Saturday, January 30, 2016

Bad Hair Day

On Thursday I spent some time photographing birds in the rain. Unlike most humans they don't get out of the rain when it's time to eat. They don't carry around umbrellas. Rain or shine they still have to search for food. There were a pair of Red Breasted Nuthatches that were making very regular visits to the bird feeder. The image below was the best one I created from the morning. It was quite dark and cloudy out forcing me to use a relatively higher ISO than I normally use for most of my bird photography. I ended up using ISO 1600. Though I must say for today's cameras that's not much of a problem. In the final image the poor birds looking pretty bedraggled. A bad hair day! With the dark forest as the background the final image reminds me of a bird in a museum display. May you have a blessed weekend, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di VC USD at 500mm. Camera was supported on a window pod with a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead on our bedroom widow ledge. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 1600, F 8.0 at 1/80th of a sec.

Friday, January 29, 2016

On the Water

I absolutely love photographing from my kayak. On Wednesday I ventured over to Clearlake and met up with Joe Benoit who was going fishing for bass. We launched out of a marina on the south east side of the lake in Buckingham. Early on it was to windy to be on the main lake and do any effective photography. There were also a lot of bass boats out kicking up wakes which doesn't make for very good photography. I sought out a little slough just outside the marina and hit the jackpot. Here was a calm spot that held some birds, turtles and even a River Otter. At one point the otter grabbed a big fish and came out in the open with it for about five seconds. I wasn't in a position to photograph it but it was a wonderful sight to see. The otter dragged the fish up into some heavy brush where I could catch glimpses of its mouth chomping on the fish with little crunching and slurping sounds coming out from where it was hidden. It must have been delicious! I have never observed so many warblers in one place before. They were all over picking insects out of the trees. I also got to see and photograph a Green Heron playing with a bit of Tule. It would drop it over and over in the water and grab it time and again. Honing its fishing skills. There were plenty of Cormorants close to the harbor entrance and it was a good idea not to paddle under the trees with what was coming down. Smelly stuff! It was simply a gorgeous day to be on the water. May you have a blessed weekend, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens.AV mode, ISO 400, exposures varied. The camera was supported with a custom camera bracket and a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead. The kayak used was a Native Watercraft Ulimate 14.5, #TeamCanon

Thursday, January 28, 2016

With Pure Abandon

I love to watch birds take a bath when they think no one is watching. They really let go for a little while with pure abandon. Then they suddenly stop and pop back to reality to check and see that they are safe. I think about my own walk in life. It's very similar. There are times when I let go with that same release. Then I have to mess it up and start thinking. When I do that then I'm back to the reality of my own world again. My moments, minutes, hours and days are so much better when I turn them over to God. Live a life of pure abandon. God's light and love to all, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens. Camera was supported on a window ledge with a ground pod and a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead. Camera settings used, AV mode, ISO 1600, F 8.0 shutter speeds varied.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

They Are Just So Cute

Regular followers of this blog know I just can't resist photographing small mammals. I love to photograph rabbits, Pika, Pairie dogs etc. When photographing birds earlier this week I photographed this Douglas Tree Squirrel that came to the feeders. They remind me of teddy bears for some reason. Cute little guys.. God's light and love to all, chris Both images created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens. Camera was supported with a ground pod on a window ledge with a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

"Perfect Moment"

Many great nature and wildlife images require the photographer to wait or be at the right place at the perfect moment. This can be as simple as waiting a few minutes for the animal to come along or for that one cloud to drift into just the right place. It can also be waiting for hours or even days in a cramped space just waiting for a bird to land on that perfect perch. This morning luckily for me I was photographing from our back bedroom. I was looking and waiting for that perfect moment when a bird would perch on that mushroom (fungi) near the bird feeder. I would look out the window and watch for when the birds were the most active and then I would sit and wait for one to land. When the action died off I would go do something else in the house. After photographing off and on through the morning I captured five images of Chestnut Backed Chickadees perching on the mushroom. This one was my favorite. May you have a blessed afternoon, chris This image was created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens at 375mm. The camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 1600, F 8.0 at 1/1,600th of a sec. Please take a look at my book, Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography for information on how to photograph birds in your backyard. Cut and paste the following into your browser. It is available in hardbound and as an ebook.

Monday, January 25, 2016

It's Still Coming Down

All the weather forecasts predicted a break in the weather. Lenore and I took advantage of that and headed up through the Redwoods for a late lunch at the Peg House. After a delicious lunch we drove a a couple of miles north and walked through the Smithe Redwoods Grove and then hiked up the hill to Dora Creek Falls. With all of the rain the falls were really going. I didn't have a very wide angle lens with me to do the falls justice so I just photographed sections of the falls. May you have a blessed week, chris Images created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 17-85 mm EF-s lens.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Let There Be Light

After days and days of overcast and rain this morning we were treated to some gorgeous sunshine. When I stepped out onto our deck and looked up at the rays of light coming through the trees I couldn't stop and think of the beauty of what I was seeing and God's creation. When God created the world it in Genesis 1:3-5 God said, Let there be light; he willed it, and at once there was light. Oh, the power of the word of God! May you have a blessed day, chris Image created with a Canon T5i anda a Canon 18-135 lens.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Simple Rainy Day

We really need the rain and the good Lord has been sending it. There has been one storm front after another coming roughly one every twenty four hours. This morning was no different as we awoke to the sound of the rain drumming on the roof. The perfect day to sit by the woodstove and read a book. The need for food eventually drove me out of the house. I haven't been grocery shopping for quite awhile and we needed food. I grabbed my camera as I headed out the door thinking that there must be something to photograph along the way. Sure enough on my drive down I spotted a pair of Red Shouldered Hawks near the Brooktrails Lodge. They were on a wire and I could only photograph one at a time. So here is one of them. Once in town I noticed a guy with a red umbrella. I couldn't miss out on the the iconic image of a guy with a red umbrella could I? After shopping for groceries I stopped to buy gas. As I was filling up two Ravens began to raid the garbage can right behind the gas pump I was using. I slowly grabbed my camera out of the car. One of the Ravens wasn't having any of that and it took off. The other one stayed behind long enough for me to get some nice portraits. Once I arrived home I worked on putting a window blind up in the back bedroom of our house. From the bedroom I managed to get one Chestnut Backed Chickadee image from the backyard while staying warm and dry as the rains came pouring down. God's light and love to all, chris #TeamCanon

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Those Cute Little Juncos

Today we got a little break from the rains. There were a few scattered showers but it didn't rain this afternoon giving me the opportunity to photograph some Dark Eyed Juncos for about a half an hour in the backyard. I set up a lichen covered branch next to the bird feeder for the birds to land on. It was pretty dark out with the clouds overhead so I was forced to use a pretty high ISO of 1600 with my lens wide open at F 5.6. With the shadowy forest in the background I came away with some pretty nice images. This one was my favorite. God's light and love to all, chris Image created with a Canon 7D on a Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod with a Bogen Heavy duty ballhead. I used a Canon 100-400 IS lens at 300mm. Camera settings used were Manual Mode, ISO 1600, F 5.6 at 1/500th of a sec. #TeamCanon

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Inside Endeavors

Last night and early this morning the wind howled and the rain came down. This morning it rained off and on so I limited my endeavors to moving furniture in an attempt to return some normalcy to the house hold. When I was done playing moving man I looked through some old images way back in the files to see what gems I may have overlooked. I found a really nice Anna's Hummingbird from the backyard from 2012. This image was created with a Canon 50D and a Canon 100-400IS lens at 260mm. Lighting was done with four or more Canon 540 EZ flashes. The metadata shows the following camera settings ISO 400, F 20.0 at 1/200th of a second on manual. God's love and blessings to everyone, chris

Monday, January 18, 2016

Going Vertical

Today was spent watching the carpet installer put down the last of the flooring. Woot! Woot! He was here from nine in the morning until eight thirty at night. He would have been here earlier but he drove past our house and I had to go help him get unstuck from the mud. Because I didn't do any photography here is a vertical image from Saturday. God's love and blessings to all, chris Image created Canon 7D and a canon 10-22mm lens at 22mm. ISO 400, F 5.6, 1/250th of a sec.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Light in the Forest

This afternoon when I was making some repairs to the wood flooring we had installed I looked out the window and saw the most beautiful light shining through the fog in the forest right out side our door. I grabbed my camera threw on a wide angle lens and ran outside. I walked up and down the ridge looking for interesting spots to photograph. After uploading and editing the images this one was my favorite. Image created with a handheld Canon 7D and a Canon EFS 10-22 mm lens

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Playing with Toys

Thank you Lord for the rains. It seems like it has been pouring off and on for the past few days. I just got my new rain gear for my camera so it looks like I'll be putting it to use soon as the forecast shows rainstorms clear into next week. Looking for something to photograph this morning this I grabbed a toy truck. Some fanatics um purists would call it a collectable. As for me I just bought it for fun. Here it is against the window with some ashes from the woodstove scattered around it to look like dirt. May you have a warm and blessed day, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 50mm 1.8 lens on a tripod.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Enjoy the Simple Things

Today looks to be the last day of my imprisonment by the flooring contractor. That is until we have the carpeting installed. Judging by the shape of our carpet it was a wise decision to do the carpeting last. With all of the sawdust and the workers going in and out it is looking pretty bad. What to do on a rainy day? I grabbed my macro lens and took a walk into the backyard. The leaves on Lenore's roses looked pretty enticing covered with the raindrops. So many times I have found beauty in the small worlds at my feet rather than in the grand landscape. Please enjoy the simple beauty of these leaves. god's light and love to all, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a 100mm macro lens on a tripod. AV mode, ISO 800, F 16.0 at 1/30th of a sec.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Postcard Picture Spot

On Saturday after five days of hanging around the house watching the flooring contractor I was going a bit stir crazy. Luckily we already had a family hiking trip planned and I told the contractor not to come back until Monday. He wasn't too pleased as he has only has one day left to finish the job. We got off to a late start which probably worked out for the better because it was raining. Luckily as we headed out the door I threw some umbrellas in the trunk of the car which we immediately put to use when we got to Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve. If you want to see a mature magnificent Redwood Grove. Montgomery Woods is the place to see it. There is a spot off to the left just as you enter the grove that has seen the tripod legs of hundreds possibly thousands of photographers over the years. There have been many postcards and calendars created from this spot. I took a few images from this spot too. I included Annika for a small variation to show the scale of the Redwood Trees. We had a really nice time exploring the grove even finding a couple of Rough Skinned Newts along the way. On the winding, twisting return trip we stopped many times along Orr Springs road to take in the foggy scenery. Afterwards we had a nice Asian dinner at the Lotus in Ukiah. What a wonderful day. God's love and blessings upon your week, chris All images created with a Canon 7D handheld or braced as I didn't want to carry my tripod and an umbrella.