Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Last Image of the Milky Way 2013

Tonight's Milky Way Dec. 31, 2013
God's love and blessings to you in the upcoming new year. chris

Monday, December 30, 2013

Back to the Steller's Jays

This morning I put up a new feeder for photographing the birds. I'm constantly changing feeders and perches to give some variety to my bird photography. After settling into the photoblind I only waited for a short time before the Steller's Jays figured out where the seed was. They are pretty smart birds. They also figured out where the cat was and promptly disappeared! Once again my daughter's evil cat Papaya interrupted my bird photography. She was a devil to catch.Not surprisingly only one other bird showed up after that. One lone Chestnut backed Chickadee came by for a very brief visit. I guess it was the only smart one of his species able to figure out where the new feeder was. Gods' light and love to all, chris
Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 100-400 IS, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Settings- AV Mode,ISO 400, F 5.6, Shutter speed varied

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Flower on the Table

This afternoon I had the desire to photograph one of the Chrysanthemums on our table. It wasn't until this evening that I got around to it. A simple image. Here is flower on the table. God bless, chris
Equipment Used- Canon 7D, 100mm Macro lens, (2) Alien Bee 1600 Studio Lights with large soft boxes. Camera settings- Manual mode,ISO 400 F18.0 at 1/250th of a second.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

End of the Day

Last night after I went to bed this image popped into my mind. I couldn't wait until tonight to give it a try. An image of sitting by the fire with the stars and the milky way rising up behind me. I can see some room for improvement but I'm really happy with my first attempt. God bless, chris
Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D and a Canon 10-22 at 10mm, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera settings- Manual Mode, ISO 3,200, F4.5 at 30 seconds.

Friday, December 27, 2013

My Little Abstracts

Sometimes you just need to have some fun and play. Today was a family day so I didn't do any photography. Tonight when we had to go downtown to drop off Jay's girlfriend I brought my camera. On the trip down and on the way up I photographed one of my neighbors Christmas lights as we drove on by. The abstract splashes of color it created were just beautiful. Have a wonderful night, chris

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Time for a Break

I think that this is what Annika's cat Papaya does best. She needed a break from all of the festivities over the past few days. I think I do too! God's love to all, chris Camera Equipment Used-- Canon 7D, Canon 28-135 at 135 mm, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Setting- ISO 400, AV Mode, F16.0, 1.3 seconds.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Oh Christmas Tree...

I created this image on Christmas Eve a few minutes before midnight. This is our Christmas Tree this year. Many Christians and others put up Christmas Trees in celebration of Christmas. Green branches placed in Roman homes were considered to be symbolic of rebirth. A fir tree called the Paradise Tree that was often used in Christian plays to portray the Tree of good and evil in the Garden of Eden. Which one is correct or if it is a mixture of the two is lost in history as there are also some other theories that hold weight with Christmas candle pyramids and a few other ideas. Whatever the case may be they are still beautiful and are used in the celebration of Christ's birth at this time of year. Merry Christmas and God bless, chris
Equipment Used- Canon 7D,Canon 28-135 IS lens at 33mm, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Settings- AV mode, ISO 400, F16.0, 6 seconds

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Here is the Blasted Cat

Last night Lenore and I were wrapping Christmas presents so there was a bit of wrapping paper left over. This afternoon I took a piece of it and set it up as a backdrop sweep. I captured my little tormentor "Papaya the Blasted Cat" and placed her on it. With the help of my cat wranglers Jay and Annika I was able to photograph her. She looks like a sweet and gentle cat doesn't she? She really is when she isn't trying to catch birds around the bird feeders when I'm photographing birds. Merry Christmas to all, chris
Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 28-135 IS at 75mm. Camera Setting- ISO 400, AV Mode, F5.6, 1/10th of a sec.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Beautiful Steller's Jay

This morning I went out to do some bird photography in the backyard. Things didn't go as planned and yet everything turned out all right. The end result was not what I expected in fact it was probably better. First the blasted cat escaped when I was putting the dogs out. Naturally I couldn't catch it. It kept coming by the bird feeder and scaring the birds off. After several attempts I managed to corral it and put it back into the house. Next Lenore let the dogs out and naturally Lance the Labrador wanted to come by for a visit. As he was leaving he left an odorous deposit nearby.I had to grab a shovel and remove it. I just couldn't take the smell. Things finally settled down and I created an image of a Steller's Jay on a log close to the bird feeder. It was in soft beautiful light that really made the plumage stand out.Persistence paid off and I'm really happy with the image. May God bless you and have a great day, chris
Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 100-400 L IS, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Setting- ISO 400, AV Mode, F8.0,1/25th of a sec.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Three Local Critters

This morning I was up and around quite early so that I could fit a couple of hours into the photoblind before going to church. The birds were a bit jumpy today so it took about a half of an hour before the birds settled down and started using the feeder. The Western Gray Squirrels showed up and scared everything away. They left when I started asking them questions about the quality of the bird seed. They left only to be replaced by the Steller's Jays. Mixed in were a few Chestnut Backed Chickadees that were perching on the Wild Rose Hips. They made a beautiful image. God's love and blessings to all, chris Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 100-400 L IS, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Setting- ISO 400, AV Mode, F5.6, shutter speed varied.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Blasted Cat!

This morning I was outsmarted by Annika's new cat Papaya when I went out to the photoblind to do some photography. The birds were just not coming to the feeder at all. I waited and waited. No birds. Then I caught some movement down near the base of the bird feeder. There sat Papaya in plain sight with her tail twitching ever so slightly. I called to her and she ignored me. A few moments later she ran off. About five minutes passed and the birds started slowly coming in. I was able to make one beautiful image of a Chickadee. Then the cat showed up again and the birds all took off. I started to get out of the blind to grab Papaya and she ran off again. At that point I realized it would be fruitless to try and capture her. I packed up my camera and went back in the house. I was really happy with the image I made. God's love and blessings to all, chris
Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 100-400 L IS, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Setting- ISO 400, AV Mode, F5.6, 1/160th of a sec.

Friday, December 20, 2013

My Little Chickadee

I tried out a new bird feeder this morning in the backyard. I was trying to get the Steller's Jays to land on this Mullen Plant before coming to the feeders. I was not successful as only the smaller birds were using it. Here is one of my Chestnut backed Chickadees coming to the feeder. God's light and love to all, chris
Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 100-400 L IS, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Setting- ISO 400, AV Mode, F5.6,1/2,000 of a sec. + 2 E.V.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Backyard Birds

I was really busy this morning wrapping and sending out packages at the post office. Nothing like waiting until the last possible date! As a consequence of that by the time I got into the blind to do some photography the lighting was pretty poor. Winter light in my backyard is pretty tough. There is a short window and you have to make the best of it. In any case I still spent an enjoyable hour watching the birds come and go and I did get some nice images. God's love and blessings to all, chris
Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 100-400 L IS, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Setting- ISO 400, AV Mode, E.V. +1

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

White Deer of Ridgewood Ranch

This morning I got the urge to check out the White/ Fallow Deer on the Ridgewood Ranch which is just south of Willits, CA. The ranch is famous for having been the home of Sea Biscuit the famous racehorse. It's funny how a herd of white deer can sometimes be hard to spot. Some days when I have driven past the ranch I won't see a single one. Today I was rather lucky as they were fairly close to the road. I pulled off the edge of the road and watched and photographed them for about twenty minutes or so. It got pretty exciting for awhile when two of the smaller bucks began sparring. There was one nice buck with palmated antlers. They look pretty cool. I had a great time photographing them time, eventually they moved off over a ridge and I went on my way. Oh and BTW look for the moth on one of the bucks! God's light and love to all, chris Equipment used- Canon 7D,Canon 100-400 IS Camera setting- AV mode,ISO 400, F5.6 +1 EV

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How to Greet the Day

Lenore made two batches of these delicious "Lemon Rosemary Cookies" over the past couple of nights. Surprisingly I have only had two of them. They are delicious! This morning I grabbed a plate of them and I placed them on our deck rail with a nice mug. They looked great in the early morning light. Lucky for my health and my waistline I put them back after I finished photographing them. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Monday, December 16, 2013


Yesterday we put up the Christmas Tree, strung the lights and started hanging decorations. This morning I was inspecting our efforts and I noticed a decoration I don't recall having seen before. It was a simple white plastic angel. Nothing really special or outstanding in appearance. For some reason it really appealed to me. I could visualize the angels on the night of Christ's birth, "Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.'Luke 2:13-14. Naturally I went back upstairs and grabbed my camera to photograph it. I really like the out of focus lights behind it in the background. Have a beautiful evening, chris Camera Equipment Used-- Canon 7D, Canon 28-105 at 75 mm, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Setting- ISO 400, AV Mode, F4.0, 1/4 of a sec.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Toffee Time

In the tradition of giving every year around Christmas "Chris' Kitchen" goes into full time toffee production mode producing tins of delicious Peppermint Toffee. This year I have gone back to my roots and I am making a few tins of the more traditional Almond Toffee in addition to the Peppermint Toffee. It's a nice change as Lenore really likes the slightly burnt flavor of the Almond Toffee. Which one do you think you would prefer the Almond or the Peppermint? the Peppermint is on left and the Almond is on the right. God bless and have a merry week, chris
Camera Equipment Used-- Canon 7D, Canon 28-105 at 48 mm, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Setting- ISO 400, AV Mode, F16.0, 4/10ths of a sec.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Last of the Ice and Frost

Just finishing up the last of the frost and ice images from last week. Warmer weather is slowly melting away the ice and snow. These images were created along Willits Creek in one of the coldest areas close to where I live. It is almost always five to ten degrees cooler here than the surrounding area. It's in a valley full of trees with little sun to warm it up. It is a good area for photographing frost even after other areas have melted. Gloves and a hat are required! God's precious love to all, chris Photographed with a Canon 7D and a 100mm Macro lens. Camera was set to AV mode with an ISO of 400.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Frosty Fences

I was on my way to work out at the gym this morning when I got side tracked into photographing the frost on the fences down in the Little Lake Valley. My plan was to work out and then come home and edit some of my bird photography files. That got a bit delayed when I spotted the frost on the trees as I was heading down off of the ridge. The frost was just so beautiful. What a lovely gift from God! A short term visual feast. It got even better when I found that one of my favorite trees to photograph was framed by the frosty fences. It turned into how many ways can I photograph this tree! I had an absolutely wonderful time. God's light and love to alll, chris Photographed with a Canon 7D and a Canon 10-22 lens. Camera settings varied but the camera was at ISO 400 in AV mode.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Jack Frost Nipping at Your Nose

This past week has seen the thermometer dipping down below twenty degree Fahrenheit which is pretty cold for the Little Lake Valley in Northern California. This has resulted in some good opportunities to photograph the frost that has been forming on everything in the early morning. Tuesday morning after I dropped off Annika at school I looped through the valley stopping at several points to photograph the scenery and the frost. What a glorious morning the Lord had made! Enjoy the sights and God's blessings to you, chris
Equipment used- Canon 7D, Canon 10-22 EF-S Lens, Camera settings- AV Mode, ISO 400, F stop varied

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Polaris The North Star

Polaris is a pretty cool star. It is located in the constellation of Ursa Minor, the Little Bear. The easiest way to find Polaris is to find the Big Dipper. The two end stars that make up the end of the pot of the dipper (not the handle) point downward almost directly at the North Star. That is why they are sometimes called the pointer stars. One of the most amazing things about Polaris is the fact that it sits directly above the North Pole of the earth. If you were to stab a giant pin through the axis of the earth from the south pole to the north pole it would point directly at Polaris. Because of this if you take a long exposure of the sky at night with your camera the star trails formed will create circles around Polaris! This image was made with an exposure of close to an hour and a half.It's pretty easy to find Polaris at the center of the circles just barely above the treeline. Enjoy and God bless, chris

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Nature Hike

Last Saturday Annika and several of her friends needed to go to Ukiah, CA to take the SAT Test. We had a small snowstorm on Friday and then it rained turning the roads into an icy mess. I offered to drive everyone down in my pick up because it has four wheel drive. The drive down was gorgeous with partly cloudy skies and an amazing sunrise. I handed Annika the camera and she took a nice photograph of it through the windshield as we were driving. After I dropped the kids off for testing I had four hours to myself. Luckily Ukiah abounds in natural areas and parks all a close distance to the city. As for me I chose to park right across the street at Low Gap Park. I grabbed my camera and one lens and went or a giant looping nature walk up the creek. I found plenty of subjects to keep myself busy. After my hike I drove a few miles up Low Gap road looking at the sights before I turned back to pick up the test takers and headed home. God's precious light and love to all, chris Equipment Used- Canon 7D and a Canon 28-135 IS lens.