Thursday, October 31, 2013


I must say I was rather shocked when my daughter Annika stepped out of the hallway to go to school. I didn't know that she was dressing up in school spirit so I was a bit surprised when I saw her. Two thoughts immediately came to my mind. What are you dressed as and I think you would be great to photograph. I found out that she was dressed as "Pop Art". Next we went over by an open window in the living room. I grabbed a couple of quick images. Then it was the mad dash out the door and off to school! God's light and love to all, chris

Carving Pumpkins

I love carving pumpkins even though I'm not a big Halloween fan. We bought two of them this year and Annika and her boyfriend carved them. So I didn't really get to carve any this year but I did have fun watching them and I got to photograph them when they were done. They just look so cool all lit up in the dark. Now which one do you think Annika carved? God's light and love to all, chris

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Playing With Polarized Light

Some days you have just got to play. Last night I was looking at some images made using polarized light and I thought to myself, " I haven't done that in a long time!". This morning I grabbed a bunch of plastic wine glasses arranged them in a suitable still life. then I illuminated them with polarized light. Next I put a polarizing filter and a short lens on my camera and had some fun. I ended up making a lot of interesting images but this one ended up being my favorite. If you look closely at the rim of the glass on the left of the frame the polarized light makes it look like the plastic is distorted. God's precious love and blessings to all, chris

Monday, October 28, 2013

Time For a Little Fishing

I love to fish! The problem is that I tend to love photography more. Whenever I go fishing with my friends I almost always bring my camera. Inevitably I'll end up with the camera in my my hands. Luckily for me I a pretty decent fisherman and I'll still manage to catch a few fish as well. Today I was thinking about fishing and I decided to create a conceptual image with one of my fly rods. I really like the end result as it came out pretty cool! God's light and love to all, chris

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Little Lake Sunrise

Many days I plan what I'm going to photograph. Other days God just surprises me with some incredible examples of his creation. This morning was a total surprise and I almost missed it. I was walking out to fill the bird feeders when I noticed that the clouds had these great leading lines pointing towards the horizon. I ran back inside and grabbed a wide angle lens and threw it on my camera. Then I sprinted upstairs and poked my head out the back window. The view was gorgeous and I was lucky I hurried because the lower part of the clouds closest to the mountains was just starting to be overexposed by the rising sun from behind the mountains. Thank you Lord for this wonderful gift. chris Equipment Used: Canon 50D and a Canon 10-22 lens at 19mm Camera Settings: AV mode, ISO 400, F5.6, 1/250th of a sec.

Friday, October 25, 2013

I Love Being in the Photoblind

There is something special about being in a blind. I love heightened senses of hearing that I get when I am sitting there. This morning I got up early and filled the bird feeder. Within minutes I could hear the Red Breasted Nuthatches calling from the forest. Yank,Yank,Yank. Mixed in I could hear the Chestnut Backed Chickadees. Chicka see dee, dee, dee. Further off I could hear the Ravens guttural calling. There were a gang of Steller's Jays with raspy calls working over the acorns in the tree tops. Every now and then an acorn would break loose tick, tack, tock down through the branches and into the leaves. Later on when the birds started feeding the activity was almost nonstop. There was a constant flow of Nuthatches and Chickadees to the feeder intermixed with a few Juncos brave enough to come up from the ground to the feeder. At one point a big Band Tailed Pigeon scattered all the birds when it fluttered down next to the pond for a drink. Beautiful sounds to my ears. The photography was exciting but tough as the lighting kept changing from bright to shadow as the low fall sun traveled through the trees in its arc across the sky. I came away with several beautiful images that I am quite pleased with. May you have a blessed weekend, chris

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hold That Shower!

Yesterday evening my daughter Annika had a volleyball game at the local high school. I was just about to pop into the shower to get cleaned up to go when I glanced out into the front yard to see a bracken fern just positively glowing with sunlight. I immediately knew my shower was going to have to wait. I threw back on some clothes and padded out onto the driveway bare foot. I was looking for just the right angle that had the fern in the foreground with some dark shadows in the background. Moving a little to the left I could place the shadow of a large Douglas Fir Tree right behind the fern. In photography shadows will go black if the foreground is bright enough. In this case with the fern glowing in the sun I knew the background would go black. After a bit of fiddling with the composition I had my image. I ran back into the house for my shower and made it with plenty of time for her volleyball game. God's love to all, chris

Showing Off Just a Little Gorget

Yesterday morning I spent a little more time photographing hummingbirds from the photoblind. I was trying to get one of he male Anna's hummingbirds to flash me with its gorget. The gorget on a hummingbird is the brilliant metallic feathers on their head, nape and breast. After a lot of work, effort and a lot of patience I was able to capture a partial display. I'll keep working on it. Photographing hummingbirds is a lot of fun to do and the results are just fantastic. God's beautiful light and love to all, chris

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Digging in the Archives

Yesterday I discovered an old black and white negative of mine from the early 1980's when I was just learning to photograph with 4x5 view cameras. (I'm still learning). The image I came across is of Beringer Winery in the Napa Valley. I must say I have an affinity for their 2001 Port! I played around with it a bit yesterday and gave it a bit of an old historic feel. I really like the finished image. God bless, chris

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cat in the Blind and Photographing Hummingbirds

This morning was one of those times where things were a bit of a struggle. I changed out the batteries on my flashes that weren't working properly and then I had problems with them being too bright.I moved the flashes back and they were better but not perfect. Following that the flowers needed to be moved because the hummingbirds were landing on them rather than flying to them. When I finally got settled into the photoblind Papaya the cat came into the blind. She decided my lap was just the most perfect spot to sit in the whole wide world. Naturally I obliged and it was just right. Sitting there in my photoblind petting a purring cat on my lap was pretty pleasant, at least until a hummingbird came buzzing in. Then I had to lean forward to look through the cameras view finder in order to compose my image. As you can imagine this is rather uncomfortable to do with a cat in ones lap. Papaya too decided she didn't like the situation and she climbed from my lap onto the top of my shoulders. It was a little awkward to say the least trying to photograph a hummingbird with a cat on top of me. My photography was cut short. I could have thrown the cat into the house and come back out but I have way too many chores around the house to accomplish today. God's blessings to all, chris

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ever Changing Valley Down Below

One of the first things that I do most every morning is look out our back window to check out the valley down below. It is ever changing with shifting shadows, fog and light. Many mornings the fog is so thick it looks like a large white lake. It can change from minute to minute as the fog flows from changes in heat from the rising sun. Some days the fog can linger all morning and on others burn off in less than half an hour. Over the years I have taken thousands of images of the valley down below. Thank you Lord for giving me such a beautiful example of your creation to wake up to each day. chris

Sunday, October 20, 2013

From the Biggest to the Smallest

Today Lenore and I went on a short adventure. We drove down to Cornerstone in Sonoma,CA. There was an event being held there called "Wine Country Optics and Nature Festival". We got to try out all kinds of optics from Leica, Nikon Pentax and others. Some amazingly clear binoculars! There were also some incredible photographs on display from Douglas Herr, Suzi Eszterhas and Ron LeValley. Numerous conservation organizations had booths set up covering everything from save the frogs to animal rescue groups. My two favorites exhibits had an Asian Hawk Owl one of the largest owls in the world and a Northern Pygmy Owl one of the smallest. After touring the exhibits we had a marvelous lunch at Park 121. Butternut Squash soup, BLT and a fresh salad with citrus dressing.It was nice to get out into the world a bit. God's love to all, chris

Saturday, October 19, 2013

What are You Doing in My Photoblind?

I kept hearing this strange scratching noise yesterday as I was photographing hummingbirds from my photoblind. I looked all around the around the blind for its source with no luck. Thinking it might be a Chipmunk or a Junco scratching for seed I searched the ground on the edges of the blind. Nope. Suddenly Annika's cat Papaya slipped in under the blind flap startling me! I picked her up and began petting her secure in my knowledge that the mystery was solved. Then the scratching noises began again. HMMMNNN... it can't be the cat because the cat is in my lap. I put the cat down and she went out. As she went out and a little light came into the blind I caught a glance of something moving in the upper corner of the blind. Pulling open the door and flooding the blind with light I saw a cricket climbing up into the darkened corner of the blind. I went into the house and grabbed a jar and captured it. This morning I placed the Mormon Cricket - (Anabrus simplex) a female by the way onto one of Lenore's roses to photograph. It nibbled away on the rose as I photographed it. Afterwards I let it go into the forest. God's love and blessings to all, chris Equipment- Canon 50D,100mm macro lens,Alien Bees 1600 Monolight with a 28"x56"Softbox,3'x5'Gold Reflector Camera Settings- Manual Mode, F16.0,1/200th of a sec, ISO 400

Friday, October 18, 2013

Hunters Moon Tonight

This evening Lenore and I popped out to watch the Hunter's Moon rise over the Mendocino Mountain Range to the east of where we live. It is called the Hunter's Moon in a variety of hunting cultures. Fall has arrived and the leaves are falling from trees, many animals like deer and bears are fattened up for the winter ahead. It's a perfect time to hunt by the light of the moon storing up meat for the long winter ahead. God's light and love to all, chris Canon 50D,Canon 100-400IS


Every time I have walked down to the end of our road recently I have been captivated by this small Bracken Fern growing at the base of this massive Redwood Tree. There is such a strong contrast between the light green delicate features of the fern and the dark, gnarled and burned Redwood Tree. Late this afternoon I dragged my camera down there and photographed it. The wind was a bit of an issue but luckily there were a few breaks in it to sneak in a few exposures of the fern. God's blessings to all, chris

Thursday, October 17, 2013

In the Rut

This morning on my drive down the mountain into town I noticed a buck off to the side of the road with several does. I was about to drive on by when I noticed he was phlegming towards one of the does. Phlegming is the way that bucks determine if a doe is in estrus and ready to breed. They do this by sticking out their neck and head, curling their lip back and then opening their mouth wide and sucking in air. They suck the air in over their Jacob's Organ to see if there are any females are in season. This particular buck was swinging his head around from doe to doe. Just after I took this image he bolted after one of the does and took off in pursuit of her. She ran across the road and down a hill with him in pursuit. Love er lust is in the air. God bless, chris

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Stalking the Wild Butterfly

This afternoon I decided walk down to the garden and see what was going on. Mainly I wanted to see if their were any cherry tomatoes left that I could feast upon. Upon my arrival I found that there were about a dozen orange cherry tomatoes left on the almost leafless vines. I plucked a few of the sun ripened little globes and they were delicious. While I was contemplating their sweetness on my taste buds I watched several small Mylitta Crescent Butterflies feeding on some dandelions in between the garden beds. Wow I thought, "That would make a great image with the garden beds as a background behind it!" I ran up to the house and grabbed my camera and made my way back down to the garden. I plopped myself on the ground on my belly about four feet away. I braced my camera on the edge of a lounge chair and waited. It didn't take very long before one of the orange little jewels came fluttering along. They would feed from flower head to flower head as I tried to follow along. Sometimes they seemed to like a flower and they would tarry there a little longer giving me more time to focus and compose an image. I photographed quite a few over the course of about half an hour. I had a great time. Hopefully the back of my neck didn't get too badly burned. God's precious light and love to all, chris Equipment Used- Canon 50D, 20mm extension tube,Canon 100-400 IS lens Camera Settings- AV mode,ISO 400,F 5.0,1/2,500th of a sec.,

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My Darling Annas

For the past couple of weeks I have really been wanting to do some hummingbird photography. The hummingbirds have been stopping off and feeding on Lenore's roses which are right next to my photoblind driving me crazy. It's pretty cool to see them buzzing about the roses. Last night I got my act together and gathered up all of my hummingbird photography gear and put it by the back door. This morning I set up all of the flashes and sat in the blind for about an hour. During that time I had three visits from a nice male Anna's Hummingbird. I ended up with some absolutely beautiful hummingbird images. This one was my favorite. God's blessings to all, chris Equipment used Canon 50D Canon 100-400 IS (5) Canon 540 EZ flashes set to 1/16th power Camera exposure settings Manual mode ISO 400 F Stop F18.0 Shutter Speed 1/200th of a sec.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Earlier over the weekend I finished stacking the last of the woodpile for the upcoming winter. As usual there were some critters at the bottom of the pile. There were two lizards that I captured and immediately set free. One Western Fence Lizard and one Northern Alligator Lizard. The remaining creature I saved until this evening to photograph. A five inch long North American Millipede. Millipedes are pretty amazing. They are detritivores meaning that the eat the detris or rotting vegetation on the forest floor. Being nocturnal they prefer to stay out of the light and in dark places under logs or leaves. For protection from predators they will roll up into a spiral shape. If that doesn't work they will release a foul and burning chemical that will convince many small creatures not to eat it. Luckily tonight I handled this millepede rather gently and I didn't end up with smelly hands before I let it go back into the forest. God's love and protection to all, chris

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Vineyards Dressed for the Fall Ball

Last Wednesday I ventured out just before sunrise to capture the blazing fall colors of the vineyards near to where I live in Northern California. The night before I fastidiously set my alarm to go off at six so that I would have plenty of time to take a shower and get everything ready to go. Instead I lurched awake at six fifty seven realizing that somehow it was too late and the alarm didn't go off as expected. I groggily pulled my gear together and headed out the door without my shower. The cool fall air awoke me by the time I drove my pick up down our road to the main street. When I looked to the east there was a nice bank of clouds in the sky. This was going to be great for photography I thought to myself. About a half an hour later I arrived at some vineyards that looked really nice. The leaves were all reds, yellows and greens and the vines were heavy with over ripe grapes. At this point the sun was already a little ways above the horizon and there was very little time to photograph as the clouds had all disappeared! The soft warm light lasted little more than ten minutes before it started getting to harsh for photography. I drove around Redwood Valley looking for some good spots and came up empty handed. Finally I found some grapes in the shade. I created a few images of them and then I was pretty much done photographing vineyards for the day. Such a beautiful harvest of images. God bless, chris

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Badger Didn't Like His Bath

This afternoon I gave Badger a bath. Normally he doesn't make a fuss. He walks into the bathroom and just steps right in and takes it like a courageous dog. Today for some unknown reason he ran into the bedroom and tried to hide on the bed next to Lenore who was reading. I carried him back into the bathroom and plopped him in. I decided to photograph him afterwards because he looked so miserable.Here is a selection of images from the shoot. God's love to all, chris

Working Hands

Yesterday afternoon I stopped by the local garage where we have our cars repaired. It's owned by two hard working mechanics and their families that have been doing excellent work on all of our cars over many years. It's a difficult job that requires a lot of education and certifications to get into and maintain. I'm always impressed by their knowledge of so many different types of vehicles. As I was talking to them while they worked I noticed the interesting soft light that was being cast into the work bay. It really made their skin tones stand out. I grabbed my camera and created a few images and I am really pleased in particular with this one. God's love and protection to all, chris

Friday, October 11, 2013

Another One From Days Gone By

Yesterday morning I was out and about with fellow photographer Dave Smith. He showed me the the location of some old pick ups collecting rust, dust and moss in the woods. Imagine all of the adventures, projects and just daily life these pick ups must have seen during their lifetime. Here is an old International Harvester pick up. God's blessings to you, chris

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ain't Gonna Drive No More

This old Chevrolet pick up probably isn't going to be driving the highways and byways of America anymore.It looks like it's going to be spending the rest of its days sitting in the forest gathering moss and dust. God's tender love and mercies to all, chris

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Nope Not a Steller's Jay

This morning my plans were to photograph a Steller's Jay on a nice green background. I got out early to the photoblind and I sat and waited and waited. Not a single Steller's Jay came any where near my bird feeders. Not a single one. That in itself is pretty unusual because they one of the most common birds in the area where I live. Instead of a Steller's Jay I photographed a Chestnut Backed Chickadee as my substitute bird. I'm quite happy with how the image worked out. God's blessings to all, chris

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fall Squirrel

This morning it really felt like a fall day. I definitely needed a sweatshirt to keep me warm in the photoblind this morning. I must admit my shorts and sandals were feeling a bit cool. My goal today was to create an image of a bird or a squirrel that had some nice fall colors to it. I only photographed for a short time but I came away with an excellent image of a Douglas Tree Squirrel that has a nice fall feel to it. I'm really happy with it. I was really excited to see that the number of followers of this blog now is very close to nine hundred. If you like this blog and the photography in it please pass this site onto your friends. It would be great to have over a thousand followers! God's light and precious love to all, chris

Monday, October 7, 2013

Black Acorns

Yesterday when I was at my Mom's house I noticed that she had these beautiful black acorns mixed in with the brown ones. Black acorns just look really cool! God's love to you all, chris

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Ranch Rodeo

Yesterday afternoon I went to the Ranch Rodeo. I watched three of the last events of the day two roping events and the cow riding. From the looks of it a good time was had by all. God's light and love to all, chris