piece of weathered wood and I photographed it with a macro lens. I think it portrays the passage of time really well. Let's stay focused on doing good for others in the world around us. God's blessings to all in the coming year, chris This image was created with a Canon 7D mkII camera with an EF-S60mm F 2.8 macro lens. The camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 125, F 16.0 at .4sec. Lighting was provided by two orange jelled L.E.D. light panels.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Last Image of 2017

The morning before New Year's Day I photographed some trees in the foggy Little Lake Valley below where we live. I love to pick out landscape details using my telephoto lens. I used my Canon 7D MkII camera with a Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 lens. The camera setting used was AV mode, ISO 125,F11.0 at 1/125th of a sec. #TeamCanon, #WithMyTamronGod's blessings upon the upcoming year.