Sunday, November 30, 2014

Rainy Day Jay

Today the wood stove is burning and the rain is pattering on the roof. Earlier looking outside I figured it would be a great day to photograph some birds in the rain. I grabbed a piece of mossy bark and set it up beside the bird feeders. After setting it up I didn't have long to wait before the Steller's Jays showed up and started landing on it looking for seed. With camera in tow I went out and climbed into the photoblind. I set up my camera so only the lens hood was sticking out of the lens port hole getting wet. My wait was short and I only had to sit for about fifteen minutest to get some pretty nice jay images. This one was my favorite because I love the curious look of the jay. God's love and blessings to all, chris This image was created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens at 250mm. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800 F 5.0 at 1/60th of a sec. The camera was supported on a Manfrotto 055PROBX Tripod with a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

One for Fun

Last night we had a great time creating an image. These kinds of images are pretty common and if you look you can find many of them on the web. They are just so cool looking and fun to do! It was raining out and there was no danger of fire in the forest so we spun some burning steel wool to make a pretty cool effect. The sparks were flying far and wide so it was pretty awesome. We did three of them but this one was my favorite.It was created using a Canon 7D and a Canon 10-22 lens at an ISO 800 with an exposure of 30 seconds at F 5.6. Have a great weekend and God bless, chris

Friday, November 28, 2014

"Whoa Yellow!" or I'm Glad I beat the Rain

First I'll start off the good news that even though I'm not a big Black Friday fan it is pretty exciting to see that my book "Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography" is on sale. Please take some time to order one for Christmas for a photographer or a birder that you may know. BLACK FRIDAY STARTS NOW! 50% off all eBooks with code: RNBLACKFRI! You could also just order one for yourself! Last night when I checked the weather forecast it stated that there would be rain by mid morning. With that in mind I figured I had better get out photographing fairly early. Even though I was up late last night with the family playing Banannagrams I rolled out of bed and was in the blind by eight thirty. My biggest problem was at that hour there isn't a whole lot of light especially with the heavy cloud cover. The shutter speeds were extremely slow. After a little bit of a wait the Steller's Jays started coming. I was trying out a new wireless shutter release the RC-6. My wired shutter release has been having connection problems so I decided to try something new. I'm still figuring the thing out so I got a lot of gate images with no birds in them. I'm not very adept at pushing the shutter release just half way down for focusing so I kept firing off the camera when the bird weren't there. The biggest drawback I noted with the RC-6 was that it emits a bright light on the front of the camera with each actuation of the shutter. With birds this doesn't seem to be a big problem but with mammals in low light I think it might be an issue. I need to look and see if that can be turned off with the camera controls. I must say I was having a lot of fun photographing the jays. I got one really great image out of my session this morning. When I finished up it was starting to mist. I'm so glad that I beat out the rain. This image was created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens at 320mm. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800 F 5.6 at 1/8 th of a sec. The camera was supported on a Manfrotto 055PROBX Tripod with a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead. Thank you Lord for the rain,chris

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

One More For the Garden Gate Series

I squeezed in half an hour out in the photoblind this afternoon. There were several Steller's Jays that were pretty fearless in coming in to visit the bird feeders. I ended up with about six really nice images. The last image of the session however was my hands down favorite. These images are all part of the "Garden Gate Series" that I have been working on creating. God's love and blessings to all, chris This image was created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens at 320mm. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800 F 8.0 at 1/50th of a sec. The camera was supported on a Manfrotto 055PROBX Tripod with a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead. Please take some time to check out my new book "Secrets of Backyard bird Photography" It is available at many book stores and it is carried online in both hardbound and e book editions. it is the perfect book to learn how to photograph birds like this in your backyard. It uses a hands on step by step approach that is both easy to read and understand.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

More Images for the Garden Gate Series

This afternoon I spent about an hour creating some images for the "Garden Gate Series". I sat in the photoblind almost lulled to sleep by the quiet of the yard. The Chestnut Backed Chickadees came and went to the bird feeders. I was momentarily distracted by Papaya the cat when she came into the photoblind wanting to be petted. The chickadees aren't afraid of her as so far she lacks the ability to catch them. The Steller's Jays are quite a bit smarter they split immediately upon her arrival as they weren't taking any chances. Here are a few images from the session. God bless, chris Images created with a Canon 7D and a canon 100-400 IS lens. Camera settings used AV mode, ISO 800, F 5.6, the shutter speed varied. The camera was supported on a Manfrotto 055PROBX Tripod with a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Getting Out

The past week it has been really difficult to get out and photograph due to the weather and other responsibilities. We all have responsibilities. They range from jobs,cleaning the house, doing laundry to paying the bills,communicating and loving the people around us to the most important one of all keeping our relationship with God. In order to keep all these things going we need a break from it all once in awhile to let some of the pressure off. For everyone the outlets are a little different. Some people paint, others write or sing. Many people just go out for a run, a walk or a bike ride. Today Lenore was really great. She offered to go out to buy the turkey so that I could spend some time getting out to photograph the birds. Thank you Lenore. Here are a couple of Chestnut backed chickadees from a set up in the front yard. God bless, chris Images created with a canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens. The camera was supported on a Manfrotto 055PROBX Tripod with a 3055 ballhead. Camera setting used. AV mode,ISO 800, F 5.6 at 1/200th of a sec.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Fabulous Fungi

Friday morning I searched out quite a few fungi all less than a hundred feet from my front door. There were quite a number of them that were already too far gone to photograph and were starting to rot. This has been a fabulous year for fungi with the early rains. There is such an incredible variety of fungi to photograph out there. All image were create with a Canon 7D and either a Canon 28-105 lens or a 100mm macro lens. The camera was supported on a Manfrotto 055PROBX Tripod with a 3055 Bogen Ballhead. Enjoy and God bless, chris

Friday, November 21, 2014

Another Misty Mountain Morning

Last night the fog and clouds crept in while we slept. When I last put the dogs out last night there were stars shining through little tendrils of clouds that were slowly reaching across the sky. I could see the Big Dipper and Orion's belt shining brightly! This morning it was thick and gray and you couldn't see past the edge of the treeline. Later the clouds began to clear and move. I could look down on the ever changing views of the Little lake Valley below. It can change from minute to minute so it's an amzing thing to watch. In fact when I checked right now the whole valley is completely hidden from view again. I photographed a number of views this morning and then did some fungi photography which I will post tomorrow. Now it's back to cleaning up the office. God bless and have a great weekend, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thank You Lord for the Rain

We awoke to cloudy skies and the sound of rain. What a blessing and a delight. We are in the midst of a drought and the rain is most welcome here. I drove down to the big town of Ukiah this morning. In addition to driving the main highway I ventured onto some backroads so that I could do a little photography in the rain. Enjoy and God bless, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Canon Ef-s 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM. Exposures varied.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Knick Knacks

From the sound of the rain pattering against the window last night I could tell it was going to be an indoor kind of a day. I did my work out at the gym. Bought some groceries and then went back to cleaning up my office. In my cleaning I found a few knick knacks that brought me some distraction because... well I thought it would be fun to photograph them. I quickly set up a sweep of gold and silver mylar on a table in the living room. Then I added a gold reflector for fill and had some fun photographing these great little little treasures from a box in my office. The harmonica plays just fine and will get added to the rest of them in my collection that I use to drive people crazy with my mediocre playing. My pocket watch is going in a much safer spot! Have a blessed evening, chris

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Inside Day

The wind is a blowin' out there! It's an inside day and I'm working on cleaning up my office which is an all day affair because I'm not naturally neat. In fact I'm not very neat at all. I am however working on it because I do know that it makes it a lot easier to work when I can find things. I started the morning off by photographing Lenore's Fuschia. It wasn't in very good shape after I finished using it for hummingbird photography. It was a small spindly little six inch tall plant that I grabbed at the nursery one afternoon. Lenore has planted it in a good sized pot and it is showing its gratitude by growing into a good sized plant with beautiful blossoms. I photographed it beside our living room window in natural light with a green background. Such gorgeous little blossoms. Thank you Lenore! Well back to work. God's blessings and have a wonderful day, chris Images created with a Canon 7D and a 100mm Macro lens on a Manfrotto 055PROBX Tripod with a 3055 Bogen Ballhead. Camera was in AV mode, ISO 400. F stops and shutter speeds varied.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Last Day and RMA

October seventh was the last day of my trip to Colorado and Wyoming. I planned a an early afternoon flight out of DIA so that I could spend one last morning at Rocky Mountain Arsenal before my flight out. It's a pretty convenient location because the airport is only ten or fifteen minutes away when traffic is light. The arsenal is in Commerce City virtually in the shadow of Denver. You can see both the Rockies and the skyscrapers of Denver when you are driving around the refuge. On my flight out I had a western takeoff and I was seated on the south side of the plane so I got to see the Arsenal from the air. The roads are lined with cottonwoods and there are several good sized lakes. There are some good trails to hike and a plenty of subjects to photograph. You are required to stay in you car in the Bison area which is a pretty good idea if you have ever witnessed how fast they can move when they really want to. Hands down my favorite subjects are the Black Tailed Prairie Dogs. I had a great time photographing them as you can see I have plenty of images of them. They are a key species here providing food for predators as well as building homes for rabbits, snakes and burrowing owls. In addition to the Prairie Dogs I also photographed a Magpie on a Bison as well as a Mourning Dove, Meadowlark and a House Finch on some sunflowers. I saw quite a few deer both Mule Deer and Whitetail but I didn't seen any bucks like I did on my trip here a few years ago. I had an absolutely wonderful trip and I'm looking forward God willing to a trip back here in the future. On my drive home after my flight I was treated to a wonderful sunset as I drove up the Ridgewood Grade in Mendocino county where I call home. God bless and enjoy the images, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a variety of lenses.