Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Newish Knothole Feeder

Over the last couple of days I rebuilt one of my knothole bird feeders. I originally had two of this type but a squirrel destroyed one last week and a bear tore apart the other a couple of days later. The one the squirrel destroyed was fairly easy to rebuild. The one the bear tore apart was pretty much a total loss. I may be able to salvage a couple of  the parts. After rebuilding the feeder I set it up in the backyard about eight feet out from our back bedroom window. I put up a window hide/blind in the window to hide behind. Then put up my tripod with my camera and flash poking out from the blind to the feeder. This morning I filled the feeder and then went into the kitchen and made breakfast and some coffee for Lenore. After breakfast I checked the feeder about every ten to fifteen minutes for birds and squirrels. After about an hours wait a Douglas Tree Squirrel showed up along with four or five Chestnut-backed Chickadees. The chickadees would make quick trips to the feeder whenever they thought that the squirrel was too occupied to notice them. Later when the lighting started to get to harsh a western Gray Squirrel stopped by for a snack as well. I had a really enjoyable time photographing them.  God's blessings to all in the upcoming New Year, chris

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

 Last year around this time we acquired Charles Dickens the stray black cat. He was found to be living under our wood pile in the rain and snow. He would yowl every time I went to get firewood for the wood stove from the pile. I never did see him which made it quite unnerving at times when you went to grab some wood. Was this cat going to jump out and attack me? This was settled one day when I was sitting in the photoblind and he came into the blind and jumped onto my lap. Since that time he has wormed his way into our family.  Dickens biggest problem is that he is a cold blooded killer. He has killed numerous squirrels and birds since his arrival. A couple of weeks ago I about lost it when I came outside to find hime devouring a Douglas Tree Squirrel. I vowed that he must become an indoor cat. He has been decidedly unhappy about this decision and has tried to make several jailbreaks. Once he was successful resulting in the death of another squirrel within fifteen minutes of his escape. Being a wildlife photographer I just can't put up with this. so Charles is going to be an indoor cat until we find a better living situation for him.

  This morning I photographed some Jays and Chickadees and it was so nice to have no interruptions from either the Blasted Cat Papaya or Charles. God's love, blessings   and a merry Christmas to one and all, chris

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Frosty Time of Year

 This is my favorite time of year for photographing frosty leaves. It's early enough for the leaves to still have a little color and it's cold enough for there to be frost. The past couple of mornings I've headed down from our ridge top home to the cold valley below. Up there it was in the balmy high 40s almost 50 F and down in the valley it was hovering around 30 F.  Both mornings I forgot my gloves! Luckily I had my jacket and a sweater. I've got a favorite meadow along Willits Creek where I love to photograph. The frost holds there in the shade and even on the warmest days the frost will linger until late in the day in the shadows. I brought along a big gold reflector to bounce some light into the shadows to brighten things up. I brought along my tripod with a shutter release. Two cameras and two lenses. A Canon EOS 7D and a Canon 7D EOS MKII for lenses I had a Canon EF-S60mm macro lens and a Tamron 180mm macro. I took a lot of leaf images and these were some of my favorites. God's blessings to all of you, chris

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Works in Progress

 I'm still working on figuring out the lighting for photographing birds from my new studio. Here are some images from this last week. All of these images were created with a Canon EOS 7D MKII camera and a Canon 100-400 IS V. 1 lens. #teamcanonusa God's love and blessings to all, Chris

Monday, November 16, 2020

Simple Set Up for Backyard Bird Photography

 Last night I created a simple set up for bird photography in the back yard. I erected two posts on the right and left sides of a platform bird feeder. The feeder is about ten feet out from the window of my studio. The tops were about  eight inches taller than the platform of the feeder. Next I took a piece of bailing wire and I used it to tie a mossy branch across the tops of the poles. The final step was to take some decking screws and attach some raw peanuts in the shell to the backside of the branch towards the middle. I did this by just screwing through the middle of the peanut right into the branch. Early this morning I got up and set my camera on a tripod facing out towards the feeder. I prefocused on the area of the branch where the peanuts were hidden. It didn't take very long for the Scrub Jays to show up. They love their peanuts! Both images were created with a Canon EOS 7D MKII camera and a Canon 100-400 IS v.1 lens. The camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800, F 6.3 at 1/200th of a sec. God's blessings upon your week, 


Saturday, November 7, 2020

Quick Run Up the Coast

 Friday morning when I peaked out the window I could see scattered clouds with the potential of rain showers. I decided on a quick trip up the coast to Westport to see what I could see. I stopped off at Pudding Creek for a walk on the beach and the headed north. Along the way I made stops at turnouts whenever anything interesting caught my eye.  Rain spattered the windshield and a weak rainbow even made an appearance. It was a great morning for a quick drive with my camera in hand. God's blessings to you, chris

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Afternoon at the Lake

 This afternoon we headed over to Clearlake for an afternoon at the lake at Clearlake State Park. We had a great hike and got to see turtles, Acorn Woodpeckers and American White Pelicans along with a wide assortment of waterfowl. Naturally I dragged along my infrared camera. I had fun creating images of landscapes around the park. We couldn't turn down an invite for dinner! Chef Joe made us an incredible dinner of a beautiful green salad followed by a freshwater bass and bay shrimp soup over riced cauliflower. The finale was both terryaki and pesto salmon. What a superb meal and a wonderful afternoon. Enjoy the images! 

God's love and blessings to all, chris

Tuesday, October 20, 2020


 Yesterday Lenore suggested we go down to the garden. I was all up for it as I haven't done much photography lately.  I grabbed my Canon EOS 7D and mounted a Tamron 180mm macro lens on it. When we arrived at the garden I did a slow walk through looking for something to photograph. The first thing I noticed was that there was a lot of butterflies. They were fluttering around a Butterfly Bush and some tall Zinnias. Just the perfect height for photography. I had a great time just standing next to the bush. There were Painted Ladies and Skippers coming and going. One Monarch floated by but it didn't stay long enough to get a good photograph. I'm sure it is half way to Monterrey by now! Last night I edited the images and here are three of my favorites.  God's blessings upon your day, chris

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Simple Set Ups

The past three mornings I went out into the yard and created some simple set ups. On the first day I duct taped a branch to the side of a small platform feeder  about ten feet out from one of our bedrooms. Within minutes of setting it up the birds were using it.  I got some nice images from it. The second morning I grabbed an old knothole feeder I had lying around and I used some wood screws to attach it to the same post. The birds loved it and so did I. This morning I added a fall colored background behind the feeder. For some reason the birds weren't as cooperative. I had a long, long wait before the birds started using the feeder. Eventually they came in and  I was able to create some images. I hope that you are all enjoying your week. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Wave Therapy

Last week I spent a late evening on the Mendocino coast watching the sun go down and watching the waves roll in. The weather was perfect as it was about seventy degrees and the fog and smoke combined to create some amazing light. All of these images were created with my Canon EOS 7D MKII and a Canon 100-400 mm IS v.1 lens or a Canon EF -S10-22 mm wide angle lens. God's love and blessings to all, Chris  #teamcanonusa

Friday, September 25, 2020

Images From the William Schwerin Collection

Today I really dug in to one of the small boxes of B+W negatives from my Grandfather's collection of photography. I'm in possession of most of the negatives and the rest of his collection is spread across five different families. Which is just a nibble of the whole picture because my Grandfather photographed from before 1920 clear up until the late 1960s. He used a variety of cameras from medium format folders in B+W to 35mm color negatives and slide film. He even used a 110 instamatic for short lived period. He was quite prolific, photographing trips as a young merchant marine to family gatherings and social events. In addition to photography he was quite the entrepreneur. Running a variety of businesses during his lifetime. Schwerin Brake shop that he founded is still in business on Bush St in San Francisco today. Here are some images I discovered today.  God's blessings to one and all,     


Sunday, September 20, 2020

Finding My Grandfather in Me

Just recently I restarted setting up the process to digitally record my Grandfather Schwerin's vast collection of negatives and prints. In cleaning out our garage I discovered even more brake boxes of negatives that I had forgotten we even possessed. They were in brake shoe boxes because he owned a brake shop, Schwerin Automotive, on Bush Street in SanFrancisco. It's still in operation today. His collection is a mish mash mix of everything which brings me to my main point. I'm pretty much the same way. Maybe slightly a bit more organized only because I haven't had relatives along the way combing through my stuff and tearing apart photo albums and boxes. His collection is so very much like mine sitting out in our garage right now. His images are in negative sleeves and brake boxes while mine are in slide sheets and slide boxes. Either way it is a beautiful mess.

God's love and blessings to all, Chris

Friday, September 4, 2020

New Norm

It has now become the new normal that late summer and almost all of fall is the fire season where I live in the coastal mountains of Northern California. It is really hot and dry. People are nervous. I check on Calfire and the local community fan page whenever  I hear sirens or helicopters.  Our phones are all set up for NIXL reports in the case of fires. We have a to go box packed and ready to go in our living room.  Sadly we should have two boxes but like many others we haven't gotten around to getting the rest of it ready.  Hopefully I can finish that after  I finish posting this. Normally we are smoke free but this past week there has been an offshore breeze blowing the smoke from the August fire complex directly to us. The air quality has been thick and unhealthy. Visibility was knocked down to less that a 1/4 mile. At times i couldn't see past the trees in the backyard. I was just a thiock wall of gray.  This morning the ocean breeze kicked in and pushed the smoke eastward the other way. Here are two images I captured of this mornings sunrise over the Little Lake Valley and the Mendocino Range. Both images were captured with a canon EOS 7D camera with a Canon EF 28-200mm lens. AV mode, ISO 800 at F 13.0 .  God's blessings and safety to all the first responders out there dealing with the fires. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Country Roads

 This morning I had an appointment in the big city of Ukiah. On the return trip on a whim I decided to drive out Reeves Canyon Road and have a look around. It has been quite a few years since I have been out that way. I stopped a couple of places to create some infrared images. Infrared is challenging and I'm still learning what it takes to create and process and image. Enjoy the country road with its iconic mail boxes at the beginning. God's love and blessings to all, chris

All images were created with a Canon EOS 7D  camera converted to Infrared Hypercolor with a Canon 10-22mm lens.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Iconic Adirondack

Last week Lenore and I headed over to the Mendocino Coast for a break. We avoided people and had a really nice picnic lunch all by ourselves next to Lake Cleone. After lunch we drove up the coast to the fingers area where I knew the chance of running into people was pretty slim. Pulling into the parking lot we saw two other cars. We wandered around on the trails taking in some magnificent views of the ocean. We spotted one photographer on our way out. Coming back down the coast we stopped at Pacific Star Winery.  Lenore went in search of some wine while I wandered around the edge looking for something to photograph. I was immediately drawn to this row of Adirondack chairs all lined up inviting people to sit down and take in the views. It was a classic image. Lenore got a nice bottle of wine and I captured an iconic image. God's light and love to all, chris
This image was captured with a Canon EOS 7D camera converted to  infrared Hypercolor. The lens used was a Canon EF-S 10-22mm.