Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Planning a Portrait of a Chickadee

Driving through the big city of Ukiah (13K people) I noticed that the Mulberry trees were in bloom. They have a gorgeous light pink blossom. Immediately my mind went into photography mode. My next stop was Home Depot where I purchased a four by eight foot sheet of eighth inch pressboard. I had them cut it in half to make two four by four foot sheets. Following that was Dollar Tree where I picked up one tube of red and one tube of white acrylic paint. Red and white mixed together make pink just like the Mulberry blossoms! When I arrived at home I painted one of the pressboards white. The following morning after it had dried I mixed up the red and white acrylic paint and covered the pressboard in pink polka dots. On my next trip to Ukiah I kept my eyes peeled for Mulberry trees. I found one in a vacant lot. I clipped off a sucker twig from the crotch of the tree. Arriving at home I clamped up the twig below a single spout bird feeder six feet from our back bedroom window. I clamped up the the now white and pink background fourteen feet from the window. At that distance it renders the background into a soft pink and white when using an F stop of F 8.0 or larger. This morning the weather was perfect. Soft morning light and the Chestnut backed Chickadees were coming into the feeder. I set up my Canon EOS 7D camera with a 400 mm lend behind a window blind / hide set into the bedroom window. A perfect hiding place! I watched the birds for awhile to see where they were landing. Then I slowly pushed my camera through the lens port and locked it onto a ground pod on the window sill. i photographed birds for about two hours before the lighting got too harsh. Here are some of my favorite images. God's light and love to all. Whoever believes in Jesus repents of their sins and places their faith in him shall have eternal life.

Friday, March 3, 2023

Snowy Days are the Best

I love photographing birds in my backyard in the snow. It's an enjoyable experience to stay dry, warm and be able to see the birds so very close up. I prefer using set ups to get the most success out of my backyard experience. In this set up I started by putting up a four foot by four foot white backdrop sixteen feet from my back bedroom window. Next I stood up two tall uprights four feet apart, eight feet out from the window. Between them I clamped a lichen covered fir branch on an angle. Above the branch I clamped a horizontal support to hang a single port bird feeder filled with black sunflower seed. Off to the side I set up my cork bark bird feeder also filled with sunflower seed. I was almost done. In the bedroom window I propped up a window blind/hide into the window opening. Behind it I placed my ground pod and ballhead onto the window ledge. Now I just needed some snow! Luckily I have been following the weather forecast and a storm was coming in the following morning. When I awoke the following day it was snowing like crazy! I clamped my Canon EOS 7D onto the ground pod and slowly stuck my Canon 100-400mm lens out through the blind opening and waited. About twenty minutes later the Steller's Jays, Dark- eyed Juncos and Chestnut-backed Chickadees started using the feeder. I watched where they were landing for awhile to see where I should prefocus my lens. I chose and F stop of F 8.0 to allow the bird to be in focus and for the background to be blurred out. I had a great time and the birds were happy with the free bird seed. A Steller's Jay was one my favorite images. Canon EOS 7D with a Canon 100-400mm lens at 190mm, AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 at 1/50th of a sec. A wonderful snowy day! God's love and blessings to all, chris

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Squirrely Day

 The first thing to come to my cork bark bird feeder this morning was a Western Gray Squirrel. I typically don't mind squirrels too much because they make great subjects too. This one was photographed with my venerable old Canon EOS 7D with an equally long in the tooth Canon 100-400mm telephoto lens. a very fine camera combination indeed! I took four good shots of the squirrel before it got spooked and took off. After that I focused on Dark-eyed Juncos and Chickadees. A good time was had by all. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Cork Bark Bird Feeder

 The week before Christmas I ordered a  a piece of , "Cork Oak Round Bark", from Amazon. People use it for snakes and other reptiles in terrariums. I have found that they work really well as bird feeders! I just attach one end to a small plank with small wood screws and then fill it up with bird seed. Attach it to an upright pole and voila it becomes a natural looking bird feeder. This last week I finally got some time to put it together and set it up in the backyard. The birds and squirrels loved it. Here are some samples. Enjoy! God's love and blessings to all from Christ our Lord and Saviour.

Friday, December 9, 2022

Wednesday Morning Blues

Wednesday morning I added another image to my "Blues Collection" of Steller's Jay images.  Late Tuesday afternoon I went out into the backyard and set up a lichen covered brach about twelve feet out from our back bedroom window. I clanped it at an angle between to up right perch supports at a nice angle for the birds to land on. Just above it and out of camera view I hung a single port bird feeder filled with black sunflower seed. Then I went back inside the bedroom and pulled the window screen out and put the window hide/ blind in it's place. On Wednesday morning I was up bright and early waiting for the birds to come. I waited and waited and nothing came. What's a fella to do but go make some breakfast. While I was preparing breakfast I heard the distinctive call of the Jays. I grabbed my breakfast bowl and hurried down the hall into the bedroom. Looking out from the blind i watched the Jays feed looking to see where they were landing. Once I figured that out I prefocused my Tamron 150-600 mm lens on the spot. I was alarmed to see my shutter speed on my Canon E|OS 7D was quite low! I took about thirty exposures and all but four had some kind of motion blur in them. One however looked pretty nice. Late after uploading the images to the computer I was very happy to see it was pretty sharp. I had the image i was looking for. Great over the shoulder pose on a beautiful perch. Later on I set up my camera again and Got a really nice Western Gray Squirrel in the same spot. They have the most awesome tails. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Mighty Oak

 For the past few weeks the forest has been alive with the sound of falling acorns. Wherever you walk it sounds like some creature is stalking you. These acorns provide food for a multitude of forest animals from deer to pigs, squirrels and birds. It's amazing to watch a Band-tailed Pigeon swallow an acorn whole! Here is an acorn from my front yard. It was photographed with a Canon EOS 7D camera with a Tamron 180mm macro lens. God's light and love to all, chris

Friday, October 14, 2022

Blues Series

 Several months ago I embarked on a series of photographs called ,The Blues Series. It involves photographing Steller's Jays in my backyard. Here are some samples