Tuesday, April 27, 2021

In Concert Tonight

 Early this evening Lenore asked me to come and look at a Rough Skinned Newt in our backyard pond. So I walked back with her to see if I could spot it.  I looked and looked and couldn't find it. As I turned to walk away I spied a tree frog AKA Pacific Chorus Frog on the very edge of the pond. I made a Criiich noise and low and behold the frog started croaking back at me! Lenore stayed with the frog and I ran and grabbed my camera. In all the years we have had the pond I've never been able to see one calling. Here was one less than three feet away from me calling loudly as bold as brass. After a whole bunch of unsuccessful attempts I finally was able to get one image in focus. Turns out my f stop control button is broken on my camera and it needs to go in for repairs. This was my first attempt at photographing a calling frog so hopefully next time I will do better.  God's love and blessings to all, chris 

Image created with a Canon EOS 7D MKII camera and a Tamron 180mm macro lens. Fill flash provided by a canon 550 EX speedlight set to - 1 2/3rds stops. 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Playing With Light

With spring clouds on the move it's a perfect time to put my infrared camera to use and play with a different kind of light. A couple of days ago there were some really nice clouds backing up against the Mendocino Range over the Little Lake Valley here in Northern California. I framed them through the trees with a wide angle lens. I really liked how the images came out. Both images were created with a Canon EOS 7D  camera converted to Infrared Hypercolor with a Canon 10-22mm lens. the camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 400, F 9.0 at 1/400th of a sec. God's love and blessings to all, chris                     

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Cleaning Up

Yesterday I was cleaning up my my computer when I ran across some Steller's Jay images that hadn't been processed from July of last year. It's amazing at what you can find when looking back through your old work. Oh no! More Steller's Jays. Have you seen enough? As you can see they were created at the same set up in my backyard. Their blue plumage is just stunning especially against a green background. God's blessings upon the rest of your week, chris

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Mug Shot of Badger the Wonder Dog

I have an aluminum sheet of diamond plate that I just purchased for a project I'm working on.  This morning I grabbed it for use as a backdrop of photographing Badger the Wonder Dog. I leaned the metal plate up against a desk in our living room by an open window. The goal was to have him with his dog biscuit hanging out of his mouth. But he was hungry and was having none of that. He just wanted to eat it. So I settled for that. God's blessings upon your day, chris

This image was created with a Canon EOS 7D camera with a Canon EF 28-200 mm lens at 57mm. the camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 400, F 8.0 at 1/40th of a sec. #teamcanonusa

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Just Me and the Steller's Jays

 I created a new set up in the backyard. The big snowstorm we had last month knocked down a lot of great branches to be used for perches in my bird photography. This lichen covered oak brach is just perfect. I 've been using for over a week and it's about time to retire it. You can only photograph so many squirrels and Steller's Jays on it before it gets a little old. All of these images were created with my Canon EOS 7D MKII camera using a Canon 100-400 mm v.1 lens. For fill flash I was using a Canon 550 EX Speedlight. typically set to a minus 1 2/3rds stops below ambient light. God's light and love to all, chris     #teamcanonusa

Monday, March 22, 2021

My Workhorse

One of the most common questions I get asked about  my photography is, "What camera do you use?" Over the years that has changed depending upon what camera I was using at the time. It has been from a Polaroid SX-70 to a a 4x5 field camera and a lot of other cameras in between. Especially as technology has changed. I went from film cameras to digital cameras. My current work horse is a beat up Canon EOS 7D MKII camera and a Canon EF 100-400mm v.1 lens. I would guess that about eighty percent of my work is created with that. The key word in that sentence is create. Cameras and lenses are my tools to create. Just as brushes and paints are to an artist. Though in comparison I do believe it is much more difficult to be creative with brushes and paint. I've dabbled in watercolor over the years and I must say I'm much more successful as a photographer.  Here is the tool that I'm primarily using right now for most of my work.  What tools do you use for your creative outlet?

God's love and blessings to all, chris

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Morning Drive

My intention was to drive out to the  Sherwood Valley and photograph this large rock with clouds behind it. Before I left I thought I had better grab my other camera with a telephoto lens on it just in case I spotted some wildlife along the way. As it turned out this ended up being a wise decision. The first thing I spotted was a Turkey Vulture sitting on a lichen covered post right next to the road. I pulled up into a wide spot in the road just past it, I got out of the car and slowly walked towards it. I was able to take almost fifteen images of it before it flew off. 

From there I drove out into the Sherwood Valley. Sadly the clouds were not as dramatic as I expected. Though i still took some time and created an infrared image of the rock with some so so clouds behind it.  It's hard to believe that at one time there used to be a town here.
On the return trip just after leaving the entrance to the valley I spotted a large group of Wild Turkeys  in an open area just off the road. I  photographed first from the open window of the car and then stepped out of the car when they moved further down the meadow. The hardest thing to do was to get turkeys isolated by themselves as the flock was so big. There were about forty turkeys in all.

Winding my way down Sherwood Road I spotted a lone Blacktail Deer close to an area called Swampy Gulch.  Local rumor has it that Swampy Gulch was created by the Great Earthquake of 1906. The whole area dropped six feet during the earthquake and then was flooded by the creek. 
Passing Swampy Gulch there was a small herd of Tule Elk feeding on the shoulder of the road. I photographed a spike bull and a young cow. 

I had a great drive with some beautiful sights to see along the way. God's light and love to all, chris

Monday, March 15, 2021

Snowy Day Jays

 Yesterday I looked at the weather forecast and there was a good chance for snow. Based on this knowledge I went out into the backyard and created a set up. I placed a mossy perch right below a single spout bird feeder filled with black sunflower seed. This morning when I peeked out into the backyard there was just enough snow to make it look like a snowy scene. I quickly grabbed my white studio backdrop and popped it up behind the perch. I ran back indoors and had breakfast. By the time I finished having eating the Steller's Jays had discovered the free food and were munching away on it. Working from my bedroom hide/blind I ended up with just over eighty images. After editing them down there were about seven pretty decent images. Here are three of my favorites. God's blessings upon your week, chris

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Still Stuck on Chickadees

 With spring just around the corner. The signs of spring are here. I've spotted two butterflies and the trees are starting to bud out. Down below in the valley fruit trees are blossoming and I have spotted daffodils flowering out as well.  I'm hoping to get some different birds to photograph. Right now the only  birds showing up are the hummingbirds. I've been spotting more and more in the backyard. Right now the only birds coming to my feeder are Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Steller's Jays and Dark-eyed Juncos. Though I spotted a Varied Thrush in our pond bathing and I heard a Spotted Towhee. 

This morning in the backyard I created a set up with a single willow twig clamped up next to a single spout bird feeder filled with black sunflower seed.  After a bit of a wait a gang of Steller's Jays came by. They were way to big to even land on the twig. They kept jumping up to the feeder and snagging seed from the opening. After they left a western Gray Squirrel arrived. I asked it to leave about five times. It would leave but it kept coming back when it couldn't spot any danger due to the fact that I was hidden behind my window hide. After about three hours the Chickadees started coming in. They were just the perfect size for the twig. I managed to create a doze images of which only a couple were nice enough to share. All of the images were taken with my Canon EOS 7D MKII camera with a Canon 100-400mm V.1 lens mounted on it. For flash I was using a Canon 550 EX Speedlight set to - 1 1/3rd stops. My camera settings were AV mode, ISO 800, F8.0 at a  variety of shutter speeds due to the changing light. God's love and blessing to all, chris

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Chickadee Tryptich

 Over the past few days I have been working on some images to be included in an upcoming project. I created a very simple set up.  I used a lichen covered twig as a perch placed about five inches or so from a single spout bird feeder. I waited for the birds to land on it when they came to feed. The birds and squirrels loved it. I used three different backgrounds behind the perch to change how the image looks. I went from coolest to warmest. On the last day, today, I was using the fall colored background. The backgrounds all create a different feel to the image. You can do this with the new background replacement tool in Photoshop but I prefer doing it the old fashioned way! This really shows how the background color in an image can change the perception of the viewer to an image. All of these images were created with a canon EOS 7D MKII camera and a Canon 100-400 mm V.1 lens. Fill flash was provided by a Canon 550 EX Speedlight. God's blessings upon your days, chris           #teamcanonusa

Friday, February 19, 2021

Rainy Day Grays, Jays and Chickadees

This morning there were spatters of rain on the rooftop when I woke up. Back in the ancient days of film photography that would have been a disaster.  Now with digital cameras it means a whole day of uninterrupted photography. The clouds are like a giant light diffuser casting soft light onto everything. Yesterday I created a new set up with a green lichen covered section of a branch. Behind it I erected a muddled brown, black and gray backdrop. Over the branchI hung a single spout bird feeder for the birds to come to. I put my camera on a tripod in our open back bedroom window. I  put it behind a window hide or blind with an opening for my camera lens. The flash I lay on the window sill point outwards towards the feeder. It was a long wait this morning for the birds to start using the feeder. First came the Chestnut-backed Chickadees.  Tentatively at first and then soon it was one after the other. There was another long break before a male Western Gray Squirrel arrived. Wow, can they pack away the seed.! They grab the bird feeder with two paws and pull the feeder opening right up to their mouth and gobble away.  Something scared the squirrel off. Possibly a hawk flying by. Less than five minutes went by before a band of Steller's Jays showed up. They were active for about fifteen minutes jostling for positions at the feeder. I had a really nice time photographing everthing that stopped by. after editing these are my favorites. God's blessings upon your weekend, chris  All of these images were created with a Canon EOS 7 D MKII camera and a Canon 100-400 mm v.1 lens. Fill flash was provided by a Canon 550 EX Speedlight set to - 1 1/3rd stops. The camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0. Shutter speeds varied.  #teamcanonusa

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Wintertime brings a shortage of birds to my backyard in Mendocino County, Northern California. There is cold rain, snow, fog and sleet. The only birds that tend to stick around are the chickadees, jays and juncos. Once in a great while I'll spot a hummingbird or two and the rare warbler or thrush. This morning I put up a new bird feeder along with a mossy snag.  I had an abundance of Chestnut -backed Chickadees and a couple of Steller's Jays show up for the free seed.  One of the jays had no tail. A few days back I found an awesome perch, It was a lichen and moss covered branch. I set it up in front of a fall covered backdrop and photographed the jays and Western Gray Squirrels. I got some fantastic images. Everything was photographed with a Canon EOS 7 DMKII camera anda Canon 100-400 v.1 lens. For fill flash I used a Canon 550 EX Speedlight. God's blessings upon your upcoming week, chris #teamcanonusa

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Playing With the Chickadees and Juncos

 When winter rolls around I very limited in the amount of bird species that I can photograph in my backyard. The most common birds left that haven't migrated south are the Juncos, Chestnut backed Chickadees and the Steller's  Jays. Every once in awhile I'll spot a Varied Thrush but usually when it's raining. This morning I set up a lichen covered branch about seven or eight feet out from our back bedroom window. I hung a single spout bird feeder over it filled with black sunflower seeds. I then went back inside and set up my camera behind the window blind/hide. Almost immediately the Dark-eyed Juncos came to investigate. They were soon followed by the Chestnut-backed Chickadees. I got some really nice images before the lighting got too bright. All of these images were created with a Canon EOS 7D MKII camera anda Canon 100-400 mm v.1 lens. Fill flash was provided by a Canon 550 EX Speedlight set to - 1 2/3rds stops. #teamcanonusa  God's blessings upon your week, chris

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Unhappy With AT+T #att

 I have been off the air as it were. AT+T throttled back our hotspot data to where I could no longer use the internet. I couldn't access my banking, billing or even FB. Living out in the country has its technological challenges. The primary one being connection to the internet. Over that pas three years we have used our phones as a hotspot to connect our computers to the internet. We purchased an Unlimited Elite Data plan to make that possible. All seemed to go well until the last two months. There is a clause in our plan that if you use too much data they will throttle your internet back. I t's only supposed to be cut back but still usable at a slower rate of data. That hasn't been the case! As soon as we hit the cap it shut down to slower than dial up. It worked fine for three years and then now this. I've called them numerous times about this with promises of help but so far nothing has happened. They promised engineering would call in five minutes. They never called. One time they hung up on me. Three times they have just repeated that I have used all my data and that's the way it is. when I explain that it is supposed to be throttled back and not turned off they offer no solutions. Well it's a new month and I will have data for a short time until it's throttled back. Soon I will hopefully be getting a new provider. Bye AT+T Enjoy the ducks and geese from yesterday. Lake Ralphine in Howarth Park, Santa Rosa, CA