Thursday, February 27, 2014
Thank you Lord for the rain! It has been pouring outside off and on hopefully reducing the drought that has hit California. I love the rain but it makes photography a little more difficult. This morning I had an idea for an intimate landscape and with a little bit of help from a Oregon Forestsnail Allogona Townsendiana that I found in our woodpile I was able to create it. God's blessings upon your day, chris Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D, 100mm Macro Lens. Camera settings- AV Mode,ISO 400, Shutter speed 1/15th of a sec., F 8.0.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Yesterday I spent a little time in backyard photoblind in the morning and a little bit later in the afternoon. I came away with a couple of images of a Steller's Jay and a Red Breasted Nuthatch using the knothole feeder. Unexpectedly three Mountain Quail showed up late in the afternoon. I could hear there feeding call as they came into the yard from down the ridge top. I wasn't quite ready for them as I was focused on the knothole feeder. Very slowly I recomposed my camera on the platform feeder and I was able to capture one of them on its trip off of the feeder. They were extremely nervous and only stayed by the feeders a couple of minutes. I'm always happy to see them much less be able to photograph them. God's blessings to all, chris Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Settings- AV mode, ISO 400, F8.0,Shutter speed varied.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
The weather the past few days has been beautiful. We played tennis on Sunday afternoon and it was in the low seventies. I'm not sure what it got up to yesterday but it was "t" shirt weather in the afternoon. Some of our flowers are starting to come up. This morning I photographed an Iris blooming out in the front garden. The funny thing about all this is that we tend to get our biggest snows in March! We will see what the good Lord sends us. The forecast calls for rain tomorrow. Have a wonderful day, chris
Monday, February 24, 2014
Last night I payed a visit to one of the old oak trees on the north end of the Little lake Valley. I wanted to silhouette a tree against the night sky and it was the only location that I could think of off the top of my head that would be accessible without leaving the road and going onto private property. The night sky was beautiful and glorious. I had a really nice time photographing the tree from various angles but this one was my favorite. On the drive home I was got to thinking and realized that that tree is probably much, much older than I am. It's all part of God's wonderous creation. Have a beautiful day, chris Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens @10mm, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Settings- M mode, ISO 6,400, F 4.5, Shutter speed 30 seconds, Manual focus to infinity.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
One of the most difficult birds for me to photograph in my backyard are the Mountain Quail. There aren't very many of them and they are are extremely skittish. This morning I was up bright and early. I made sure the dogs and cats were secure. Then I headed out into the backyard and restocked the bird feeders. As I was pouring out the sunflower seed into the feeder I could hear the feeding call of the quail coming down the ridge top. I hurried into the blind and I'm glad I did. Less than two minutes later a Mountain Quail popped out onto the corner of the patio from the edge of the yard. A few minutes later two more came out. They fed in circles all around the feeder until one of them jumped up onto a mossy branch leading to the feeder. It stopped several times on the way up to the feeder allowing me to captures some beautiful images in the early morning light. This one was my favorite. God's blessings upon your day, chris
Friday, February 21, 2014
This mornings photography didn't last long. I got up too late and the light was already starting to go by the time I climbed the photoblnd. The Bandatail Pigeons showed up today and were crashing around in the trees above the blind. They are amazing fliers but they are not very graceful when landing. One pigeon tried several times to come down to the feeders but something scared it off each time. They are extremely wary. Not too many birds came to the feeders but one tenacious Western Gray Squirrel stayed at the bird feeder for a long time. So my offering today is a squirrel portrait. Have a wonderful day, chris Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens @400 mm, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Settings- AV mode, ISO 400, F5.6,Shutter speed 1/160th of a sec.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
This morning I made sure the little white demon cat was locked away before I went out to do some bird photography in the back yard. To make doubly sure I put little signs on the doorknobs to make sure that no one would let the little beast loose. The photography for this morning ended up being pretty typical for winter around here. There were a lot of Steller's Jays and Dark Eyed Juncos and a persistent Western Gray Squirrel. One Mountain Quail visited a couple times but didn't walk up the ramp to the feeder as there was too much spilled bird food on the ground for it to feast on. I'll try again soon. God's light and love to all, chris Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens @285 mm, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Settings- AV mode, ISO 400, F5.6,Shutter speed 1/125th of a sec.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
This morning the little cat Papaya didn't help my photography one bit. Before heading out to the photoblind I made sure that the little white demon was locked up in the house. After settling into the blind the birds and one chipmunk started coming into the bird feeders. I was looking forward to a great morning of bird photography. Suddenly all of the activity stopped. I thought there must be a hawk so I started looking up into the trees to see if I could spot it. Then I heard a rustling noise down by my feet. There was Papaya! I picked her up and brought her back to the house. A few minutes later she was back outside and heading for the bird feeder with Annika hot on her heels trying to capture her. Annika brought her back inside and I thought everything was going to work out just fine. Less than ten minutes later I heard Lenore call out. "Sorry!" Sure enough there was Papaya again. I gave up.Here is my simple offering; a really cute chipmunk that came to the bird feeders right after I got in the blind. May God bless your lives, chris Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens @300 mm, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Settings- AV mode, ISO 400, F5.6,Shutter speed 1/200th of a sec.
Monday, February 17, 2014
Like normal for a winters morning the Little Lake Valley was filled with fog this morning. I loved the contrast between the trees and the fog. Later on in the morning when I looked out over the valley the fog was starting to clear. Down below there was a really cool window into an intimate scene. What a wondrous sight to see. God's light and precious love to all, chris
Sunday, February 16, 2014
This afternoon I went looking for a salamander to photograph. After about five minutes of looking I found an Ensatina under an old board. I grabbed a piece of moss and spent about five minutes photographing it. Then I carefully put it back where I had originally found it. Ensatinas are pretty cool in that they are a lungless salamander. Which obviously means that they don't have any lungs! They breathe through pores in their skin. Because of that care must be taken not to handle them too much as the oils from your skin can block those pores making it difficult to breathe. AAck! One of the other unusual things about them is that when the female lays her eggs she lays them underground not in the water(usually 9 -16 of them). They then hatch directly into being little salamanders. They don't go through an aquatic stage like most other amphibians. None of that tadpole stuff for Ensatinas. The last unusual thing about these little salamanders is that they have the ability to regenerate lost body parts.When they lose a leg or a tail to a predator it grows back. Such an amazing little creature! God's love to all, chris Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D, 100mm Macro Lens, 2 Alien Bee Studio lights with large softboxes, Ishoot wireless flash triggers. Camera setting- Manual mode,ISO 400, Shutter speed 1/200th of a sec. F stop varied.
Friday, February 14, 2014
I worked in the office today and photographed a couple of illustrations and worked on a rewrite of a section of a chapter. Somehow I managed to fit in a couple of breaks and do some photography in the backyard. With a little bit of work I was able to create some nice images of a Chipmunk, Western Gray Squirrel, Douglas Tree Squirrel and a Spotted Towhee. May God bless you this Valentines Day, chris Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 100-400, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Settings- AV mode, ISO 800, F5.6, Shutter Speed Varied.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
It was foggy and drizzly all day. From the moment I awoke until night fall. Job number one of the day was to catch the blasted cat Papaya. Sure enough when I went out into the backyard there she was sitting right on top of the bird feeder. Either she is really smart or the birds are very dumb. I have seen no signs to date that she has been successful in catching a bird. After dropping her inside I restocked the bird feeders and went back inside to work on my book. I would work for awhile and then take a break by photographing from the back bedroom window blind. I didn't get many bird pictures because the Western Gray Squirrels took over. What I was patiently waiting for is the Mountain Quail. They showed up yesterday and were all over the feeders. They did show up today only they stayed on the ground and didn't go up onto the feeder. Tomorrow is another day! I did get one really nice image of a Spotted Towhee. That's a Rufous Sided Towhee for all of the old timers out there or people with older birding books. God's precious love to all, chris Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 100-400, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Settings- AV mode, ISO 800, F5.6, Shutter Speed Varied.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
This morning I made it down to the creek. It had a nice steady flow from the rains and was running fairly clear. Yesterday it probably was a little murky so today worked out much better. The lighting was great with a lot of clouds overhead just perfect for some long exposures. I really enjoyed myself. Here are some images of the upper reaches of Willits creek. God's blessings to all, chris Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 10-22 lens, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Settings- AV mode, Exposures varied.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
We can plan all that we want and sometimes it just doesn't go the way we expected. When I got up this morning I was going to finish paying the bills and then go down to the creek and do some photography. Naturally the bills took a lot longer than I thought they would. The lighting wasn't all that great by the time I finished. I stopped by the creek along the way. I was really surprised to see several late run salmon and even some Steelhead spawning. I wasn't prepared to photograph them well as the lighting was pretty dim and I would have needed a good flash . I must say that it was just pretty cool to see as I rarely see Steelhead spawning. I went downtown and finished my errands and on the return trip I stopped and photographed a little first year deer. It was so bright and alert and standing there so nicely in its winter coat that I couldn't resist! Such a cute little deer. God's saving grace to all, chris
Monday, February 10, 2014
When I awoke this morning the sun was shining brightly and the Little Lake Valley was filled with fog. Within about twenty minutes a light fog drifted in from the coast through the forest to meet up with the fog from below. This light fog stayed overhead until late afternoon before it finally cleared. This provided perfect conditions for photographing in the backyard as there weren't any harsh shadows to contend with. Not as many birds as normal came to the bird feeder as the Western Gray Squirrels took over with a few chipmunks making an appearance as well. I had a great time photographing them off and on through the day. These were my favorite images from the day. God's precious love to all, chris Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 100-400, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Settings- AV mode, Exposures varied.
Sunday, February 9, 2014
This afternoon I was prepared! I set up a window blind in the back of the house so that I could photograph the birds in my backyard from a warm and dry place. The rain was pouring down and it would have been pretty miserable photographing from my pop up blind. I had plenty of subjects to choose from even though it was raining. There were Western Gray Squirrels, Dark Eyed Juncos and some beautiful Varied Thrush. Such an amazing difference from yesterday when I made some images through the window. Not the best way to photograph birds. My favorite of the day was an incredibly sharp Varied Thrush. God's light and love to all, chris Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 100-400 at 330 mm. Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Settings- AV mode, ISO 800, F8.0, Shutter speed 1/60th of a sec.
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Thank you Lord for the rain today. With the rain came the Varied Thrush. They always seem to come out when it rains. Early this afternoon the thrushes came two and three at a time to the bird feeders. Unfortunately for me I really wasn't set up for photographing them so I ended up photographing them through the window which isn't the optimum method for photographing birds. Still I like the end result. it shows the thrushes pretty well in the damp environment in which they live. God's love and blessings to all, chris Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 100-400 at 340 mm. Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Settings- AV mode, ISO 800, F5.6, Shutter speed 1/30th of a sec.
Friday, February 7, 2014
I loved the sound of the rain when I awoke this morning. Every bit that we get now can help relieve the drought and lessen the fire danger for the upcoming summer. When I headed out the door to go work out at the gym I grabbed my camera and stuck in on a tripod in the passenger seat of the pick up. Badger dog wasn't too pleased about having the camera there because that's where he normally gets to ride! He just curled up in a ball in the back seat and looked unhappy. On the drive down town and on the way back home I clicked the shutter at various spots in the road that I thought looked good using a remote. This afternoon I when I got around to processing them I was really pleased with the results. They are very impressionistic and I love the painterly feel to them. I hope that you do too. God's blessings to you, chris Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 28-105. Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Settings- AV mode, ISO 400, F22.0, Shutter speed varied. Manual focus set to infinity.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Living in a small town has advantages and disadvantages. Traffic is great the majority of the time. In summer it gets a bit crowded from all the tourists coming through on vacation. Even then it's a minor inconvenience when compared to a daily commute in a major city. The schools are pretty short funded and a little run down. But you can name every one of your child's teachers and can say hi to them when you see them in the grocery store. There are some fantastic teachers here despite the lower pay. A lot of students move on to four year schools after high school. Shopping for certain items can be a real problem as there just aren't many stores that carry them. Pretty easily solved by buying on the internet or driving to the nearest larger town. We have a couple of great book stores. A wonderful art gallery and the best public library you could ever ask for. There are some nice restaurants and one Art Deco movie theater. It plays first run movies! We also have two drama theaters in town that put on some fantastic plays. In one of them there is not a bad seat in the house! Just a little change in diet is sometimes needed and that can easily be solved with a short road trip to the big city. I like living in a small town where I know most everyone. Even if I don't know there name their face is familiar to me. Today's image is of the "Willits Arch" that spans Highway 101 as you come into town from the south. It's the only arch that crosses over Highway 101 in its whole length from Mexico to northern Washington.This is a little small town claim to fame. God bless my small town, chris
I was looking over my chickadee images this afternoon and I realized that even though I had deliberately over exposed them for that snowy look there was still a bit of a gray cast to them. Thank you Tim Hale for steering me in the right direction. Here is a square cropped Chestnut Backed Chickadee from yesterday for a little closer view. I like how the chickadee is looking down at the feeder. God's love, chris
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
It looks like winter is making it's return to the North Coast of California with some colder temperatures. Snow is in the forecast over the next week. None here yet so I had to create some. I spent about an hour in the photoblind this morning and I really needed my coat, hat and gloves. Of all of the images created this one of a Chestnut Backed Chickadee was my favorite. God's love and blessings to everyone, chris
Monday, February 3, 2014
Today was another work day. This evening Lenore and I went for a walk just before sundown. By the time we got back home the clouds over the mountains to the east of us had turned beautiful shades of pastel. Such a wonderful way to end the day. God's light and love to all, chris Camera Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 28-105 lens at 44mm. Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Settings- AV Mode,ISO 6,400 oops!,F16.0, 1/60th Shutter speed .
Saturday, February 1, 2014
This evening we drove down to Redwood Valley in celebration of Lenore's birthday.( Happy Birthday Lenore my Love!) We went to Marios for some Italian food. It was delicious. On the trip home we pulled off the highway onto one of the really wide pull outs so I could photograph the night sky. It was really hard to time my images between cars. Luckily we are far enough north on 101 that we don't get a horrendous amount of traffic and I was able to get a few thirty second long exposures in. My favorite one is this one with an oak tree in silhouette. God's light and love to all, chris