Sunday, May 31, 2015

Looking Back in Time

Last weekend I went to the Chamber of Commerce Metal Mixer here in Willits, CA. They a had an incredible line up of cars. Here is a Black and White image of the interior of one of them. Photographed with a Canon 7D and a Canon 17-85mm lens at 44mm.. Handheld in AV mode. Camera settings were, ISO 400, F 5.6 at 1/160th of a sec. God's love and blessings to all, chris #TeamCanon, #Bringit, #BringitCanon

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Wild Iris

This morning I went looking along our road for a wild Douglas Iris to photograph. We have three types that grow around our house. The most common are the yellow/ white colored ones. They often grow singly or in clumps with five or more blossoms. These are followed by the purple ones. They are almost always in clumps of five or six and rarely do I find them growing by themselves. Last but not least are the purple and white which I'm guessing is a cross between the other two. These I find rarely so I was pleased to find one right off the end of the driveway. I used my Canon telephoto lens with an extension tube for close focusing. I set up my tripod flat on the ground at a low angle so that the dark forest would be the background behind the flower and it would really stand out. I'm quite pleased with the result. May you you have a blessed day, chris This image was created with Canon 7D with a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens with a 20mm extension tube. I used ISO 800 because the forest was rather dark and F 18.0 for more depth of field. The shutter speed was 1/40th of a sec.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Setting Up for Dragonflies

One of the great things to learn about photographing dragonflies is that they have to land sometime. The vast majority of the time they tend to pick the same place to perch and return to after they hunt. You can use this to your advantage when photographing them by prefocusing on the landing spot and waiting for them. That is what I did in the first image. I watched where the dragonfly was landing after it returned from hunting insects. You can take it one step further by visualizing what the background behind the dragonfly will look like by trying several different angles and picking out the one that looks best. That is what is illustrated in the second image. I got down really low so that there wasn't any vegetation in the image except the perch. The dark shadows from the trees provide the back drop and it really makes the dragonfly stand out. For the third dragonfly image I placed my own backdrop behind the landing spot. It's a piece of masonite painted with green and black spray paint. The last image is showing the set up. The pink is my dauughters yoga mat which makes a nice soft place to sit. One other tidbit of information I can offer is that dragonflies tend to land on vegetation that is slightly higher than the plants around it. If you place your own small slender stick on the banks of a pond many times dragonflies will start using it. I have successfully used this technique in the past to help me choose what kind of perch and background I wanted. Good luck and have some fun. God bless, chris all images were created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600 lens with a 38mm extension tube for close focusing.

Setting Up for Dragonflies

One of the great things to learn about photographing dragonflies is that they have to land sometime. The vast majority of the time they tend to pick the same place to land and return to after they hunt. You can use this to your advantage when photographing them by prefocusing on the landing spo and waiting for them.

Simple Moon

I'm always looking at and photographing the moon at night or during moonrise. That's why I was really surprised to notice it during the day earlier this week. Usually it's so pale during the day that I really don't tend to notice it. For some reason it really stood out. here is the moon photographed with a canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600 ay 600mm handheld. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hiding Out

"Maybe if I hide behind these mossy green rocks he won't see me", the panicked squirrel thought. That was what the Western Gray Squirrel seemed to be thinking when it caught my movement from my photoblind this afternoon. I was checking the camera angles for the new water feature when he showed up. It's looking pretty good and some birds are cautiously starting to use it. God's love and blessings to all, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS. Camera was supported with a Manfrotto tripod and a Bogen ballhead.

Red Dragonfly and a Weird Green Bug

This morning I was playing around with an extension tube and the Tamron 150-600 lens photographing dragonflies next to our little garden pond. There were two red flame colored ones fighting over territorial rights to the small pond. After one would chase the other off it would hunt insects for awhile and then stop to take a rest on one of the plant stalks next to the pond. I set up my tripod and and prefocused on the stalk and just waited for one of them to land. The other image is of a strange looking green bug that landed on Lenore when we were driving. I photographed it and then set it free. When I went to drive off later in the day it was on my windshield. It stayed on there for a long long time until after about a mile of highway driving it blew off. It must be a new form of migrating! God's love and blessings to all, chris The dragonfly image was created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens with a 20mm exension tube for close focusing. The weird green bug was photographed with a 100mm macro lens and the 7D. Both images were done on a Manfrotto Tripod with a Bogen ballhead.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Those Amazing Acorn Woodpeckers

This year at my photoblind in the garden out on the ranch in the Little Lake Valley I have had more Acorn Woodpeckers than almost anything else. Which has been great because they are so much fun to photograph and watch. This morning was no different as they were the most dominant bird coming into the bird feeder. There were also quite a few visits from the House Finches and one Eurasian collared Dove.What a fun way to spend the morning. God's love and blessings to all, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens.Please take some time to check out my book "Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography", on Amazon and other fine book sellers. It is available in both hardbound and as an Ebook. It has been getting great reviews from readers.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Anna's on Display

Today was beautiful. It was a warm day with a light breeze off of the coast and the sun was shining. I took advantage of the nice weather and spent most of the day setting up a large water feature to photograph birds bathing in the back yard. Look forward to some images from that in the near future. It will take awhile for the birds to start using it. This should compliment the hummingbird bath that I purchased a couple of weeks back. The hummingbirds really love it. When I was finshed with the water feature I set up a photoblind near where the hummingbirds were landing and photographed hummingbirds. Thank you Lord for such a wonderful day. chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600 lens. A Manfrotto 190 XPROB tripod with a Bogen ballhead was used to support the camera.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Lazuli Bunting

I have been slowly wading through and editing my bird images from last Wednesday. I think this image is my favorite image so far. Every year there are a pair of Lazuli Buntings that love to taunt me by weaving in and out of the fence line at the gardens edge. They are extremely difficult to photograph! This year the fence has been removed as they are replacing it. The female came by the bird feeder first followed secretively by the male. She dove under the feeder and he went after her. They mated and then the male popped up onto this perch next to the feeder. It was just long enough for me to make three exposures. They are such a beautiful bird. Image created with with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens. Camera settings used were AVmode, ISO 800,F 9.0 at 1/640th of a sec.Camera was supported by a Manfrotto 190 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 ballhead. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Delight in the Little Things

Lenore and I headed out to the coast this weekend for a well needed trip together. We had a really nice time enjoying walking around and checking out the shops of Mendocino and the Coastal Trail in Fort Bragg. Photographically speaking it wasn't the best for grandiose seascapes as it was quite foggy at times. I could have used a wide angle lens and created a moody foggy scene but instead I selectively focused my camera on the little things. I used a telephoto lens and by keeping the horizon out of the image and narrowing my vision to some smaller subjects I was able to create some beautiful intimate images. So delight in the simple things and may you have a blessed day, chris

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Fabulous Finches

I was up late last night processing bird images from my photoblind in the little Lake Valley. There were a lot of House finches in the mix of birds I photographed. What was neat to see was the amount of variants. the ones that had plumage different from the usual red that the males typically had. There was also an immature or a young female with some wild looking feathers on its head.These are some of my favorites. God's love and blessings. Have a great day, chris all images made with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens on a Manfrotto tripod with a Bogen ballhead.What is the price of five sparrows? A couple of pennies? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to him than a whole flock of sparrows. (Luke 12:6)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Up Close, Closer, Closest!

Wednesday found me out in my photoblind in the Little Lake Valley of Northern California close to where I live. The weather was perfect for bird photography with overcast clouds and the sun fighting to shine through.It started off really slow but by nine thirty there were a lot of birds coming into the feeder. I set up a feeder off to the side for the Acorn Woodpeckers and they started using it about ten o'clock. After photographing them for awhile I decided it would be really nice to get a close up portrait. After a couple of tries I got a really nice one. I really love the fine detail. God's precious love to all, chris mage created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600 at 600mm. ISO 800, AV mode, F 9.0 at 1/400th of a sec. Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 ballhead.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Looking for Dinosaurs

After Jay and I left the Ladybird Johnson Grove near Orick, Ca we headed north a little further to Prairie Creek Redwoods to look for dinaosaurs. Ok, it's true we weren't looking for dinosaurs but if we were this would be a the perfect place for them. At least that's what Steven Spielberg thought when he filmed part of Jurassic Park 2 here. Fern Canyon is just so cool. It is a beautiful narrow steep canyon that is cut through sedimentary soils. The walls are anywhere from 50 to 80 feet tall and are lined with five different kinds of ferns. It is just spectacular. The floor of the canyon is fairly flat and has a small creek that meanders through making shallow crossings almost impossible to avoid. There are numerous piece of driftwood place randomly here and there to help with the crossings. Jay just went barefoot. Later towards summer the park crew puts in little boardwalks to make it easier. I would highly recommend it for a cool summers hike. God's love and blessings to all, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 17-85mm lens.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Walk in the Redwoods

Yesterday my son Jay and I drove up to the Redwoods just north of the tiny town of Orick. We walked the loop trail at Lady Bird Johnson Redwood Grove. It was foggy and gray with fog so thick that at times it was dripping from the trees like a light rain. Nothing is so inspiring as a walk in the Redwoods. What a beautiful way to see and be inspired by God's handiwork.Here are some images from our walk. God's light and love to all, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 17-85mm lens.