Wednesday, December 27, 2017

We Have Become One of Them

I used to to poke fun of dog owners that overly spoiled their dogs. Probably because before getting Badger the Wonder Dog I've always owned hunting dogs like Labradors. One of my labs as a kid hated sleeping indoors even when it was snowing out. I can recall one morning after a new fallen snow he popped up out of a pile of snow in the corner of the backyard. He had access to the garage he just preferred being out of doors. Now back to the main gist of today's photoblog. Annika and Lenore bought Badger a dog sweater. Strange thing is that he likes it and so do I. When we put it on him he bounced around like he was proud of it. He made no attempts to try and shake or rub it off. I guess we have become one of those people that spoil their little dogs. Here is a window light portrait of Badger rocking his new sweater from Christmas morning. God bless, chris This image was created with a Canon EOS Rebel T5i and Canon 28-135 IS lens.#TeamCanon

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas to One and All

On this eve of the celebration of the birth of King of kings I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and God's blessings through out the coming year. chris

Friday, December 22, 2017


Today I visited one of our family friends in the Coffey Park area of Santa Rosa, CA. The last time I was in this area I felt like an intruder and I kept my camera locked away in the car. This time I was invited and she was excited to show me her house. She was happy yet she had a touch of sadness as we looked around. For there were burned homes all around almost as far as you could see. Her home was one of nine homes that survived on her street. The first thing I noticed when I parked in front of her house were the toy soldier Christmas decorations across the street from her home. It was a sign of hope for future. God's blessings and comfort to all of the victims of the fire, chrisCanon T1i camera and Canon EF-S17-85mm lens. #TeamCanon

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Should be Blooming by Christmas

We have a Red Amaryllis that we are forcing to bloom on our kitchen counter right next to the window. I have been watching it sprout, stretch out and reach for the sky for a couple of weeks now. Yesterday morning it budded out and it looks like it will be blooming for Christmas. In the afternoon I photographed it against a black background using two LED light panels to light the flower. It's going to have two beautiful blooms. Merry Christmas and God's blessings upon the upcoming year,chris This image was created with a Canon EOS Rebel T1i camera and a Canon EFS- S17-85 f 4.0-5.6 IS USM lens. The camera settings used were AV mode,ISO 800, F 9.0 at 1/25th of a sec. #TeamCanon

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Late Evening Drive Through SNWR

Saturday night I made a late evening drive through Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. I went just before sunset and the sun was very close to dropping down over the coast range. There weren't many waterfowl. It was cold and the wind was positively howling. I stopped and photographed a few ducks and some scenic images along the auto tour as I went. By the time I left the refuge it was pretty dark. After leaving the refuge I drove along Road 160 North of the refuge. In the dark I could see thousands and thousands of Snow Geese feeding in the flooded rice fields there. I stopped the car and put down the windows to listen. It was fantastic to hear that many geese. Such an incredible sound! It's music for the soul. God's blessings upon your week, chrisAll images were created with a Canon 7D MkII camera. #TeamCanon

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Fly By

One of my favorite images from the Llano Seco Unit of the Sacramento National Wildlife refuge was of this flock of Pintails that did a fly by. Pintails are such a thing of beauty when they fly. They look like flying torpedoes. I was using my Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS L V.1 lens which is nice and fairly light for photographing flying waterfowl. I was shooting at one stop over the metered exposure so the birds wouldn't be overexposed against the bright blue sky. Normally I would use fill flash as well to bring out the eyes and knock down the shadows but I forgot my batteries in my other back pack. It pays to check twice and pack once which obviously I didn't do! God's love and blessings upon your week, chris #TeamCanon

Monday, December 18, 2017

Guest Photographer

Yesterday morning Annika and I made a quick morning trip through part of the Central Valley. Then we made a stop at one of the northern units of the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Llano Seco. We had our best time there photographing mostly Pintail Ducks with a few Northern Shovelers and Widgeon. Leaving there we hit the auto tour of the refuge and there wasn't the abundance of waterfowl we were hoping for. We diid stop and photograph one Great Egret that held still for a long time. I love the valley in winter time. The sights and sounds of all the waterfowl are just delightful. Here are a nice selection of Annika's beautiful images. God's love and blessings to all, chris Annika created all of these images with a Canon 7D MkII camera and a Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. #TeamCanon, #WithMyTamron

Friday, December 15, 2017

Stroll Along the Promenade

We went to Torrevieja, Spain last summer on vacation. It was really nice to stroll along the promenade in the late evening. It was cooler then though by no means cold as it was still often quite warm enough to wear a T -shirt. I usually brought along my camera and photographed things that caught my interest as we walked. This meant that I usually was slowing everyone up even more than our normal slow pace. One afternoon we had a squall hit that lasted well into the evening producing bigger waves than normal. This swimmers ladder caught my eye and I lay down on the wooden stairs leading down to it. I braced the camera flat on the ground for a long exposure of one full second. I ended up creating a whole series of images. This image was one of my favorites.God's love and blessings to all, chris Canon 7D mkII camera and a Tmron 18-200 mm lens. AV mode, ISO 800, F 14.0 at 1 sec. #TeamCanon, #WithMyTamron

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gifts That Go By

Every time I check the images from my cheap trail cam it's like opening a present. I never know what I'm going to find. I have an idea of what I might get but I'm always surprised. So far we have captured, Blacktail Deer, squirrels, Opossums, Raccoons,Black Bears, Bobcats,Wild Turkeys, Jack Rabbits,skunks and Gray Fox. Right now I have it covering our road. I move it to variety of spots on a regular basis. Here are some images from the past few day. I like the Gray Fox the best. It's on alert for something down the road. There is some eye shine up ahead of it on the side of the road. You can barely pick up in the image. God's love and blessings upon your day, chris

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Beautiful Chickadees With an Older Camera

Yesterday I photographed Chestnut Backed Chickadees in the backyard for about half of an hour. When God sends you chickadees you photograph chickadees! I was using my newly purchased used Canon EOS Rebel T1i. Which I was using mainly to prove a point. You don't have to be using the latest and greatest camera to capture beautiful images. The Canon EOS Rebel T1i is not a top of the line Canon Camera. It is an entry level dslr camera that was made in 2009. I did something very similar back in 2014 with the "Chickadee challenge" Then someone commented to me as they were looking at one of my chickadee images that the reason I get so many good bird images is because of the big telephoto lens I use. While I will admit that a telephoto lens is a big help it has more to do with using a good bird set up and field craft to create great bird images. To prove this point I challenged myself to use some old photography equipment I had lying around to photograph some chickadees. I used an old Canon Rebel XT. This is an entry model DSLR that was made in 2005. I mounted on it a dented Canon 28-80 zoom made in 1990. To top it off I used a 2GB San Disk Card. Nothing top of the line here. This is all ancient stuff by modern digital standards.While there is some truth that a good camera can help it is mostly how you use what is between your ears to create beautiful images. Later I launched the "Thrifty Fifty Challenge" group on Facebook The purpose of the group is to challenge photographers to photograph sparrow sized birds with a 50mm lens and then share the uncropped images. Below are some chickadee images photographed with the Canon T1i and a modern telephoto lens the Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. God's precious love and blessings upon your day, chrisAll images were created with a Canon EOS Rebel T1I and a TAMRON SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2,The camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0, shutter speeds varied. Fill flash was provided by a Canon 550 EX flash set to minus 1-1/3 stops.#TeamCanon, #WithMyTamron

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

First Impressions of the Canon Rebel T1i

The Canon EOS Rebel T1i isn't a a brand new just out on the market camera. In fact it has been out since spring of 2009. But I needed a cheaper camera body for the camera trap I'm building. That way if my camera set up is ever stolen I won't be out so much money. With a little research I found a Canon EOS Rebel T1i body for 180 bucks. There were some that were even less expensive but I knew that buying one from KEH it had a warranty and it was going to be very reliable. Yesterday I took the camera out for a spin and it is a nice and very responsive little camera.It focused fast enough for my needs and it was very easy to carry around. Here is an image Lenore took of me with Papaya the Blasted cat and Badger the Wonder dog. Paired with the TAMRON SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 it was really easy to handhold and photograph this Turkey Vulture on a telephone cable line. I think this camera might get some use from me in more than just the camera trap. God's love and blessings to all, chris #TeamCanon, #WithMyTamron The portrait of me and the critters was created with a Canon EF-S 17-85mm lens. The T1i was photographed with a Canon 7D MkII camera and the Canon EFS 17-85mm lens.

Jack Frost Nipping at Your Nose

When we awoke this morning and looked out across the Little Lake Valley the frost in the valley was so thick that we could see it. I had a quick breakfast and I threw my cameras in the pick up and headed down the driveway. The digital thermometer in my pickup read 53 degrees Fahrenheit. Our house sits at an elevation of just above 2,500 feet above sea level depending upon what topo map you are using. As I drove down the mountain the thermometer was dropping down as well. By the time I reached the valley floor at 1,377 feet the thermometer read 28 degrees F. I decided to do a drive around the valley to find some frosty leaves to photograph. As I got nearer to the far side of the valley it got even colder. At its coldest it was 24 degrees Fahrenheit. What a huge difference in Temperature! Stay warm and God bless, chrisThe valley view was created with a Canon EOS Rebel T1i camera and a TAMRON SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 lens #WithMyTamron, All of the macro images of the leaves were created with a Canon 7D MkII camera and a Canon EFS-60mm macro lens.#TeamCanon

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Christmas Ornaments.

The time of year that we celebrate Christ's birth is just around the corner. People are getting ready to celebrate putting up decorations and trees. Lenore and I checked out a couple of the Christmas craft fairs around town. I brought along my camera just in case I spied something I wanted to photograph.It's my new toy. I picked up a used Canon EOS T1i for my new walk about camera. Here are two images of Christmas ornaments from along the way. One is a selfie as you can spot my reflection in one of the ornaments. The hand blown glass ones are by Kale Haschak a very talented local glass blower. Merry christmas and God bless, chris Both images were created with a handheld Canon EOS T1i camera with a Canon EFS 17-85 mm lens.#TeamCanon

Thursday, December 7, 2017


Love 'em or hate'em? Most of the time I like squirrels especially when I want to photograph them. When I want to photograph birds it's a whole different story. The image below is a good example of what they can do! God's love and blessings upon your day, chris Both images were created with a Canon 7D MkII camera and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM V.1 Lens.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

One Cool Cricket

While getting ready to vacuum the living room I spied a little critter crawling on the carpet. It was a Mormon cricket (Anabrus simplex). It was a female as shown by its long ovipositor which should not be confused with a stinger. It is used for laying her eggs down deep in the soil. I took it upstairs and photographed it on the Christmas green background with my macro lens before setting it free in the forest. Photographed with a Canon 7D MkII camera and a Canon EF-S 60mm macro lens. #Teamcanon

Monday, December 4, 2017

Blacktail Buck

Sunday afternoon I drove down to pick up the newspaper for Lenore. I grabbed my camera and a telephoto lens as I was heading out the door. The weather was beautiful and I thought I might spot some deer along the way. I didn't see a single deer on the way down. On the return tip however I spotted a nice three point Blacktail buck bedded down under some Redwood trees. I pulled over to the edge of the road in three different spots trying to get some different angles of the deer.It's always good to work a subject if you get a chance. In this case I could. The buck was bedded down and comfortable. He was alert but he wasn't so nervous that he was getting up ready to run. I got some pretty nice images of him. Enjoy and have a great week. God's love and blessings to all, chris All three images were created with a Canon 7D MkII camera and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM V.1 Lens. Photographed hand held from my pick up window. The camera setting used were AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 shutter speeds varied. #TeamCanon

Friday, December 1, 2017

Poor Little Mousey

While we were watching a movie the other night the cat caught a mouse and brought it to us to show off its prize. It sat on the carpet between the cat's paws. The poor little thing was in pretty bad shape and it was terrified. Lenore distracted the cat and I grabbed a jar from the kitchen and scooped the tiny little thing up. I later photographed it on a white sweep before letting it go in a brush plie off the end of our road. God's light and love to all, chris Canon 7D MkII and a Canon EFS 17-85mm lens.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thanksgiving Leftover

This afternoon when I was cleaning up I found some left over Big Leaf Maple leaves that had been used to decorate our Thanksgiving table. This evening I grabbed one ofthem and photographed it on a white background. i hope that you had a great day. God bless, chris Canon 7D MkII camera and a Canon EFS 17-85mm lens.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Something Good Down There!

I've got too many irons in the fire at the moment! I got a good chunk of work done on a book I've been working on last night so I'm feeling pretty good. It's going to be a great book. But the house is falling apart around me right now and I've got to get my office cleaned up once again along with bunch of other things. Here is a simple image for today. I picked up this lichen covered branch as I drove up our road last night coming home. This morning I put the branch up next to the bird feeder and the Chestnut Backed Chickadees loved using it when they were coming in to the bird feeder. God's blessings upon you, chris This image was created with a Canon 7D MkII camera and a Cann EF 100-400mm f 4.5/5.6 L IS USM v.1 lens. The camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 at 1/500th of a sec. A Canon 550 EX flash was used for fill light set to -1 and 2/3rds stops. If you haven't got the photographers in your life a present yet please check out my book, Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography on amazon and other online book sellers. This book has gotten great reviews. Check it out.It is available in harbound and as an ebook #TeamCanon

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Variations on a Touch of Oil

This evening I set up a glass pan with some water and dripped some drops of oil into it. I photographed the drops with my camera and a macro lens. I must say that photographing water and oil drops is very addictive. Here are some of my favorites. God's love and blessings upon your week, chris The above images were created with a Canon 7D MkII lens and a Canon EF- S- 60mm macro lens.#TeamCanon