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