Friday, November 29, 2013

Thank You for the Roses

When I sit in my backyard photoblind watching the birds come and go I often see the smaller birds perch on Lenore's roses before they come down to the bird feeders. This morning I decided to take advantage of that and photograph the birds on the roses. Thank you Lenore for the beautiful roses. Enjoy and God bless, chris Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 100-400 L IS, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Setting- ISO 400, AV Mode, F5.6

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Playing With Plastic

Today I was at the Dollar Tree picking up a few needed odds and ends when I ran across these big plastic snow flakes. They were clear and were over a foot across. It took a bit of effort to get one loose from the pile they were in. I think it was worth it for a buck plus change. I had an idea that it would be really cool to photograph one with back lighting and black background with stars in in it. Tonight after Lenore and I went on a date to the movies I set the snowflake up with one back light and photographed it. I really like how it turned out. God bless and Happy Thanksgiving to those of you that celebrate it, chris

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Winter Light

This morning I was reviewing some images from my files and I ran across these House Finches from last March. I really like the colors and the feel of this image. This image was taken at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal just outside of Denver, Colorado. I parked my rental car next to the bird feeders and photographed the birds as they came and went to the feeders. The winter light just gives it a feel that you just can't duplicate in the summer time. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Monday, November 25, 2013

From the Files

Today I have been really busy with preparations for Thanksgiving so here is one from the files. It's a chipmunk from my backyard. I just love the rich colors and the eye contact. It's a beautiful image. Although I like photographing elk, deer and moose I am often drawn into photographing many of God's smaller creatures. Have a wonderful week, chris

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Backyard Birds

I was out and about photographing the birds from the backyard photoblind the past few mornings. Nothing unusual appeared. Just the normal cast of characters. Mostly Juncos, Nuthatches and Chickadees.They are always beautiful. Well all of them except the last one anyway. Looks like it didn't preen this morning. Have a beautiful weekend, chris
Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 100-400 L IS, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Setting- ISO 400, AV Mode, F5.6

Friday, November 22, 2013

Final Dance

This morning I came to the realization that the fall colors are the best they have been in years and I haven't been photographing them much. So when I saw this pile of sycamore leaves in the early morning light I just couldn't resist photographing them. Here they are in their last moments before they start to compost into the earth again. Their final dance upon the earth. So beautiful! May God bless you this day, chris
Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 28-135 IS lens set to 55mm, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Setting- ISO 400, AV Mode, F22.0 at 1 sec.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Nature's Palette

God gives summer a beautiful send off with the brilliant colors of fall. I grew up in Colorado so at this time of the year I long for the broad swaths of the quaking aspens rolling up the mountainsides. They are long past now being replaced with the winters snows. One needs to be content in ones circumstances and I have learned that there are many beautiful fall colors to be had where I live now. The oaks, maples and willow trees are equally beautiful in their own way as are many of the ornamental trees found in the parking lot at the dermotologists office! Here is a sampling of color from the parking lot yesterday when I took Annika to an appointment in Ukiah,CA. What an incredibly beautiful day it was. God's light and love to all, chris

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

More of an Indoor Day

We are finally getting some much needed rain. This morning I went down to the gym for a work out. When I returned I whipped up a batch of Broccli Soup. Just perfect for a rainy day. Next I photographed a Stink Bug I found near the woodpile. Afterwards I set the wee beasty free and now I'm back to cleaning up in the office. Perfect work for a day like this. God's blessings to all, chris

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Breath of Angels

I was planning on doing some bird photography this morning but alas the rain has defeated me. It looks like I'm going to be stuck indoors working on cleaning up my office/studio which is always an ongoing project. On Sunday when I went out to photograph the birds the fog was starting to roll in and the at first the front yard was foggy and the backyard was clear and sunny. Gradually fog spilled over into the back yard creating beautiful patterns of light and fog that we call "Angel's Breath". The fancy schmancy scientific name for this effect is crepuscular rays. I like Angel's Breath better. It's a lot easier to remember too. Here are some images from the Redwood Grove in the backyard. Have a blessed day, chris

Monday, November 18, 2013

Perfect Perch

Early yesterday morning before church I went out into the backyard and set up a new perch by the bird feeder. I climbed into the photoblind and waited. Before too long I had birds coming and going to the bird feeder. I really like how several images of a Steller's Jay and a Red Breasted Nuthatch worked out. The lighting was really nice due to being muted by a thin layer of fog that slowly burned off. Just lovely. God's blessings to all, chris
Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 100-400 L IS, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Setting- ISO 400, AV Mode, F5.6

Saturday, November 16, 2013

What a Delight!

Yesterday morning I spent a couple of hours in the photoblind photographing birds that were coming to our little backyard pond. Due to the lack of rain in our area there has been a steady flow of visitors coming for drinks and baths. There were Steller's Jays, Dark Eyed Juncos, Hermit Thrushes and Chestnut Backed Chickadees but my favorite were a pair of Varied Thrushes. They came for drinks several times. With their beautiful coloring they were positively a delight to photograph. God's love and blessings to all, chris
Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 100-400 L IS at 400mm at 320mm, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod and a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Settings- AV Mode, ISO 400,F 5.6,shutter speed of 1/250th of a sec.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Taking Flight

Yesterday when I was sitting in the photoblind I happened to notice that a Dark Eyed Junco had landed on a sorghum plant behind the bird feeders. The sorghum plant must have popped up from last years bird seed. There was a beautiful background behind it and I also knew that the junco wasn't going to stay there for very long. I quickly recomposed and managed to squeeze off two images. One of it sitting and the next one of it taking off. Just perfect. God's light and love to all, chris
Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 100-400 L IS at 400mm, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod and a 3055 Ballhead. Camera Settings- AV Mode, ISO 400,F 5.6,shutter speed of 1/2,000th of a sec.

Thrush Series

This morning I set up a new perch and feeder and while the birds were adapting to it I photographed birds coming to the pond. One visitor a Hermit Thrush got a drink and then had a long and crazy bath time. It kept splsihing and splashing for a good solid five minutes. I would think it was finished and then it would come back again for more. It was a joy to watch. God's precious love to all, chris Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 100-400 L IS at 400mm, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod and a 3055 Ballhead. Camera setting- AV Mode, ISO 400,F 5.6.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Coming Home

Last night was one of those moments when I was in the right place at the right time and I was able to think quickly on my feet. I walked out to photograph the sunset and after I had finished I was walking back to the house and I thought, "Wow, the house looks pretty nice in that soft evening light". Seconds later I was photographing the house when I heard Lenore coming home from work. I made a quick decision and I waited until her headlights were past me before I tripped the shutter. The long exposure allowed the camera to record the cars taillights as it pulled into the driveway. I just love how this image turned out. I praise you Lord for blessing me with a wonderful family and a warm place to sleep at night. chris
Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 28-135 IS at 41mm, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod and a 3055 Ballhead. Camera settings- AV Mode, ISO 400,F 16.0,shutter speed of 13 seconds.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Nod to Michael Paul Smith

Sometimes I see another photographer's work that is so fantastic and unique that I want to try and see if I can create something similar. Several times over the past couple of years I have been amazed by the creativity of a photographer named Michael Paul Smith. He has been creating a photographic journey into the past to an imaginary town called Elgin Park. He does it through a clever use of a combination of models and real life townscapes. His work and the set ups that he has used can be viewed on flickr at . Check it out. He has developed an amazing eye in the creation of beautiful scenes. Today in my travels through downtown Willits I stopped at a likely location with beautiful fall colors. I pulled out my model Porsche and my brownish foam core board and laid them out on the tailgate of my pickup. After a bit of adjustment( it's harder than it looks!) I created my very simple scene of a car parked on Mendocino Avenue in Willits. Thank you Michael Paul Smith. God's light and love to all, chris
Equipment Used- Canon 7D, Canon 28-135 IS at 70mm, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod and a 3055 Ballhead. Camera settings- AV Mode, ISO 400,F 22.0,shutter speed of 1/80th of a sec.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sunset and a Bug or a Harried Day

Today was extremely busy with no time for photography. At the end of the day I glanced out side and noticed the sunset. I went out with Lenore to watch it go down and then after we came in I decided to photograph a beetle I found yesterday on a toy car. Something a little different! God's blessings upon you, chris

Monday, November 11, 2013


Today was spent cleaning up the front and back yards in preparation for the coming rain. As of late there have been a lot of fir needles falling and they were starting to cover the patio and the front driveway. Once they get wet they are really hard to remove. After all of the clean up I was ready to do some bird photography in the backyard photoblind. Once I got settled in the blind the birds were practically attacking the bird feeders. They were getting ready for the rain as well. Photography was a little tough because it was pretty cloudy leading to some really slow shutter speeds. This evening when I sat down to edit my images I really loved this simple image of a Chestnut Backed Chickadee. Enjoy and God bless, chris Equipment Used- Canon 50D, Canon 100-400 L IS at 400mm, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod and a 3055 Ballhead. Camera settings- AV Mode, ISO 400,F 5.6,shutter speed of 1/80th of a sec.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Tonight's Sunset

This afternoon I was looking forward to a wonderful sunset with all of the clouds passing overhead. Late this evening just before sunset I went outside to check it out. The clouds were building up and would make a marvelous image over Three Chop Ridge looking out towards the Mendocino Coastline. I went back in and grabbed my camera and tripod and began photographing it. About ten minutes after the sun went down the clouds turned a beautiful red. Combining that with all of the layered ridges just made it all the more beautiful. I'm glad that I checked it out. God's blessings to all, chris Equipment Used- Canon 50D, Canon 28-135 IS at 117 mm, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod and a 3055 Ballhead. Camera settings- AV Mode, ISO 400,F16.0,shutter speed of 1/10th of a sec.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Sometimes going through on my second edit I'll find something I'll like because it's probably not what I was looking for during the first edit. In this case on the first edit I was looking for good sharp nuthatches on the side of a tree. So on the second edit this Steller's Jay bill jumped out and caught me by surprise. It's whimsical, intriguing and possibly even a little humorous. I really like it. May God bless the rest of your weekend, chris
Equipment used- Canon 50D and a Canon 100-400 L IS lens set to 300mm Camera Setting - AV Mode, ISO 400, F 5.6, 1/125th of a sec.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Bright and Sunny

With the time change I need to get out a little bit earlier to catch that soft early morning light. This morning I arose to bright sunshine and clear blue skies. Not the best thing you usually want to see for most kinds of photography. My goal this morning was to photograph a Nuthatch on the side of a tree. Yesterday afternoon I set up a bird feeder just for that and I was really hoping they would start using it. With a late start and me adjusting and restocking the feeder it took some time before the birds came back and started using it. I purposely left open a slot in the side port of the photoblind so I could watch the pond while I waited. While waiting my luck was with me as I got to watch a Ruby Crowned Kinglet come in and take a short bath in the garden pond. Alas, no pictures. They are on my short list of things to photograph as they are extremely secretive and very difficult for me to photograph. With patience eventually I will get a beautiful photograph of one. After the kinglet left the Red Breasted Nuthatches began making regular trips to the feeder. One thing I love about them is that they always start calling as they are coming to the feeder giving you plenty of time to get ready. I only had one interruption from then on when a Junco came inside the blind at my feet looking for seed. When it glanced up and saw me it made a hurried exit. I had a wonderful time in the blind this morning. I'm off to work on my bird photography book. God's blessings, chris Equipment used- Canon 50D and a Canon 100-400 L IS lens at 300 mm Camera setting- AV mode,ISO 400,F5.6 at 1/400th of a sec.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Splish, Splash!

Yesterday during the long wait for something interesting to come along I photographed some Dark Eyed Juncos that were coming to take a bath in the pond. My favorite image is the last one of the set. It is looking back over its shoulder towards me trying to figure out what that clicking noise is. I just love the rich colors. God's light and love to all, chris

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Long Wait

This morning I thought I would sit in the photoblind by the pond and photograph a few birds. I was hoping to photograph something different. Not one of the usual caste of characters that come to my backyard. I watched Steller's Jays, Dark Eyed Juncos and Chestnut Backed Chickadees come and go. I photographed a few that were in good light or nice positions. I waited and waited when until I caught a a flash of orange. On the periphery I watched a Varied Thrush sitting beside a rose bush deciding if it was safe to come for a drink. It stayed there for a few seconds then seemed to decide it was safe. It flew downward and landed on one of the rocks in the pond. When I reached toward my camera it took off. Disappointment flooded over me as they are one of the hardest birds to photograph where I live. Then suddenly it appeared once more. It flew to the same rock allowing me to compose several different images before it flew off again. After it left I realized that I had been holding my breath as I began to breathe again! This was my favorite image of the ones I took. I like the ring of water that shows where it had been drinking. God's love to all, chris Equipment Used- Canon 50D and a Canon 100-400 L Is Lens @ 285mm Camera Setting - ISO 400,AV mode, F5.6 at 1/100th of a second

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sunrise and A Few More From Yesterday

This morning I was up early watching the sunrise and going over my image files from yesterday. Sometimes a good set of images deserve a second look. There were a number of Hermit Thrushes images that I added to my files. I also would have missed the Junco and fungi image that is quite intriguing. I was glad that I took the time to do a second edit. God's love and blessings to all, chris