My wife Chris and I have been feeding the bird life in our yard for over 30 years. We have a steady population of typical New England birds including tufted titmouse, yellow goldfinch, chickadee, downy woodpecker, house finch, white-breasted nuthatch, cardinal and blue jays. We also have resident hairy woodpeckers, red bellied woodpeckers, red breasted nuthatch, chipping sparrows, American robins, turkey, white-throated sparrow, fox sparrow. I’m sure there are some I haven’t mentioned. We do get some out-of-the-ordinary birds such as the four sightings this year of a pileated woodpecker. No photos yet.[Read more…]
Too Much Light!
While out photographing in nature, we all occasionally find a subject that might be better photographed at another time of day for better lighting conditions. But to delay may result in losing the moment and a change in the subject. A caterpillar crawling by, a dragonfly visiting a patch of flowers, one thing eating another thing, all of these scenes will change in a few moments; never mind waiting until early light tomorrow morning. In the worst of circumstances I’ll make some captures just as a record shot to document I did see the event; however, I will try to alter the lighting conditions, by adding or taking away light if possible, to make a better image capture.
Using Flash – Balancing the Foreground and Background Light
Using flash effectively is often a challenge for many photographers, likely due to the lack of knowledge of how to use it, and for some the belief that anything can be fixed in software. I believe it’s a matter of learning a few techniques and modifying them as needed to fit different situations. Some will question why I didn’t rely on HDR techniques. HDR is difficult to do well; at least well enough so that it is difficult to tell it’s been done. The capabilities of today’s software products to brighten the shadows and darken the highlights may have been possible but for me, it is more work than correcting problems in the camera.
Yellowstone in Winter
In January 2019 I participated in a photography trip organized by professional photographer John Slonina. Unlike many winter trips to Yellowstone, this trip included three days of photographing the northern stretch of park from Gardiner to Soda Butte Creek at the far end of the Lamar Valley, and three days in a snow coach in the southern reaches of the park, down to Old Faithful area in the western half of the park and into Canyon and Hayden Valley down to Fishing Bridge. [Read more…]
In the Yard — Fungi
I tend to be an opportunistic photographer, although I do make some effort to be in the vicinity of opportunity. The fall of 2018 presented a great number, in variety and quantity, of fungi in my yard. I must explain that my yard is mostly wooded with trees up to 100 feet high since I only cleared what I needed for the house and the septic system. This year in seven weeks I have captured more images of mushrooms and other curious fungi than I have in the last 30 years living in this home. [Read more…]
Great Smoky Mountains – Landscapes and the Hand of Man
We’ve all seen the iconic images of layered hill sides in the haze of sunset in the Smoky Mountains. That didn’t happen much on this trip. For the most part the weather was clear with cloudless skies. Not conducive to landscape photography, especially in Cades Cove. There were no foggy mornings to take advantage and work into an images, or dramatic storm clouds to add interest behind a stately tree. We did visit two great locations to keep in mind for future visits. [Read more…]
Great Smoky Mountains – Wildlife, Wildflowers and Waterfalls
I’ve been to 25 National Parks over the years, many of them several times and Denali NP in particular six times. Two popular parks that I have not been to yet are Acadia National Park in Maine, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee/North Carolina. One thing that makes this odd is that they are the two national parks that are closet to my home. In April 2018 I decided to add one of these to the list of visited parks. I booked a short photography tour of Great Smoky Mountains with Slonina Photography tours, run by local photographer John Slonina. I considered this short five-day trip to be an introduction to the park. It was the first trip to a national park which I did not plan independently, and it was my first trip with John. [Read more…]
Ecuador 2016 – Herps and Hummingbirds
At the end of February 2016, I traveled to Ecuador to participate in a photography workshop organized by Greg Basco of Foto Verde Tours a photographic tour company for photographers founded by photographers. and Lucas Bustamante of Tropical Herping, an institution he co-founded in 2009 to preserve tropical reptiles and amphibians through tourism, photography, education and research. Both Greg and Lucas are award winning photographers. Assisting Lucas was Frank Pichardo, a new employee of Tropical Herping but an experienced photographer and naturalist guide. The trip itinerary was designed to provide three largely different habitats with the intent of photographing a wide variety of subjects. [Read more…]
Costa Rica 2015
In April 2015, I made my fourth trip to Costa Rica, attending a workshop conducted by my friend Greg Basco. With his business partner Paulo Valerio, he founded Foto Verde Tours, creating tours for photographers by photographers. He works with selected lodges to increase the likelihood of good nature photography opportunities. This year’s trip was titled The Art of Biodiversity – Pacific and the itinerary delivered on this promise. [Read more…]
Antarctic Peninsula Day 4
Day 4 – February 3 – Perterman Island and Vernadsky Station
This morning we awoke to cold air temperatures, two inches of snow on the deck, heavy overcast skies, and some areas of fog. The ship was heading into the Lemaire Channel, a narrow passage between the Argentine Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula mainland. The temperatures here were at freezing, and the amount of ice floating in the channel was surprising compared to what we had witnessed so far. [Read more…]
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